It was 1978 — the year of the Mullet, the Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever, and when Leon Spinks beat Muhammad Ali. A young student called Oresti Patricios was doing odd jobs to survive, when his best friend said they should go into business together.
A year later Nick and Oresti shot their first wedding on video. Before then, a couple’s big day was always captured with film. Together with Nick’s cousin, Costa, the trio pioneered local wedding videos.
Where does the name Ornico come from? It is the first part of the names of the original partners – Oresti (OR), Nick (NI) and Costa (CO). In 1981 when Oresti’s two founding partners left, he was joined by his brother Spero. The pair kept the brand, and branched out into low budget music videos, as well as corporate and training movies.
In 1984 the brothers freelanced for ad legends J. Walter Thompson South Africa [JWT], and started using the agency’s editing facilities. Quality work, speedy delivery and an unrelenting focus on client service to JWT saw Ornico become the agency’s firm favourites.
Soon JWT jobs were piling up for the pair, and that year Oresti and Spero realised there was a gap in the market to provide ad agencies with competitor adverts. Around the same time Ornico started negotiating win-win deals with other agencies like Ogilvy and Lintas [now MullenLowe]. The business grew on the back of excellent client service, and Ornico took the first step toward becoming a Brand Intelligence® company.
By 1988, the fledgling company made its first ever acquisition by purchasing its major competitor, Drive Video. More mediums (radio, outdoor, print, direct marketing, mobile, online, social media) were added through the years with news monitoring added by 2002. Social media intelligence soon followed.
The new millennium also saw Ornico expanding across the African continent opening offices in Nigeria and Kenya, providing various media, reputational and brand data and analysis services to a broad range of clients.
2016 was a particular highlight when Ornico was recognised globally by winning two Gold AMEC Awards for best communication measurement in the world.
With the 2017 launch of its new headquarters, Ornico City, in Johannesburg, the organisation positioned itself for continued growth and expansion. A future of artificial intelligence, machine learning, coupled with superior human insights, awaits.