According to TBWA\SA Group CEO, Luca Gallarelli, the merger has been in the pipeline for quite some time and in line with other shifts aimed at creating greater clarity and synergy across the TBWA\SA collective throughout the region.
“HDI was established as a specialist agency in 1996 and this merger builds on its strengths as a pioneer in the development of the youth market. This merger is a significant investment in this space designed to harness the implicit strength of Yellowwood and consolidate its role as a central part of Africa’s most integrated communications collective,” he says.
The offering will integrate into and collaborate across the rest of the TBWA group in SA, comprising a South African collective of more than 500 creative minds across TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris, Grid Worldwide, Sting Content Production and Magna Carta. It also provides a strengthened area of capability across the TBWA collective on the continent, which expands into 47 countries across 28 agencies.
The consolidated entity will be headed by Yellowwood MD Refilwe Maluleke, who says the merger strengthens the consulting offering of Yellowwood through the youth capabilities, insights, and tools of HDI while sharpening and enhancing the executional ability of HDI.Keeping track of how youth interact with and respond to brands is imperative in the digital age and market-leading HDI initiatives like the annual youth brand preference and consumer behaviour survey, Sunday Times Gen Next – now in its 16th year – and #thenext campaign – a new initiative aimed at developing key insights affecting the youth market during the Covid-19 pandemic – will be fully supported and developed further through this merger.
TBWA\SA is committed to supporting the development of youth across the country and believes a vibrant and educated youth sector is crucial if SA’s economy is to reach its full potential.
“The Covid-19 crisis has given everyone an opportunity to pause and reset, an opportunity we intended to capitalise on. As the collective in South Africa continues to reshape itself in line with the ambitions we’ve set for ourselves, we’re excited that this move ensures TBWA\SA is extremely well placed to benefit from the future growth of the youth market across Africa,” says Gallarelli.