Tell the African story through advertising campaigns– Loeries’ chairman

Advertising agencies in Africa have been urged to tell the continent’s story through their various creative works and campaigns so that consumers can develop affinity for their clients’ brands.

The chairman of the Loeries, Mr. Neo Mashigo, who spoke to MARKETING EDGE during the Loeries Creative Week, also advised that instead of just adopting a global idea, advertising practitioners should rather infuse nuances which people from different cultural backgrounds can understand.

“I think if there is a global idea that can permeate the local market, my advice is to take the idea – not the TV ad – apply the idea into the market and tell the story basing it on one idea for the brand. So the idea should be coming from a human truth like ‘to be safe’ or ‘be happy’.

“For instance, your idea might be about happiness. Tell that your idea in an African way relatively to somebody from Ghana. There are things that are nuances that only people from Ghana can relate with, things that make them happy within the context of Ghana. The context of Nigeria will be different from that of the Ghanaian, South African person. Just look at small nuances such that when the consumers in those countries look at the work, they will say , ‘Yes, these people are talking to me’. But when you look at the work overall – whether it is Nigeria, Ghana or South Africa – they are all of the same idea,” he said.

The award boss who is also a partner at ‘I see a different you’, added that the world was looking for the true African story, adding “We are looking for a new ways where we as Africans say it the way we see it, instead of just adopting things from everywhere else. Sitting in an agency in Nigeria, the question shouldn’t be ‘what is Europe doing’ and that becomes cool. The thing should be ‘what do we as Nigerians or Africans view as the next big thing’? For us as Africans, the most important thing is for us to have our voice out there and be heard.”

Mashigo also said the African advertising agencies have a lot to learn from Nigeria’s movie industry, Nollywood, saying that the film industry in Nigeria has a resilient spirit, making an impact against all odds. He said: “We Africans are global players. We have got the numbers and the growth space is with us so we decide what we give out to the world. I think Nigeria has been doing well. As South Africans, we look to Nollywood and what it is doing is amazing to us. When it comes to movie-making, South Africa is advanced in terms of technology, but what Nollywood has allowed African creative people to do, is to create and not wait. Just do it. That is what we as Africans have suffered for so long which is why nobody has heard our stories. I know the Nigerian story from watching Nollywood, so when I am in Nigeria I understand many things because I have seen it on Nollywood.”


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