Havas South Africa has appointed Tholoana Qhobela as its new Chief Strategy Officer. Qhobela will be leading a team of strategists who are at the forefront of the Havas insights generation using industry-defining tools such as Meaningful Brands, Havas #InRealLife and Prosumer Reports. Meaningful Brands analyses the extent to which brands can forge a meaningful relationship with their target audiences and Prosumer Reports are near-future projections and analyses of consumers behaviour.
‘I am a culture curious, frustrated nomad. When I returned to South Africa, my aim was to give all of that which I learnt abroad – as a social anthropologist who had long decided commercial application was better than the academic space. And so joining team Havas is part of that continuum – to continue applying what I know best to a real commercial value proposition that impacts people positively. I love that the strategy team is already on a continuous journey to uncover and share real human insights from people’s lived experiences. There’s a lot of similarities with my approach to insight generation, particularly with meaningful content in mind,’ said Qhobela.
‘And the Vivendi offering that Havas can bring to the table is interesting. No other agency comes with a heightened content development presentation that incorporates gaming and development through GameLoft and music and entertainment through Universal Music Group like this, and it will be very exciting to walk into market with this unique product,’ she concluded.
Qhobela started off as a Strategist with Ogilvy and upon her tenure completion, she sat on the board and was a shareholder. With over twenty years in the industry, she has worked on global leading brands such as Coca Cola, Vodacom/Vodafone, DStv, Konica Minolta, MTN and leading South African brands such as Liberty Group and Cell-C, to mention a few.
Qhobela has also worked with White Hall Trading & Projects, Consumer Insights Agency, Berge Farrell Company, Masters and Savant, Metropolitan Republic, Ogilvy PR, The Jupiter Drawing Room and South African Tourism. Some of her professional achievements include speaking at the World Economic Forum and the Design Indaba; judging the Telkom Journalism Awards and AdFocus Awards; being nominated in the Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans; and participating in the International Media Forum and SABC’s Women on the Move.
She is a University of Manchester and University of Cape Town alumnus. She has lectured in the Ogilvy South Africa Training Programme and the Unilever Advanced Brand Communication Programme.
Lynn Madeley, CEO of Havas Southern Africa said, ‘We are excited to be welcoming Qhobela into the fold. She is a seasoned strategist and her vast understanding of the creative industry, having worked both from the agency side and from the client side, is just perfect for this role within Havas group. She joins a team of top performers in our industry, which is testament of our commitment to Africa. She has a keen understanding of content, particularly the importance of its meaningfulness to a consumer who is connected and well informed.’
‘Qhobela has a great affinity for education and training and that aligns beautifully with Havas Academy, our internship and training and development initiative focused on empowering black South African women in the marketing and communications industry. Her guidance will bolster our offering to young black women who want to get into marketing and communication, and therefore, our total contribution to the industry as a whole,’ said Madeley.