In its 10th year of creative digital landscaping, South Africa’s small digital agency, So Interactive, is still doing big things - and the big boys are taking notice. Hailing from its online fame as Ocean Basket’s longstanding digital partner since 2008, it seems the firecracker SME in yellow is clinching attention from influential brands and agencies alike, for its keen sense of marketing flexibility and ‘unboxed’ strategic thinking.
Incepted in 2007, when South Africa’s social media scene was still frolicking backstage, and the rise of twitter handles and hashtags were just a blip in the bush, founder Darren Mansour had a vision in mind: to keep the bang big when the buck is small. Through his personal approach to client objectives and prioritising brand strategy, Mansour steadily developed a reputation for smart digital choices on a client shoestring, helping his brands reach beyond their anticipated target stream, despite economic challenges. 10 years on, his enterprise ethos has never waned.
“We’ve always believed in needs before numbers,” says Mansour, Managing Director of So Interactive, “which gives us the confidence to direct a client campaign in the best interests of the brand’s objectives, despite the size of the budget”.
“Since day one, we’ve been a small, independent team, with big ideas and a strong strategic skillset - and that’s how we’d like to stay. This makes us nimble in the face of industry change and large scale red-tape, as we are able to adapt swiftly to client deadlines, budget increases or cuts, market shifts, economic change and rapid digital progression, with nothing holding us back,” says Mansour.
The nimbleness of So Interactive is quickly gaining interest amongst industry players, attributing the company’s steady growth to smarter thinking in a digital landscape that is otherwise temperamental, non-committal and often over indulged.
“This we believe holds our competitive edge; along with our skills collective, we’ve grown as a strong contender in the game and we are always up for the challenge,” says Mansour.
So Interactive’s most recently launched #SeaFoodShareFood Ocean Basket campaign was no exception, when the country saw South Africa’s best loved family seafood chain communicating the importance of human connection through a small budget, 90 second consumer case study video; the campaign achieved 1.3 million views.
According to Mansour, brands are no longer only competing with their nearest competitor; they’re competing with every other industry for ‘a voice’ in the digital space.
“With over 1.5 million pieces of content going live on the net every single day, we feel as digital experts we have a creative obligation to deliver the return of investment for our clients. We do this through the strategic creation of quality content that doesn’t shout at the world, but rather, speaks to the world with meaning and authenticity,” says Mansour.
While many businesses get lost in the frenzy of measurable analytics, So Interactive continues to fly its authentic flag high, advocating that beyond the numbers is the gap for conversation: brand to human, human to brand.
“Brands should not lose sight of the fact that consumer connection is still key: it’s how you speak to your audience, it’s how you feel your audience; it’s how you understand your audience, at a real level,” adds Mansour.
With its down-to-earth, humble attitude, So Interactive has shown exponential portfolio growth from a specialised, small design and build studio to a full service digital agency that meets the demands of industry diversity - from retail to beverage, lifestyle to automotive. The company’s recent catapult into in-house video production has pixelled much excitement in the agency, adding high-end digital content to its stable. Check out So Interactive’s online launch of the Ocean Basket #ArtOfFusion at https://www.oceanbasket.com/theartoffusion - which saw digital taking the lead across an entire ATL space.
In a celebration of 10 years strong, Mansour and his crew have launched their own brand campaign #ADecadeOfDigital juxtaposing human biology and technology as a tribute to connection, flexibility and growth. With over 1000 digital projects under its belt, So Interactive is an agency that stands tall in its decision to advocate smart, honest and reliable digital marketing.
“Growing your brand is not about how much you get or how big you are; it’s how smart you are, with what you have,” ends Mansour.