PROFILE: The Jupiter Drawing Room

Although colonial in style, The Jupiter Drawing Room consistently comes up with ground-breaking and award-winning work that shares messages on a global scale.

South Africa is increasingly becoming a hotspot for creative and ground-breaking work. One of the leading agencies in the region is Johannesburg and Cape Town-based agency, The Jupiter Drawing Room.

A handful of Gold and Silver awards at various festivals this year are testament to the agency's creative abilities. Five Lions at Cannes allowed Jupiter to capture more lions than any other agency worldwide. Six statues were also accepted at the Clios earlier in the year, while it picked up four pencils at the One Show, including a gold for its Nike paralympics campaign. The ad's powerful imagery packs a punch while simultaneously conveying Nike's sponsorship message.

Other spots of note include 'Rape Crisis' for Femina, a simple premise that works by playing it straight. South African actress Charlize Theron speaks frankly of what real men are made of within a country suffering from the horrors of rape.

'Hands' is just that; a pair of bandaged hands of a wheelchair marathon racer, which stoically stand as a symbol of Nike's proud sponsorship of the event.

'Taxi' is yet another ingenious creation as seen on the side of a taxi, utilising its rear wheel to add a vivid three dimensional spin on an otherwise ordinary form.

'Whip' for Sissy Boy is a deliciously wicked trip, getting down and dirty on a rundown rooftop. A topless vixen steps with conviction toward her toy-boy prey, whipping him with sultry abandon to carve the precious words of Sissy Boy on his back.

Jupiter's recent showing of fifth-best around the globe in Creativity magazine this year further highlights its solid creative and strategic growth. It now employs a total of 350 people and has come a long way since its inception in 1989.

The agency's name bore no tribute to its founding partners and came from a short story by Guy Maupassant. The drawing room in the story was actually a brothel.

It decided to go the classical, if not most politically-correct, route when it opened its famous colonial-style offices, complete with English Chesterfield sofa. In an eccentric, out-of-Africa atmosphere, the Jupiter Drawing Room has stuck to a simple, classically expressed philosophy: "Rem Tene Verba Sequentur" - grasp the subject and the words will follow.

"We do see ourselves as an agency that participates on a global perspective," explains Jupiter chairman Graham Warsop, who is interviewed on the tape.

"We try to create work that talks to everyone, creating solutions for clients in many forms whether it be through in-store posters, interactive design, radio and television spots or print ads."

One such eclectic piece of work is Jupiter's intriguing creation for music client Musica. Jupiter created a shower curtain covered with lyrics packaged with a bar of soap shaped like a microphone.

"It's important to think much wider than simply what the next commercial will be," continues Warsop. "That South African spirit of inventiveness is what we attempt to reflect in our work and it is through this that we get a response on a global scale."


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