Image of Ryan McManus

Ryan McManus
Chief Creative Officer
VML South Africa

CAPETOWN, SOUTH AFRICA // Ryan’s creative career has spanned advertising, film, music, design and publishing and he currently serves as Chief Creative Officer of VML South Africa.

Before graduating from AAA School of Design and Advertising, Ryan won his first student Loerie Award. Now, Ryan brings a wealth of global experience and a unique perspective into his work, having extensively travelled and worked across some of the world’s top agencies, creative shops, and global networks, creating award-winning work for brands, including BMW, Volvo, Nike, Absolut, McDonalds, Sony Ericsson, Pepsi, Evian, Vodafone, M-TV, Levis and more.

In Amsterdam, Ryan co-founded ‘The Soon Institute’, a company focused on prototyping the futures of brands and communication. Ryan also co-founded ‘Join the Pipe’, a water sustainability NGO that won Best New Initiative from UNICEF.

In 2012, Ryan formed his own production company and started writing and directing films, including BMW’s first ever 3D film, various music videos, branded content, commercials and an environmental documentary, shot on location in the remote South Pacific islands of Tuvalu.

In 2014, Ryan returned to South Africa as ECD of NATIVE VML. In 4 short years the agency experienced phenomenal growth with new client wins, and climbed the creative rankings to its current ranking of 3rd in South Africa. The agency won the coveted Bookmarks ‘Agency of the Year’ in 2014 and 2016. And has won multiple Campaign Gold, Silver and Bronze at the Loeries every year since Ryan joined.

At the Cannes Lions Festival 2016, NATIVE VML won Campaign Gold, Silver and Bronze catapulting the agency to the top 3 performing agencies in South Africa. In 2017 NATIVE VML was named global Entertainment Agency of the Year at Cannes Lions, winning 6 Lions, including Gold.

In 2018 the NATIVE VML leadership team announced the formation of VML South Africa – a full service agency formed by combining NATIVE VML, Y&R South Africa, and Labstore into a single integrated company, where Ryan now serves as CCO.

Ryan is actively involved in the industry serving on the Creative Circle EXCO and regularly judging local and international award shows including Cannes YDA, New York Festival, Loeries, Bookmarks, Creative Circle and ADC and speaking at industry events, including Cannes Lions. Ryan was listed in Mail & Guardians Top 200 South Africans, and in The Media Magazine’s Top 40 in South Africa.

Ryan is happiest when surfing, having philosophical discussions with his 10 year old daughter and coming up with new ideas.