We were never just advertising people wanting to do big TV ads, we were entrepreneurs wanting to build brands and businesses. We were also very inexperienced and naïve and while that made things much more challenging in the early years, it has made us more effective the more time has gone on. This is because we had no pre-determined ways of doing anything, we were constantly on the hunt for what was a smarter, better and more effective approach.


” Results speak for themselves and year to date we’ve achieved triple digit sales growth, setting a new record week of online sales for the business in the process.”

Trotters UK



” The campaign was relevant and resonated with our target consumers to deliver a truly iconic and ground-breaking digital campaign across all touchpoints. HaveYouHeard is one of the best agencies I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”

Campari Africa

We were humble and eager to learn and we had to work harder than others. We haven’t lost any of that drive and it means that we are constantly evolving, innovating and experimenting. We also are always looking at how we can build for the future, and investing in the people, skills and technology that we believe will be relevant two (2) to five (5) years from now.

HaveYouHeard was founded by Jason Stewart and Ryan McFadyen in 2008 as a Word of Mouth Marketing agency (which, as a service, is now only a very small part of what the agency does).

They both had experience in this form of marketing and were both in limbo in their careers. They’re entrepreneurs at the core who wanted to start a business and this was something thought to be easy, so they ‘fell’ into advertising and marketing because of their backgrounds. Learning very quickly that ‘easy’ would not be the case as the global recession of 2008 hit at the same time, with frozen and shrunken budgets. It has been a tough, hard journey which has become more thrilling and exciting as the years have passed.

We are very proud to be South African and want to be another shining example to the world of our country’s excellence. We have come to realise that we can compete against anyone, anywhere in the world and it is our versatility, humility, creativity and work ethic that comes from a more challenging local environment, that makes us world-class.

We are a communications agency immersed in culture to influence it. We uncover unique insights to create innovative ideas that influence the audience by bringing the brands we partner with to the center of culture.

What this means is that we are led by insights – our research team goes into the market and uncovers the insights that will lead to a brand’s success and then our creative and strategy teams work together to develop innovative concepts and ideas that speak to these insights. We then have a very broad mix of execution specialists who bring these concepts to life and ensure a brand’s success.



” hyh was agile in their implementation, learnt from both success and failure quickly, and managed to deliver a campaign that exceeded the campaign KPIs significantly.”

Toyota South Africa

We are exceptional at creating brand communication that works and delivers bottom line and business results that matter for brands. There are a number of factors that lead to this success – from our unique approach to insights, to our incredible creative and strategic teams that develop innovative concepts, to the myriad of skills we have that execute on these ideas.

But the overarching uniqueness is that the founders and leadership team is made up of mostly creative entrepreneurs – people who have run their own businesses before and who understand the business need for bottom line results. There is a very different attitude and spirit in someone who is willing to risk it all to build a business and those are the people we look for – they bring extra experience and a dynamic edge to the work that helps in creating solutions that truly work.

We have extensive and wide ranging training and development programs for all our staff (this covers both soft and hard skills). We spend a lot of time on this, ensuring we can keep growing and pushing people positively to realise more of their talent and potential. The more we develop our team, the better for the agency and vice versa.

We have been recognized by Fast Company as one of the World’s 100 Most Innovative Companies.

Vision for the future
Firstly, we want to keep on improving what we do and becoming more effective in the how of doing that.

We have had an office in London for the last three (3) years, servicing clients across the UK and Europe and are currently expanding further with more work across Europe. Because of this, we are in the process of establishing a new office to service our growth. A major goal being to continue to expand our footprint, work and influence further across the globe.

We are also transforming into a brand business, having successfully launched our first brand earlier this year and a few months away from our second launch, with plans for up to 10 more over the next five (5) years.

The objective of this is to learn and improve what we do through being fully responsible and accountable for every element of building a brand (putting our money where our mouth is). It also gives us full creative scope to do whatever we believe is right, but to also experiment and innovate freely, with no client-imposed restrictions. The success of these brands will feed into the success of future brands, but more importantly will add to the skills, knowledge and experience we use as an agency for growing other businesses brands.

Other INNOVATE® Ecosystems