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WinWin redefines advertising

13 June 2012

IN this competitive business world, innovation can mean the difference between failure and success and it is that belief that drives the WinWin Group (WWG).
After realising that the future of the group does not lie in traditional advertising, the company embarked on unconventional advertising, including road shows.

Founder of the WWG Ulrich Hanstein describes the group as an advertising agency that does not only paint the beautiful picture, but also tries to touch the hearts and minds of people from the grassroots.
Hanstein and two colleagues created the group after seeing a big gap in the advertising sector that their services could fill.
With a background in quantitative and qualitative research, Hanstein realised the need and opportunity to change the way of doing things in the advertising industry.
“The difference between the WWG and other advertising agencies is that we have a selective clientele and we get results,” he said.
He says that nothing is guaranteed in the advertising world which makes being both a Namibian man in the advertising world very difficult.
“It’s challenging. Today you can have a client worth N$30 million, but tomorrow that client might only be worth two dollars to you.
“For a Namibian man, there is not enough room to make an impact in the same way one would in other countries but we have a lot of opportunities to change things in our country,” Hanstein said.
The group lost its biggest contract about three years ago which cost them N$3.5 million and Hanstein says it was an expensive life lesson for him and his staff.
“Together with the co-founders of the WWG, we employed seventy-one people and I couldn’t let them down with the financial challenges we faced then.
“I was advised on turn-around strategies by close friends. With the energetic and optimistic staff at WWG, we were able to make a profit of N$80,000. It does not make up for the 3.5 million, but it is one of our success stories and we will make it,” he stated confidently.
He was born in Windhoek where he also completed his secondary and tertiary education.
He describes himself as an impulsive character and says it is because of his wife and two daughters, who are the core of his life, and help him keep his perspective.
Besides being a family man, he is also involved in a broad spectrum of social campaigns and entrepreneurship projects.
When not involved in advertising work, Hanstein coaches the SKW volleyball team. He describes the team’s success as having “won every single silver medal. But this year, we are gunning for the gold. I believe in discipline in sports”.
He says that for one to pursue a career in advertising, one has to have “an extreme passion for the industry and a deep understanding of people and a passion to work with people”.
“You must have the ability to influence and have an understanding of whom you are advertising for and what impact a product would have on a specific audience.
“You need to understand that ten dollars worth of airtime will not have the same value or meaning to someone in Windhoek as to someone living in the North.”
He admits that people have the perception that the advertising industry sells false dreams to them, but says that ethics play a big role for advertising agencies.
“We sell ideas to make a profit. Advertising agencies are crucial for any company or firm.
“There has been a lot of wrong done in the advertising industries, but advertising has the ability to change people’s perceptions and if we can change a perception, then we can change their values and belief.
“From our side we come to know the background of a client and engage the client to achieve the best results because we can make a difference,” Hanstein said.
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The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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