Cando Advertising

Changing the face of creativity one brainwave at a time

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The Scandinavian Scan Man on Bang & Olufsen

It’s always interesting to see what influence a city exerts on the creative community. We are often under the opinion that large cities with a diverse cultural and social mix generate the cutting edge, trend-setting crew that bring new ideas to the rest of us creative cool cats. So, I asked around town about some brands that are bench-marks in this neck of the woods and was pleasantly surprised to see that in fact, a number of these brands are found in fairly obscure, ‘dorps’ by South African standards.

A TV is a TV is a TV…..

Any one with half an iota of design savvy would consider Bang & Olufsen or B&O as it is affectionately referred to in Denmark as a design icon. I have personally always aspired to own one of their magnificently crafted audio visual pieces and can now say that I am the proud owner of a 1956 original, WORKING, AM/FM radio set. It was cheap by B&O standards and I doubt a retailer of these fine instruments would consider a bottle of 15 year old scotch a fair trade for one of their latest Smart items. My beloved icon was in need of a little T&C so after some investigations into the brand, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it is the casings of the equipment that makes it unique. The innards or vital organs of B&O are obviously good quality as I have come to expect from the Scandinavians but the thing that has made them famous is the sleek, modernistic, minimalist approach to the audio visual category.

Another surprise is that the company that is responsible for these marvellous aesthetics is based in a small town in Southern Denmark called Bramming! With a booming population of around 7500 and a border of beef and pig farms, one would expect this town to rather be innovating in the processed pork category! Any one for designer sausage casings?

One of the latest designs from B&O is the Beolit 12, a portable audio speaker that couples harmoniously with an iPhone (don’t tell the rest of the smartphone fraternity but they can use this cool device too). What I personally like about the Beolit is the use of the leather strap and rubber tray on top. The strap gives it a bit of character and adds a cool juxtaposition to the brushed metal casing. The rubber top tray is, in true Scandinavian style, practical as it stops your phone from sliding around.

It is small enough to be unobtrusive in your home but has large enough sound to keep your feet tapping away above the dim of a raucous dinner party.

This definitely gets my nod of approval.

Filed under denmark design style brands meanwhile in scandinavia

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Cando outgrows their old shoes

The last couple of years have been a journey of self-discovery for Cando. We’ve walked the path with great clients at our side and have gone to space and back to produce ground-breaking, creative and innovate work. We’ve forged new territory and have been a part of some memorable brand moments.

We’ve grown as a business. We’ve evolved. We’ve changed. 

And that’s when we realized we’d outgrown our shoes in some ways. Our website in particular didn’t reflect exactly what Cando was about. We’d grown so much, that it just didn’t fit right anymore. It was uncomfortable and it lacked our famous Cando Essence™.

So what do you do when shoes don’t fit anymore? You get a new ones of course.

And with that (can we have a drumroll)…

Cando launched a new website and blog. We want our clients to see exactly who we are at a glance. To show them who the real Cando is.

Our fresh, new website shows you which communication channels our spotlight falls on, the creative services we offer, our pillars that we’re remembered for and our philosophy when it comes to our work. We want to be the “what you see is what you get” kind of agency. We want our clients to be able to check under our bonnet, examine our interior and then come take the drive with us.

We think our new website and our blog is a clear reflection of who we are and where we want to go. And we want to tell the world about what Cando can do.

So we went social

Now, we’re not joining social media because we have FOMO (Fear of missing out). And we’re certainly not using it is a dumping ground for us to promote our recent work. We’re doing it because we have a valuable voice. I guess you can say that social media is just our voice box. It’s helping us get heard. And we’ve got a lot of awesome things to say.

The “About us” section on our website isn’t nearly good enough for us. We want you to get involved with us and more importantly, to get us. We want you to come take a peek behind the Cando curtain and see what goes down behind the scenes, see what inspires us, what drives us, and what makes us magic. We also want to chat to you and find out what inspires you, motivates you and makes you.

Just think of it as sitting down and having a drink with our agency (without the tequila).

We want you to join the conversation. Bookmark this blog (we promise you won’t regret it) and start following us on Twitter to hear what we’ve got to say.

We look forward to taking this new journey with you… oh, and we really hope you like our shiny new shoes.  

Filed under socialmed launch blog website makeover things we cando

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Braveheart teaches us the importance of shared vision

We watched in awe as Mel Gibson rode into war, blue-faced and terrifyingly wonderful, fighting for what he believed in. We got shivers when he rallied his fellow countrymen and passionately shouted some of the top-quoted lines in movie history. We wept in wonder at his total commitment and unwavering belief in the cause. 

But William Wallace didn’t achieve momentous victory in the Battle of Stirling alone. He had a following that was just as passionate as him. The war was won as a result of shared vision. 

William Wallace in a 21st century suit


Let’s imagine for a second that William Wallace lived in the 21st century. That he shaved off his long locks, put on a tie and instead of an army, had a force of employees behind him. What things could we learn from him? 

