Challenger agency AVATAR continues to soar

AVATAR, the integrated agency with digital at its core, has picked up new public and private sector accounts. AVATAR’s new client wins include The Limpopo Tourism Agency, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and TV channel BET.

 

AVATAR is now responsible for crafting a 360-degree tourism marketing strategy for the Limpopo Tourism Agency, which will play an important role in increasing tourism activities to Limpopo.

Following the agency’s acclaimed work on the 2014 MTV MAMA Awards, MTV’s parent company – the global US media giant Viacom – appointed AVATAR to market another of its channels, BET.

This growth comes off the back of AVATAR’s big wins last year when the agency was awarded the accounts for Brand South Africa and SAA. “When AVATAR was established as a challenger agency in 2012, we knew our growth would be enabled by confidently doing integrated work that attracts both clients and talent to our stable,” says Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, co-founder and CEO of the AVATAR agency.

Commenting on the recent appointment BET’s Marketing Manager Mthunzi Plaatjie said, “AVATAR has a broad spectrum of credible brands. Our vision was to build BET as an engaging and relevant entertainment brand within Africa, and they are an agency that understands that,” Plaatjie continued, Our relationship is still in its initial stages, but they have already delivered outstanding creative work on some major projects such as the 2015 BET Awards and BET Buzz.”

Onwards and upwards

“What’s gratifying is that we’ve been able to attract skilled, intelligent people to be a part of our team, while managing our growth and continuing to deliver great work,” says Mkhwanazi. “Winning new accounts is a great accolade, but keeping and growing these brands is what makes the difference in the long run,” AVATAR’s CEO says, adding: “Equally important is ensuring that the agency culture is not diluted.”

As an integrated agency, AVATAR has a deep knowledge and understanding of the technologies that customers use to connect to content, each other, and brands. “We’re a three year old agency, but we set ourselves the goal of being a challenger brand, and this has given us an edge. We don’t see digital as an add-on, but a core part of an integrated strategy,” says Veli Ngubane, Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of AVATAR.

“We’ve backed this by bringing in the best creative skill and excellent managers. This is how we are bedding down good systems in the agency, so that we can generate great work with a team that understands technology, and can work across Africa,” says Ngubane.

On the creative side, the agency has appointed Sanele Ngubane as Creative Director, while Herman Degener has been appointed Digital Services Director and Heinrich van den Worm as Head of Media and Social Engagement.

Ngubane says a key aspect of the agency’s growth has been appreciating people’s connection to their personal devices, as well as understanding how people connect to content. “Today’s customers are more distracted and demanding than ever,” says Ngubane.

As an agency, our differentiation is that we understand how to connect brands to people in ways that work for both the brand and the people we’re reaching out to. We really understand what people want and we’re giving it to them, and that’s what’s driving our success as an agency with our clients,” AVATAR’s Chief Creative Officer adds.

“We know how creative ideas must be integrated into solutions that work for brands, and how to use the most relevant channels in a manner that speaks to people so that they will want to connect to brands,” Ngubane says.

AVATAR was established three years ago by Mkhwanazi and Ngubane as a full-service marketing agency with digital at the core. Client service is the central focus of the business that is media-agnostic and obsessed with creating real marketing solutions that deliver to brand goals. AVATAR clients now include BET, Business Connexion, Brand South Africa, FOX Africa, KPMG, National Geographic Africa Channels, South African Airways, Sanofi, The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and financial services provider Ubank.