If you’ve spent a lifetime in advertising or marketing, you’ll know who Graham Warsop is. For the uninitiated he’s the English Barrister who in the summer of (1995) came out to South Africa on a holiday to see his brother after graduating from Cambridge and took on some freelance copywriting at an advertising agency working on the SAA account. Having immediately been recognized for his writing talent he was persuaded to stay. But not for long. Soon he left to start an agency named after a Medieval lounge of ill repute named ‘The Jupiter Drawing Room.

‘Jupiter’s,’ as it became known, would go on to become one of the worlds’ most awarded ad agencies and Graham would be nominated by his peers globally as the worlds’ top creative director.  But when I met him, he’d just opened his fledgling agency just up the street from where we’d started aa corporate video and AV production house, The Blue Moon Company.

Herein lies the answer to the question, who is Moon?

Blue Moon was born from a very cool vision – to only work on the biggest most prestigious corporate event briefs. Because these briefs only come around ‘once in a blue moon’ we’d only work once in a blue moon. The rest of the time I’d dedicate to the sporting passion of my life, Polo.

We’d hardly opened our doors and in came the first big brief, an SAA pitch. We only had a weekend to crack the concept for a Monday presentation, but we had the additional challenge of not even having a company logo yet. We called on a multi-talented creative friend, the set builder John Bonham-Carter who came in on the Friday and went away to his artists cottage in the Magaliesburg with the thinking around the ‘once in a blue moon’ philosophy. He instructed to us to drive up on the Sunday to come and fetch our logo. And so, we did, to find that he’d produced a very quirky thing for the logo of a video production house; an oil painting of a polo player practicing at stick and ball on a green field. It definitely spoke to our unspoken mission statement of only working once in a blue moon and playing polo the rest of the time, but we weren’t sure how we’d explain that to the clients.

Given the time constraints, we accepted it with great gratitude, scanned it turned it into an instant letter head with the name The Blue Moon Company centered below, and we were off to the races on one of the biggest briefs SAA had ever given out. The polo painting hangs in our library at Kalk Bay to this day.

Blue Moon won the below the line component of that SAA brief (film and video work) and with Graham’s Jupiter’s got the above the line. It was a development that would get both of our businesses out of the starting blocks. On the afternoon of the announcement Graham decided to pop around and introduce himself.

Although the motto would only come later and for a different company, where he found us was Laudator Temporis Act (the romance of an age gone by) personified; in romantic colonial mansion with classic Great Gatsby elements; an elegant, colonnaded portico plus gardens and rolling lawns beyond an Edwardian edifice. He was welcomed into reception by none other than Lady Margot Stockill, ex-private secretary and wife to Sir Raymond `Stockill, governor of Southern Rhodesia, who introduced herself as my PA.

Graham, more of an exponent of colonial style and the proper way than even I am, was struck by it all and we became instant friends. At Blue Moon we did more than ok, but Jupiter’s took off like a rocket in a much bigger world than we played in, above the line advertising and marketing.

I was still in my late 20’s, and so was Graham. Those were ambitious early days. There could have been a staff of 30 in the building but it was only Margot and I, and Oliver and my first wife Lorraine down the passage looking after the admin. That’s how it was with the company that only worked once in a blue moon. Unless there was a big project there was no one there. It was all one grand romantic façade.

It was mad but it worked.

Ten years later, we were on the eve of selling Blue Moon, and Sue and I approached Graham about helping with the identity of a post Blue Moon idea.

Our new idea was a retro brand of luggage and other travel essentials that would tap into the romance of African Safari.

We’d decided to bring the ‘Moon’ part of the Blue Moon name along with us into the new company as we liked the idea of a nod to our Blue Moon Company history and we were looking for a retro sounding old style partnership style name for the new business.

The name Melvill & Moon had that kind of a ring for us.