Hi, there. I’m Gord.
I’m a consulting Creative Director, Brand Strategist and Senior Conceptual Copywriter, currently based in South Africa (although I am also a British Citizen).
My background is in copywriting, creative direction, “big idea” conceptualisation, brand identity, creative strategy, magazine-content planning and feature writing. In short, I’m a senior creative resource, specialising the words-and-ideas-with-strategy realm of things. I did study Art Direction and I cartoon, though, so I know my way around a visually orientated project, too.
I’m also a professional voice-over artist, and occasional public speaker, TV guest, and event emcee. On Wednesday mornings, I co-host South Africa’s leading podcast, The Gareth Cliff Morning Show on CliffCentral.com.
I’m also the co-founder, co-creator, head writer, and lead voice-actor of award-winning (and record-breaking) South African video game and comedy brand, Boet Fighter.
Finally, I am in the process of publishing a number of rhyming children’s books, under the brand, Turtlebird Books. It’s a very exciting project that I’m really passionate about.
I hold both South African and British Citizenship, and currently consult to brands and ad agencies both in South Africa and abroad.
Some major Southern African brands I’ve worked on include:
The Springboks, The HSBC Cape Town Sevens, DStv, MTN, Vodacom, Absa, Nedbank, Standard Bank, First National Bank, Africa Bank, Old Mutual, Tutuka, Business Day, Hunter’s Dry, Windhoek Lager, Sportingbet, Men’s Health Magazine, FHM Magazine, numerous alcohol brands, and too many FMCGs and others to mention; from pool-cleaners to baby formula.
Some of the international brands I’ve worked on include:
Amstel Lager, Philip Morris, Cipla, Mazda, GM, Nissan, Hyundai, Opel, Nestlé, Nescafe, Johnnie Walker, Cîroc, Tanqueray, Total, McDonalds, Cadbury, Honda, Samsung, Converse, Dimension Data, Isuzu, KFC, and many others.
I have previously been employed as an Executive Creative Director/Strategist at Ole Media Group (now Ole!Connect), and a Creative Director at Leo Burnett, Owen Kessel and Video Swarm. I’ve also held regular, repeat, contracted positions as Senior Copywriter or Creative Director at several prominent South African agencies over recent years, including TBWA/, Grey/WPP Team Liquid, Leo Burnett, and others.
I see creative opportunity in all media, but radio/audio-based advertising and content is a special passion of mine. I currently make most of SA Rugby (SARU)’s radio ads (including Currie Cup, Springboks, Sevens, etc) and operate as their TTL “lead agency” for a number of properties, including the annual HSBC Cape Town 7s event.
“The event voted the Best Live Experience in South Africa 2 years in a row, with 120 000 tickets sold, 28 International Teams and 3 days of high-octane Sevens rugby must have one of the biggest, most successful creative agencies behind it… right? No, it has Gord Laws.
Writing, designing, campaign conceptualisation, acting, directing and even voicing radio ads – Gord Laws has been the one-man force behind all creative for the HSBC Cape Town 7s for a number of years… and we wouldn’t have it any other way. “
– Marlon Kruger, Senior Manager Brand and Marketing at SA Rugby.
From 2003 to 2010, during the brand’s prime, I was both Features Editor and Entertainment Editor at FHM Magazine South Africa. My editorial work has been published in more than a dozen languages, across more than 20 territories globally, winning me over a dozen awards over that time.
I’m presently looking to expand my client-base, particularly in Europe and the UK.
If you’re still reading up to now (thank you!) and would like a more detailed history, please read on.
Either way, it was lovely to meet you,
An (even more detailed) history and background:
After graduating high school in 1999, I studied Journalism (Diploma, Midrand University, 2000) and Advertising (BA Degree in Brand Communications, specialising in both Art Direction and Copywriting, Vega, 2001-03).
I interned at FHM Magazine, where I then spent eight years (2003 – 2010) as Features and Entertainment Editor during its heyday, where I was chiefly responsible for planning, creating, crafting, syndicating (both in and out) the editorial content of what was one of South Africa’s most successful lifestyle magazine titles.
