Coinciding with the start of the Design Indaba, Havas Village South Africa and Boondoggle, a multi-award-winning European service design and creative digital agency, recently announced the launch of Havas Boondoggle, at their new premises in Woodstock, Cape Town.
An established digital agency, Boondoggle has been delivering digital solutions in Europe since 2000. In 2012, Boondoggle became part of the Havas Worldwide group. With offices in Belgium and the Netherlands employing more than 150 people, the founders Pieter Goiris, CEO and Werner Camps, COO looked to expand their footprint in Africa and Havas Boondoggle opened an office in Cape Town, with representation in Johannesburg.
“We don’t believe in the traditional way of pushing messaging constantly by brands. Our approach and methodology is more consumer-centric. We create digital services, products and campaigns that make the most of today’s technology through the Design Thinking Process and methodology. Our job is then to take this consumer-centric methodology and realise it in the digital space to improve the quality of experiences and interaction between brands and their customers,” said Pieter Goiris, Havas Boondoggle CEO.
Goiris believes that South African digital communication is still based on traditional forms of push advertising but is excited about the local tech space which is strong on innovation and service design driven by brands.
“A question we ask ourselves regularly is, why should people give a shit? And for people to give a shit, for them to do what we’re asking them to do, like clicking on a banner etc, we need to bring them great experiences,” he said.
The Havas Boondoggle approach centres around what they call “re-imagination”. This allows them to keep shifting perspective to find new angles, updating and upgrading their creative and strategic approach in a world that is always transforming.
“We aren’t a digital agency. We’re a communications agency for the digital age,” said Executive Creative Director, Leon Jacobs. “We’re living in the digital age and we’re communicating with people on digital platforms, but those platforms are merely the means through which we deliver our message,” he added.
Jacobs explained that in order to deliver the best consumer experience, the product needs to live up to that experience which is why Havas Boondoggle prefers to be involved in new product development with the clients from the concept stage right through to production.
The Havas Group positions themselves as an entrepreneurial organisation, which Havas Southern Africa CEO, Lynn Madeley believes is of great benefit to clients. “We are essentially entrepreneurial, being a family-owned business and we run our client’s businesses the way we would run our own businesses,” she said.
According to Madeley the group brings “future-first digital thinking” to the Southern African communications landscape, a concept based on the way technology is shaping consumer thinking and interaction, engagement with brands and the future.
“The team on both sides of the equator are very good at what they do and are at the coal face of new developments in digital. Their award-winning work to date proves they will never be average and we look forward to being ahead of the curve in South Africa,” she said.
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