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Lowe and Partners South Africa has been rebranded MullenLowe South Africa as part of the worldwide brand identity relaunch intended to entrench the agency’s position as a global heavyweight – but with the agility of a smaller, local organisation.

Generally speaking, says MullenLowe South Africa MD Katinka Pretorius, clients have only two options when choosing agencies: global companies characterised by a lack of nimbleness due to their size, and local agencies that are more responsive. Mullen and Lowe saw the opportunity to combine the two to become a global challenger and creative boutique.

“Mullen, which has grown 76% in the last six years, was looking for a partner, a creative network nimble enough to work with challenger clients. Lowe and Partners, renowned for its mix of creativity and effectiveness and recognised as the most effective network in the world per capita, aligned well,” says Pretorius. “Both agencies are entrepreneurial, with a strong creative focus.”

The Johannesburg and Cape Town offices have been restructured to give clients direct and open access to the best people at all levels in the agency – knocking down silos, says chief creative officer Kirk Gainsford, and therefore allowing the agency to remain lean.  

Notable examples of its work are the American office’s “World’s Toughest Job Mother’s Day” campaign and the South African agency’s “Get Me to 21” campaign.

At the heart of the MullenLowe rebranding is integrated communications with a “hyperbundled” offering. What this means, says MullenLowe Oil brand strategy and research head Sarah Dexter, is that the client is placed at the centre of the agency model in order to maximise the brand, rather than just the channel – and representing this is the new agency logo, the “Challenger Octopus”.

The MullenLowe Group network will now consist of four main brands: MullenLowe, delivering integrated marketing communications solutions; MullenLowe Profero, the digital pure-play network; MullenLowe Mediahub, providing media planning and buying solutions; and MullenLowe Open offering behaviour-driven activation, CRM and shopper marketing.

“The creation of the MullenLowe Group has provided the opportunity to create a whole new type of global communications network: a creative company with a challenger attitude that is willing to take risks and drive more creativity,” says global CEO Alex Leikikh.

The big take-out: Lowe and Partners South Africa has rebranded to MullenLowe to create a global challenger creative boutique with a hyperbundled offering: the best talent across all disciplines to solve clients’ business challenges.

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