Get­ting the right ads to the right mar­ket

Ad­ver­tis­ing in Africa not as easy as many would think

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING - STAFF REPORTER

FRICA is a fas­ci­nat­ing, com­plex place – but one which holds po­ten­tial pit­falls for brands used to ap­ply­ing the same sort of think­ing the do in their home mar­kets in Europe, North Amer­ica or Asia.

Take Ghana, for in­stance. It may look fairly ho­moge­nous on the sur­face, but it is any­thing but once you get into the de­tail, say in­dus­try ex­perts us­ing a new re­search tool.

Dash­board Mar­ket­ing In­tel­li­gence and Dave Kelly – re­spec­tively a re­search and strat­egy com­pany and ad­ver­tis­ing-cum-me­dia ex­pert – re­cently launched Pin­point, a cur­rent and ac­cu­rate me­dia con­sump­tion and au­di­ence track­ing tool for the African con­ti­nent.

Pin­point ex­am­ines pub­lic us­age of TV, ra­dio, news­pa­pers and dig­i­tal me­dia, to help guide me­dia in­vest­ment in African coun­tries.

For strate­gists it also pro­vides in­sights into the psy­cho­graph­ics and con­sump­tion pat­terns of mar­kets they might be un­fa­mil­iar with, and can help guide de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses when it comes to prod­uct po­si­tion­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Launched in Ghana, Pin­point has high­lighted just why un­der­stand­ing of the mar­ket is crit­i­cal.

AYou could opt to pro­duce your cam­paign in Akan, which is spo­ken by 57 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion; or you could de­cide to ad­di­tion­ally flight it in Ga, Dagomba and Dagme.

Pin­point psy­cho­graphic data shows, how­ever, dif­fer­ences in the de­mo­graphic pro­files of each lan­guage group which might also en­tail you chang­ing the ad’s cre­ative treat­ment – slightly – to res­onate more with a par­tic­u­lar group.

For ex­am­ple, peo­ple who speak Dagme value a ca­reer very highly and want to see women and men given the same op­por­tu­ni­ties to suc­ceed, whereas those who speak Dagomba don’t. Dagme speak­ers also don’t eas­ily trust peo­ple, while Dagomba speak­ers be­lieve peo­ple are gen­er­ally hon­est and trust­wor­thy.

An ad flighted in Dagme should there­fore show women in sim­i­lar po­si­tions of power or hi­er­ar­chy as men, and work­place or place of learn­ing sce­nar­ios would be highly ap­pro­pri­ate. By con­trast, it wouldn’t ben­e­fit the brand in an ad flighted in Dagomba if the ad’s vis­ual treat­ment aligned the brand to ca­reeror­i­en­tated sto­ries or sit­u­a­tions.

There are four ma­jor re­gions in Ghana, with 44 per­cent of the ur­ban pop­u­la­tion liv­ing in Ac­cra, 38 per­cent in Ku­masi, 10 per­cent in Tamale and 8 per­cent in SekondiTako­radi.

Pin­point high­lights that peo­ple liv­ing in Ku­masi and Tamale don’t con­sider them­selves as mod­ern or fash­ion­able, and they are un­likely to keep up with the lat­est IT trends. But those in Ku­masi are very ca­reeror­i­en­tated and be­lieve that think­ing about to­day ( as op­posed to the fu­ture) is very im­por­tant.

By con­trast, Ta­malians don’t place high im­por­tance on their ca­reers, and they be­lieve think­ing of to­day is even less im­por­tant. In­ter­est­ingly, de­spite their lack of in­ter­est in their ca­reers and the now, they don’t at­tach much value to spend­ing time with their fam­i­lies; those in Ku­masi do.

So, ads de­pict­ing ca­ma­raderie in the of­fice or on the sports field, fel­low­ship and fam­ily val­ues would strike more of a chord in Ku­masi than in Ta­mali.

Also in­ter­est­ing for those who want to ap­peal to the youth mar­ket is that the psy­cho­graphic dif­fer­ences be­tween the var­i­ous age groups are less pro­nounced than those for re­gion and lan­guage.

The ex­cep­tion is the 56+ group which doesn’t place a high value on equal op­por­tu­ni­ties for men and women, and doesn’t rate them­selves as mod­ern and fash­ion­able.

When it comes to psy­cho­graph­ics, men and women in Ghana many share many traits and be­liefs, in­clud­ing “it is im­por­tant to main­tain cul­ture and tra­di­tion”, “I con­sider my­self fash­ion­able and mod­ern” and “the best way to mea­sure a per­son’s suc­cess is through their pos­ses­sions”. But, there are also im­por­tant dif­fer­ences; men rank­ing the fol­low­ing as more im­por­tant: ● I love watch­ing sport on TV. ● I like to try new things. ● I am op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture.

Women, on the other hand, felt more strongly about:

● Men and women should have equal ac­cess to op­por­tu­ni­ties. ● I am happy with who I am. ● I pre­fer spend­ing time with fam­ily.

