by Herman Manson (@marklives) Hyundai South Africa has appointed Grid Worldwide as its new lead ad agency. Until recently, the business was held by FoxP2, which was appointed mid-March 2017, and before that The Jupiter Drawing Room (Cape Town) held it in a relationship spanning 16 years.
Part of growth strategy
Grid officially starts on 1 September 2019, says Adam Byars, joint CEO and partner at the TBWA agency, although some work is already being briefed. According to him, the agency had set its sights on landing an automotive and an international airline brand a year ago as part of its growth strategy.
The account went out to pitch roughly five weeks ago in a process managed by Independent Agency Search & Selection (IAS). The agency was initially invited to submit credentials for an auto brand without knowing which one it was. A day later, it was told it had been shortlisted alongside two other agencies. On 12 July, it received a brief consisting of six different tasks, ranging from a digital audit on Hyundai SA’s current online assets to leveraging existing sponsorship programmes, its dealer network, creating greater badge value etc.
Ultimately, the new agency is tasked with moving Hyundai from being the third biggest automotive brand in SA to the second position.
Statement of intent
According to Byars, it was clear from early chemistry sessions that the agency was looking for an agency partner that could create resonance between the Hyundai brand and South Africans, and also create a seamless experience for Hyundai customers. He says Grid’s recent acquisition of Openco also counted in its favor. He believes the agency demonstrated the value it could deliver, which won it the pitch. It also shows that the agency’s evolution from its brand and design origins is paying off; he calls the win a statement of intent by the agency and says it allows it to flex its offering in digital and experiential fields.
Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of MarkLives.com.