Much to the chagrin of local islanders, Réunion is a location that’s sometimes missing from world atlases. Réunion is a sun-kissed island that sits in the middle of the Indian Ocean—587 miles (944 kilometers) off the coast of Madagascar. The French territory is earmarked with a volcanic, rainforest interior, coral reefs, and beaches. Havas Villagers on Réunion island use the beautiful backdrop to spark creativity.
Take the tour.
Describe your Village culture.
We are 850,000 multiracial people living on a sunny, hot island, but life at the Havas office is as cool as you can imagine. Think flower T-shirts and shorts, Bermuda pants, sandals, sunglasses, and lots of good humor. The Réunionnais are an incredibly health-conscious people, as seen by the steady trail of joggers and cyclists along the scenic seafront of Saint-Denis each evening after work. In the center of the historical city, is Carré Cathedral, the spot where people meet to relax and listen to live music with a cold beer.
What are the biggest changes that you’ve seen in your Village in recent years?
Digital and social media have changed things—drastically. Social allows for more rapid evolution of ideas and execution. In the digital age, traditions often give way to modernity, and it becomes increasingly hard to follow the current moods and trends of consumers today.
Most of those who don’t work at Havas Réunion are surprised at our in-house innovation lab for apps and digital experiences. But, we have a real culture of innovation in our agency.
What recent work is most talked about around the Village?
Doulux is local toilet paper and paper towels brand that we love to play with. This is probably one of the clients that gives us more creative freedom. And every year we’re proud to win local awards—in fact, we are proud to have a Clio in our boardroom.
Where does everyone like to gather in the agency?
We like to get together, often, in our back garden—because we have a barbecue. Every month, we have a barbecue with all entire team, usually on Fridays. It’s also a place outside that’s become a convenient place to pause and chat for five minutes. Nice place to break, take in the greenery, and breath fresh air.
How is your team advancing the Together ethos at Havas?
Open space: Media and client teams are in the same room, which keeps dialogue open. Creative and digital team are always linked. Ideas are welcome from everyone and everywhere in the village.
We have 33-person team, so we’re close-knit like a family. The fisherman that decorate the façade of our building remind us, every time we arrive at the agency, that the catch of the day must be creative and fresh.