The Lead Creative podcast hosts a series of conversations with great minds in the creative, marketing, and communication industries.
Melissa Attree discusses the rise of on-demand content
Traditional broadcast platforms such as TV and radio continue to be important for content consumption and advertising. In this episode we are joined by Melissa Attree, who is a Marketing and Digital Communications specialist to make sense of how advertising will remain relevant in the advent of on-demand content.
The growth of on-demand content and streaming platforms like Netflix, Showmax, Amazon Prime, Apple TV and others may have adverse effects on advertising. As people gain access to connected devices, they can avoid unsolicited brand content. Melissa Attree unpacks some insights and strategies that brands can use to connect with customers.
In this episode of The Lead Creative podcast, Melissa talks about the rise of streaming services and how this affects advertising. She also discusses the importance of collaboration in influencer marketing initiatives where brands, agencies and influencers can work effectively.
“We are definitely seeing a lot more brands being interested in purpose-led content or content that has a social mission attached to it.” - Melissa Attree
Melissa has held many commercial, strategic and creative positions for the past 24 years at agencies and top brands. Some of the brands and agencies that Melissa has been part of, in various executive positions include; Ogilvy, Cerebra, 5FM, L'Oreal and many others.
Kojo Baffoe on the content creation process
Creating brand stories and content that resonates requires many different perspectives, where harnessing a creative process can lead to concepts win minds and hearts.
In this episode of The Lead Creative podcast, we are joined by the former Editor of Destiny Man, a seasoned content creator, strategist, keynote speaker, Kojo Baffoe. Kojo was also the host of Life with Kojo on KayaFM among many other roles.
“The starting point is; ‘who is your community, who are you and what do you stand for’ , then being able to communicate that consistently. It’s also understanding that that community is diverse, Africa is a diverse continent.” - Kojo Baffoe
Our conversation includes the importance of context and nuance in telling both media and brand stories, where inclusivity is significant. He talks about some of the content decisions and creative processes during his tenure at Destiny Man, as well as other content creation strategies. While thinking of brands that tell Africa’s stories in a way that resonates, Kojo mentions Shoprite as one of the retailers that carry products from specific countries on their shelves.
He mentions that most brands do it from an operational and business perspective, not always on the ground.
Veli Ngubane on how diversity can grow the creative industries
Diversity, ownership, and transformation in the creative industry can have a positive impact on brand communication and advertising. Veli Ngubane, founding Partner and Chief Creative Officer at Avatar and co-founder of M and N Brands joins us on this episode to talk about their outlook towards building an African owned agency network.
Veli talks about the importance of representation in boardrooms and agencies which leads to more diverse and culturally representative brand communication and advertising. Instead of only looking to transform the work that reaches the consumer, he also talks about the importance of ownership as a pillar that would positively change the creative industry.
“When you want to change an industry, ownership is the fastest way to transform that industry. So when we talk about transformation, when we talk about the societal changes that transformation requires ownership becomes an important pillar.” - Veli Ngubane
Veli notes that telecommunications brands from Telkom, MTN, Vodacom, and Cell C, have all shown exemplary diversity and cultural insight in their work. Thinking back to their campaigns, Veli highlights MTN’s Ayoba campaign; Yebo Gogo by Vodacom; the light-hearted “For Yourself” campaign by Cell C, and the memorable “Molo mhlobo wam” work by Telkom.
These brands and others in the telecommunications industry have shown that they understand the customer and the culture that they operate in.
“You will see that the industry is transformed when the work reflects a more diverse positioning when we don’t have protests due to lack of insight and general ignorance.” added Veli.
Jay Sebesho unpacks authenticity in brand communication
Authenticity in brand communication and advertising comes up a lot. We unpack what it means in this episode of The Lead Creative podcast with Josephine ‘Jay’ Sebesho, Managing Director and Founder of Janong, a Creative and Digital Agency.
Jay joins us in this episode to share how they at Janongview and include authenticity in their work.
The Coca-Cola “Share a Coke” campaign comes in our conversation was one of the most authentic consumer and insights-driven communications of recent times. The culture of sharing was on the rise at the time of this campaign, both social media and across other platforms.
“This is an example of how brands can plug into a change in the culture and show that they understand their customers,” said Jay.
Jay points to representation as one of the measurables in knowing whether a brand or a piece of communication is authentic. If the work represents the customer or target audience closely and builds a relationship that is more thanjust transactional, then it is moving towards authenticity.
“It all starts with purpose. Articulating your brand purpose incommunication is important and adds to the authenticity, that cannotbe copied.” — Josephine ‘Jay’ Sebesho
Brands should strive to be authentic in both their connections with customers and their communication because it increases relevance. Jay thinks MTN with its Ayoba campaign shows this relevance and how a brand can fit into the local vocabulary in a way that says:
“I see and understand you.”
“Authentic brand connections are about creating an emotionalthe connection between the brand and consumer, it’s this positivelink.” — Josephine ‘Jay’ Sebesho
This episode has thoughts, strategies, and ideas on being a more authentic and connected brand.
Zahira Kharsany on digital trends and social media strategies
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have accelerated the adoption of social media and digital usage, both in South Africa and the rest of the world. Digital strategist at Gorilla Creative Media, Zahira Kharsany joins us on this episode to discuss some of her observations on how brands and individuals have been using digital platforms.
The increased adoption of e-commerce and online shopping, notes Zahira, is one of the areas that most people are turning to. She also says brands have found smart ways to help alleviate the pressure on consumers, which has taken the lead across social media and digital platforms. Online shopping outlets that allow people to make purchases and pay on delivery have seen increased sales from users who were once less likely to shop online. This has opened up more possibilities for e-commerce brands and shoppers in South Africa.
“Rural communities have taken to WhatsApp significantly with group buying and the stokvel model showed growth during the pandemic.” - Zahira Kharsany
On the subject of influencers and digital content creators, Zahira has noticed that more brands are letting content creators take the lead on the creative aspect of content creation. Some include their communities in the curation process of idea generation.
Colin Makhubela on effective client-agency partnerships
The best client and agency partnerships lead to the most inspired brand communication work, which also helps brands to win the hearts and minds of more consumers. This is what award-winning work that shows the greatest ROI is made of, along with strong customer insights.
But what goes into making these relationships work?
Award-winning Executive Creative Director of Pacinamix, Colin Makhubela joins us on this episode of The Lead Creative to draw from some of his own experiences, where he unpacks what led to some of the brand and agency partnerships that he was part of. He shares observations and findings from working with brands like Nike, Nedbank, DStv, First National Bank, Lucozade, and many others.
Talking about some of his current work with McDonald’s South Africa, he says they created a more inclusive process that brings agencies and the brand closer. This inclusion, he adds, is working well for McDonald’s, where it is helping to shape communication in a way that enables the brand to entrench itself in the local market. This, while competing with popular fast food brands such as KFC, Nando’s, Chicken Licken, and others.
“Data in isolation is not the whole picture, it’s a habit. People are not habits. People can change their habits on any given day if their motivations, needs and wants change.” — Colin Makhubela
Makhubela also addresses the significance of utilizing customer data wisely to inform strategy, rather than taking the data to be insight.