Many organisations have a vision and values, but only in the best does that vision truly galvanize its people and result in better performance.” Dave Wraith

More and more companies today are realizing the importance and impact of shared vision on performance. A company that has vision is one that is full of energy, excitement, passion and ambition. It’s a company that will stand out among all the rest. 

It’s so important to align your employees to your company’s purpose, mission and vision. A brand positioning that best motivates the team is the only one that will really work. Leaders can achieve nothing if they do not have employees behind them that are just as driven. 

Building a brand from the inside out


A good brand is one that differentiates themselves not only with the product or service they offer, but by what their employees do. The experience your client receives when they interact with your brand’s touch points is vital – and that includes your employees. They are the face of the brand and in this day and age, because of social media and word-of-mouth, what happens on the inside of your company is reflected in the way your brand is perceived on the outside. If they are as motivated as you are about the business, you have a powerful collective force behind you, working towards success. 

And that’s where internal campaigns come in. It has been proven that employees are more committed to an idea they helped develop. Marketers are realising that they have to up their game when it comes to the investment and creativity of tactics required to truly engage people from within. 

The brand that goes that little bit further


Ford’s “Go Further” is not just an advertising tagline. It’s not just about the mileage you can get in the vehicle. It’s about the company’s vision and culture. It is not only targeted to the world of car buyers, but to Ford employees. They positioned their brand around the concept of inspiring behavior. Inspiring every employee to go further as individuals, as a team and as a company. Their internal campaigns are centred on teaching employees and encouraging unity, cooperation, passion and excitement. This creates a positive perception of the company as a whole. This is a perfect example of a William Wallace outlook when it comes to shared vision within an organization. 

Coffee, campaigns and a collective force


Starbucks has become the global synonym for Java and Joe and this firm lives by the motto “coffee loves company.” Now, they’re not just talking about socializing with mates over a steamy cappuccino. No, they’re talking about something bigger. Something they call, “relational capital”. 

“We define relational capital as the value of a firm’s network of relationships with its customers, suppliers, alliance partners, and employees.” Michelle Gass (Senior Vice President of Starbucks)

They want Starbucks to be more than just a café where you grab a cuppa coffee. They want it to be experience, and of course that means employees play a vital part in that. Starbucks has launched a great internal campaign recently that gives their employees the opportunity to share ideas. Every quarter, they ask for suggestions from their staff that they think will take the Starbucks experience to the next level for customers. One zone came up with an idea of holding a Blended Beverage Rally to get employees fired up about the summer season’s offerings where they could learn about new products and get tangible rewards and incentives to sell it. Another idea came from Starbucks employees in Southern California. Tired of getting requests for blended drinks and losing customers to competitors selling them, employees with management’s approval developed the Frappuccino blended beverage. 

Because employees were driven, passionate and dedicated to the Starbucks brand, these campaigns and internal drives resulted in a noticeable sales increase. It’s amazing to see the power of shared vision in action, isn’t it?

We believe you have to have a Braveheart in any business and William Wallace vision if you are going to make a success out of your ventures. A company is nothing without its employees. And that is why we here at Cando strive to create internal campaigns that inspire, drive and motivate employees to believe in their brand and preach its proposition. 

Written by Tamsin Manby 

Filed under things we cando shared vision branding brands company policy internal campaigns

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Cando Loves Warm and Glad… mmm mmm

Cando is situated in an up-and-coming trendy hotspot. We’ve seen unique shops and places of interest popping up all around us recently, and so we’ve made it a bit of a mission to discover the bustling businesses in our sandpit.

Our first great find was the charming cafe, Warm and Glad. 



This a true Joburg gem. We felt as if we’d stepped into a retro, Seattle street cafe with young creatives on their Macs, perched on bar stools sipping steamy coffees. Warm and Glad has become the creative hotspot for people to take some time out from their day to relax and rejuvenate.


(Image from the awesome Land of Nams)

There are many things we just love about it. Firstly, every touch point of their brand exudes personality. They have paid real attention not only to the décor and atmosphere, but the smaller things that to an un-observant eye, may go unnoticed. We were surprised when we looked at our bill; not only was the price good but the slip had a personal note to the customer saying “Thanks, yo. If you feel it, tweet it.” Which is of course, exactly what we did.


Another small detail we noticed was that on the menu, you can find out exactly where all the ingredients you’re munching on come from. The fat and happy chickens (bless their soul) come from a local supplier out in the Cradle of Humankind, and the toasty coffee is from Deluxe Coffeeworks in Cape Town. We love that they give shout-outs to these guys on their menu and naturally, we love that they support local business. 

The cafe has a store filled with vintage vinyls, retro prints from local artists as well as a huge selection of local and imported newspapers and magazines. Jonathan Shaw, the entrepreneur and owner of this surprising shop said he wanted to create a space of social interest that was ever-changing, never static. And he did just that. Warm and Glad is not just a café, it’s an experience. Their brand is a truly special one and we think they’ve made a super success out of it.  

Looks like we’re going to be spending a few lunch breaks here for brainstorming sessions and of course, warm, steamy cappuccinos.  

