VML South Africa and Vodacom are parting ways. The announcement comes in the wake of a scheduled pitch process that took place as the contract between the two companies neared completion.

Vodacom and VML are parting ways. In 2022 the Anti-Hijack Ads campaign by VML for the brand was awarded Bronze Lions in Mobile and Creative Data and a Silver Lion in Media

The announcement marks the conclusion of a successful partnership during which Vodacom enjoyed unprecedented marketing success with a series of high-profile campaigns that aligned with the brand’s values and purpose.

A level of trust leading to magical work

For VML, the Vodacom account came at a crucial time and will forever be recognised as a pivotal moment for the agency.

“Winning Vodacom in December 2020 allowed us to hire some of the most incredibly talented people in the industry,” says MD Danelle Stiles.


“It was a dark time for many who had lost their jobs due to Covid, and Vodacom gave so many people a chance of getting back on their feet.”

Stiles adds that as a partnership, this really was a meeting of minds and an alignment of values.

“And that led to a level of trust that allowed our teams to create some magical work almost from the word go. It’s been a privilege to see how much we were able to achieve in the time we held the account.”

On the map as a large, integrated agency

Traditionally known for its expertise in the digital space, Vodacom was the account that put the agency on the map as a large, integrated agency.

“We have loved building this brand and have been consistently inspired by a team of exceptional clients,” says CEO Jarred Cinman.

“It’s ‘bye for now’ but we could not be prouder of the work we’ve done and all the incredible VMLers who have worked tirelessly to deliver consistent excellence. Vodacom changed the game for us, and we wish them well as they start a new chapter.”


Vodacom’s first Unlock Your Summer campaign with VML featured a collaboration with Zakes Bantwini whose feel good hit with Kasango, Osama, became the sound of the campaign and the song of the summer, achieving Vodacom’s objective of being synonymous with the season.

Meanwhile, the Turn to Us campaign for Vodacom Business tugged at the heart strings of small business owners with its relatability.


And Vodacom’s recent nostalgic 30 Years of Wonderful campaign had audiences reaching for the tissues.

Vodacom had a great showing at the Cannes Lions awards in 2022 with the Anti-Hijack Ads campaign, which was awarded Bronze Lions in Mobile and Creative Data and a Silver Lion in Media.

The campaign was also named Ad of the Week by Contagious, which called it “a great example of a brand providing genuine utility to its customers in an unexpected and creative way.”

In 2022 Vodacom claimed sixth spot in the Loeries brand rankings for sub-Saharan Africa – their first time in the top 20 – and ninth in Africa and the Middle East.


Their numerous wins included Gold for Anti-Hijack Ads, as well as Parental Control – a campaign that featured billboard art built out of Lego bricks. And it was Gold again at last year’s Loeries for Hearing Challenge, a campaign that used a TikTok challenge to assess hearing in South Africa’s youth. This campaign also achieved a shortlist at Cannes Lions last year.

The Parental Control and Anti-Hijack campaigns went on to earn Vodacom three merit awards at last year’s One Show.

Ogilvy appointment

Recently Vodacom announced that it had appointed Ogilvy as its integrated lead agency starting 1 August 2024.

"This decision supports Vodacom's transition from a traditional telco to a technology communications leader. The partnership with Ogilvy aims to enhance Vodacom's mission of connecting people and leveraging technology for good," said Vodacom.

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