CNBC AFRICA — Kaleidoscope: Grant Baker Talks About Firehouse

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Grant Baker is the chief honchito at Firehouse, a rising superstar ad-agency in Johannesburg.

He was interviewed in the CNBC AFRICA studios about the innovative recruitment advertising campaign his company ran to attract talented staff to the agency.

Not very many agencies in South Africa run any kind of advertising for themselves. So when Firehouse ran this campaign, they were really putting their hoses on the block.

The superb thing about running killer recruitment ads (and if I were still in the agency world, I’d definitely be sending them my cv — the ads are ULTRA hot) is that they kill many birds with one stone.

1. You attract brilliant staff.

2. You send a message to your competitors that they have to up the game. Complacency in the ad world is what’s ruining the business. So anything that shakes the game up gives advertising a few more breaths of life.

3. You send a message to your current clients that they’re in great hands. If I were a Firehouse client seeing those ads somewhere, I’d be bragging to all of my friends that these guys did MY work.

4. You send a message to untapped clients. Clients who might be disgruntled with the crap attitudes of their current agencies. Clients who might know a thing or two about quality advertising. And you gain new business.

To my mind, Grant Baker walks his talk. And his ad campaign proves it. This is one of the very few ad agencies in South Africa I would be happy to shelve my advertising cynicism for.

This painting was made live in the CNBC AFRICA studio in Sandton during the interview. I made it using ArtRage 2.5 on my Rectron-sponsored Asus R1E tablet pc. I’m available to do visual facilitation work worldwide, translating ideas into vivid colour during meetings, workshops, seminars, and presentations. Contact me on And view my online portfolio at