Advertising Today


Every year, someone predicts the death of TV ads. They claim the evidence is everywhere, from rising digital media consumption to the increased popularity of the PVR, to the common (if not absolutely 100% legal) practice of downloading movies and series. The only thing is that no one seems to have told TV. Over the past couple of years we have seen a higher standard in TVC’s (TV commercials). With the ever increasing entrance of new above-the-line agencies into the market.

I have also heard many times that digital content will replace the TV ad. Nah. But brands will invest more in content, albeit off the back of TV shoots and big campaigns. So, TV and content will spur each other on with longer versions or offshoots, or out-takes or behind-the-scenes of the TV ad, running online. The two bounce beautifully off each other and the client and brand get so much more out of a single production.

Despite the economic climate however, some brands will spend more on bigger and more lavish productions. When I look around me, I see clients and agencies coughing up more than ever on big productions – be they brand or even product pieces. Clearly, both feel the investment is justified and the results forthcoming.

There will be greater emphasis on results. Today, it’s very easy to see when a campaign is working or not, because it is becoming easier and easier to measure performance regardless of the metrics. In 2015, there will be more focus on results and campaign performance, so it will be important for the client and agency to agree on the relevant metrics from the outset. That may sound rather obvious, but in a sea of metrics, from net sales to Facebook likes or YouTube views, it’s important to know just what will constitute ‘success’.

Brands will grow a conscience. In 2015, brands will strive to deliver work that shows they care about the environment, communities, South Africa and its people, or animals. The cynics will claim this is an easy way to buy goodwill (of course that is the aim), but I have witnessed brand custodians putting out these campaigns because they also want to do some good, and to find more meaning in their jobs. When the opportunity arises, they grab it with both hands and work beyond the call of duty to ensure these campaigns succeed.

In conclusion, like every year before it, 2015 will throw us numerous curveballs and land us with loads of hard work. But there’ll also be amazing opportunities. We only need to grab them.


Brand Activations

The term ‘Brand Activation’ is a relatively new term in the industry (especially in South Africa), there is much debate around the exact definition of Brand Activation. This is just my definition – take it or leave it.

Activation is all about engaging consumers at an emotional level and driving them to take action – then to get them to talk about it. A brand activation has two levels. The first being the direct interaction with the consumer. This creates a one-on-one interaction between the consumer and the brand – forming a relationship with that particular brand. The second level is the media’s reaction. A brand activation must not only influence the consumers involved but the rest of your target market. Thus it is vital for a agency to promote an activation as they stand a high chance of going viral.

It’s pretty simple really; it’s all about bringing the spirit of brands to life. The objective of Brand Activation is to make brands active in their markets, building their reputations along with results. Most fundamentally, brand activation contributes in creating trust between the customer, the society and the brand (i.e. company). And trust is one of the key factors to create loyalty between consumers and brands. Below is a classic South African activation for Chappies done by Ogilvy Cape Town.



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