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Dearly beloved Kotex,  Allow us to demystify some of the misperceptions you are carrying around in your head (it’s #freedommonth2021 so it’s for free – no worries moghel) 1. The biggest problem with most if not all #sanitarypads brands is their disrespect and disregard for consumer insights.   2. In your case it is either you know what women go through when they have periods Aaaaaaaand period pains YET you chose to disregard that or you do not know.  3. We are going to give you benefit of doubt and opt for the former belief – you do KNOW what......

For context, here are three communications industry examples I read somewhere sometime ago, that either one of the Hunt Lascaris founding duo (now called TBWA Hunt Lascaris), or the founder of Ogilvy (or was it Rory Sutherland?), mentioned that the communications industry is not a place to create wealth. I gather this meant making gazillions of money. I attended the 2019 Coca-Cola Supplier Development Conference in Johannesburg, at which event SME supplier database stats were shared by this multinational conglomerate, and it became clear that there was an over-supply of services from Black marketing and communications agencies, and yet there......

Hope goes a long way The Avatar Agency Group is taking a bite of KFC after the group has been awarded the Add Hope account. The account will be serviced by Avatar Public Relations. Avatar will provide internal communications and through-the-line services for Add Hope, a movement that brings together staff, big business, ordinary citizens and civil society to address childhood hunger. Suhayl Limbada, Marketing Director at KFC South Africa, described the agency’s proposal as “innovative with a bold strategic direction.” “Add Hope continues to feed more than 150 000 children per day. In 2021, as KFC celebrates its 50th year in South......

Although the incident that put the Black Lives Matter movement back in the headlines is one based in the U.S., the concept of racial inequality is something that is widely understood across the world, and especially in Africa. The colonial history of our nations can unfortunately still be felt and seen in everyday life, and even in some advertising. What movements like these remind all of us to do is to commit to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as part of the fabric of how our businesses and teams operate. We know that marketing has the power to both break......

Two major events took place in the past 2 weeks. Here they are, in reverse order: 1. On Wednesday, the 3rd of February, Greyhound – the bus company that has been transporting people within South Africa, and cross border to and from neighbouring countries safely and reliably for the past 37 years – announced that it will be closing down on Valentine’s Day – February the 14th. Announcement: Greyhound and Citiliner are closing operations. Services will run until 14 February 2021. Passengers with tickets booked for services after this date will be refunded. For assistance with refunds, contact Call Centre:......

The IAB South Africa is thrilled to announce the names of the newly-elected members of the Transformation Council. Under the leadership of the inimitable Veli Ngubane, founding partner and chief creative officer of the Avatar Agency Group, the IAB SA Transformation Council consists of 14 dynamic individuals who will work together with fellow industry bodies and partners to champion diversity and inclusivity in the industry with the aim of facilitating lasting change that empowers Black digital media and marketing professionals. Leading by example, this iteration of the council comprises over 50% female and almost 100% diversified members. Members will serve......

by Lufuno Makungo (@LMwonder) While I cringe at the title of this article, it’s a fair question. It’s like asking if there’s a viable market for Chinese advertising agencies in China. But the question is relevant here, given our political history and the current economic structure. The most-transformed sector in the county is the public sector, simply because we have the political power. Broad and interlinked, not narrow In talking transformation, we often narrow it down to only one thing — when the issues are broad and interlinked. In advertising, lack of transformation refers to the white-dominated industry but we fail......

I was recently asked for an opinion on why black-owned agencies are so often excluded from lucrative requests for Proposals(RFPs). My response was fairly cryptic but the conversation made me realise that there will be some value in capturing some of these issues in an article to help buyers understand the specific issues that black-owned and operated agencies are typically challenged with. I would like to convey some of my own thoughts, as well as that of Lufuno Makungo. However, I do believe that this is a topic that should be explored in more depth, so I will keep on sharing updates......

  It’s season 2 of IG Talk with Veli Ngubane. This week, join Veli as he chats to Khensani Nobanda, Group Executive for Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Nedbank. Watch it here: https://bit.ly/32j64tI #UnitedInCreativity  ...

