Conversation Lab

conversation lab logoDurban and UK – A new creative agency, Conversation LAB has opened its doors in Umhlanga, Durban and Brighton, UK.

Led by Kevin Power with 18 years global advertising experience, including BBDO London, Publics London, Marks and Spencer, the agency boasts local co-founders Tamerin Borland and Jonathan Oliff (who, with Kevin, hail from TBWAHuntLascaris) and London creative director Christian Anstice. The result is Conversation LAB – an agency that is unique in thinking and operation.

“The advertising industry is at an inflexion point – some agencies are embracing change but many are not. We believe a completely new type of agency is needed to win in the age of conversations,” says MD and co-founder Kevin Power.

Conversation LAB is structured like a social network with four co-founders (three based in Durban and one in UK) and a collective of some of the brightest creative talent from around the world, allowing it to offer South African clients best-in-class specialists.

“And with the way technology has evolved, we no longer need to be in the same room to make things happen,” added Jonathan Oliff, Head of Innovation.

Conversation LAB’s diverse collective includes an internationally published children’s book writer and illustrator (Olivia Villet), an acclaimed architect (John Royal) and an award-winning press photographer (Richard Shorey). These and others will be able to work alongside London creatives like Danny Potter and Luke Sherwin White (with a few Cannes Lions to their names) and Simon Villet (nine Loeries and a D&AD).  See the full team here:

“We are not a traditional communications agency making ads. Nor are we a run-of-the-mill digital marketing operation. We make brands social by creating experiences, building things, generating content ­- anything that ignites a conversation among consumers, or between consumer and brand.”

“Central to our model and philosophy is working in a collaborative and open way – with clients, individuals and other agencies. We feel ideas are no longer the sole preserve of art directors and copywriters. We want to break down traditional agency silos and get a group of creative minds from different walks of life coming together. Then the opportunities are exciting and real,” says Tamerin Borland, Head of Strategy and Analytics.

Conversation LAB believes its model means it is more agile and inclusive, and can work in a way that keeps overheads down and offers clients best-in-class specialists, specific to requirements.

In doing so, it can create world-class campaigns quickly. A new agency for a new era in marketing.