“We have built a strong agency offering master craftsmanship across the brand communication spectrum. Haas brings solid skills in advertising, digital, experiential and big campaign expertise while Switch Cape Town are renowned specialists in design, branding and corporate CI,” says Tarryn Burton, MD of HaasXSwitch.
The new agency, a BEE level 2 company, has kept all 24 staff members on board and did not retrench.
“HaasXSwitch has the capacity to be a formidable force in the Mother City and we are in a position to offer our existing clients more services and take on more clients. The leadership’s entrepreneurial mindset combined with the team’s diversity and inclusive culture enables us to offer clients more creative innovation and problem solutions,” says Burton.
Burton said while the merger had been almost a year in planning it had come at an opportune time as the economy was picking up momentum post-Covid-19 challenges and Cape Town was poised for growth.
Who's steering the ship?
Serial entrepreneurs, Glynn Venter and Tarryn Burton, are the dynamic duo heading up the new agency, HaasXSwitch, born from a merger between Haas Advertising and Switch Cape Town.
Venter, the chief creative officer, is a businessman with more than 25 years of experience in advertising, design, and digital. Having made creative director at age 26, he started his own successful agency and within two years sold to FCB South Africa. Venter has judged and won awards locally and globally over the years, from Cannes Lions to New York Caples, D&AD, Loeries, Pendoring, Assegai, Midas, and others. He is passionate about all things design, a collector of muscle cars and a coffee connoisseur.
In 2011, Venter co-founded Haas Collective (made up of a concept store, art gallery and high-end coffee house and roastery). Haas Advertising, a fully integrated ad agency of which he was executive creative director, formed part of this collective and it is here where his and Burton’s paths joined.
Burton, the managing director, is a businesswoman with 24 years of experience. A teacher turned advertising expert who spent eight years heading up agencies in Auckland, New Zealand. With an inventive mind working in overdrive, she has owned a few businesses in the past two decades including a premium joinery company that manufactures high-end cabinetry, kitchens and interiors for luxury developments and a new hemp-infused sparkling beverage. She became co-owner of Haas Advertising in 2016.
It is the duo’s enterprising spirit that attracted them to Switch Cape Town and a coffee later, they both knew the two agencies could make magic. What followed was a year of courtship while the details of the union were being worked out.
“Our agency is the meeting of two great forces combining an entrepreneurial mindset with experts in their respective fields to produce bold yet bespoke creative work. We are able to accommodate both large and small clients across a range of disciplines; strategy, design, advertising, digital, experiential and PR,” says Burton.
“We encourage the team to treat every one of our client’s businesses as if it were their own company. This ethos ensures our team takes ownership of each job and takes pride in growing our clients’ business”, says Venter.