Getting the right ads to the right market
Advertising in Africa not as easy as many would think
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.