Big companies are facing a brain drain and battling economic turbulance. Yet South Africa has pioneered, producing ATM-style medicine dispensers, cutting-edge radio telescope, and adopted a mobile currency and banking systems to take on the established banks.

Innovation is key in Africa, leap-frogging their way into the global light and digging their way out of holes through new & progressive solutions.


A global challenge however, is the lack of collaboration, innovation and knowledge-sharing between ‘big business’, distracted by the day-to-day operations & internal factors, and the small tech startups who are testing, making and shaping our future.


Bridge the gap between big brands and tech startups by providing a platform to facilitate engagement and fuel game-changing ideas.

By begining with the ambitions of the start-ups and then working out how to further these through collaboration with companies, the focus remains on the digital heatbeat and growth potential – keeping ourselves relevant and on the cusp of opportunity, as well as feuling the countries young potential through the established Publicis network.



There are currently three Drugstores around the world, in London, Sydney and Zurich, with access to a global network of start-ups. The South African branch will be the fourth to launch under the Publicis umbrella.

The various global Drugstore initiatives form part of a single concept – a global network of startups that align with our business to help solve the problems of our clients. In time, we hope to leverage the interconnected nature of the initiative to bring in business from outside our shores to help solve local problems and vice versa.

Our Goal

Drugstore aims to foster collaboration between big and small, bringing these two worlds together in an environment that encourages innovative thought and knowledge sharing, with the built-in protection of a strategic leader who is equally committed to building big business and incubating small ideas.

This launch is a natural extension of our philosophy, which sees adventurous minds leading the change in helping clients transform in the digital age. Because collaboration doesn’t happen on its own, Drugstore facilitates potential relationships through ‘’Managed Incubators’’, which involve the support and mentorship of select start-ups with the aim of developing an idea to fruition.


Opening our doors

For the first phase invoved developing the webiste and press launch.

An online destination needed to simply relay the idea of Drugstore and encourage applications from local entrepreneurs, thinkers and makers who wanted to disrupt the industry.

By targeting business and industry press channels, the Publicis team offered interviews from C-suite managers, partnerships with our brand clients to access their internal & CRM channels & dedicated placements to reach our audience.



Applications need only take the form of an email that provides us with a company bio and a short “one page” motivation of why you think you’d be a great partner as we aim to innovate the local restaurant industry. From there we’d narrow things down.


Client: Publicis
Agency: Publicis Machine
Head of Digial Strategy: Andy Gilder
Digital Strategist: Mick Valentine

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