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Reviewed The 5 Best Advertising Agencies in Johannesburg Homepage

Reviewed: The 9 Best Advertising Agencies in Johannesburg

How We Picked 

1. AVATAR

AVATAR Homepage

Website: https://www.avataragency.co.za/ 

Address: 51 Glenhove Rd, Melrose Estate, Johannesburg, 2196

Contact: +27 11 268 5223

Google reviews score4.6/5
Facebook reviews score 4.6/5
Africa BZ reviews score5/5
Total reviews5/5
Score consistency 4.5/5
Expertise5/5
Range of Services5/5
Portfolio5/5
Client Servicing5/5
Account Management5/5
Creative Services5/5

Pros

  • Full-service agency group
  • Includes specialist services like digital advertising, PR, and B2B consulting
  • Diverse clientele
  • Young and collaborative teams
  • Specialises in digital communications

Cons

  • May not be able to accommodate smaller projects

AVATAR is one of Johannesburg’s “mega” agencies with an impressive portfolio. Discerning clients will appreciate the breadth of experience they’ve had in different industries, from finance and pharmaceutical to retail and telecoms. 

We love that they are already a full-service agency group, which takes out the added task of a client bidding out various services to different groups. The Johannesburg headquarters, in particular, specialises in digital executions, which we applaud.

With advertising platforms continuously evolving, digital is a golden door of opportunity for agencies. We think it’s great that AVATAR Johannesburg has been selected as the centre of their digital services, as many brands are now looking for this particular skillset.

AVATAR also boasts young and collaborative teams, which is essential in this line of work. While we hail the established faces of the industry, we sorely need fresh perspectives to bring to the fore – and a younger generation of talents may very well address that.

Apart from digital advertising, AVATAR also offers PR services and B2B consulting, which are essentially complementary services. We like this because it helps streamline executions, as opposed to having different specialist agencies present possibly clashing plans.

Ultimately, the proof of the pudding is in the kind of brands and campaigns they are able to attract and execute. And just by peeking into AVATAR’s arsenal, we’d say that they’ve got credibility safely in their pocket.

2. M&C Saatchi Abel

M&C Saatchi Abel Homepage

Website: http://www.mcsaatchiabel.co.za/ 

Address: 9 8th St, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, 2198

Contact: +27 11 268 6388

Operating Hours: 8:30 AM-6:00 PM, Mondays to Fridays

Google reviews score 4.6/5
Facebook reviews score 4.5/5
Total reviews4/5
Score consistency 5/5
Expertise5/5
Range of Services5/5
Portfolio5/5
Client Servicing5/5
Account Management5/5
Creative Services5/5

Pros

  • Established name in advertising
  • Focuses on simple but effective solutions
  • Part of a large network of agencies worldwide
  • Large team of generalists and specialists
  • Extensive portfolio of brands and executions
  • Great working teams and leadership

Cons

  • May be too expensive for smaller / budget brands

The first thing that attracts clients to M&C Saatchi Abel is its namesake and reputation. The name “Saatchi” will always be an institution in this field, and for many of its agencies worldwide, it offers the benefit of being top-of-mind for all kinds of brands.

We are super impressed by the growth of M&C Saatchi Abel outside its brand image. This humble agency started in 2010 with no clients and just 13 staff, and in 5 years, it managed to outpace its competitors to become the largest ad agency in Johannesburg.

Looking at their portfolio, it is clear to us that M&C Saatchi Abel has blazed a trail of its own, with a strong roster of clients that include Standard Bank, TikTok, Lexus, and Nando’s. We love that it has good familiarity with a diverse range of industries.

The breadth of their brand experience means that they are easily adaptable, which is so important in advertising. This gives their teams the ability to switch hats and be able to quickly internalise the unique voice of the client, with strong mental and creative stamina to boot.

We like that they are also known for their great working relationships, which actually affects agency output. They are big on collaboration and their leadership team is highly-regarded among staff, which tells us a lot about their work culture and how they build relationships.

Finally, we love that despite the complexities of creative communication, the agency remains true to its credo: Brutal Simplicity of Thought. Their focus continues to be simple yet effective solutions that consumers can easily understand and buy into.

3. King James

King James Homepage

Website: https://www.kingjames.co.za/ 

Address: 16 Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown, Johannesburg, 2193

Contact: +27 11 215 0000

Operating Hours: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM Mondays to Fridays

Google reviews score4.3/5
Facebook reviews score 5/5
Total reviews4/5
Score consistency 4.5/5
Expertise5/5
Range of Services5/5
Portfolio5/5
Client Servicing5/5
Account Management5/5
Creative Services5/5

Pros

  • Multi-specialist teams
  • Focuses on strong ideation
  • Also offers BTL design and promotional campaigns, digital communications, and social media services

Cons

  • Limited reviews online

Now officially part of the Accenture group, King James is one of South Africa’s most-awarded agencies. Expertise-wise, this firm has been around for 24 years, which tells us that they have earned their way to the top even long before Accenture acquired them.

