Zimbabwe's Advertising Publicity Club is organising its annual competition for the advertising industry, despite a dearth of new campaigns due to an economic crisis that has stunted growth and limited new advertising campaigns in a once vibrant sector.
The organisation has started inviting entries for The 2007 Ngoma Advertising Awards, and has issued out a call to all advertising agencies to submit their portfolios.
“Has your advert been entered? Don't let your creativity go unrewarded,” a note sent to agencies and seen by Bizcommunity.com said.
Judy Mcdonald, who is coordinating the awards, was not in the office to receive calls seeking a comment this week.
The advertising industry in Zimbabwe is stagnant due to an economic recession now entering into its ninth year.
Advertising budgets have been cut, and agencies have scaled down their operations just to stay in business.
A fractured backbone A price blitz by the government in June last year also affected prospects for the limited new campaigns on the market, mainly by banking institutions and the retail sector.
The backbone of any vibrant advertising industry is a vibrant economy, and Zimbabwean advertising agencies have been victims in the economic meltdown that has ravaged the economy and almost brought it to its knees.
There is virtually a shortage of everything, from toothpaste to cooking oil and laundry soap – products that kept the creative desks of advertising agencies busy trying to come up with new ideas for fresh campaigns.
A number of other advertising awards have been abandoned as a result. One of these was the Creative Directors' Forum Awards, which dominated the advertising industry during the 1990s.
Some advertising agencies indicate that due to the economic crisis, a number of clients have stifled creativity by putting too many controls to the generation of ideas in order to cut spending.
Interesting article about the Zim advertising fraternity. I just wanted to make the comment that creativity should never be determined by the amount of spend available. Creativity is creativity and as the advertising fraternity we should be able to adapt to the financial situation whatever it is. Posted on 4 Feb 2008 13:25
You're absolutely right! Creativity is not determined by funds, but neither is it encouraged by economical distress, fear, uncertainty and despondency. An oppressive regime does stifle creativity - our clients were never very keen on taking big risks, even years ago (and I'm not talking political), but they had budgets for media spend and taking a campaign quite far. Now, we're lucky if we squeeze out a press ad or two, maybe a billboard or poster. We are constantly trying to come up with new ways of communicating effectively, but creativity, unfortunately, often takes a back seat. It's not from lack of trying - we all have porties we are proud of, but the work has never seen the light of day! Ten years ago, the ad industry here was vibrant, exciting, growing. Now it is simply surviving, by the skin of its teeth. Zimbabwean society has learnt that you stay out of trouble if you blend into the background... unfortunately, most of our clients are happy to do just that. They do say that advertising reflects the society in which it is based. Never have I seen it more truly reflected! Posted on 25 Mar 2008 11:37
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