Sobethwa, a copywriter, content creator and filmmaker, brings years of experience to his new role, having worked with creative teams at some of South Africa's top agencies. According to Publicis Machine, his expertise and insight are set to benefit the agency's clients.

Born from digital, Publicis Machine has become a 'creatively-led' agency within the industry over the years. Due to its position, several new strategic hires were recently made with the goal to bolster the team's ability to provide creative solutions.

According to Publicis Machine, Sobethwa's appointment as creative group head is pivotal, as he will be leading his team both creatively and strategically.

"Our agency has been built on creativity," says MD and chief creative officer Gareth McPherson. "We employ creative thinking at every level to solve brand problems with unique solutions that really work."

"The creative expertise and insight of our leadership team is instrumental in driving this approach, and it's with this in mind that we appointed Mawande Sobethwa to lead a group within the studio team," McPherson adds.

"His innate curiosity defines his work and his persona as a content creator and filmmaker, and this is what gives him his edge. It has led him to a place of deep understanding of youth culture, township, rural and urban life, and this resonates with our approach of ingraining our clients' brands into popular culture," says McPherson.

With no formal advertising training to speak of, Mawande was working as a video journalist when he landed his first agency job at BBDO before shifting gears to join the agency's team as a copywriter.

Since then, Sobethwa has worked across platforms, including radio, print, outdoor, digital and social media. He has worked on a range of client brands, which all target different markets.

"Sobethwa's possession of two Loeries statues indicate his ability to 'come up with insight-driven solutions that benefit the agency's clients.' He has also earned the respect and recognition of his peers," says the team at Publicis Machine.

"I think that all my experience working with and learning from talented creative leaders, in very different agencies over the past seven years, has given me the one thing I believe a creative head should have: insight into and understanding of people," says Sobethwa.

"[A creative head should not only have insight into] different consumers, but the people at different levels who are the cogs that make an agency turn. I've learned how to interact with and lead people in a way that brings out their best ideas and inspires them to create their best work," he adds.

"This is where I think I can really contribute to and strengthen the agency team. I've learned how to read and grasp human behaviour, and I believe this is the key to inspiring a shift in behaviour," Sobethwa concludes.

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