Th­ese in­sights sug­gest that new tech­nolo­gies – such as cell­phone apps – would be bet­ter off tar­geted at men, and shown as help­ing to make their fu­ture brighter.

How­ever, the same tech­nol­ogy could res­onate with women if shown to be ben­e­fit­ting the woman’s ca­reer op­por­tu­nity or as­sist­ing her to free up more time to be with her fam­ily.

Dash­board man­ag­ing part­ner Peter Searll said: “Pin­point has been de­vel­oped to sup­port more ef­fec­tive me­dia buy­ing in Africa. Users are able to pro­file and size TV and ra­dio sta­tion au­di­ences, re­view on­go­ing insight into so­cial me­dia and in­ter­net us­age and ex­plore psy­cho­graphic and at­ti­tu­di­nal con­sumer mind­sets.” I MAY have missed any dis­cus­sion there has been on DStv’s flight­ing of its PVR ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign, and if I have, my apolo­gies.

How­ever, I feel this piece of techno gad­getry to be quite su­per­flu­ous with DStv’s re­peats.

If you miss a pro­gramme on chan­nel A, you won’t be dis­ap­pointed be­cause the next day it will be broad­cast on chan­nel B, al­beit in a dif­fer­ent time slot.

I have picked up re­peats of cer­tain pro­grammes over three dif­fer­ent chan­nels.

The 2001 se­ries of Who Wants to be a Mil­lion­aire? is cur­rently show­ing for the third time.

The list is end­less: My Fam­ily, Come Dine With Me, Bri­tain’s Most No­to­ri­ous Crimes…

I sug­gest you stick the PVR on Gumtree.

I note with in­ter­est the opin­ions on the Al­lan Gray and Nando’s ad­ver­tis­ing.

Isn’t the old adage that if ad­ver­tis­ing gets peo­ple talk­ing, then it is suc­cess­ful? DStv re­deems it­self af­ter “I’m Tyler” with its de­light­ful “What’s S’bu PVRing?” ad – the car-clean­ing story.

This TV com­mer­cial has the full house: plau­si­ble sit­u­a­tion; ex­cel­lent cast­ing and act­ing; cred­i­ble, col­lo­quial di­a­logue; sub­tle hu­mour; and spot-on edit­ing.

My com­ment re­gard­ing “I’m Tyler” was an at­tempt to an­a­lyse why so many peo­ple found it ir­ri­tat­ing – which Peter Cur­tis ad­mits it is. This be­ing the case, per­haps he will elab­o­rate on what pre­cisely does make it ir­ri­tat­ing? I LIKED your ar­ti­cle in the Satur­day Star. How about writ­ing about all the ads in which peo­ple run? KFC, OUT­surance and oth­ers? Some­times th­ese flight back to back… Give all run­ning ads an Onion. AT VAR­I­OUS times com­ment has been made about ad­ver­tis­ing copy­writ­ers get­ting it wrong. My lat­est gripe is with the Pru­den­tial TV ad, which com­ments that when Scott’s 1911 ex­pe­di­tion to the South Pole left, the Nor­we­gians de­cided to use dogs to pull their sledges. Scott pooh-poohed the idea, opt­ing for Welsh pit ponies. Why, then, does the ad start with two dog teams set­ting off south? Or maybe they were try­ing to por­tray the two op­pos­ing teams rac­ing to the Pole? Even that would be wrong; the start­ing points of the two ex­pe­di­tions were hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres apart. I AM sure you will at least al­low a dis­sent­ing opin­ion on one of your nom­i­nees for an Orchid? The ad in ques­tion is the lat­est for Al­lan Gray. Its ad­ver­tis­ing has al­ways been good with strong, un­am­bigu­ous mes­sag­ing, which re­flects the com­pany’s busi­ness ethos.

The lat­est ad is dis­ap­point­ing as one of the fun­da­men­tal re­quire­ments of any ad is that it must be com­pre­hen­si­ble the first time it is seen, heard or read. Af­ter watch­ing the ad four times, I man­aged to de­ci­pher what was be­ing said so breath­lessly at the end by the two main char­ac­ters.

That, to my mind, in­di­cates poor pro­duc­tion val­ues and is not in keep­ing with the brand owner.

Another ad that needs clar­i­fi­ca­tion is the one in which peo­ple have sup­pos­edly been hyp­no­tised into be­liev­ing they’re old and in­ca­pable of tak­ing care of them­selves in pub­lic. Nowhere does the ad ex­plain that they were all hyp­no­tised for the sake of the ad; I think you ex­plained it in one of your col­umns.

I still think that an ad that should re­ceive an Orchid is the one for Stanlib, where “wannabes” go about their mun­dane and cheer­less jobs dressed in the garb of the per­son they would most like to be.

There is some­thing poignant and sad about the ad, but it has ex­cel­lent pro­duc­tion val­ues, was well-shot and cast and its mes­sage is clear.

PIN POINT: Ad­ver­tis­ing on this con­ti­nent has pit­falls if you don’t know the coun­try and cul­ture.

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