Finweek English Edition - - ADVERTISING & MARKETING -

The name Haas im­me­di­ately sug­gests some­thing sym­bolic. Fast, nim­ble and street-smart, per­haps, as you’d ex­pect a hare to be. The hare and the tor­toise spring to mind. But, no. It’s ac­tu­ally what Glynn Venter, the agency’s co-founder, called his child­hood toy, which now re­sides in the agency. Those hare-like at­tributes are not in­ap­pro­pri­ate, how­ever.

A year since start-up, Haas Col­lec­tive is the hold­ing com­pany whose um­brella is shared by Haas Ad­ver­tis­ing Col­lec­tive and Haas Cof­fee Col­lec­tive. The cof­fee shop, in their tra­di­tional Malay build­ing in Cape Town’s Bo-Kaap, has al­ready es­tab­lished a for­mi­da­ble rep­u­ta­tion. Serv­ing up to 200 cups a day of such R100-a-cup spe­cial­i­ties as In­done­sian kopi luwak, made from a cof­fee bean that has been eaten and elim­i­nated (undi­gested) by a civet, it has been listed by de­sign mag Wall­pa­per as one of 20 rea­sons to be in SA.

“We want to build the Haas brand, which is more than just the agency,” says co co-founder founder Glynn Venter. Venter r. “The dif­fer­ent busi­nesses feed off and co com­ple­ment om­ple­ment each other. Cof­fee is a rel­e­vant sym­bol. Good con­ver­sa­tion hap­pens over cof­fee. It keeps you alert and ef­fi­cient. And clients like to see that you can man­age your own busi­ness.”

An­other spe­cial­ity of the house is Fran­cois de Vil­liers, the leg­endary copy­writer who has made like­able ad­ver­tis­ing his home turf. (Mill­ward Brown rated his “sign­writer” com­mer­cial for Spur as SA’s best-liked spot last year.) “Yebo, gogo” for Vo­da­com and Klip­drift’s “Met eish” are other iconic ads of his. He and Venter have worked to­gether as a creative part­ner­ship for 10 years at Draftfcb. At 60, De Vil­liers says he’s been re­ju­ve­nated by the move, the first time he’s set up his own agency.

In 17 years with Draftfcb, he was “the most loyal of the loyal”. But with re­tire­ment loom­ing, “I had to think about my Plan B. I couldn’t just go and paint. You have to do what you are good at, and I had to do some­thing for my­self. And where I could make a dif­fer­ence. My work is my life.”

When Draft won the Wimpy ac­count it had to give upu up Spur, open­ing the door for De Vil­liers, w who had worked closely close­lyely with

Nick Barr

Fran­cois de Vil­liers

Glynn Venter

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