In 2010, a historic industry landmark event saw the merging of three of South Africa’s leading specialist digital agencies (Brandsh, Cambrient and Stonewall+ Digital Marketing) to form NATIVE, with the bold ambition to become South Africa’s leading digital agency. The newly formed entity had a clear vision to create purpose-driven work that lives in people’s lives and quickly became a force to be reckoned with, winning Agency of the Year at Bookmarks 2013 and celebrating a spot in the top five Large Agency category as well as being named the 3rd most awarded agency in Digital at Loeries 2014.
NATIVE’s fully scalable and integrated complement of strategic and creative services saw the agency secure new clients Nedbank and Pernod Ricard soon after the merger and partner with a host of brands across the automotive, beauty and health, aviation, consumer goods and electronics, financial services, banking, manufacturing, retail, tourism and entertainment sector.
The launch of NATIVE VML in 2013 marked another profound step in the agency’s history. The partnership with global digital marketing giant VML saw NATIVE further drive its leadership position in South Africa by bringing world-class skills and the power of VML and the Y&R network to the continent.
In what turned to be another monumental year, 2014 saw NATIVE VML welcome some of SA’s most-loved brands as its clients including kulula.com, Ster-Kinekor, Red Bull and Liberty as well as Lead Digital Agency appointment for BMW and PepsiCo. “NATIVE VML’s journey has been a deliberate one. Every step in the agency’s growth was in service of our vision to create purpose-driven work that lives in people’s lives. It is this positioning that resonated with the brands that joined our family”, says Jason Xenopoulos, NATIVE VML CEO.
In an industry hard-hit by ever tightening budgets NATIVE VML has managed to turn a healthy profit year on year converting solid top line growth into exceptional gains in profitability. This financial success helped the agency to gain momentum in their mission to become an Agency for the Digital Age.
“Over the past year we’ve begun to spread our wings even further, transforming ourselves from a digital agency into an Agency for the Digital Age. It’s a significant distinction that sets us apart from our competitors and puts us firmly on a path of creating truly integrated work for a connected world,” adds Xenopoulos.
The agency has taken meaningful strides to reach the full expression of becoming an Agency for the Digital Age. Not only through its recent launch of NATIVE MEDIA – an integrated, performance-led media buying and planning division with digital at its core, as well as Lead Agency appointment on not one but two of Pernod Ricard’s key strategic brands – Absolut Vodka SA and Chivas Regal.
“An Agency for the Digital Age is a strategic partner who works with clients to re-invent their brand – to not only survive in this connected world, but to thrive in it. It is a big leap for a company barely five years old but remains true to our ambitious nature,” concludes Xenopoulos.