Pow­er­ful sto­ry­telling is the com­mon thread in the lat­est list of most-liked com­mer­cials, but hard times are a draw­back on lo­cal ad in­dus­try First quar­ter 2017 Sec­ond quar­ter 2017

Financial Mail - - FEATURES /MEDIA & ADVERTISING - Jeremy Maggs jmaggs

Bud­get cut­backs and a greater em­pha­sis on price and pro­mo­tion over brand de­vel­op­ment are im­ped­ing the lo­cal advertising in­dus­try’s abil­ity to make television ads that res­onate with con­sumers.

That’s the blunt view of one lead­ing cre­ative di­rec­tor as the Kan­tar Mill­ward Brown Best­liked Ads list for the first two quar­ters of 2017 is re­leased.

The up­shot is that six ads in a com­bined list of 20 have been made by over­seas agen­cies. The auto in­dus­try is most af­fected by this new eco­nomic par­a­digm as only one lo­cally made car ad makes the list. In pre­vi­ous years the list was dom­i­nated by mem­o­rable car ads – al­ways seen a badge ac­count for agen­cies. Nowa­days it’s more cost ef­fec­tive to re­pur­pose a global ad and chan­nel mar­ket­ing bud­get into be­low-the-line retail work and dig­i­tal prod­ucts


where cus­tomer re­sponse is more mea­sur­able.

Top­ping the list for Q2 is FCB Jo­han­nes­burg’s ad for Toy­ota Hilux called “Tough-er My Son”. The big bud­get ad uses all the de­vices the brand has be­come fa­mous for — cute chil­dren of all races, a ref­er­ence to rugby and its spon­sor­ship of the Free State Chee­tahs, and even a fighter-jet fly-past.

Kan­tar Mill­ward Brown notes that pow­er­ful sto­ry­telling re­mains a com­mon thread in th­ese re­sults: “Nar­ra­tive trans­porta­tion, or los­ing one­self in the flow of the story, pre­dicts how well a viewer will re­call a story and whether they will act at a later date. Our re­search con­firms that, if well-crafted, story ads can have more mo­ti­va­tional power than non-story ads. The most suc­cess­ful mes­sag­ing oc­curs in sto­ries where the brand’s role is nec­es­sary, be­liev­able, and in­te­gral to the plot.” One of the ads that hits the mark is Grey Advertising’s ad for Con­sol Glass called “The Best Things Come in Glass.” Well-crafted, it tracks the jour­ney of discovery of a sixyear-old and the items that can be stored in a bot­tle. Pathos is achieved when she is able to re­late her ad­ven­ture and col­lec­tion to a blind grand­mother.

No sin­gle lo­cal agency dom­i­nates the list as in the past. The Ogilvy Group fresh from its Lo­eries suc­cess places three ads in the com­bined list and FCB gets a sec­ond nod for its work on new client Absa. A small Cape Town agency The Suits makes the top 10 list in Q1 for client News 24 and an app called The Edge, which al­lows con­sumers to cu­rate their own cur­rent af­fairs con­tent.

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