Filed under cafe joburg coffee creative hotspots brand identity design

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How to make lemonade – the VW way

Come take a moment to walk with us through the advertising hall of fame. We’re going to rewind a little bit and turn back the clock to the sweet, swinging sixties.  The age of simple summer evenings, Rock n’ Roll records, Polaroid memories and of course, magical advertising moments. One such moment made an industry revolution…

The day the Beetle was really born

Volkswagen released an iconic advert that changed the face of advertising using the concept of a lemon. Yes. A lemon. The ad featured a black and white photo of the Volkswagen Beetle with the word, “Lemon” underneath in bold san serif font. And this little car had a story.

It was rejected by Inspector Kurt Kroner because it had a blemish on the chrome piece of the glove compartment. The advert went on to describe the meticulous inspection process that all Volkswagen vehicles go through at each stage of production and how the main focus is on the detail. As a result of this preoccupation, the Beetle was said to last longer and require less maintenance than other cars. The ad closed with that legendary line, “we pluck the lemons; you get the plums.”

What’s that old saying? Honest is the best policy

A customer’s impression upon first glance at the advert:  “Oh, so you are calling the Beetle a lemon?”

Guess again.

William Bernbach at DDB, the man of the Beetle-breakthrough moment, approached this brief differently. The unique selling points of the Beetle were affordability, simplicity, reliability, durability, frugality and easy maintenance. He decided to bring this out by using the angle of honesty.

Behold, a clear Beetle brand persona was born. Perceptions were changed and every angle from the price to the product, all the way through to the advertising reflected transparency and approachability. This advert came across as a sort of “tip” from a friend, and people not only related to it but appreciated it. 

The aftershock

The “Lemon” advert didn’t succumb to marketing hyperbole. It was frank. It was real. It was successful.

Not only was it a huge breakthrough in product-to-consumer relations, but it encouraged the customer to take off their rose-tinted glasses and to question the whole concept of consumerism. It carved a niche in the jam-packed marketplace and highlighted the importance of a well-developed brand persona, which in this day and age is more important than ever.

What’s not to love?

This kind of advertising paved our playing field. To us, this strategy all boils down to essence. What is the essence of the brand? How do you express that essence with every move you make? How do you get people to resonate with that essence and react? They accomplished everything we as an agency strive to achieve.

Let’s tip our hats once again to those Golden Age greats. 

Filed under greatness relived

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The fall of man, the rise of Coca-Cola

Some of you may have seen the movie, The Road based on the book by Cormac McCarthy. To put the plot into a neat little nutshell, a father and his son who survive the end of the world make their way across a barren and broken, post-apocalyptic landscape in search of hope.

In-between battles against cannibals and hunger, the father stumbles upon an old, beat-up vending machine. After a couple of kicks, we’ll give you one guess which soda pops out. Coca-Cola of course. 


“What is it Papa?”

“It’s a treat. For you.”

“It’s good.”

The son got to open happiness, and the father got to share happiness. Unlike most brand placements in movies, the Coca-Cola can was an instrumental part of the story because it was a symbol that humanity was not lost. The little boy, who had never lived in the consumerism-driven world that we live in today, got a taste of the past where life was sweet and in that moment there was hope.

How to get it oh-so right

Coca-Cola make it their mission to connect with people, inspire moments of optimism and happiness and spread it all over the globe. It’s placement in this movie brought their vision across in such a simple yet effective way. In an age of such destruction and hopelessness, the Coca-Cola can was the shining light.

It’s been said that the key to brand success is to make your brand “human”. Brands should be like living, breathing entities and should add value and meaning to people’s lives. This is where Coca-Cola nailed it. They have their hands firmly pressed on the pulse of what the market needs. Their distinct personality sticks and people can relate to it. Branding is no longer just about the product anymore. It’s about the way consumers feels about a product and how that product resonates with their lives.

The link between happiness and humanity

In recent campaigns, Coca-Cola’s core branding has revolved around the concepts of humanity, goodness, compassion, kindness and generosity. They have delved deep into the idea of true unbridled happiness and have struck gold. In the latest viral Coca-Cola Security Camera advert, they made the world smile with 90 minutes of sweet and somewhat unexpected footage. By looking at the world a little differently, they stumbled upon magical moments of kindness and human goodness. Stolen kisses, friendly gangs, harmless soldiers, acts of bravery – all negative notions relating to security cameras were thrown out the window and replaced with inspiring and surprising captured moments.

These are the moments that reflect the true essence of the brand. Coca-Cola isn’t just a pause that refreshes anymore. It’s so much bigger than that. It’s about the innate goodness everyone has inside them and the opportunities you get to share it. When the world stops spinning and all hope seems to be lost, it’s the goodness of people that will linger and chase away despair. And that’s the space that Coca-Cola have wedged themselves in. Pretty good space to be in if you ask us. That can isn’t just a brown, bubbly beverage. It’s the golden thread to all that’s good in this world. It’s brands like these that will stand the test of time. 

Filed under cockroaches chaos and brands