What began as an unfurnished open space on the fourth floor of The Hudson Building in De Waterkant, Cape Town, with 13 people in 2010, is today a growing agency with over 250 talented, creative and diverse people, across a Cape Town and Johannesburg campus, and an agency that has been recognised twice by Financial Mail as Agency of the Year, and won the coveted Partnership of the Year award with its clients Nando’s and the Takealot Group.

What sets us apart? Brutal Simplicity of Thought
The agency is led by a philosophy that permeates the DNA of its current leaders, partners and every creative in its ranks – that of Brutal Simplicity of Thought (BST). What does this mean?

It means that at the core of the business, its purpose has always been to create beautifully simple solutions in an increasingly complex world. This has been the north star that has underpinned everything the agency creates – from the sharpest of strategies to the most astounding creative work that sets out to be both highly effective and globally acclaimed.

A winning formula
In 2015, just five years after opening its doors, the agency won Financial Mail AdFocus Agency of the Year, which it then won for a second time in 2019 on the cusp of its 10th birthday.

Other key standout moments along the M&C Saatchi Abel journey include:
• The wins of the Heineken, Nando’s, Standard Bank and LexusAutomark accounts.
• Winning two consecutive Grand Prix’s at the 2018 and 2019 Loeries for the Nando’s #RightMyName and Afro-tising campaigns respectively.
• Playing a pivotal role in helping grow Takealot.com into South Africa’s largest e-tailer
• Being part of a consortium to win the design bid to build the Nelson Mandela Tower of Light, a 27-storey tower representing the 27 years Mandela spent in prison. Visitors will be encouraged to climb 81 meters to the building’s top to reflect on Mandela’s life.
• Winning the Financial Mail AdFocus Awards Industry Leader of the Year 2019 (Neo Mashigo) and Financial Mail AdFocus Awards Partnership of the Year 2019 & 2020.
• Repositioning Standard Bank, African’s largest bank, and successfully building a new retail platform for their communication business during the challenging lockdown periods of 2020.
• Successfully retaining 100% of jobs and salaries during two of the toughest economic years due to the Global Pandemic.

A force-for-good business | The Street Store
The Street Store, a not-for-profit movement created and run by the agency, is the world’s first rent-free, premises-free, free pop-up clothing store for the homeless and has to date clothed over 500,000 homeless people around the world. In 2014, The Street Store was awarded a Gold Lion in the design category at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, and in 2020, it was named a finalist in the Best World Changing Idea EMEA Region and Creativity categories in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas 2020 global awards. It also received an honourable mention in the 2020 Advertising, Spaces, Places, and Cities, Corporate Social Responsibility, and General Excellence categories.

The clarity of aligned ambitions
The agency firmly stands by the belief that enduring partnerships can be the rocket fuel needed to drive creativity with impact. These types of partnerships lay the foundation for not only creating campaigns that resonate, but they nurture a strategy that boosts a partner brand’s bottom line, increases market share and builds brand equity.

An example of an enduring partnership is the 11-year one between the agency and takealot.com. Pivotal in the early days of takealot.com (formally Take2) growing the e-tailer from selling DVDs from a small premises, to helping broker the ground-breaking deal between the group and Mr D Food (then Mr Delivery) which was awarded the Financial Mail AdFocus Partnership of the Year award in 2020.

Igniting the future
M&C Saatchi Abel loves a good problem. Seeking ways to unlock the power of creativity will remain a priority. This includes continuing to build partnerships with clients to successfully navigate what will go down as the toughest economic climate this country has faced.

M&C Saatchi Abel clients are in good company
The agency continues to produce outstanding creative work across their broad base of clients, including Standard Bank, Nando’s, Takealot Group (including Mr D and Superbalist), MWEB, Continental, Best Drive, Namibian Breweries, Lexus, Astron Energy, and PepsiCo. M&C Saatchi Abel is a part of M&C Saatchi Group South Africa and part of the global M&C Saatchi network.

Part of a group of creative companies
M&C Saatchi Group South Africa (part of a global Group network, listed on the London Stock Exchange), comprises six creative companies and more than 380 diverse and creative minds. M&C Saatchi Group South Africa creates marketing and communication solutions for some of the most loved and sought-after brands in South Africa, and across the continent. The Group’s unique Partner Model of owner-run companies fuels an entrepreneurial spirit that delivers smart and agile solutions. The companies include Razor PR, Levergy, Black & White, Connect, Dalmatian and M&C Saatchi Abel.

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