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Brand new marketing in Africa thanks to mobile, digital tech

August 1, 2012 • Opinion

The burgeoning growth of consumer culture in Africa is driving a need for brands to change the way they have traditionally engaged with potential customers. “Historically, a low growth rate of around 3% coupled with low levels of investment in the continent have not sparked the levels of robust consumerism needed to make brands innovate their marketing approaches,” said Miles Young, Worldwide Chairman and CEO of advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather. Young is currently on a visit to South Africa.

Miles Young, Worldwide Chairman and CEO of advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather (image: Ogilvy)

“This is changing, and changed for the better. Technology is a key area for economic growth in Africa and mobile phone penetration has indicated that there is a large untapped consumer market on the continent. It is clear that the time for mobile and digital solutions has come.”

South Africa is one of O&M’s 15 key focus markets for the growth of a mobile and digital offering. As brands diversify their channel pallets, it is the seamless integration of mobile and digital solutions which play an increased role.

“These are solutions which are integrated throughout all disciplines from strategy to execution. We do not corner these as a separate unit, but acknowledge the need for deep speciality expertise. This approach allows us to solve business challenges for our clients using the best solution in a tightly integrated manner,” he said.

In South Africa, SAB’s “Be the Coach” campaign, developed by O&M, produced what was widely regarded as the most successful consumer engagement event in the history of South African marketing. An integrated mobile and digital solution was a key part of ensuring that fans were able to interact with the Carling Black Label brand on an unprecedented level, using mobile devices to choose players and make live substitutions in an actual football match.

“Our focus on the Twin Peaks of strategic and creative excellence was a key foundation to the success of this campaign. Clear consumer insights rooted in consumer passions, together with well-crafted creative platforms and flawless execution across the channels ensured business results. More importantly, this has spurred the longevity of a campaign that truly creates an emotional connection between Carling Black Label and its fans,” said Ogilvy South Africa CEO Abey Mokgwatsane.

“As companies from every continent and sector are stepping up their operations in Africa, the digital space is a game changer for this region,” concluded Young.

Staff writer

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