EXCLUSIVE: Avatar CT wins H&M

by Herman Manson (@marklivesAvatar’s Cape Town agency has won the integrated agency business for global fashion retailer, H&M, in South Africa. Avatar, which is part of the M&N Brands group, will offer a number of services, including above the line, digital, social, below the line and public relations.

“Help make a difference”

“We’ve had our eye on H&M for a long time,” says Mthunzi Plaatjie, Avatar Cape Town managing director,  “And knew we wanted to help make a difference and help them navigate the local space. A win like this is also testament to the vision of building Avatar to be a world-class agency as we celebrate our sixth year of existence.

“H&M is committed to South Africa and understanding their consumer here, and appointing a local agency, who will help them navigate that and help them become a better business as a whole, is a significant move on their side.”

H&M has experienced a number of communication missteps since it started trading in South Africa, including featuring a black child in a green hoodie with the words “coolest monkey in the jungle” printed on it, which lead to supporters of the EFF political party vandalising several shops. When it opened its first store in Cape Town, it was criticised for not including black models in in-store promotional material. H&M apologised in both instances.

“Transformation commitment”

“For us, diversity and inclusiveness are extremely important and we need to walk the talk when it comes to our transformation commitment,” says Elbré Kitshoff, H&M marketing manager in South Africa. “This will be demonstrated by our faith in Avatar’s excellent credibility and creativity showed during the pitching process.”

“We are here to transform the Cape Town market and are unapologetic about it,” notes Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, M&N Brands GCEO. “We are looking for the number-one spot.”

The Avatar Cape Town client list includes Caltex SA, Virgin Active Red, British American Tobacco, Unilever and now H&M. As a result of the account win, Avatar is currently recruiting.