Even just thinking about this, it is tiring. I’m sure what you are about to read is just the tip of the iceberg, but here’s a few list of things that explain why it is exhausting to be black in advertising: as a black creative, you essentially have two jobs. The first is doing the day-to-day job that you get paid for (as little and discouraging as it is), and the second job is managing your blackness. If you’ve ever worked two jobs at the same time, you know how taxing this is. Managing your blackness can mean that you......

by MarkLives (@marklives) The marketing and advertising industries are transforming. So why are so many black professionals disgruntled with the rate of progress? And is the quality of most of the work specifically directed at a black audiences still sub-par? We emailed a panel of key industry executives for their take. First up is Ivan Moroke of Co-Currency. Ivan Moroke The career of Ivan Moroke (@ivanmoroke) has shaped and has been shaped by brands, from running his family shebeen in Atteridgeville (many, many years ago) to starting a marketing consultancy, Co-Currency, 18 months ago. Consciously and unconsciously, his passion for what he does......

The journey of diversity and inclusion in SA Adland has been mixed, with great gains in some pockets and huge frustration in others. As much as ownership is a key component for a transformed industry, there is need to look beyond. Transformation at the entry import in also key, are youth of colour being equipped to attain success and how are women being prioritised at all levels. How do we move forward together and create an industry that generations to come will feel proud of? Join Bongani Chinkanda, Founder of Diaries of a Salesman in conversation with Pepe Marais (Group Chief Creative Officer,......

Earlier this week on IG Sessions, Veli Ngubane hosted Kutlwano Ditsele of SERITI Films. Watch as they chat about the new normal, and how Covid-19 has had an impact on the South African film industry....

The tourism sector is a large contributor to the growth of the economy. Despite the headwinds currently impacting the South African tourism industry and the greater economy, the sector continues to be resilient and will gradually recover. Just in case you missed it, watch Veli Ngubane, Chief Creative Officer of Avatar as he chats to Chief Executive Officer of SA Tourism, Sisa Ntshona unpacking the effects of COVID-19 and how it has impacted the tourism sector....

Join us tonight at 6pm for our #UnitedInCreativity sessions where Veli Ngubane, CCO of  Avatar Agency Group will be hosting Sisa Ntshona, CEO of SA Tourism. Watch it here: https://bit.ly/3fNG13s...

Watch Episode 7 of Business Beat with Odette van der Haar, as she unpacks transformation in the advertising industry with the CEO of Duke Advertising, Wayne Naidoo....

Suhayl Limbada, a people oriented Marketing leader with a strong track record of positive brand results and commercial success in a broad range of roles. He is passionate about people, creativity and brands. Tonight on IG Talk, catch Avatar Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer Veli Ngubane in conversation with KFC Marketing Director, Suhayl Limbada. Tune in here:  https://bit.ly/3dZHZvH...

In case you’ve missed it, see Avatar’s Chief Creative Officer, Veli Ngubane as he chats to Chief Marketing Officer of Google Africa, Mzamo Masito, as they talk all things creativity: from ways to maximise Google as a useful tool in South African businesses to how Google has assisted people during this pandemic as well as a discussion regarding the recent social injustice, #BlackLivesMatter and how brands have reacted to the BLM movement. Tune in here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CCWTeIFnOS9  ...

A strategist turned creative, Veli has not only co-founded Avatar, but also inspired a new agency offering, YGK, and is part of M&N Brands, a holding company with diversified investments in leading advertising, media and communication businesses. Join him tonight on IG Talk at 6pm for #UnitedInCreativity, as he will be in conversation with the Chief Marketing Officer of Google Africa, Mzamo Masito. Tune in here:  https://bit.ly/3dZHZvH...

Avatar Co-Founder and Group Managing Director Veli Ngubane chats to Publicis Africa Managing Director, Odette Van Der Haar. Tune in here: https://www.instagram.com/sacreatives/?hl=en  ...

Leading advertising, brand and communications group, Joe Public United, has announced that 60% of the company has been acquired by black shareholders. This deal is a significant milestone in local advertising and marketing industry, as it results in Joe Public United now becoming the largest majority black-owned, independent agency group in South Africa. The deal not only benefits staff, but perfectly positions the group to achieve a long-held ambition of becoming the country’s number one communications group. The transaction sees three senior agency executives Khuthala Gala Holten, Xolisa Dyeshana and Mpume Ngobese acquiring 26% through a newly created company, Ikamva......

Avatar Co-Founder and COO Veli Ngubane chats to Duma Collective founder, Sibu Mabena, about her journey in entrepreneurship and how she strives for greatness as a female in the advertising industry....

Ahmed Tilly (SA Advertising Maverick and Creative Advisor), Ahmed Tilly talks about women in advertising and the slow pace transformation in advertising. Tilly challenges white men in advertising to move the conversation forward. He posits that it makes no sense for only black people to talk about transformation. Ahmed Tilly, his career officially kicked off in 1996 as a junior copywriter when he joined Lindsay Smithers FCB. He spent a couple of years at the agency before doing a stint at Publicist. In 1999 he joined The Jupiter Drawing Room, Cape Town. 5 years later he returned to Johannesburg to......

