Media

New! Improved! Designer vaginas

Insecurity is big business. We probably wouldn’t bother with half the things we buy if we felt good about ourselves. Your breath isn’t fresh enough (that’s how Listerine got its big break). Your hair isn’t straight enough (cue GHDs and Brazilian blowouts). Your teeth aren’t white or straight enough (aesthetic dentistry). You’re too pale (fake…

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Black journalists’ role in the struggle needs to be re-examined

It was 34 years ago that the apartheid regime mounted its assault against the freedom and integrity of so-called black newspapers. On October 19 1977, the government silenced the World and Weekend World publications, which were mistaken for revolutionary voices simply because of the skin colour of the staff and the racially segmented market they…

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Rugby and the nation: Tweeting our devastation

“Sympathies to the Wallabies,” tweets the comedian Brendan Jack. “After the tournament, they still have to go back to Australia.” It’s a sardonic comment on a morning which for many across South Africa has been an emotional rollercoaster. I’m very aware of this because I’ve watched my fellow citizens veer crazily from hope to despair…

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Daydreaming into disaster

By Roger Diamond Fantasy and imagination will cause our downfall. The ability of humans to live inside their heads is allowing our civilisation to destroy everything around us, the things we can find most joy from and the very things we need to survive. While people watch computer-animated images of smiling creatures hopping across ice…

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Will tweet for Crocs

Crocs shot of the day It’s amazing where a blog entry will get you. A little more than a month ago, I wrote about Crocs here on Thought Leader. Why, I wondered, did everyone hate Crocs? Why the need to be seen to be hating the brand? It struck me as rather theatrical, a form…

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An open letter to MTN

Dear MTN, Recently I trudged through the plains of Mordor, chucked the Ring into the Mount Doom and emerged in one piece on the other side. Which is to say that I’ve just crossed my self-payment gap and Discovery will actually start to pay for things again. This is just as well for you, because…

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Why South Africa should be run like the Loeries

Two icons meet on stage Photo: Gallo Exhilarating, exhausting and, most of all, enlightening. I’ve just returned from a two week road trip and social media campaign, travelling down to Cape Town for the Loerie Awards. (You can read all about the campaign here.) It was unbelievably hard work and worth every Red Bull-fueled moment…

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New! Improved! The nation, on sale now

In 30 seconds, an ad can tell you more about the South African psyche than an entire day spent wading through a dissertation. A contentious statement to make, I know, but with the Loerie Awards festival taking place this weekend (I’ll be blogging it all here), worth some reflection. The significance of advertising’s role in…

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Rugby, braaivleis and Peter Stuyvesant

It’ll be interesting to see which campaigns win big at this year’s Loerie Awards this weekend in Cape Town. What will their legacy be? As a member of the very first group of South Africans to grow up with TV, the ads I grew up with are etched into my memory. My childhood was Knight…

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The most engaging raconteur I have ever met

I first met Deon du Plessis at the Sunday Tribune offices in Field Street during the early 1980s where he was deputy editor. He was a giant of a man – I stand close to 6 feet tall, but he towered over me and was almost twice as broad as I am. By the time…

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