A STORY OF INSPIRATION:
In 1982 Levi's® asked their new agency, Bartle Bogle & Hegarty to help them launch their Black Denim. John Hegarty created a poster with all the white sheep going in one direction and in the middle of it was a black sheep going the opposite direction. And it just simply said:
"Black Levi's. When the world zigs, zag."
The black sheep later became the company logo for BBH.
I have had the privilege of working on the Johnnie Walker brand and was there in 1999 when BBH unveiled the now iconic "Keep Walking" campaign for Diageo. I had the opportunity again to work with them during my time as head of marketing for the Levi's® brand at Levi Strauss & Co in Europe. Whilst living in Brussels, I met and made really good friends at BBH. Amongst many great projects we worked on together, the highlight was their breakthrough work on the global (re)launch of Levi's® 501® Jeans in 2008.
Nigel Bogle founded BBH with John Bartle and John Hegarty in London in 1982 having met eight years previously when they were all three approached to start the U.K. office of TBWA.
Leaving with no business and just five people they set up BBH with the objective of producing truly outstanding work for like-minded clients. They brought with them a passion imbued with character and integrity, today still the hallmark of the great global agency that bears their name.
In their first year of trading, they won the Audi, Whitbread Beer Company and Levi Strauss accounts, which provided the foundation of their business. The Agency is still working with Audi and the brand still uses the "Vorsprung durch Technik" line in its work.
On a visit to London two years ago Nigel and Ben invited me for a glass of wine and a catch up. We shared Levi's® 'war stories' and I listened with quiet awe and admiration as Nigel recounted some of the tales from their humble beginning as an agency. How their small start up agency won the Audi account against the then 'mighty' Saatchi & Saatchi and personally, how he had to put up all he owned at the time as security to the bank to help fund their agency. Hearing this from a founding 'Zagger' was a pivotal moment and still drives me to nurture & grow BrandsRock against some very heavy odds.
In my office hangs a framed gift from BBH when I came back to Cape Town three years ago. It is a customised copy of the iconic, first Black Levi's® poster and is signed by all my friends from BBH. It serves as a daily inspiration for why I started an agency.
BrandsRock is three years old now. We are still here, strong and growing.
And every now and then, "when the world zigs, we zag."