Zibusiso Mkhwanazi (born 10 June 1983, Soweto, South Africa) is Group CEO of M&N Brands and co-founder of Avatar, South Africa’s largest black owned and managed advertising agency.   Join Zibusiso Mkhwanazi tonight at 6pm on IG Talk, as he’ll be in conversation with Yolisa Pasipanodya, the MD of Meropa Communications. They’ll be chatting about her challenges, learnings and successes that she faces and her view on black prominent women in the industry.   Tune in here: https://bit.ly/2YfOxCh   #UnitedInCreativity IG: @sacreatives IG: @zibusisom...

Following a rigorous and detailed selection process with proposals considered from 16 short-listed companies across the delivery pillars required, South African Tourism (SA Tourism) is pleased to announce that we have appointed a suite of marketing and communications agencies in response to the RFP162/19 the organisation issued in June 2019. In line with South African Tourism’s commitment to the empowerment of small businesses, each of the agencies has subcontracted 30% of their scope and billing to a small black owned business. For the duration of the contract, South African Tourism will ensure that the subcontractors provide valuable input into the......

The Interactive Advertising Bureau of South Africa (IAB SA) has appointed of Veli Ngubane as its new transformation council head. Ngubane is the founding partner and group MD of Avatar Agency Group. Ngubane has served on the transformation council for the last year and takes over leadership from Avani Singh, Alt Advisory director and co-founder, who joins the IAB executive board. The council’s mandate is to lead the debate and monitor the progress of the interactive advertising industry regarding the challenges and opportunities related to transformation. Says Ngubane, “I’m honoured to be given this task to lead the transformation council......

by Zibusiso Mkhwanazi (@Zibusiso) Last week, I read Jarred Cinman’s 2020 trends piece here on MarkLives, #BigQ2020: The future is here, and I would like to expand on his views, which I fully agree with. What a difficult year 2019 was for what seems to have been a majority of ad agencies in South Africa. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut SA’s GDP growth prospects for 2020, from 1.1% to 0.8%. This in turn means that, when there’s little growth, marketing budgets are in the front of the chopping queue. This isn’t good news for SA agencies: our industry......

The digital marketing and communications sector is driven by the ever-changing technologies in this era of the digital economy. Thus it is safe to assume, even without the stats, that there is a gap between the digital marketing skills and available opportunities. Some background According to African Development Bank, Africa’s economic growth rates for 2019 and 2020 were projected at 4% and 4.1% respectively. This is on the back of sustained growth for several years now. However, the continent is plagued by jobless economic growth. Opportunities and challenges The digital marketing and communications sector holds promise for employment opportunities for......

by MarkLives (@marklives) Is adland embracing an African narrative? Are South African advertising agencies and brands embracing an authentically African narrative and aesthetic or do they continue to imitate American and European work? What can agencies, and brands, do to shift the paradigm towards embracing a unique creative identity that speaks to our African roots? Next in our panel to tackle this question is Avatar‘s Veli Ngubane. Veli Ngubane Veli Ngubane (@TheNduna) entered the world of advertising with a passion after completing his BSocSci (law, politics, and economics) at UCT and a post-graduate marketing diploma at Red & Yellow, where he’s currently advisory......

The South African computer manufacturer Mecer recently released a new advert, celebrating three decades of producing local products.  But the ad – which features a three-letter local swearword – has not gone down well. In fact, at least one person is saying it may be the worst commercial ever released in South Africa.   The South African computer manufacturer Mecer recently released an advert celebrating thirty years of producing local products. It features a crew of singing and dancing people (presumably employees) in a factory, celebrating local manufacturing and everything South African, from the Springboks to Nelson Mandela. At one point, the lead......

Advertising is the lifehood of capitalism and, in South Africa, the majority of brands aim at black consumers. But in the latter part of 2018, there were many complaints from this demographic about the way stereotypes, gimmicks and humour were used. To get an insight on the state of advertising in the country, the Mail & Guardian spoke to black creatives about what caused the misrepresentations. Tebogo Malope prefers the title of storyteller to those of director, writer or cinematographer. Some of his most recent directing work includes music videos, such as Kwetsa’s Spirit, Nakhane’s Clairvoyant, the Telkom television campaign......