What we love about an advertising agency these days is its multidisciplinary approach to communications, and King James is one of these brilliant groups. The firm boasts a large pool of multi-specialist teams that are able to seamlessly collaborate for a campaign.

We like this because it allows the teams to come up with an integrated communications campaign that takes into consideration all disciplines. This means that clients can enjoy pitches that include multiple execution streams that underscore their brand objectives.

The group focuses on ideation, which we also appreciate. We know that execution is where the rubber meets the road, but one can never underestimate the power of a great idea.

Their creative muscle is infused in their many offerings apart from ATL advertising, extending to marketing and digital communications and even social media. We think that this is a strategic way to maximise the impact of their campaigns.

Although there isn’t a lot of client feedback available online, the strength and calibre of their work can be clearly seen in their portfolio. They have done campaigns for well-known brands such as Pizza Hut, Johnnie Walker, and Stella Artois.

4. JAW Design & Advertising

JAW Design & Advertising Homepage

Website: https://www.jawdesign.co.za/ 

Address: Green Acres Office Park, 201 Sherwood House, Cnr Victory and Rustenburg Road, Victory Park, Johannesburg, 2195

Contact: +27 11 447 4589

Operating Hours: 8:30 AM-5:00 PM Mondays to Fridays

Google reviews score4.1/5
Facebook reviews score 5/5
Africa BZ reviews score5/5
Total reviews4/5
Score consistency 4.5/5
Expertise5/5
Range of Services5/5
Portfolio5/5
Client Servicing5/5
Account Management5/5
Creative Services5/5

Pros

  • Combination of design and advertising
  • Known for strategically designed concepts
  • Also does branding, internalisation, digital solutions, and virtual & live events

Cons

  • Small team

We love that JAW Design & Advertising fuses two crucial disciplines that bring a great idea to life: design and advertising.

Known for their strategically-designed concepts, JAW Design & Advertising utilises a creativity + strategy approach to ideation. We like that they don’t just focus on flashy ideas, but also root them in a strong “why.” 

We think that JAW Design & Advertising would be perfect for clients who are looking for more of a visual identity for their brand. Not only do they do your essential advertising executions, but they also offer branding services, digital solutions, and virtual & live events.

This means that a client can basically stick with this agency for everything – from briefing and strategy, to activation and execution. We like that JAW  Design & Advertising is an all-in-one solution for brand identity, with a great think-tank team to form and implement it.

Another thing that JAW Design & Advertising does that we think is unique to them is internalisation. Employer branding is a discipline that seems to be woefully overlooked these days, so we are extremely pleased that this agency offers this service to its clients.

Although this is a relatively smaller practice compared to its counterparts, we think that this is a small team that packs a punch. Their portfolio is impressive, with brands like Cartoon Network, medihelp, Ocean Basket, and the Green Building Council SA under its wing.

5. Grey South Africa

Grey South Africa Homepage

Website: https://www.grey.com/en/south-africa/ 

Address: 17 Muswell Road North, Phase 2 Wedgefield Office Park, Bryanston, Johannesburg, 2191

Contact: +27 11 706 3060

Operating Hours: 8:00 AM-5:00 PM, Mondays to Fridays, 12:00 AM-5:00 PM

Google reviews score 4.6/5
Facebook reviews score N/A
Total reviews 3/5
Score consistency 5/5
Expertise5/5
Range of Services5/5
Portfolio5/5
Client Servicing5/5
Account Management5/5
Creative Services5/5

Pros

  • Part of a global network
  • Established brand in advertising
  • Open on Saturdays
  • Wide range of creative services

Cons

  • Limited reviews online

Yet another agency that is part of a household brand in the industry, Grey South Africa offers an impressively extensive range of services to Johannesburg-based clients.

We love that Grey’s approach to advertising and communications is rooted in data and intelligence. Context is key to their insights and executions, which in itself is a core discipline that clients will surely appreciate.

This method of campaign development is even actually educational for some clients, who may be turning to advertising for the very first time. We think that in this way, Grey becomes almost like a mentor, showing them data-driven consumer insights that may even be new to them.

We certainly love campaigns that are deeply-grounded, and Grey doesn’t disappoint in this aspect. They have developed masterful executions for top-tier brands such as Uber, P&G, Volvo, UNICEF, Gillette, and Pampers.

They also offer a great mix of execution platforms for clients who like 360° campaigns, such as audio, design, digital, social, and PR. What we like is that because of their strategic approach to campaigns, the proposed platforms would have been thoughtfully considered.

Lastly, it also helps that they are available on Saturdays, making them one of the very few agencies that are open on weekends. This is great news for fast-paced brands that tend to execute real-time changes based on the nature of their industry category.

6. Prebo Digital

Website: https://www.prebodigital.co.za/

Address: Willowbrook Office Park Van Hoof Street, Ruimsig, Johannesburg

Contact: +27 (11) 083-7440 | [email protected] |

Operating Hours: Contact for more information

Google reviews score 5/5
Facebook reviews score 5/5
Total reviews 5/5
Score consistency 5/5
Expertise5/5
Range of Services5/5
Portfolio5/5
Client Servicing5/5
Account Management5/5
Creative Services5/5

Pros

  • Google Premier Partner
  • Variety of services available
  • Delivers results
  • More than 25 years in digital marketing

Cons

  • Operating hours unavailable on website

Prebo Digital is a digital performance marketing agency based in Johannesburg, South Africa that also services the rest of the world.

