Small is the new BIG

We’re part of your Extended Marketing Team!

For over twenty years The Old Shanghai Firecracker Factory has been creating true partnerships with our clients – facilitated by professionals who can think, who can listen and who are solutions driven.

Because we’re owner-managed nobody understands better that our ultimate success depends on yours.

At the Old Shanghai we don’t just take briefs, we view ourselves as part of an extended marketing team that aims to create communication that is fresh, unique, unexpected, but above all, crafted with the sole purpose of helping our clients to do better business.

The Old Shanghai… fireworks… what?

Glen James, one of the original founders of the Old Shanghai Firecracker Factory, is a travelling man. Over the past twenty years or so, he has visited more exotic locations than Cher has had face lifts. He’s been to India and Nepal, Tibet and Russia, Morocco and Algeria, Brazil and Argentina, the Far East, the middle East, the West, the North and the South.

One such visit was to China. Having walked on the Great Wall, visited the tomb of the clay warriors and various other things people do in China, he found there had been a mix-up with his accommodation and instead of being put up in a nice hotel, he was taken to an old disused building with a large Chinese sign on its door. This was no problem to a man who had slept in, amongst other things, a mud hut on the banks of Amazon. And so he spent the night there, sleeping alongside various assorted domestic animals including pigs, chickens and ducks, who used it as shelter from the various elements.

Next day, having the inquisitive mind that all great creatives share in common, he asked a local who could speak a modicum of English what the sign said. His answer sounded very much like, “The Old Shanghai Firecracker Factory.” The rest, as they say, is history.

 Our one-stop shop

Just a few of the services we offer. Have an idea? Need an idea? Let’s chat!


Brand & Communication strategy.
Full-service creative studio.
Radio, television, print, POS,
collateral, merchandising and more.
Production & Activations.


Above-the-line media and online.


Digital marketing and strategy.
Web design and development.
SEO, tracking and monitoring.
Augmented reality and more.


Writing and Storytelling.
Content creation.
Content Curation.
Production – video, writing.
Online dissemination.




Our unique offering is content driven, revolutionising the mundane PR process, giving clients comprehensive coverage yet incorporating a personal touch.

Our Work

Our Family

Some of our top Clients.

The Capital

What have we been up to?

Hello world!

Hello world!

This is the Old Shanghai…


MD Sandra McDiarmid on Maggs on Media

MD Sandra McDiarmid on Maggs on Media

Hear what our MD, Sandra McDiarmid has to say about content marketing in her interview with media journalist, Jeremy Maggs on eNCA’s Maggs On Media.


#NEKnomination with a difference

#NEKnomination with a difference

The Old Shanghai Firecracker Factory is not your average advertising agency … after much banter about the social media sensation, #NekNominations, we decided to organize a #neknomination with a twist!


Contact Us

Get in touch with us today!

The Old Shanghai Firecracker Factory
District Building 11
The Design Quarter
Leslie Avenue
South Africa

 (+27) 11-548-6005