Jason is that rare breed of client that comes from a creative background. Which makes judging good creative and implementing it into his brand so second-nature for him. And while Jason is instrumental in briefing out video and stills content, he is also making content through the in-house content creation studio for Takealot.

He’s a busy guy with a lot going on, so we were lucky enough to snatch a few minutes of his time to answer our 8 questions.

Please welcome… Jason Hartmann-Warner, Content Production Manager at Takealot.

1. How did your content creation journey begin?

I started my creative career as a journalist, having studied in Cape Town before entering the world of print media as a reporter at the Cape Times and eventually a few other newspapers, covering hard news such as crime and politics. 

After a couple of years and seeing the unfortunate writing on the wall for print publications, I essentially “restarted” my career as a copywriter – interning at South Africa’s first digital-only agency, Quirk. After that, it was another ad agency stint before joining the client side of things. 

2. Your role as a Content Production Manager is a unique one. What aspect of creating content most excites you? 

Tinkering. Given that so much is digital/online, what goes out doesn’t have to be the final product. Just like musicians tweak albums on streaming services post-release date, so too can content creators. A simple example would be publishing the same piece of video content but with different thumbnails, allowing you to gauge which version gets the most engagement off the bat. You can then further tweak your boosting to get the best ROI, or even use those learnings when creating future content. 

3. How important is the role of video content in your marketing strategy? 

Immensely. It’s the linchpin of my approach to content marketing. The advent of social media forever changed the way people consume content – the focus shifted to video nearly overnight. This, coupled with wider and cheaper access to data and WiFi, resulted in everything from the Arab Spring to the birth of TikTok. 

At its heart, video allows you to tell a richer story; it carries more weight, it triggers more senses and builds a deeper connection to the narrative. This is especially true when viewed through the lens of smartphones which are ubiquitous and deeply personal devices – everyone knows that feeling of random anxiety when someone else holds your phone!

4. What affects your decision on which video projects to commission for Takealot?

The ethos of diversity and collaboration. The Filmer platform allows for a wide range of creatives to put forward their ideas and thinking – this just isn’t feasible at that scale when working with an in-house team. Add to this the collaborative nature of the platform and you’ve quickly got concepts that speak to a specific audience in a truly authentic way. 

5. What do you look for in a treatment from a creator?

A clear understanding of what the creative piece needs to do; it needs to be functional at its core while being wrapped in a beautiful and engaging layer of creativity. Unfortunately, if an amazing piece of content doesn’t achieve strategic objectives, it loses its sense of purpose. 

6. What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced when commissioning and creating video content for your brands?  

The world of advertising, marketing and content creation moves quicker than ever. What might be fresh today can be old news tomorrow. So, have a clear mission in mind and then act swiftly to bring it to life – any delays and you might see it on your feed from someone else.

7. Any advice for clients who want to get the most out of their video content?

Have a tight, clear and achievable brief, but be open to novel ways of solving the problem. The beauty of an open platform is that you get to tap into creative minds who often bring a different approach to content. 

8. What is your favourite item on the craft table?

Toasted cheese. What’s not to love?