Avatar Cape Town has won the integrated 2018 campaign for H&M, marking the global retail giant's first locally produced campaign, including ATL, digital, social, BTL and PR.
Mthunzi Plaatjie, MD of Avatar Cape Town.
Avatar’s Cape Town MD Mthunzi Plaatjie says they’ve had their eye on H&M for a long time, wanting to help them navigate the local space. “H&M is committed to South Africa and understanding their consumer here and appointing a local agency who will help them navigate that and help them become a better business as a whole is a significant move on their side.
“South Africa is one of the most complex and dynamic markets in the world, and this calls for stronger collaborative efforts between local agencies and global brands to ensure they deliver relevant communication solutions." He believes Avatar’s understanding of the South African market and consumer combined with its understanding of H&M’s business, environment and consumer tensions is what won this.
"It was an honour for Avatar to be chosen to execute this campaign. We had to strike a responsible balance of localising the work whilst staying true to H&M's international brand essence and appeal," says Veli Ngubane, Avatar founding partner and Johannesburg MD.
"More and more international brands are coming to us for work with market understanding and insights into the local market. In this competitive market, knowing your consumer intimately and how to communicate with them effectively is fast becoming the most powerful way to gain business advantage. Our strategy of diversity and transformation as an agency serves this need well," he adds.
Gugu Nkabinde, lead strategist for the campaign, echos the same sentiment: “We were up for the challenge of sharing authentic African insights and we managed to convince a big global fashion brand like H&M to trust Avatar with their brand in our market.”
Elbré Kitshoff, marketing manager at H&M with Mthunzi Plaatjie.
The win is massive for Avatar as it solidifies their ambitions of being amongst the leading agencies in Cape Town, says Plaatjie. “A win like this is also testament to the vision of building Avatar to be a world-class agency as we celebrate our 6th year of existence.”
Commenting on behalf of H&M, marketing manager Elbré Kitshoff says, “For us, diversity and inclusiveness are extremely important and we need to walk the talk when it comes to our transformation commitment. This will be demonstrated by our faith in Avatar’s excellent credibility and creativity showed during the pitching process.”
Group CEO of M&N Brands (the African network that owns Avatar), Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, adds: “We brought the full might of Avatar’s challenger energy to this pitch, as well as access to the best minds in the M&N Brands network – a rich mixture of the best talent. We are here to transform the Cape Town market and are unapologetic about it. We are looking for the number one spot.”
Own your Slay
That said, Avatar has already produced their first TV commercial for H&M’s winter range. Led by Grant Sithole, Avatar’s CCO, the TVC is borne out of the powerful message that women have been embracing for some time now. “Women are coming together and acknowledging each other’s slay. In this case the word takes on the pertinent message of recognising that women have many sides and everyone should be embraced with equal vigour and love.”
The vision was brought to life by the direction of Mzi Khumalo from Hey Darling Films. His track record, effortless storytelling style and ability to deliver high quality visuals came together to tell the ‘Dark Frozen’ story with inspiring cool.
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