SENIOR COPYWRITER & STRATEGIST

Highly-awarded integrated creative based in San Diego with 13 years’ through-the-line experience, spanning strategic and creative direction, junior team management, influencer and social-media marketing and cross-channel campaign planning.

alexvantonder@icloud.com

What makes me good at what I do:

  • Creating strategic campaign platforms for both agencies and in-house at corporate level

  • Strong presentation crafting and public speaking skills

  • The ability to create strong relationships with clients and guide them through creative work with convincing rationales

  • Brainstorming and collaborating with teams to get the required results

  • Problem-solving to ‘get the job done’

  • The ability to work under pressure, and thrive on multitasking in a fast-paced environment

  • The ability to produce excellent creative work

  • Attention to detail, grammar and spelling

  • Mapping social and content calendars, and integrating creative work into bigger picture media plans

  • Being proactive and positive


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE


FULL TIME FICTION AUTHOR AND SCREEN WRITER ( August 2016 – June 2019)

Writing a second novel as part of a two-book deal with Panmacmillan ‘A Walk At Midnight’ - Order on Amazon here

Responsibilities included:

  • Managing multiple deadlines

  • Organizing research into workable plot lines

  • Meeting regular publishing reviews

  • Satisfying publishing stakeholders

  • Storytelling in its purest form - writing a goddamn book!

SCREENPLAY DEVELOPMENT: SONY PICTURES: (Jan 2018 – October 2018)

  • Responsibilities included:

  • Managing multiple deadlines

  • Working creatively in a medium unfamiliar to me

  • Developing new skill sets (screen writing, setting words to music)

  • Working with on-screen artists

  • Understanding the nature of the film industry.


WOOLWORTHS LTD SOUTH AFRICA (December 2011 – December 2015)

SENIOR IN-HOUSE COPYWRITER: CLOTHING, GENERAL MERCHANDISE, KIDS, HOME & BEAUTY

Responsibilities included:

  • Ensuring the WW tone was consistently excellent and in-keeping with the company’s core values and voice

  • Strategically updating the tone and messaging for various in-house brands and working with market research to use key insights to maintain their relevance to the targeted demographics

  • Coming up with conceptual Omni channel campaigns and developing concepts and copy the copy across all levels of execution and touchpoints, from ATL to BTL to digital, social, CRM and in-store

  • Working closely with art directors, designers, packaging designers, the digital team and the brand team to ensure all stakeholders’ objectives were met

  • Meeting fast-paced, often-changing retail deadlines


KING JAMES GROUP (PTY) LTD (DECEMBER 2008 – DECEMBER 2011)

Creative Group Head: ATL, BTL, Direct and CRM (DECEMBER 2008 – DECEMBER 2011)

Responsibilities included:

  • Conceptualizing and executing direct marketing, activations, events and CRM

  • Developing campaigns to drive client objectives and sales growth on brands such as Johnnie Walker and Levi’s Jeans

  • Ensuring digital and social media marketing was incorporated organically into all campaigns

  • Managing junior teams to ensure their work was ready for senior creative review

  • Pitching to potential clients for new business, preparing decks and presentations

  • Working with account management and strategy to ensure campaigns met client objectives

  • Producing award-winning work that would ensure both agency and clients gained a reputation for marketing excellence


EDUCATION AND CREDENTIALS

RED & YELLOW CREATIVE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS (Cape Town, South Africa)

Bachelor's Degree in Copywriting, Graduated first in class 2004

Founding Member: Digital Creative Circle (South Africa) 2010

Loerie Awards Judging Panel Member: Digital, Mobile and Online Media 2011, 2012; Specialist panel 2016

AWARDS

  • 2016 Bronze Loerie award: Pharrell with Woolies campaign #pharrelwithwoolies

  • 2012 Gold Prism Award: kulula.com Royal Wedding Lobola Campaign

  • 2012 Diageo Marketing Brilliance Award - Johnnie Walker Red Label Tavern Pack promotion

  • 2008 Gold Loerie Award - Design Indaba 'A Better World Through Creativity' Brochure

  • 2009 Bronze Bookmark Award - Steri Stumpie Social Media Campaign

  • 2010 Silver Loerie Allan Gray '40-year Diary"

  • 2011 Bronze Loerie Award - kulula.com 'Royal Wedding Kate & Wills Lobola' press and social media campaign

  • 2011: Silver Bookmark Award - The Plascon Art from Mess Social Media & Digital Campaign


PRESS

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To read the high-res version of the article in the Heavy Chef magazine, click here.


