#INTACapeTown kicks off today with a welcoming speech from INTA President Ronald van Tujil noting how proud INTA was to be on the African continent for the first time, recognising that the world is watching the African Lion emerge as the Asian Tigers struggle to maintain their allure and committing INTA to help develop the continent further as it builds its potentially enormous consumer class. He explained that this INTA conference has attracted 200 delegates from 34 countries.
Brenda Kahari and Barry Gerber provided remarks as Conference Co-Chairs and thanked their teams. Brenda, in particular, struck a chord with her emotional observation that, in 138 years of INTA’s existence, it is the first time that they have come to the continent with a conference, and what a watershed moment it was for her having been involved in African IP progress committees at INTA for a long time.
The much awaited opening keynote address by Nandos’ co-founder Robbie Brozin did not disappoint. Replete with fuck yous, fuck thems and theirs, he inspired the audience with the irreverence and journey of the Nandos brand taking us through their cheeky and controversial advertising campaigns in South Africa, to their international design driven brand philosophy and philanthropic malaria initiatives in Africa - “Changing lives too, one chicken at a time!”
The function of the trade mark attorney in the success of the Nandos brand was well recognised by Robbie who often referenced the work of Deon Bouwer, their trusted advisor, in “protecting the lunatics” especially when it came to the strategies to defend their campaign strategies and copycats in South Africa. Even the choice of name NANDOS emanated from a trade mark problem with the original preferred name FERNANDOS.
Robbie Brozin could easily have been Robbie Brazen. His message and very much the inspiration from his talk was for us as Africans to believe in ourselves. At the same time he stressed that it’s not an acceptable excuse to be African and “don’t be late!”, “Celebrate the crazy”, “change the rules” and “have fun doing it”. Well - you can’t give the bird to that!