In securing the Above the Line (ATL) business of a client in Africa, and a major local client, Switch has a launched itself squarely into the advertising space.
To grow this side of its business, they recently employed the services of Rainer Pabst and Justin Wanliss. Together they have secured the ATL business of Botswana Life and the Gauteng Tourism account.
Pabst says this is part of the agency's intention to provide a very defined advertising offering, separate to its branding and design offering. Pabst joined the agency at the beginning of March this year as general manager at Switch, with Wanliss appointed Creative Director at Switch Brand Communication. Both have strong creative backgrounds, with Pabst having worked in advertising in London.
"The world is a different place and people are changing so rapidly. Brands need to develop a tone to build a relevance with them as well as a purpose. Advertising is a very different proposition to branding and Switch is positioning itself to meet both needs. We might be a small team but we are making it happen with clients like Gauteng Tourism and Botswana Life, and we believe they are just the beginning," he says.
"We want to build brands that have a higher purpose or a brand ideal with a strong understanding of how it can be more relevant to people's lives. If we can achieve this then the brand will come to life, as we believe it has for Botswana Life through the ATL we created for the brand."
Botswana Life is a leading life insurance provider and the fourth largest listed company on the Botswana Stock Exchange, and Pabst says that this ATL campaign is a direct result of the design and branding work that Switch executed for the company previously.
Pabst explains that the Botswana Life campaign, which launches mid-July, includes television, radio and Out of Home (OOH). Pabst explains the aim of the campaign: "the television commercial (TVC) is about the brand and differentiates their position as the market leader in life insurance for the past 40 years. It will launch with a 60-second TVC to be followed later by a 30-second TVC. The radio and OOH elements focus on specific products."
The Botswana landscape is very different to South Africa. With a total population of two million people, it has less people than South Africa. "This makes it a much smaller country in terms of media." Regardless though the mechanics of raising awareness of a brand are the same. "For example we are using the medium of television to raise brand awareness of Botswana Life."
What was important when creating this campaign, was to understand the psyche of the people of Botswana. "The key insight we fed into was that the Botswana people want to do well for themselves and their families, and they want to plan for their future."
Good work is no different in Botswana to any other part of the world; he says; for it to be good it has to be relevant to what people think, feel and need.
Danette Breitenbach was the editor and publisher of Advantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. Before her editorship, she was deputy-editor as well as freelancing for over a year on the publication before that. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B, in the fields of marketing, mining, disability marketing, advertising and media.
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