After a highly competitive tender process and creative pitch, marketing and communications agency, Hero has been awarded the prestigious City of Cape Town (CoCT) account – competing against some of the most successful agencies in the country. It is an outcome that Hero Managing Director, Andrew Hall attributes to CoCT having recognised the agency’s ability to deliver a uniquely broad range of integrated services, combined with their sharp focus on achieving measurable results and contributing to the client’s realisation of their organisational objectives.
“We pride ourselves on staying in tune with the needs of our clients within an increasingly challenging environment,” comments Hall. “CoCT serves a particularly diverse and high-demand community, and it is essential that their agency understands how to help them drive communications and experiences that will create and sustain strong, positive and mutually rewarding relationships between all stakeholders.”
Hero is known for advocating their own style of ‘communication activism’ where their mandate extends way beyond the conventional agency role of simply generating “last-mile” creative delivery. In this sense, Hero likes to immerse itself in a client’s business to the extent that it effectively becomes a sector-specific subject matter expert. Through this, Hero is able to function as a genuine strategic partner, capable of fully understanding the entire business context and value chain. This deep level of understanding and knowledge allows Hero to best deliver desired business outcomes through enabling communications and activities that positively influence behaviour and impact on culture.
“The City of Cape Town is pleased to forge a new partnership with Hero,” says Priya Reddy, CoCT’s Spokesperson and Media Manager, “We value the insight and capabilities, as well as the energy and tenacity of the agency. Importantly, they are clearly capable of accurately gauging diverse viewpoints and cultural nuance. This sharp social sensitivity and awareness is combined with an excellent understanding of the broader global technologies, trends and other influences which will play a significant role in shaping how we can best deliver on our mandate as a service provider to over 3.7 million Capetonians living in over 1 million households.”
Hero was formed twenty years ago by business and creative partners, James Burton and Doug Lockhart, who took an immediate and early interest in integrated digital marketing as part of their plan to develop and maintain the full suite of services which would allow them to be truly “channel agnostic” in determining how best to shape a response to their client’s needs.
Today, Hero employs over 70 staff and has offices in both Cape Town and Johannesburg. Unlike most successful local agencies which have been absorbed into global groups, Hero remains proudly and intentionally wholly South African owned. More importantly, it has a strong tradition of transformation and as such, has always been and will continue to be at least a Level 2 BBEE rated business. In keeping with this tradition, in 2015, Hero concluded a significant BEE transaction with the Gamiro Investment Group, a 100% Black owned and women controlled investment group resulting in 51% Black ownership in Hero. As a long standing partner to Hero, the transaction with Gamiro has enhanced Hero’s financial capacity and bolstered the levels of management and strategic acumen in the business. But, as the saying goes, that’s not all: Gamiro and Hero will also soon be releasing details of their involvement with an exciting new marketing, events and experiential agency headed up by two young and highly capable black entrepreneurs with strong township roots.
Hall adds: “Our wider business strategy is to actively make a difference within both the SA advertising and marketing industry and our broader social context. Being in tune with what is happening means you are highly sensitive to cultural and racial diversity, and acutely aware, both locally and globally, of historic, economic, social and political realities. It is that sensitivity, that awareness and understanding that enables us to harness the power of insight to respond optimally to the many positive opportunities that exist in our country. We are delighted to be appointed as the CoCT’s agency, and are both fully aware of and hugely keen to take on the responsibility that comes with it.