Artifact takes a look at girl power in ad agencies
In light of Women’s Day this 9th of August, the Artifact team decided to look inside the agency to find the true value of a great woman! It was easily spotted in Artifact’s strategic director; Lindy Taoushiani, who manages to do it all!
Being a mother of three, Lindy’s day isn’t just about strategic planning, but also home planning. Whether it’s throwing together spring hats, baking cupcakes, wrapping teachers’ presents, fishing out book donations or waking up daily at 5:30 to get the kids to school, Lindy says a typical morning for her is much the same as it is for all mums. “Sometimes I can get to work quite early, which is great when you need a quiet hour to finish something,” Lindy says.
Lindy’s road to advertising wasn’t a straight one, but indeed every step of her journey gave her the tools she uses today. “I fell into advertising by chance,” Lindy says. “I think everything you do in your life adds another dimension to yourself – so there is no ‘wrong turn’ career wise.” Lindy’s psychology major, computer training in DOS, Lotus and Wordperfect, a stint within PR, a teacher’s diploma and the opportunity to work as a personnel manager for Truworths all give Lindy the unique set of skills she possesses today to write and direct effective and insightful strategic plans.
So what makes Lindy’s job so rewarding? “I love the variety!” Lindy states enthusiastically. “Each brand has a new challenge – there are not many jobs out there where you get to learn so much about so many different industries.” The diversity of Artifact’s clients range from the fuzzy feel-good fulfilment of Disney Africa, the heart-racing performance of Infiniti – a luxury vehicle new to the shores of South Africa – and household stalwarts such as Nissan and Ster Kinekor, amongst others. “We also do a lot of work for Innscor and we find ourselves learning loads about marketing through Africa more and more – a challenge that many clients are faced with these days,” Lindy says.
Of course, each of these brands require their own tailored marketing plan and Lindy believes that Artifact’s strengths lie in being highly flexible, effective and looking at briefs with media neutrality. “Marketers have a tough job – new communication channels and media platforms pop up every day. Clients need agencies who understand how to make these channels work for them,” Lindy states factually. “Because Artifact’s culture eliminates the concept of ‘red tape’, we regularly adapt to different business models, new technologies, consumer behaviours and media formats with ease – we consider all media channels and offer truly integrated service. We believe no channel should be conceptualised in isolation.”
That said, what does Lindy believe the advertising landscape will look like in five years’ time? “There will be no ‘digital’ per say,” Lindy postulates. “Any agency that doesn’t have strategic expertise across all consumer channels and cannot deliver an integrated solution for their clients will struggle to survive,” Lindy says with certainty. Her belief is that all media channels need to be assessed against each other with regards to their effectiveness in reach and impact versus investment when developing strategic plans.
But the changing advertising landscape isn’t the only thing Lindy needs to keep an eye on in the next five years. Being a working mom, Lindy also has a career and family future to consider and craft carefully too. “I hope to be lucky enough to be where I am right now,” Lindy says when being asked where she sees herself in five years’ time. “Which is being with an agency that goes from success to success and being the proud mom of three healthy and happy kids – perhaps with a bit of globe-trotting thrown in for good measure,” Lindy says with a smile.
So what is Lindy’s advice for all the budding female advertising students out there? “Learn from every experience and observation, keep up with changing technologies, show enthusiasm, don’t skimp on work ethic or integrity and keep your eyes on the big picture,” Lindy advises. She further states that being young is already an advantage. “Advertising is an industry that is evolving rapidly and needs fresh, connected generation thinking. Remember anyone can have great ideas – be confident and contribute!”