WORK SAMPLES


Sustainability Awareness and CRM campaign: #PharrelWithWoolies

My client, a luxury food and fashion retailer, wanted to change its perception amongst the changing population of South Africa. It signed up global superstar Pharrell Williams to be its spokesman. I was tasked with conceptualising a creative platform that could connect Pharrell to all the different parts of its business and to create engagement across a broad audience.

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JT One Relaunch: The Rules of Girl Club

My client, a luxury fashion retailer, wanted to relaunch its brand of loungewear and lingerie aimed at young women between the ages of 13 and 20 years old. We strategically positioned the tone and visuals to align with the ‘Pinterest and Instagram generation’, and worked with photographer Mark Hunt aka ‘The Cobrasnake’ to lend an edge of cool to the new look and feel. The overall concept was a ‘Girls’ Club’, which celebrated friendship and encouraged young ladies to be themselves.

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PACKAGING COPY & CONCEPTS

My client, a brand of loungewear and lingerie aimed at young women between the ages of 13 and 20 years old, wanted to launch a range of body products, nail polishes, lip glosses and fragrances. In keeping with the strategic platform of ‘Girl Club’, which is a cheeky celebration of friendship and youth, we worked to create this range of products which plays off phrases used by the demographic both in real life and online.

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DESIGN INDABA GLOW IN THE DARK POSTER: What can your creativity do? 

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PRINT: MAGAZINE & NEWSPAPER: Good Business Journey

My client prides themselves on their ethical farming practices. This series of posters explains how choosing to shop with them adheres to sustainable and Fairtrade practices, and thanks customers for being a part of their Good Business Journey.

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BROCHURE MADE FROM RECYCLED PLASTIC: “CREATIVITY CAN”

A brochure for an international design conference that aims to celebrate creativity. Inspired by the ingenuity of ordinary people, we created this brochure from recycled plastic as a tribute to South African street vendors, who use plastic they’ve collected off the streets to create art and sell it to make a living.

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FATHER’S DAY TTL CAMPAIGN: “KING OF COOL”

A luxury retailer briefed us to come up with a campaign that would generate awareness around their Father’s Day offerings, and drive customers in store the weekend before Dad’s Big Day. We created a strategic platform entitled ‘The King of Cool’, centered around a series of pop-up stores named ‘Cool Caves’ that we set up in key malls in major metropolitan cities, which invited fathers to sit back, enjoy barber-style shaves, enjoy sports games, massages and man-friendly treats while moms and kids shopped. We collaborated with influencers who used the #wwkingofcool hashtag to draw attention to the activation and the various activities and specials on offer.

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RE:DENIM FOR KIDS: PRINT & TVC

My client, an upmarket fashion retailer, wanted to launch their range of soft and stretchy kid-friendly denim, which was also fashionable. They wanted editorial copy that spoke to both ‘fashion and function’.

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POSTERS & PRINT COPY / CONCEPT : New store launch “100 Reasons”

Our client wanted to draw entice customers to the launch of a new store. We didn’t do all one hundred, but we did a lot.

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BRAND CONTENT & CREATIVE STRATEGY: STUDIO.W LIFE

An upmarket lifestyle fashion brand wanted to position itself as being inspired by a global and cultured lifestyle. We created an aesthetic that incorporates content that reflects a mixture of art, architecture, well-shot product, restaurant and city guides.

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RE:DENIM TVC CONCEPT AND COPY: “NEW DENIM, NEW FIT, NEW MOVES” FT CANDICE SWANEPOEL

My client, a range of denim aimed at men and women in their twenties, wanted to launch their new range of curve-friendly womens’ denim fits that promise to embrace a diverse range of bodies. We hired Victoria’s Secret supermodel Candice Swanepoel to learn to dance with famous South African dancer, Ntaketo Dinwiddy, and the ‘New Denim / New Fit / New Moves’ campaign rolled out across all retail touch points.

Behind the scenes: RE: New Denim / New Fit / New Moves