They have a good understanding of the influence of digital media on a brand and business so they blend innovation and efficiency to produce first-rate services for each one of their clients.

They have a variety of services, including Google Advertising, Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media Advertising, Marketing for Amazon, Web Design, and Conversion Rate Optimisation.

What’s more is they’re a Google Premier Partner so it furthers the drive to success. A little fun fact is that their founder was an ex-Googler!

We’re impressed by their team’s commitment and vision to grow businesses and make them reach their full potential. In fact, most of their clients end up requiring additional sales staff in just 2-3 months from the time they partner with Prebo.

With their proven track record of growing businesses and more than 25 years of digital marketing experience, we think working with Prebo Digital will surely drive your business’ eventual growth and success. We highly recommend!

7. Addmore Digital

Website: https://addmoredigital.co.za/

Address: 41 Juta St, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa

Contact: +27 67 032 2010 / 061 4812544 / [email protected]

Google reviews score5/5
Facebook reviews score 5/5
Africa BZ reviews scoreN/A
Total reviews4/5
Score consistency 4/5
Expertise5/5
Range of Services5/5
Portfolio5/5
Client Servicing5/5
Account Management5/5
Creative Services5/5

Addmore Digital is a full-service digital marketing firm that provides clients with a wide range of interrelated services such as web development and UI/ UX design among others.

We like that their digital solutions are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of the client to better boost the client company’s presence online to their target market and build more credibility in the long run.

Furthermore, with over 15 years of combined experience in the field, they have had excellent and versatile packages of their services readily available on their website to ensure that clients have an inclusive startup package of their services.

Note though that their support team is available only during weekdays so clients experiencing any technical concerns may need to wait for the weekend to pass to resolve their concern.

Nonetheless, with their fast and reliable turnaround times, assistive and educational preliminary consultations, and experienced technical team at the helm, we highly recommend that clients in the area check them out.

8. Thudermount Digital

Website: https://thundermount-dig.co.za/

Address: 11 Terra Bella 18 Lennox Street Waverley

Contact:

Mobile:  +27 78 453 7238 

Whatsapp: +27 82 331 7548

Email: [email protected]

Google reviews score5/5
Facebook reviews score 5/5
Africa BZ reviews score4.5/5
Total reviews4/5
Score consistency 4/5
Expertise5/5
Range of Services5/5
Portfolio5/5
Client Servicing5/5
Account Management5/5
Creative Services5/5

At Thundermount Digital, we were impressed by the range of services they offer. From social media management to graphic design, they cater to diverse advertising needs.

Their efficiency in delivering results was notable. We experienced timely communication and swift execution of our ad campaigns.

The quality of their work surpassed our expectations. Thundermount Digital produced visually appealing and engaging content that effectively conveyed our brand message.

Our experience with Thundermount Digital was positive overall. They were responsive to our feedback and made adjustments promptly to ensure our satisfaction.

In terms of cost, Thundermount Digital provides competitive pricing for their services. We found their rates to be reasonable considering the level of expertise and quality of work delivered.

Overall, our experience with Thundermount Digital was highly satisfactory. They demonstrated professionalism, efficiency, and creativity throughout our collaboration.

9. Insignia Advertising

Website: http://insigniaadvertising.co.za

Address: 45 Durham St, Fairmount, Johannesburg, 2192, South Africa

Contact: +27 83 631 5417

Google reviews scoreN/A
Facebook reviews score 4.6/5
Africa BZ reviews scoreN/A
Total reviews4/5
Score consistency 4/5
Expertise5/5
Range of Services5/5
Portfolio5/5
Client Servicing4/5
Account Management5/5
Creative Services5/5

Pros

  • Comprehensive Service Range
  • Diverse Experience and Expertise in the Field
  • Agility and Creativity Offered

Cons

  • Rates and packages aren’t readily available

Insignia Advertising is a full-service advertising agency that provides a wide range of advertising services to its clients. With a focus on creative design, print advertising, outdoor advertising, digital, and social engagement, they aim to help businesses make their mark in the competitive world of advertising.

The agency emphasizes its extensive experience in the advertising field, which can be an asset when crafting effective advertising campaigns and strategies. Their expertise can help clients navigate the complexities of the advertising landscape.

We like that they can offer a comprehensive spectrum of advertising services, covering various aspects of advertising, including creative design, print advertising, outdoor advertising, digital marketing, and social engagement. This diversity allows clients to address their advertising needs under one roof.

Note though that detailed payment schemes and service rates aren’t readily available online which requires additional inquiries for clients.

In conclusion, Insignia Advertising’s comprehensive service range, experience, agility, creativity, reliability, and affordability position it as a promising advertising agency.

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