I also doubled as a brand-ambassador superhero called “FHM’s Captain Beer”, which I created, played, and then produced content around. A highly effective (if somewhat physically taxing, even for a person in their mid-20s) exercise in brand-ambassadorship. This saw me travel the country, and the world, in search of adventure (and content our audience loved).
I won a dozen or so editorial awards during my time at FHM. I’ve since won a few more awards with some other print titles, including Men’s Health.
Then – with magazines in decline, and my interest in the subject-matter waning – I formally moved into advertising. For three years (2012-2014), I worked at acclaimed (but now defunct/merged) South African advertising agency, Owen Kessel. Initially as a Senior Copywriter, before quickly being promoted to Creative Director; working on and overseeing award-winning work for the likes of Amstel, Business Day, and many others.
After amicably leaving Owen Kessel/Leo Burnett and relocating to Cape Town in 2014, I worked as a freelance Content Consultant, advising a number of advertising, publishing, digital, and video-production agencies, generating ideas, crafting brand-identities, executing content and copy, and strategising brand communications at large.
Today, I continue to consult to a number of agencies and brands on brand strategy, creative ideation, creative direction, pitches, and copywriting. My regular and recent clients include Leo Burnett, Publicis Groupe Africa, Liquorice, Tutuka, SA Rugby, Isobar, TBWA Hunts Lascaris, Grey/WPP Team Liquid, Prodigious, and others.
In 2018, I was contracted to work with Absa (South Africa’s largest bank) for five months, prototyping potential content models and ecosystems that they could use a yardstick against which to measure future ideation, and to produce a best-practice manual/”Bible”, for approaching content in general; with a focus on digital platforms.
I also offer corporate seminars and workshops on content strategy in general, improving presentation of work and pitches, the laddering of creative strategy, and proper writing techniques for the corporate environment, as well as the occasional lecture or graduation keynote at Vega, where I am an Advisory Council Member.
As a professional voice artist, I’m proud to be represented by Owen S Management. I have voiced campaigns for many brands, including KFC, Subaru, Springbok Rugby, Old Mutual, Spur, DStv, Cadbury and literally too many more to mention (or even try to remember). I’ve done a bit of acting and comedy too.
In 2014, I also co-founded a radio-specific advertising agency called Hailstorm: Radio-advertising Specialists, with my friend and former FHM colleague, Louis Raubenheimer. We’re both passionate about the radio-advertising format. The business is currently inactive, but always in a ready state of standby.
Thanks for stopping by,
A collection of some adverts for which I’ve recorded voice can be found here.
– 9x FHM Magazine Excellence Awards (2004 – 2008)
– Media 24 Excellence Award 2006 – Best Entertainment Feature – “Captain Beer’s Metal Adventure.”
– Media 24 Excellence Award 2007 – Best Entertainment Feature – “Captain Beer’s Oktoberfest Pilgrimage.”
– Media 24 Excellence Award 2008 – Proudly South Africa Award – “Around SA in a Day”
– PICA Award 2013 – Best in Category: Health & Wellness – “King of the Fat Guys” (Men’s Health)
– 3x Creative Circle Ad of the Month Awards (Radio) (2nds & 3rds) – Assorted radio adverts
– Creative Circle Ad of the Month Award (TV) (3rd) – Business Day “Understand Your Country, or Lose it”
– Creative Circle Ad of the Year Award (TV) (3rd) – Business Day “Understand Your Country, or Lose it”
– Sunday Times Orchid Award – Business Day “Understand Your Country, or Lose it”
– 2014 Cannes Lions – Shortlist – Business Day “Understand Your Country, or Lose it”
– 2014 Silver Loerie Award – Business Day “Understand Your Country, or Lose it”
– 2020 Bronze Loerie Award – Boet Fighter/KFC Comic Con Collaboration
– 2017 Bronze Bookmark Award – Sportingbet “Bet You He Doesn’t Skip” Youtube/TV Campaign
– 2020 Silver Bookmark Award – Boet Fighter/KFC Comic Con Collaboration
– 2020 Bronze Bookmark Awards – Boet Fighter/KFC Comic Con Collaboration