NATIVE goes inside out with "The making of Native"

When Cambrient, Stonewall+ and Brandsh merged to form NATIVE, it created tremendous hype in the advertising and digital marketing industry. With all eyes focused on the new entity, the NATIVE team created The Making of NATIVE (, a unique campaign that provides a transparent and inside-out view of the merger.
NATIVE goes inside out with "The making of Native""Essentially The Making of NATIVE campaign has created a real time case study of the merger. We're sharing the process with the public, inviting feedback from internal and external stakeholders and ultimately creating an online documentary of the merger. The campaign consists of various digital elements so it's also showcasing the combined abilities of Cambrient, Stonewall+ and Brandsh," says Jason Xenopoulos, CEO of NATIVE, South Africa's new and truly full service digital marketing agency.

Imagine a company holding a variety of events, from yoga (to help employees understand the concept of agility) to domino rallies (to demonstrate effectiveness), whilst encouraging them to take time out to interact with each other. Then imagine that company sharing this with the rest of the world on their online platform,, via videos, photos and blog posts.

This is exactly what NATIVE did with its The Making of NATIVE campaign.

"The Making of NATIVE website features insightful agency content that includes the company vision, the unpacking of the seven NATIVE values, giving a view into the creation of the new NATIVE corporate identity, various interactive group activities, as well as external videos aimed at creating the new NATIVE culture," says Xenopoulos.

The first phase of The Making of NATIVE was launched to all staff members immediately after the merger announcement, linking them to an internal social networking platform called Think NATIVE. Within this environment staff could share their thoughts, ideas and concerns regarding the merger in a transparent and open manner, whilst getting to meet and interact with their new company colleagues.

Think NATIVE also served a dual role in incubating crowdsourced content from employees, who were invited to write blog posts, submit photos and create videos according to specific themes. The internal social media team hand picked this content from Think NATIVE to take across to the public site,, as well as seeding it across Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

The four-month campaign also included the NATIVE launch party, held simultaneously in Cape Town and Johannesburg, that coincided with the Loeries awards. The glamorous party featured a simultaneous link up, as well as the launch of the new NATIVE CI and introduced the world to the infamous Duane Dennis, Cambrient's entrepid video reporter (

Since the social media launch in mid-September, the agency has over 400 followers and fans on Twitter and Facebook, whilst the Youtube channel has had over 2000 views. During the period from 1 September to 30 November, The Making of NATIVE website received over 9500 visits with visitors spending an average of five minutes, five seconds on the site. The average time spent on a site is between two and three minutes.

"If anything, the creation of NATIVE has made the industry pay attention. People are curious to see whether or not we'll succeed. We know we will succeed and we're willing to share the secret of success with the industry," concludes Xenopoulos.

8 Dec 2010 15:35