It’s funny. I don’t think there was an actual moment I decided to start Platform13. It simply felt like the next phase in my career.
I have been surrounded by creativity my entire life. My uncles were and are famous musicians, who have broken boundaries in apartheid South Africa since I can remember, my grandmother designed swimwear, and my mother was a pattern cutter and clothing designer. I, myself, never had that type of craft creativity, rather a keen sense of what resonates in terms of culture and the like. I can’t codify it, but it is a skill that has followed me throughout my life and career.
Culture, for me, is the stuff of life – it’s how we communicate, what we wear, eat, see and listen to. It’s how we behave and what influences us. It's living and breathing and changes all the time. Reading and analysing the signs as culture shifts, and flexing plans (in a way that makes sense for that brand), is how I keep the companies I am working with relevant.
And so, it is in everything I do – launching an independent boutique publicity agency at 26, running it for 10 years, and spending the last five years working at global companies in cultural roles. The HUGE societal, political, cultural and technological transformational shift we find ourselves in means all parts of the creative, communications and marketing industries are trying to find a new path.
I quickly realised I had a unique proposition - I speak corporate, cultural and entrepreneurial languages. And, through over 20 years of culture-first marketing experience, I have an incredible global network of people who represent and shape culture. These people are truly influential: the cultural voices, the agitators, the fixers and experimental visual creators….and the network keeps growing.
How could I use this personal network, multi-platform skillset and deep experience to help big brands become and maintain relevance in a post-truth world, at a time when we are at ‘generic’ content saturation, with a new and ‘woke’ consumer?
The deal was sealed with the number of big brands that recently missed the mark with tone deaf campaigns and traditional ways of working. You know the ones I mean.
So, I launched Platform13 in August 2017 with a clear message: RIP INFLUENCER MARKETING, LONG LIVE INFLUENCE. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Leila Fataar is the founder of Platform13 - founded in August 2017 to answer challenges faced by brands in the ever changing world of creative innovation and the swiftly moving cultural landscape.
Her 20 year experience, from her 10 year first youth oriented boutique agency, Spin, a stint at corporate powerhouse Edelman and in-house at both sportswear giant, adidas Originals and drinks heavyweight, Diageo, gives Leila a unique ability to speak entrepreneurial, cultural and corporate fluently, enabling a sometimes new, but always credible conversation between brands and their audiences.