After an extensive search, Nedbank has appointed the successful agencies selected to work on its through-the-line, sponsorship and digital marketing communication strategies, effective 2019. Award-winning brand and communication group Joe Public has retained the bank’s through-the-line account, with Levergy managing the sponsorship account and Digitas Liquorice the digital creative account. These agencies have strong to BBBEE credentials, their diversity aligns to Nedbank’s procurement strategy and they’ve proven to have the correct culture fit to meet the bank’s business objectives. “The diversity of these agencies will enable us to entrench the Nedbank narrative, expand our client reach through effective and targeted......

The way most brands engage with black consumers is wrong, says a top PR man, who argues that agencies should invest more time in getting to understand their market and audience and less time in getting to know their clients.       A prominent public relations practitioner has hit out at the brand communications industry, claiming few agencies really understand black people. In a frank discussion with the FM, Bonnke Shipalana, CEO of The Communications Firm, says: “The majority of South Africans were born in an era where their voices were restrained by the apartheid system. Unfortunately, after 24......

So I wrote to Tiger Brands and they replied. See below. To whom it may concern I recently saw your latest promo online where a consumer won R1000 because she produced an Ace Maize Meal packet to an “Ace Maize Meal agent”. Great! No problem as we all like winning, cash as they say is king. What I find offensive is how that consumer, a lady, someone’s mother, was made to dance (like in most commercials targeted at black consumers), like a brainless idiot. Is this how Tiger Brands sees its black consumers? What happened to “customer is king, in......

Introducing the first AMAREVIEWS feature. A platform about in depth Creative Interrogations, Strategy, Insights, the Behind the scenes of the behind the scenes. We will be discussing, debating, agreeing, disagreeing and most importantly, having fun talking about our labour of love in the industry of Creative Advertising and Black Demographic Movement. Here’s a sneak peak of the trailer, full video coming soon…send us your comments tell us what you think. You can read more on the this link  ...

ISSUED BY: FCB AFRICA FCB Africa is celebrating several recent B-BBEE milestones that, once again, highlight that the group is one of only a handful in the industry that doesn’t pay lip-service to the word “broad” in the phrase “broad-based black economic empowerment”. As one of South Africa’s largest marketing and communications agency groups, FCB Africa’s B-BBEE initiatives have, since the outset, acknowledged the need for diversity and flexibility. The most recent milestone on its ongoing transformation journey was when its broad-based shareholder (The Maharishi Institute) was able to fully pay off its loan well ahead of projections, thanks to FCB......

Posted By: TMO Reporter A billboard with the wording, ‘100% Black Owned Advertising Agency. Some things are better at 100%”, using an image of a cup of black coffee, is not racist, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled. The BWD Advertising billboard, on a footbridge spanning across the M1 South approximately one kilometre north of the Marlboro Drive off-ramp in Johannesburg, was the subject of a complaint lodged by a member of the public in February. After a two-month investigation, the ASA directorate said transformation processes, such as B-BBEE, were the result of government policy, and were aimed at improving the overall wealth......

by MarkLives (@marklives)  Avatar has been awarded the Caltex above-the-line account. The business will be shared between its Johannesburg and Cape Town agencies. This is the second major account win announced by the agency this year, following hot on the heels of the the integrated agency business win for global fashion retailer, H&M, in South Africa. “Our journey with Caltex started two years ago, when we were appointed as their digital agency, to now being appointed as the brand’s full-service agency,” says Mthunzi Plaatjie, Cape Town managing director. “It was a tough three-way pitch but our team’s experience, creative excellence and integrated approach won it......

by Herman Manson (@marklives)    The Nedbank advertising account has gone out to pitch. “In adherence with principles of good governance, we can confirm that a number of Nedbank accounts\services are out to pitch, including creative, both ATL and BTL,” confirms Khensani Nobanda, Nedbank group executive, marketing and corporate affairs. “As the process is currently underway, we are not in a position to provide further detail due to confidentiality issues; however, further information will be provided in due course. We have enlisted the services of an independent service provider to rollout the process from a governance perspective. The process is......

By:  LUYOLO MKENTANE JOHANNESBURG – A creative and dynamic duo have teamed up to tap into the multi-billion rand promotions industry in South Africa and create much-needed employment for young unemployed youths. Childhood friends Tshepiso Malefane, 27, and Tshepo Ngwenya, 29, who grew up together in dusty streets of the sprawling Soshanguve township in Pretoria, are co-founders and directors of promotions firm Creative Brands Studio.   They established the company in 2014 and stress that since its inception it has grown from strength to strength.   Malefane holds a business management qualification from the Tshwane South College, a short course in......