We, in the ad industry, study marketing trends to better understand the market.
Africa understands its impact on global trends. Our proud culture can be felt the world over, from Milan fashion shows to the Afro-futuristic architecture of Wakanda.
Africa has gone viral.
Some viral trends are peculiar, some inspiring, some unconventional. The current marketing trend in Africa is no exception.
The FMCG business in East Africa has been flipped on its head; conventional marketing trends went belly-up as a result.
Many moons ago, rather than take the time to understand their market, FMCG multinationals commissioned local firms to distribute their products. Over time, those distributors built networks, becoming route-to-market masters. Then, as the giants slept, they started producing the same products. They grew into bigger manufacturers, with the insights, networks and know-how to perfect their supply chains, making their products cheaper and more readily available. This spelled doom for the multinationals.
The usurpers were merciless and started eating into the market share of non-FMCG businesses such as financial institutions and telcos, as the consumer wallet remained the same. Marketing needed to adapt.
The multinationals relied heavily on ATL ads, but the local distributors understood that true influence came from spending not on marketing, but on acquiring shelf space.
This landscape demands that multinationals exploit fresh ways of engaging the market. A combination of below-the-line (BTL), digital and radio is their best bet. Why?
In Africa, records are kept through intergenerational stories; that’s how history of African legends, empires and kings is passed through generations. We like our stories straight from the horse’s mouth, and we need to see, hear and feel a product. Experiential marketing and activations are vital for brand-building in Africa. This is the new focal point of all marketing campaigns.
In parts of Tanzania, radio consumption is 40 hours a week. It’s always on, and the best way to spread the word about a brand and drive consumers to experiential encounters.
Today, 63% of Tanzania’s population owns a mobile phone; 93% has access to one.* Soon, everyone will own one. Need we say more?
Most multinationals don’t see what we see, but we live here, so we get it. A large number of consumers in Africa live on under $1 a day; their default is to buy the most affordable, readily available products. Any campaign has to take this and other restrictions into account. We believe in this, and that the ‘BTL, radio and digital’ formula works here.
Maybe, just maybe, Africa will set a new direction for the marketing world.
Ryan Gosling – Q&A
Will you go to Cannes this year?
A group of our best and brightest minds will, to be part of it and see what breakthroughs are happening in the advertising industry internationally.
AI: the best and the worst scenarios are…
Best: a utopia where there is no labour and we all live like kings. Worst: a dystopian future where we will be made slaves and crushed by machines..
What will you change in 2018?
In many cases it will be a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. We’ll continue with creative innovation and consistency at the core of everything we do.
The best work of the past year is...
Audi’s "Test drive" by Venables Bell & Partners. This TV ad is art, a visceral experience which dares you to get behind the wheel of an Audi sports car. It does what any great ad should: it makes you feel something and desire a product so badly you’d do anything to get your hands on it.
Aggrey & Clifford: at a glance
Principals: Rashid Tenga, founder and chairman; Ryan Gosling, general manager, Tanzania; Terence Chambati, general manager, Uganda; Oliver Mutere, general manager, Kenya.
Locations: Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya.