February 15, 2018

VML South Africa - A New Kind of Agency

The year was 2011. Actor Charlie Sheen set a Guinness World Record for the 'Fastest Time to Reach One Million Followers on Twitter', in 25 hours and 17 minutes. MXit was the most popular social network in South Africa. That year NATIVE, the country's first full service digital agency, was born.

It was 2013. In the US, the first congressional hearing was held on virtual currencies, most notably Bitcoin. Instagram introduced ads and users still increased by 50 million. Simultaneously, NATIVE went global by joining the VML network, thus strengthening their positioning as leaders in digital marketing.

Cut to 2016. Twitter announced the shutdown of Vine whilst a four minute video of a woman in her car impersonating Chewbacca went viral. That was also the year that NATIVE VML and Y&R joined forces, while still maintaining their independence, to provide an integrated service to their shared clients.

Yes, it's been quite a ride!

Over and above this journey, during these 7 years, we have built a portfolio of clients that include some of South Africa's biggest and best blue-chip companies, as well as some of the world's most iconic global brands. Chew on this Chewbacca:

Thus far we have evolved our service offering from digital marketing to integrated marketing, and steadily elevated our creative credentials to the point where we are firmly positioned among the country's top creative agencies.


With all that said, staying true to form, it's now time to once again evolve and broaden our offering...

The year is 2018 and the only headline we'd like you to remember is: NATIVE VML, Y&R, Labstore and NATIVE Media unite to create one fully integrated company called VML South Africa. 


What Does This Mean For Businesses and Brands?

By expanding our integrated strategy and leveraging the VML global network we can now provide the local market with something completely unique. We can deliver a true full service offering (including ATL, BTL, shopper and digital), while simultaneously being able to design and build sophisticated digital platforms and experiences that underpin real Customer Experience Transformation.

'By 2020 customer experience will overtake both price and product as the key differentiator.' Customer Report - Walkerinfo

But what makes our offering most unique is the ability to combine these worlds together in a way that allows us to address the entire connected consumer experience - from the point of inspiration through to engagement and all the way to ongoing commitment. Okay, take a breath...This gives us the ability to create, what VML calls, "Connected Brands". 


How Do We Create Connected Brands?

Well, we do it by re-imagining the entire Connected Consumer experience and Inspiring Connections at every touchpoint. Click on the links below to see how we created Inspiring Connections across platforms and across cultures.

Brands now need to think and act differently, which means agencies need to think and act differently to service these brands. All this calls for a new kind of agency.

"NATIVE started as a vision of the future. Each change we have made has been deliberate and designed to maximise value for our clients, and be an exceptional workplace for our staff. That same spirit of adventure and quest for excellence permeates this new move. We are not only ahead, we are playing a different game. And that's the only way we can keep winning." - Jarred Cinman - CEO of VML South Africa.


Meet VML South Africa

VML South Africa will have offices in Joburg and Cape Town, with over 300 smart brains integrated into one company in South Africa. In order to ensure that VML South Africa benefits fully from the power of the VML network, Jason Xenopoulos will be stepping into a global role as Chief Vision Officer for VML globally and Chief Creative Officer for VML, EMEA. Jarred Cinman will be taking over as CEO of VML South Africa with Di Wilson as Deputy-CEO and Ryan McManus will be taking on the role of Chief Creative Officer. Other changes within the leadership will allow us to service the new agency structure and create Connected Brands. We will also leverage the VML global network, with 33 offices worldwide and over 3000 employees. Yes, we are a new kind of agency.

To arrange an interview with any of our leadership or for even more info contact:

Loki Magerman
082 7198027