Two opposition heavyweights in the south-west of Nigeria are slugging it out for the leadership of the main opposition party, just as the region is threatened by clashes between local farmers and nomadic herders from the north.
Advertising: Bucking the trend
Southern African spending ?is defying the recession as consumer demand attracts top agencies ?– and campaigns get more feisty
Africa stormed the boards at last year’s Cannes Lions
International Advertising Festival. TBWASouth Africa’s “Trillion
Dollar” campaign scooped up an unprecedented nine awards, including a
Titanium Lion, the advertising world’s equivalent of an Oscar. This
year, pickings were much thinner. Ogilvy South Africa’s Gold Lion was
the continent’s only award at the annual gala, held in late June.
Ogilvy’s winning spot was an advert for The Topsy Foundation which
showed the dramatic recovery of an AIDS patient on anti-retroviral
The Trillion Dollar campaign was entirely African
in its conception, artfully using sackfuls of worthless Zimbabwean
banknotes to promote an exile newspaper, The Zimbabwean. The paper and
its advertising firms erected huge billboards made entirely of
banknotes, with a stencilled message from The Zimbabwean castigating
President Robert Mugabe. This was complemented by distribution at
traffic lights of more bills stamped with similar tag-lines and The
Zimbabwean‘s logo. The campaign quickly made it into print media and TV
and then the internet, giving it a reach out of all proportion to the
limited means used for its conception.
Slating your government from the
safety of exile is one thing, but trying it through advertising in the
same country is quite another. Most advertising agencies on the
continent avoid political references in their commercial campaigns,
except in South Africa, where it is still possible to mock the powerful
and get away with it. Last year, fast-food chain Nando’s, known for its
quick-witted advertising copy, caused a stir with a TV ad in which
African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) leader Julius Malema
demanded ‘change’, apparently meaning extra coinage from a proffered
note. A weak pun for sure, but the ANCYL took up the matter, accusing
Nando’s of racism and generating massive coverage for the advert and the
Managing director of DDB Mozambique
The Africa Report: How big is your company?
Vasco Rocha: We employ about 70 people.
Who are your main clients??
Most of our clients are Mozambican, but we have international clients, too, like Nokia and Standard Bank. Our big local clients include M-Cel and Banco de Moçambique.
Is there anything that marks out the Mozambican advertising
industry compared to others on the continent??
I think the big difference is that there is a better integration of all the disciplines here. In
Mozambique, you can get everything you need from one company. For example, for Mozambique Fashion Week we bring in the stars, interview them, film everything and connect everything to everything.
Is there much Brazilian influence on Mozambique?
Ninety-nine percent of the soaps on TV here come from Brazil. There is a growing Brazilian community involved in all sorts of areas: construction, management – you name it. But there has not been such a deep penetration of Brazilian products yet. The soaps might be Brazilian, but the ads in the middle are for South African, Portuguese and local products.
What is the value of the advertising industry in Mozambique? ?
I reckon it’s about $50m. This is a low figure, but it’s growing fast every year. While the industry is still a bit slow, it is certainly up and running. With new investment each year, we are hopeful.
This year, budget airline Kulula took a similarly feisty
approach to FIFA and its draconian intellectual copyright laws, which
prohibited anyone but authorised sponsors from using the words ‘2010
World Cup’ in almost any context. Kulula’s response was to advertise
promotions declaring “Not Next Year, Not Last Year But Somewhere In
Between”, with pictures of vuvuzela-look-alikes described as golf tees
and a man apparently playing football but said to be “doing the Hokey
Cokey”. FIFA threatened court action but later desisted, denying Kulula
free publicity from the trial.
Global spending in advertising will
total around $451bn this year, of which Africa and the Middle East’s
share will be about $15.4bn, according to GroupM, the world’s largest
media-billing network. This is 8.2% higher than in 2009, making Africa
and the Middle East one of the world’s fastest-growing regions for
advertising spending. Asian ad spend growth will be even higher, at
around 13% in 2010, but Africa’s growth level compares favourably with
Western Europe’s 2.1% and North America’s -1%.
“Judging by ad spend,
Africa largely dodged the bullet on the global recession,” says Rick de
Kock, director of TBWA’s Africa network. GroupM forecasts a further 6.7%
in Africa’s ad spend growth in 2011.
Despite rising Chinese investment
in the continent, there has been little spin-off yet for the advertising
industry. “TBWA doesn’t have any Chinese clients in Africa yet,” says De
Kock. “But this may come. At the moment, Chinese companies are dealing
mostly with infrastructure and aren’t too focused on branding.”?
South Africa’s annual spending on advertising is around
$3.5bn, 23% of the Africa and the Middle East total. There was a major
boost from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, according to Dele Odugbemi, media
officer for Ogilvy South Africa. “The initial increase in spend came
from the tournament sponsors. But when noise levels rise, everyone
struggles to be heard. Everyone had to up their spending.”
know the importance of local specificity. Johannesburg is the hub of
TBWA’s African operations, but de Kock says that the company wants to
avoid treating other affiliates as outposts. Working together is easier
said than done, particularly when it comes to bridging the
Anglophone/Francophone divide. TBWA has three Francophone affiliates.
One is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the company
riskily took on both Joseph Kabila’s and Jean-Pierre Bemba’s campaigns
in 2006, while the others are in Gabon and Côte d’Ivoire. Ogilvy has
wider representation in Francophone Africa and runs a division out of
In late April, Ogilvy’s parent group, Ogilvy & Mather,
entered into a joint venture with Scangroup, an associate of WPP, to
create Ogilvy Africa. The venture is based in Nairobi rather than
Johannesburg. Ogilvy South Africa acts in a stand-alone capacity, though
with continued responsibility for countries like Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Recently back from a trip to Zimbabwe, de Kock is upbeat: “Everyone
there is very confident that things are improving and we can see that
advertising is picking up. Agencies shrank hugely during the crisis, in
some cases from 70 staff to just seven, so everyone left is a survivor.”
Nevertheless, spending levels, at about $100m, remain strong.
fast-growing countries to watch: Angola and Mozambique. Angola’s economy
has shown spectacular growth in recent years, and consumption levels are
rising quickly. Its media advertising alone was estimated at $58m in