Widget Image
Monday, June 18, 2018
HomeCrazy OnesWhat I Learnt at GREY Advertising South Africa

What I Learnt at GREY Advertising South Africa

Larry Valenstein and Arthur Fatt

Talking Agency, GREY Advertising:

Facebook was founded in 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg. The modern internet, was invented by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990. My brother signed me up for Facebook in 2008.

I started my first marketing business printing business cards and T-shirts during collage in 2010. I failed in my studies for it, but the lessons I learnt those early days mark me today.

Last week I was invited to the an all agency meeting at GREY Advertising to celebrate GREY’s 100 year centennial; which meant a whole lot of amazing graphics and videos about the GREY legacy; 100 year’s of work and industry leading ideas.

For someone forging his own agency, primed to be the greatest media company in the world, I loved the perspective of GREY’s history. Like most global agencies, GREY has a rich and humble history, founded on a lot of things I align to: hard work, creative thinking and problem solving and in essence, the courage to stand out and do new things in marketing.

Here’s a taste, which you can find on their Centennial site:

In 1917, 18-year-old Larry Valenstein borrowed $100 from his mother to rent a room for his fledgling direct mail company… Larry named the company after the walls of that first office. More likely, Grey was chosen because with an obviously Jewish name such as “Valenstein & Fatt,” the enterprise would never expand outside the garment district clients that populated their roster at that time.

In the 1930s, Grey secured its reputation for smart thinking with the introduction of Grey Matter. Published for 59 years, the informational and authoritative newsletter changed the way the world saw Grey.

David Ogilvy, often hailed as the father of advertising, was impressed by Grey’s growing research and creative capabilities.

Admen, to Madmen, to Creatives:

I’m working in a world, where the knowledge and experience of the founders of advertising like GREY, Ogilvy or Fleishman is more important than ever; colliding with the problem solving creativity of today’s silicon moguls like Facebook, Google or Tesla.

The future of advertising, isn’t in the platform, or even the content, it’s in the courage of the collective creative to execute on new ideas at scale.

Learning from the path past industry leaders has set, while applying your own life experiences and lessons should be a perspective each entrepreneur should acknowledge. It’s not weakness to admit that you don’t know something or those before you were better.

What kinds of business or people do you look up to or admire, I’d love to know their story, why not share them with me in the comments:


If you enjoyed this story, it would mean a lot to me if you shared it.

If you want to keep up-to-date with our stories, please subscribe!

Written by

Entrepreneur of Third Planet Digital, Joburgbrew and the editor of Milled.co.za. Speaker of craft beer and technology, ecommerce and social media and how they all come together.