Riverbed was touted as the agency to watch in 2018, for the second consecutive year, and in addition, Riverbed CEO Monalisa Sibongile Zwambila, was nominated as the industry’s agency leader runner up; a first for a black female in the category.
Being black and female-owned remains important in today’s climate and continues to be a key focus area for Riverbed; but it is clear that to stand out as a compelling agency partner, this is no longer enough.
Zwambila explained, “This year creative excellence will be our principal purpose, and all efforts will be strategically aligned to thrust us ahead to join the ranks of the top creative agencies.” With this in mind, Riverbed has brought on board Adrian Miller as Executive Creative Director who will be responsible for the overall creative strategy and direction for the agency.
Miller’s name is synonymous with remarkable credentials. He is a multiple award winner with big brand experience across three continents and is one of the most awarded creatives in South Africa, with over 100 awards, including 15 Cannes Lions for some of the world’s largest brands. Miller has judged at Cannes, Clio, D&AD, Adfest, Spikes (Asian Cannes) and served as Chairman of the South African Loerie Awards and in addition, has served on the worldwide board for both Lowe and JWT.
Commenting on joining the agency Miller shared, “Riverbed provides the possibility to do great work. This, plus the shared desire and vision to grow the agency against the back of great creative, is what excited me most about this opportunity.”
Miller added, “While many creative agencies market themselves as an integrated agency, in reality many simply outsource these services and white label it. In contrast, Riverbed houses all through-the-line disciplines in-house, creating a unique opportunity to build astounding brand experiences across platforms. It’s impressive to see how the teams work together on client briefs to build great brand stories and ultimately, effective campaigns.”
Miller has always been candid with his views on the local industry’s inhibited creativity and agency parity and is set on stirring things up. Having built Saatchi & Saatchi KL into Asia Pacific’s most awarded agency, he is thrilled to have the opportunity to do the same at Riverbed.
Zwambila said, “I’m excited by this partnership. Credentials aside, Adrian has bought into Riverbed’s vision and philosophy and we’re keen to work together to enable it.”
Riverbed is evolving and is clear about what is going to make it a truly great agency. “We’ve spent the better part of this year working on strategy and bringing in the best creative talent. Our team has clarity in what we’re doing and we all understand why,” said Zwambila.
She continued, “To quote an African proverb, ‘When the roots are deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.’ I believe that we have established ourselves as a bold agency. One that has earned its place in the competitive consideration set for many reasons. And now, we’re leaning into the winds of change and embarking on an ambitious creative path.”
The agency will be launching a new campaign that hits the market end of May, and there is plenty great work in the pipeline that promises to make the industry sit up and take notice.