/biː tiː ɛs/

abbreviation: meaning "behind the scenes​"

We like knowing how things get made because It helps us make better things. So in that spirit of curiosity, we decided to make a series of videos called Skript Notes. These take you behind the scenes of some of our favourite productions and how they were made.


The Roaring 20's Aren't What They Used To Be…

2019 feels like it was 10 years ago, doesn’t it?


But it wasn’t that long ago that we were having optimistic conversations about 2020, and the new decade it would kick-off. “The Roaring 20’s are almost here again!” we said. but instead of Gatsby and Jazz, we got a Global Pandemic and Prohibition. Go figure.

It goes without saying that the world has changed fundamentally and irrevocably in the last few months. The COVID-19 pandemic, or "Dat ‘Rona” to use the scientific term, has had an impact that is nothing short of historical in its significance. So many ideas that would have seemed far fetched just a few short months ago have become reality:

Capitalism grinding to a halt? Apparently so.

The price of oil falling to negative values? Sure, why not?

Closed borders, and a complete worldwide time-out?  That’s a thing now.

How about the single biggest push in digital transformation that has ever happened? Well, I guess all those meetings could have been e-mails after all.

…but attempts of levity aside for a moment, let's get realistic. As I write this, there have been nearly 300,000 deaths worldwide, and more than 4 million cases reported. Economically, it’s almost just as tragic. Untold millions of jobs have been lost, with once-successful global and local companies closing their doors for good. And with a global depression seeming more than likely, times are tough and they’re probably going to get even tougher…

So what are we, citizens of Adland, to do in this new “normal”? Well, the first thing could be to admit that right now, none of us have answers. But, as comforting as it is to realise that no one really knows what the hell is going on or what to do about it, that realisation also comes with a responsibility. We can’t just sit around and wait for other people to come up with solutions to the problems we face in our industry.

This is advertising after all, which means that we are some of the smartest people in the room (or at least we think we are) and we should act like it. Now is the time to innovate ourselves out of a historic once-in-a-lifetime hole that we’ve been thrown into through no fault of our own. There’s never been an opportunity like the one we have now, and hopefully, there’ll never be another one again. 

"And maybe this time we’ll make sure that being decent human beings is part of the job description."

But while this opportunity is here, we get to re-boot and re-think our entire industry and we’ll do so mainly by leveraging the technology we have access to. To paraphrase; the revolution will not be televised. It’ll be live-streamed.

In future articles, we hope to get the opportunity to talk about actual solutions to actual problems and some real plans to go with the rhetoric.  Along the way, we’ll also talk about other facets of our industry; new technology, new thinking, and the impact it’ll have on us all. But for now, to end off with I’d like to come back to the 1920s again. Specifically November 2, 1920, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

That’s the date on which KDKA, the first commercially licensed radio station in America, sent out its first broadcast. It would become known as the birthday of mass media, and it shows how technology would change the landscape of communications in a time of great change in society... Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?


by Dirk Hanekom

Head of Production at Skript