What’s Needed is a Markex for Advertising Agencies

It’s hardly been a year and the Markex Show is with us again. In fact, Markex was hosted late last year – in August, due to the World Cup – so it’s been less than a year since the last and that’s why its coming has seemed to have caught many of us advertising-types off-guard. Regardless, it’s one of the most anticipated trade shows of the year, and a great fillup for business – if you’re a promotional gifts or event management company, that is. If you’re an advertising agency, it’s not as good. Continue reading

Frank.net – Frankly speaking, it’s just good frank advertising

Promoting life insurance is not easy. You’re trying to sell something that nobody really wants, even though they may see the need for it. In other words, it’s a necessary evil. We all know we’re going to die, we all know that we should be covered for the eventuality, but given the choice between splashing out on that new car we’ve had our eye on or paying monthly premiums for life insurance, it’s clear which one we’d go for. Continue reading

OK so Vodacom’s red. Got it, now what?

It seems there’s been a lot of response to Vodacom’s “red” campaign, much of it negative – which is a shame in a way as Vodacom’s advertising has always been of a high standard, and iconic in ways. Their “Yebo Gogo” campaign, for instance, was truly memorable and many of us found ourselves using the saying in response to questions posed. Example: Did you have a good break? Yebo, Gogo. Are you feeling better? Yebo, Gogo. More recent Vodacom advertising has been just as memorable. So it’s a pity in a sense that the company is now making the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Continue reading

Real bread for real people. Say what?

Pay-off lines, positioning statements, slogans…call them what you will but those few words that you see accompanying a logo on an advertisement are more important than you might think. Why? Because they either encapsulate what the brand is all about or they deliver a promise. So when one comes across a pay-off line like “Real bread for real people” (as I did whilst driving to a meeting the other day), one shudders at the lack of understanding on behalf of the marketer or at the amateurism of their ad agency (if they have one). Continue reading

Who needs a big ad agency anyway?

Not so long ago, most big corporates believed their advertising accounts could only be handled by large advertising agencies; ad agencies with established infrastructures and offices in other African countries and overseas. Whilst this is still the case with some, (especially the multinationals), there has certainly been more openness during the last few years towards the big ad spenders handing projects to smaller agencies. Continue reading

Recruitment advertising. Maybe a job for someone creative?

I have often wondered whether recruitment advertising couldn’t be more creative? After all, one is promoting a product, much like any other. In the case of a recruitment ad, a company is selling a position. As well as itself. This being the case, the task is akin to advertising a perfume or a brand of peanut butter where one needs to do a selling job to persuade and convince a potential purchaser. Continue reading

Topical Advertising, and Why it Works Like a Charm

We’ve all seen or heard them: topical ads in newspapers or on TV or radio that have us laughing or talking around the dinner table. And yet, given the fact that this type of advertising elicits a response from people (as opposed to so much conventional advertising these days that is seldom talked about), it’s a wonder that so few companies engage in it. Continue reading