BrandReserve Co acquires 100% of Black River FC

The iconic and award-winning agency will now form part of BrandReserve Co.'s portfolio companies.
Bogosi Motshwegwa, chief creative officer
Bogosi Motshwegwa, chief creative officer
The year 2022 has been a momentous one for creative agency Black River F.C. who have taken a major step forward in their journey as a proudly South African and locally owned company. The business has gained full independence, through a strategic merger with newly formed global context company, BrandReserve Co. Black River F.C. now forms part of the company portfolio of BrandReserve Co.

Launched in 2005, under The Jupiter Drawing Room CPT, Black River F.C. has earned its legendary reputation through a string of successful campaigns for brands such as Nandos, Mini Cooper, 1st For Women, Channel O, M-net, African Bank, Mzansi Magic, Fanta, Uber and OLX.

A 100% black owned business, BrandReserve Co. was created with the intention of amplifying African culture to a global audience. Adopting this vision, the ambition is to grow and scale Black River F.C.’s creative and commerce capabilities to tell more authentic brand stories and create meaningful connections with the African consumer in mind.

Trevor Ndhlovu, CEO
Trevor Ndhlovu, CEO
“The work we did for African Bank demonstrates the essence of our belief and capabilities as an agency. In the brand commercial’s simplicity, and yet impactful demonstration, ‘Audacity to Believe’ is the bank’s most significant work to date. As an agency, we are able to solve complex brand marketing challenges in a way that is true to the brand in question, consumer, context and the challenge at hand.” – Bogosi Motshegwa, chief creative officer.

Our belief at the agency is defined as Progressively Defiant™. This is our ethos and culture. It is a way of thinking that we try to imbue in everything that we do, from processes, to the work and to our relationship with clients. We believe that to effect any significant change or have impact, we must stand for or against something. Brands that are progressively defiant in spirit can future-proof their businesses. Therefore, being progressively defiant is not ‘being creative’ or having a catchy phrase, it is the only way of doing business and adding value. As an agency, as individuals, as businesses or brands, and as clients, we cannot simply err on the side of comfort or just accept that this is how things are. The intent is to deliberately be uncomfortable with the status quo, because that’s where the real work is. The solutions we’ve developed for the new clients that we’ve won all carried the Progressively Defiant™ DNA. We won the McCain Foods account by using this philosophy and we look forward to building this iconic brand further and giving it more meaning.

Onthatile Morake, business director
Onthatile Morake, business director
“Every industry is getting competitive, and the only way to break through is to have a point of view or a way of thinking that elevates the value and competitiveness of any brand. Through the lens of being Progressively Defiant, we are able to carve out unique positionings for brands. This is made possible by our understanding of the South African market, as well as our global perspective on how to build powerful brands.” – Bogosi Motshegwa, chief creative officer.

“Our understanding of the South African market and audience has enabled us to secure an international client. BRF Brazil Foods has entrusted Black River F.C. to help them guide their ambitious goals of penetrating and scaling the continent.” – Onthatile Morake, business director.

As part of BrandReserve Co.’s suite of businesses, Black River F.C. will be paired and powered by the following complementary agencies:
  • AskSoweto, a consumer data & audience insights agency based in Johannesburg.
  • DailyCapsule Company, a media and communications business aimed at amplifying African culture through original content creation.
  • Awaresidency, a platform designed to identify, connect and grow Africa’s creative thought leadership through mentorship, networking and conversation.

    The company will be led by its current chairman/chief executive, Trevor Ndhlovu; chief creative officer, Bogosi Motshegwa; business director, Onthatile Morake; strategy/context director, Andile Mbete; and creative director, Andrew Lang. The new leadership has been tasked with driving interest for the company’s new positioning and basket of solutions.

    “Ultimately the acquisition is aimed to form a company of hybrid creative/media companies leading content, context, and commerce for brands, structured to continue to operate at the highest level of brand and business performance and ultimately amplify African voices.” – Trevor Ndhlovu, chief executive officer.

    Black River F.C. was previously owned by Jupiter Drawing Room Cape Town in which WPP owned a minority stake.

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