Tags: Cannes Lions, Loeries
We have an extremely high standardof creative work in the country, as is evident from the winners of awards such as the Loeries and thePendorings, and from the type of ads we see on our TV screens; hear on the radio; and see in print. Our creative work is also often compared to an international standard, winning international awards at Cannes Lions and the like, and with many commentators saying that our advertising is on par with its international counterpart.
So, with both the Loerie Awards and the Cannes Lions Awards having announced their call for entries for 2011, what better time to juxtapose local and international talent, while at the same time taking the opportunity to mingle with other creatives and experts in all forms of communication and creative thinking. And there’s no doubt that advertisers want to be part of the action, actually anyone in the communication industry would give their eye teeth to attend – just ask my colleagues!
With such high quality work being produced, it is important that it is recognised and nurtured on the local and international front, and I think this is where the real importance of these awards comes in – sure, it’s great to be recognised in the industry and add that trophy to your collection, but it also fosters competition to create even better work and take the industry from strength to strength, so in this way, I can understand the hype around the awards so far in advance, even if it does feel as if we’re in a constant cycle. And as this is the creative industry, why not have a bit of fun, learn something and show off while doing so?
What is your opinion of South African advertising, and how does it compare to its international counterpart? We would love to hear your comments!
Tags: blending in, brand dilution, brands, clutter, consumers, marketing, standing out
If you flick through the various TV channels on offer, you’re bound to come across an abundance of ads telling you that this fast food brand is better than that one, while still another is superior to the first because it includes some new improved ingredient or has dropped its prices to an all time low. And it doesn’t stop there – take a walk down the toothpaste isle at the super market and you’re met with hundreds of different option for the whitest, brightest, healthiest smile… and let’s not forget those of us with sensitive teeth!
We live in a cluttered marketplace so it’s only natural that brands do whatever they can to stick out, but at the same time they need to be careful of brand dilution – not just because they’re swimming along with several competitors, but also because they more they offer consumers and the more they force themselves on us, the more likely we are to lose interest or get sick of them!
And the risk of brand dilution is even stronger now that social media is such an integral part of our lives and the control now lies in the hands of the consumers. No longer can brands tell us how great they are or how much better they are compared to their competitors. Brands really have to live up to their promise and be uniquely innovative to get people talking about them; brands also need to engage with consumers rather than making bold statements aimed at convincing them that they are better than their competitors.
On the other hand, though, one wonders if there isn’t perhaps merit in working to rather become part of the consumer patchwork as opposed to working to be noticed and take the chance that consumers notice you for all the wrong reasons and start talking in the viral social media space.
Finding the right balance when it comes to marketing a brand is tricky. With the vast range of brands and products all offering similar features and promises, it makes sense to stand out. But perhaps ‘standing out’ by not being ostentatious or ‘in your face’ but rather ensuring that you live up to your promises is more effective. In this sense, brand dilution takes on a slightly different meaning, in that it refers to toning down your brand message so that consumers are more likely to take notice of it in the altered consumer landscape we find ourselves operating in.
Tags: fads, Stephen Factor, trends
We’ve all been fans of a few fads in our lives… think the Macarena; Tamagotchis; shoulder pads, to name a few. Hopefully most of know that these haven’t (again, hopefully!) shaped society, and luckily they haven’t had great longevity, except for occasionally raising their heads at a dress up party or at a cheesy wedding.
So, what is the difference, then, between these fads, and trends that do shape society in terms of how we behave and function?Marketing Innovation states that “both fads and trends last a finite period of time. However, when the fad is over, things are fundamentally the same. When a trend is over, things are fundamentally changed.” BizJournals adds that it comes down to longevity, with fads being short-lived and trends having staying power.
Stephen Factor, Managing Director Global Consumer Sector and Global Clients at TNS, feels that it is important to move with the trends in order to understand what is happening and what is going to happen, to think differently about business and how you act in society, particularly in the marketing industry. Trends speak of who we are and where we’re going, with regard to the tools at our disposal and events shaping our perceptions. They relate to how we interact and what we value and place top-of-mind, so it makes sense, then, that marketers work with this to speak to their target market in the language they currently understand.
But the same could be said for fads – surely if your target market is loving a certain band; celebrity; gadget; or weird and wonderful gimmick, you would do well do align your brand with it? The thing is, though, that if it really does turn out to be a fad, you run the risk of being forgotten along with the fad and having just as little impact as it did.
