The world is a completely different place than it was just a few months ago, and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed so much about the way we go about our lives and the way we work. The advertising and other creative industries have had their fair share of challenges to address, and as experts like Refue Mofokeng — the Head of Creative and Production at MediaHeads 360 — understands all too well, the changing landscape continues to put pressure on media houses to adapt in order to continue to provide the best solutions for advertisers from campaign start to finish.
A recent panelist for Radio Days Africa 2020, Refue joined a group of insiders appropriately dubbed the ‘Creative Council’ to discuss the need for adaptability as brands attempt to challenge the traditional norms of advertising and find new ways to break through what can only be called a mountain of information that consumers now have to deal with daily. For today’s edition of In Conversation With — broken down into select snapshots below — Refue talks about the first thing you should ask now before putting together a creative campaign, she touches on the diverse advertising landscape of the South African market and how it is changing, as well as offering a prediction about what the “Summer of Coronavirus” may look like for advertisers and consumers alike.
On Where To Start With a New Campaign
For Refue, the first thing to consider before embarking on a new creative campaign in the current climate is to factor in how you will be getting people engaged to begin with. “How will we get people to do something?” should be one of the first questions that should be put on the table. She suggests that it is also important to know the inventory that you’re working with before you start brainstorming, as this will allow you to have more room to play around, in order to get as creative as possible. The rest will unfold from there.
On What Brands Are Looking For In The COVID-19 “New Normal”
This is something that many agencies now have to grapple with. According to Refue, brands want to be added into the ongoing conversation around how consumers are dealing with the pandemic. This can be as simple as incorporating content helping to normalise sanitiser, or reminding people to wash their hands. This kind of thinking is particularly prevalent in radio dramas, where we’re seeing more and more of this kind of narrative forming a part of the storytelling process. On a larger scale, clients are looking for their audience to tell them what they want. Brands want a collective conversation with their audiences in a bid to increase engagement and show that they aren’t tone deaf in this tremendously sensitive moment in history.
On Advertising In The Diverse South African Landscape
Refue agrees that from a radio advertising perspective, there are important nuances to get right depending on the station that you are dealing with and the audience they are broadcasting to. She also suggests that planners and clients are starting to engage somewhat differently than in the past. “There was a time when black stations were looked at as generic, and white stations were looked at in a certain way. I think now, clients are starting to see that each has their own voice”. Brands are slowly waking up to the various tones for the different audiences, each with their own cultural and linguistic considerations to keep in mind as well. “That’s where the relationships with the stations come in,” she says. “They are the ones that will tell you all the little nuances”.
On a Radio Campaign She Is Particularly Proud Of
“Last year we did a Knorrox campaign,” she begins. “They wanted something better than a promo, but not quite a feature”. Her team subsequently produced a two minute drama — a mini podcast of sorts — that aired once a week. At its core, the content was structured as a dialogue between a mother and a daughter sharing a recipe, capped off with a competition element for the listener. The response was incredible, and the proof was in the pudding in the high volumes of people who went online to enter the competition. This is a good example of how MediaHeads 360 activates, captivates and amplifies through their campaigns.
On the “Summer of Coronavirus” and The Effects on Advertising
“Summer is when consumers spend the most,” Refue quickly affirms. “Now, [in the wake of the pandemic] consumer spending habits are changing. They are not spending on holidays and clothes”. This will clearly have a direct impact on businesses that usually find December to be the most bankable time of the year, and especially those that traditionally advertise heavily in the period. “There isn’t a lot of research out there to suggest what we may be in for, but there will be more at some point,” she suggests. “Until then, we are playing it by ear”.
What Refue is not playing by ear, is the role of MediaHeads 360 in navigating the murky waters brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. She reaffirmed one of the most important things about the way her team deals with any brands looking to get out their advertising in the current climate. “Clients come to us for solutions,” she says. “We come in with how we’re going to execute it and make it work within all the constraints”.
Contact person: Kantha Govender
Designation: MediaHeads 360 General Manager
Phone: 010 590 4553
About MediaHeads 360
MediaHeads 360 are Level 1 BEE media specialists that develop and implement integrated, strategic marketing campaigns across diverse platforms. Our services are inspired by our 360 approach and include idea generation, production, implementation, campaign tracking, syndication, research, branded content, mobile broadcast, non traditional television and radio campaigns, social media amplification activations and influencer marketing. In addition, we leverage our excellent relationships with media owners to negotiate with platforms across the country.
We ACTIVATE by creating holistic, result-driven campaigns within the right environment. We CAPTIVATE through well-implemented and engaging campaigns with multiple touch points. We AMPLIFY and optimise your reach and impact with 360 solutions.
For more information, visit www.mediaheads360.co.za