AVATAR uses an integrative approach that fuses classical brand thinking with smart technology to help its clients get closer to their customers.
The pitch was attended by a range of South African agencies, including established ‘heavyweights’, creative hot shops and agencies with affiliations to listed multinationals — but AVATAR was chosen because of its deep knowledge of digital and social media, the company’s integrated approach to marketing, and its obsession with results.
“AVATAR’s diversity as an agency and founding principles make us the perfect fit for Brand South Africa,” says AVATAR chief creative officer, Veli Ngubane, adding: “Our people hail from rural Manguzi to Sandton, and everywhere in between.”
Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country's brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.
“AVATAR won the pitch with their enthusiasm and innovative campaign ideas, and we’re looking forward to the work that lies ahead,” said Brand South Africa’s chief marketing officer, Wendy Tlou.
Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, chief executive officer of AVATAR, was delighted with the win. “Being appointed to look after the country’s brand is an honour,” says Mkhwanazi, adding: “And we are delighted that we will be able to be part of this great South African story. This is our second national brand after we were appointed by South African Airways earlier this year which means that AVATAR now plays an increasingly important role in how the country is perceived. It is humbling to be marketing South Africa both internationally and domestically in what I believe is one of the most important accounts in South Africa.”
Brand South Africa joins AVATAR’s prestigious list of clients, which includes Business Connexion, South African Airways, FOX Africa Channels, National Geographic, Ubank, KPMG and Sanofi.
By placing clients at the centre of a media-agnostic business, AVATAR has created a brand-centric operation, obsessed with creating real marketing solutions to private and public sector problems. For AVATAR, marketing is about understanding how people think and act, and how they access information and connect with each other.
Mkhwanazi concludes, “This is an opportunity for us as marketers to make a real difference - doing great work on this brand could change people’s lives, create jobs, grow the economy and help the country in so many aspects. It is a dream come true, but now the challenge lies ahead. It’s all about delivery, about making a difference. Now the real work begin.”
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