Jarred Cinman, VMLY&R's CEO, says, "The word 'monumental' isn't one I use lightly but this win certainly fits the bill. Not only is this a very large account, but Vodacom has the unique ability to improve people's lives and reshape our country and continent."

"These are the foundations on which VMLY&R (nee NATIVE) was founded and is mirrored in all of our offices around the world," adds Cinman. 

Partners to VMLY&R in this pitch included consultancy DY/DX, Black female-owned Think Creative Africa and the Oxford Nelson, a part of the Demographica group to handle B2B skills.

Moreover, VMLY&R global telco experts will be working as part of the retained team. VMLY&R says that it will forge a strong partnership with the brand based on fresh insights, collaborative business and creative efforts and a local understanding of consumer needs and behaviours.

Ryan McManus, VMLY&R's chief creative officer who led the creative work, says, "We couldn't be more excited about this partnership with Vodacom. It is one that will combine the best of technology, creativity and culture to really drive and effect change to both business and society."

"Working with such a purpose-led brand is going to change the way we build out brand and customer experience and we can't wait to get started," adds McManus.

"This is arguably an inflection point for the whole industry in that VMLY&R has deep digital roots and is an unashamedly digitally-led," says Diane Wilson, deputy CEO of VMLY&R. "It was always going to take one big, brave brand to back our kind of agency to change the face of advertising forever. We are proud to be that agency and we are thrilled that Vodacom is the client."

VMLY&R's global CEO Jon Cook concludes, "We are thrilled to start our journey with Vodacom. We share a passion for creating a connected society and believe that strong brands are at the center of making that a reality. We are committed to driving digital transformation and delivering upon business outcomes for Vodacom in our partnership starting today."

For more information, visit www.vml.com. You can also follow VMLY&R on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.