Ogilvy & Mather is one of the biggest and most creatively admired agencies in South Africa, with offices in the three main centres of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. . The group was South Africa's most awarded agency in 2016 by a considerable margin, with no fewer than 11 Cannes Lions, and almost three times as many awards points for the year as a whole as any domestic rival. It was the only South African agency in the Big Won global Top 20. The creative centre of the business is the Cape Town office, named Agency of the Year by Adfocus for 2014. It is also a key hub within the wider Ogilvy Africa group, which was Adfocus Network of the Year for six consecutive years from 2008 to 2014. It was Agency of the Year again in 2018, as well as the top-ranked group in the country's Creative Circle advertising awards for the third consecutive year. Ogilvy first established a presence in South Africa in the 1950s through a partnership with Joburg agency VZ, but the real core of the business was formed from the 1984 purchase by Ogilvy of Rightford, Searle-Tripp & Makin, an independent shop launched in Cape Town a few years earlier. Later, under the leadership of Robyn Putter, Ogilvy RS-TM became a powerhouse of South Africa's revitalised ad industry in the 1990s, and Putter became creative steward for the whole WPP group from 2006 until his untimely death in 2010. The group has expanded further with a series of other acquisitions, including top digital shop Gloo Design (now Gloo@Ogilvy), Adfocus Digital Agency of the Year for 2015. Most of the agency's various satellites have been absorbed into the central business, in keeping with the wider network strategy. A handful continue to operate under their own banner, including Social.Lab. Group CEO Alistair Mokoena resigned at the beginning of 2020 (to join Google) and was eventually replaced by former Unilever manager Enver Groenewald. Chief creative officer Pete Case resigned in 2019; Matt Barnes now holds that role.
Capsule checked 30th January 2021
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Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Jun 2018: Cannes Lions 2018. The first batch of winners were announced from Cannes Lions 2018. (See the full run-down, including all the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners at the Cannes Lions 2018 website). AB InBev was the top winner in Radio & Audio as well with a social responsibility campaign for Carling Black Label from Ogilvy South Africa. This adapted the words of the country's most popular soccer anthem to highlight the issue of domestic violence. Incidents of gender-based assault spike dramatically after football games, fuelled principally by alcohol. The agency arranged for a choir of mothers and daughters to appear on the pitch before the country's biggest soccer event singing the national football anthem. Halfway through the lyrics were altered: "His team lost and he’s been drinking. What excuse will he give if this ends in a fight?"
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