When Jacques du Preez was voted Rising Star (then Innovator) for two years running, it was really lucky. But winning for three successive MOST Awards shows there is no luck involved. He is making magic happen. The MediaShop MD CHRIS BOTHA gives his opinion…
The easiest word to say in the English dictionary is No. Only two letters, nice and decisive, and very little come back from it. No.
No means no work. So if the question is: “Can we brand Table Mountain?” The easy answer is No. Nothing more to be said. It can’t be done. Go back to your box and come up with another idea that I can give you my verdict on.
When I was asked to write a few words on why Jacques du Preez was voted ‘Rising Star (previously Media Innovator) of the Year’ for the third year in a row, I thought of a word that I don’t think I have ever heard come out of Jacques’ mouth. No. The reason Jacques is as successful as he is, is because he is a yes man. If you ask Jacques to brand Table Mountain he will take up the battle with Helen Zille, Jacob Zuma and God himself to get the job done. And trust me – before you know it, your brand will be beautifully emblazoned over that ugly koppie (recently voted globally as one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature) the Capetonians fawn over.
Jacques has the ultimate can-do attitude that has seen him build Provantage with his partners into one of the foremost out of home (OOH) media owners in South Africa. To call Jacques an OOH expert, or Provantage an OOH company, is also a terrible disservice. They do so much more. From branding anything you want, to doing whatever you want. I remember a case a few years back where I asked Marino Sigalas and Jacques Coetzee from Provantage to get 100 violinists to play their instruments at major intersections across South Africa in peak hour traffic. On top of that I gave them a five-day deadline for planning and implementation.
They did the exercise as if it was the biggest piece of cake under the sun. Beautifully branded violinists soon filled the streets of Johannesburg on a warm spring day morning. Not bad for an OOH company, hey?
That is what makes Jacques special. He will make it happen.
And if for some or other bizarre reason he can’t help you, he will use my other favourite phrase: “No, but what about…”
What makes for a great media owner or sales representative is someone who wants to make the idea happen. That person who shares your enthusiasm for differentiated thinking, who will find a way to skin the cat. “Sorry, Chris, we cannot brand the moon, but what about getting Oprah to have your client’s name tattooed on her forehead?” Excellent idea, Jacques. Let’s
The other thing I like about Jacques is that he is a fighter. Jacques and crew started Provantage as a small company, going up against the Goliath that was ComutaNet. Over the years, Jacques has fought for his place in the sun and now stands at the helm of a really big player in the media industry. A classic case of David turning into Goliath. No battle is too big, and no opposition is too tough to take down. Jacques doesn’t have one iota of fear in his being.
Here’s to one of the free thinkers. A gem of a man. Someone I am proud to call my friend. Geluk Jacques! Ek weet jy sal nie gelukkig wees om die prys drie keer in n ry te wen nie, maar sal aanhou totdat jy hom elke jaar wen. (Well done, Jacques! I know you won’t be content with winning the prize three years in a row, but will continue until you win it every year).