#How To: Get into bed with big brands

#HowTo : Get Into Bed With Big Brands.


It’s a rainy day when we meet Mr. Mikey at Cheeky Media. The Digital God is meditating on his timeline; and slowly strokes his fu manchu before beginning…

One thing you must understand is that it’s not about followers. Don’t get me wrong, the numbers DO matter...

But sometimes brands are looking for a kickass portfolio; or someone who aligns with whatever they are looking for at the moment. This could mean a niche influence, a fresh angle; or work/ products that could propel their mission forward.

That’s why an influencer needs to be authentic. This sets you apart and attracts the relationships that best suit you. I landed the Jäger gig because what I represented was unique, and fit with the story they were telling their audience.

The influence and story Mr. Mikey speaks of - is responsible for more than 36.7k Twitter followers; and a recurring spot on SABC 3’s award winning talk show, Real Talk.

And while the old master’s disapproving grunts suggest he had a lot more to share; we had to hurry off in pursuit of yet another Umuzi alumni, and creative master in his own right.


n a similar stillness, we find Master Robert balanced atop a street pole on one foot. He might not have a fu manchu; but between talks of colours, alignment and CI’s - he recounts how he ended up on the collabo.

One thing you need to have is a strong work ethic. Everything you do requires 100% whether it’s for a big company or a small client. Staying focused and consistent will do the most for your reputation and ability in the future.

Through the experience I’ve gained from my past work; I have honed an efficient creative process that I apply to every job.

For this collection, I researched the ingredients and design of the bottle. And used colours inspired by Jägermeister’s. Many of the illustrations relate to social networks, where our target audience spend a lot of their time.

I used this information, and inspiration from my environment as a guide throughout the project. The result was a collection which celebrates Soweto vibes and the Kasi life. The lookbook, produced by Between 10and5, features images of a ‘Morning-After’ party (ilala vuka) - and designs which are iconic of the Jäger brand.

You can check it out by clicking here. Or follow Mikey @mikeymashila; and Rob @otizgraphx to learn more.

And just like a 7-minute kung fu masterclass with Bruce Lee - a single article has covered the lifelong secrets of two masters.

Here’s what we learned:

  • Followers are important. Portfolio is important - so do both.

  • Always give 100; whether it’s a small job or a major client.

 Sayōnara… Stay safe out there.


Words by Lungelo Hlela

Interview by Thando Simelane & Lindo-Mar Khumbane

Video by Blue & Lindo-Mar Khumbane

Clayton Bond