Factor explains that taking a trend and making sense of it isn’t easy, and chasing trends simply to keep up can be risky; a trend worth acting on should be enduring and represent a real human need, rather than just a fad, and any brand acting on a trend should do so in a way that is authentic and represents its true identity.
Tags: advertising, online, slogan block, slogan generator
This one’s for the copywriters. Ever had to write a slogan but you reached such a dead end that you thought you’d exhausted all possible creative routes for making washing powder exciting? There’s a website that could help you, if not come up with something creative, at least entertain you for a while and put you in that genius frame of mind that is your forte.
All you do is enter a keyword and click ‘sloganise’. In the main white space on the page, you’ll see your slogan, and if you don’t like it, click ‘sloganise’ again for the next one, until you find the one you’re looking for. What’s also fun about the site is that it offers links to companies that advertise the product you’re sloganising, so you can have a look at the work others have done on a similar product which will help you overcome doing the mundane.
Also cool about the site is an image of your slogan on a T-shirt. This means that not only are you able to have the brand new words at your disposal, but you can also see what they look like. This is important because sound and sight are interpreted differently from one another and what sounds good may not look good, and vice versa.
Why not check it out and let us know how you found the ‘sloganising’ experience?
Tags: Consumer Protection Act, direct marketing, Editorial Desk, Leigh Andrews, spray and pray marketing
The Consumer Protection Act is coming into force in October 2010 and it is set to change the entire business landscape. Not only the way that businesses interact with their consumers, but also the ways in which they market products.
The new Act is said to empower our consumers to such an extent that makes us some of the world’s best protected consumers. We would essentially have access not only to the Bill of (human rights) but a new bill on consumer rights.
Marketers, in particular, need to take cognisance of the changes that are set to change the entire industry for good. They will need to develop strategies that address the new requirements for direct marketing; packaging; competitions; product labelling; business labelling (thereby impacting on brand identity); and managing sales and contracts. How is it all going to work out?
If you’re prepared, why not share some of your views by posting your comments below? On the other hand, if you’d like to find out more, why not read the Act yourself, or follow up on Leigh Andrews’ article on how it will affect direct marketing.
Alternatively, check out our latest Editorial Desk story on the topic.
Tags: 2.0 Media, advertising, branded entertainment, brands, engage, innovative, Koo, Ogilvy, out of the box, Primall Media, Scotland from Home, TLC
I think it’s safe to say we’re bombarded by advertising – all you have to do is turn on the TV; listen to the radio; flip through a newspaper or magazine; browse online; walk or drive down the street or through a shopping centre… and there it is, right in your face, whether you like it or not. Of course, we don’t have to take note of any of it and have become quite skilled at blocking out whatever it is that we are trying to be sold – it’s not even that difficult considering the thousands of other messages we are met with at every turn, from friends; colleagues; our favourite sitcom or blog, messages we would much rather deal with; communication we would much rather engage in.
Well, that’s the consumer’s perspective, isn’t it? But what about the advertisers who are desperately trying to sell their clients’ brands to an unhearing audience? The answer – brands need to think out of the box to advertise in a manner that engages with their target market; is innovative to attract consumers’ attention; placed strategically, so that they are unable to block out the message; and addresses their needs and desires.
It’s heartening to see that in the South African market, we are beginning to see more of this strategy when it comes to advertising. Whether it is washroom advertising a la Primedia Unlimited subsidiary, TLC, that is able to target specific genders and LSM groups to advertise in an area where we all have to visit at some stage; or Primall Media that has an immediate impact in driving traffic to the stores it advertises; or even advertising using commuter media – after all, this is South Africa and we all know just how many taxis and buses there are on our roads, and just how long that commute every day is.
On the international front, it certainly seems that the idea of branded entertainment is coming to the fore, where the brand becomes the entertainment, rather than disrupting it. And we are seeing that trickling into South Africa, too, with the likes of 2.0 Media’sScotland from Home ‘minisodes’ for Brandhouse, and Ogilvy’s weekly radio feature for Koo.
What is of utmost importance when it comes to advertising in this media-saturated world is that the brand communicates a unique and relevant message to the target audience that makes them take note; offers them what they need and desire; and, essentially, delivers on what it promises in order to create brand trust and loyalty.
