#AgencyLeaders2017: The one to watch in South Africa in 2018!
by Herman Manson (@marklives) Today, we reveal which agency fellow ad execs feel is the “one to watch” in South Africa in 2018 — the agency from which they expect great things in the year ahead! This is part of this week’s announcement of the 2017 MarkLives Agency Leaders’ Most Admired Poll results for South Africa. Over the past two weeks, we have announced the regional results from Cape Town and Joburg.
- Monday: Most-admired agency bosses in South Africa
- Tuesday: Most-admired creative leaders in South Africa
- Today: One to watch in South Africa
- Thursday: Most-admired agencies in South Africa
- Friday: Most digitally integrated in South Africa
- Monday 12 March: Contribution to agency diversity and transformation (SA)
Every year since 2012, MarkLives has been polling South Africa’s top agency leaders to find out what they think of their competitors, whom they see as effective managers and great creative leaders, and where they believe their future competition is likely to come from. We ask them who’s got digital integration right and — for the first time — who’s done best on transformation.
The one to watch in South Africa!
A primary-school friendship has taken Xola Nouse and Sbu Sitole through high school, varsity and careers into the successful business partnership that is The Odd Number. The agency saw its profile rise substantially in 2017, in part due to its success in converting work into awards.
It also received MarkLives’ 2017 Ad of the Year for its Inspired By My Constitution campaign for Brand South Africa; is one of our joint most-admired ad agencies in Jozi for 2017; and co-founder Sitole is our most-admired creative leader in Jozi for 2017. Last year it was joint runner-up one to watch in South Africa in 2017 and joint one to watch in Jozi in 2017.
The Odd Number has been landing new business, too: in 2017, it took on work from FNB Business, The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Miller Genuine Draft.
In 2017, for the second time, the agency walked away with Pendoring’s sought-after Umpetha Award for the best advertisement in an indigenous language (excluding Afrikaans). It also ranked 18th in the overall Loeries rankings. AdFocus name it its Small Advertising Agency of the Year.
OFyt was our agency to watch in 2016; Promise and Y&R Group tied in 2015; in 2014, it was Publicis Machine and, in 2013, it was MACHINE (which merged with Publicis Worldwide in 2014 to become Publicis Machine).
In 2017, it won new through-the-line business from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA), Bankmed and Diageo Empowerment Trust. It also won PR business from Bayer and Standard Chartered. CEO Monalisa Zwambila won the Business Achiever for Gauteng award in 2017.
In 2016, AVATAR and The Odd Number was named the runners-up. In 2014, Ogilvy Johannesburg/Gloo and FCB South Africa (now FCB Africa) tied as runners-up.
How the poll works
Towards the end of 2017, we invited agency executives to nominate their most-admired agency, creative leader and most-admired agency both in their region (Johannesburg or Cape Town) and nationally. We also asked them which agency did the best at digital integration and at transformation (a new question), and which agency they saw as the one to watch in the future. Execs couldn’t nominate their own agencies or staff members. All the nominations were then tallied up for the final result. The editors of MarkLives had two votes in the final poll.
Note: Runner-up(s) will only be named if they achieved a good nomination tally relative to the winner’s position. Contenders are named if they stand out significantly above other nominees but weren’t able to close in on the winner’s tally. The most-admired agency of the year is disqualified from the One to Watch category; votes cast in its favour in this category are discarded.
Previous South African results
Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of MarkLives.com.