Tags: advertising, brands, commuters, Comuta Radio, ComutaNet, Freshly Ground Insights, Hungry Hotshots, Madalas, Provantage Out of Home Media, Rank TV, Solid Citizens, SP Media, Suburban Stylers, taxis, TTV
We deal with them on the roads everyday – probably hoot at them and curse them when they cut in front of us or stop dead while we are rushing to get to the office; to meet our friends; or to go to the shops. But have you ever considered the commuters who rely on taxis as their only method of transport to get to all their business and social commitments? Did you know that many of them start their days between 04:30 and 05:30 simply to ensure they catch their first taxi – sometimes the first of four; that they spend 187 minutes commuting daily; and that many of them try to be home by 20:00 because after this time, taxis are scarce?
These are just a few of the findings from Freshly Ground Insights (FGI) and ComutaNet’s 2010 Commuter DNA Study, which also reports that there are 19.5-million economically active commuters, 58% of which are urban commuters.
Why the sudden interest in this market, you ask? Well, a significantly-sized, economically active group of people who spend more than three hours each day taking part in a mundane activity that keeps them from partaking in other activities such as work; doing the washing; or cooking, and therefore rather focused on what is presented to them to keep them entertained and informed, would be an advertiser’s dream, wouldn’t it?
ComutaNet; Provantage Out of Home Media; and SP Media certainly think so, with their innovative commuter media platforms, such as Rank TV; In-Taxi Television (TTV); Comuta Radio; taxi and bus branding; and even station and rank branding. And by brands have certainly seen the benefits of using these platforms, with more than half of commuters’ preferred brands being those that make use of commuter media to advertise.
The commuter market is so much more than simply a market of people living in townships and struggling financially – as proved by ComutaNet’s four segments of urban commuters, being Suburban Stylers; Solid Citizens; Hungry Hotshots; and Madalas (click here for an explanation of what constitutes each of these segments). So the next time you speed past that taxi that so rudely stopped right in front of you with no warning, consider who the passengers inside the offending vehicle are… and perhaps take these thoughts with you to your next brainstorming session when deciding how to market your brand.
Tags: adspend, advertising revenue, fibre optic cables, internet, South Africa
Without repeating the economic drama that was during 2009, it was generally expected that as a cost-saving measure, many businesses would cut down on their ad spend.
What wasn’t expected was that local adspend would grow, and interestingly too, not in online, as current international trends, but mainly in television and radio. Although this might raise questions about online in South Africa, there have been comments that the reasons for the slow growth are: limited internet penetration rates; as well as slow and expensive broadband.
This shouldn’t dishearten advertisers. The recent rise in internet penetration and use locally is good news for online and the expected boost to fibre optic cables will boost capacity and decrease prices in the future.
Also interesting is that although online didn’t outperform television and radio, South Africa’s online growth exceeded that of Africa and was greater than any English speaking country last year. Overall, don’t switch off those lights yet.
Now might be the best time to start planning and growing online strategies.
Tags: advertising, brand recognition, competition eating into your market share, customer feedback, demand and supply gap, direct marketing, marketing concepts, public relations, restriction from entering new markets, telemarketing
Trawling through my 100-plus new emails this morning, I opened a ‘joke’ email from my mom about marketing concepts. Yes, it is tongue-in-cheek, and I’m not sure of the accuracy of the opening statement claiming that it is the explanation of a professor at the IMM Graduate School of Marketing (feel free to let me know, one way or another), but I found the comparisons with a real life situation to be quite interesting, and amusing, and thought I’d share them with you:
Direct Marketing: You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: “I am very rich. Marry me!”
Advertising: You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see a gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and, pointing at you, says: “He’s very rich. Marry him.”
Telemarketing: You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day, you call and say: “Hi, I’m very rich. Marry me.”
Public Relations: You’re at a party and see a gorgeous girl. You get up and straighten your tie; you walk up to her and pour her a drink; you open the door for her; pick up her bag after she drops it; offer her a ride; and then say: “By the way, I’m rich. Will you marry me?”
Brand recognition: You’re at a party and see a gorgeous girl. She walks up to you and says: “You are very rich! Will you marry me?”
Customer feedback: You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: “I am very rich. Marry me!” She gives you a nice hard slap on your face.
Demand and supply gap: You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: “I am very rich. Marry me!” And she introduces you to her husband.
Competition eating into your market share: You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and, before you say anything, another person comes and tells her: “I’m rich. Will you marry me?” And she goes with him.
Restriction from entering new markets: You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her, but before you say: I’m rich Marry me!” your wife arrives.
I hope you learned something new, or at the very least smiled a while