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    Promax Africa Awards: Advertising and communications principles timeless

    The Promax Africa Awards take place tomorrow at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton, with a conference featuring expert speakers such as Lee Hunt, Charlie Mawer and Bennum Van Jaarsveld.
    Source: Promax Africa  The Promax Africa Awards take place tomorrow at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton
    Source: Promax Africa Promax Africa The Promax Africa Awards take place tomorrow at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton

    Hunt is a marketer and strategist with over 40 years of experience in the media and entertainment industry, owner of Lee Hunt LLC and publisher and editor-in-chief of CMOintelligence.

    Mawer is a Bafta nominated and multiple award-winning executive creative director of London-based agency Red Bee Creative, specialising in media and entertainment branding, and has done work for brands such as Telemundo, Netflix, Nissan, Apple TV+, CNBC and RTÉ Ireland.

    Van Jaarsveld, who has more than 21 years of media communications industry experience, is the corporate communications manager for e.tv/eMedia

    Eclectic nature of agencies

    Mawer says what he loves the most about the world of marketing is the eclectic nature of the challenges of working in an agency and that the challenges are not any different today than they were when he started in the mid-90s

    “The principles of standout advertising and communication are pretty timeless. The originality of thought, emotional connection, arresting visualisation, and consistency of brand building.

    “Whether you are a TikTok reel or in a long copy read in a 1950s newspaper the same basic tenets hold,” he says.

    He does add that perhaps the only thing that has changed is the democratisation of creation. “Professional quality production is now at everyone’s fingertips, which can add to the volume of clutter that looks like it is deserving of attention. In that world, you just have to double down on originality, storytelling, and craft!”

    Research, research, research

    With a more interconnected global marketplace, he says businesses looking to expand into international markets must always put a genuine audience understanding at the heart of their work.

    “Research, research, research. Don’t make assumptions that what is going to interest one audience in one market will have universal appeal.”

    He adds, “Lockdown showed that we can work effectively across continents without needing physical office space in each country or region, but you still have to do the mental legwork in inhabiting your audience's world and mindset.”

    Consistency is key

    Van Jaarsveld says the key to ensuring a consistent and seamless customer experience across different channels is consistency.

    “Being present, being regular, being timely, and ensuring brand identity is recognised across platforms. Always remain authentic.”

    To keep pace with changing consumer behaviours and expectations he says you need to know your market and audience.

    “Stay true to your brand - you cannot be all things to all consumers. Be authentic and sincere.

    “Listen – to what consumers are saying, talking about, what are the issues they’re dealing with.

    “Brands do have to adapt to be part of the conversations and platforms, but in an authentic way. Service and response will always remain key, no matter how times change. Businesses and brands need to evolve and adapt to solve problems and ensure a pleasant brand experience.”

    The role brands play in society

    It is the same when you bring diversity and inclusion into campaigns and organisations, he says.

    “Once again, sincerely and authentically welcoming everyone to feel part of the brand, being bold and open.

    “Films and series need to portray who society is, relating to audiences and consumers – saying “we get you”, but without ceremony.

    “Brands still have a long way to go, but well done to all brands who are trying and making an effort. It’s not just about D&I, it’s about the role brands play in society.”

    Wanuri Kahiu, Kenyan producer, film director and author and Maurice Marable, one of the preeminent filmmakers working in the business are also speakers at the conference.

    The association for entertainment marketing, Promax Africa brings together content creators, marketers and designers reflecting a vibrant community – and provides opportunities to learn, grow, connect and be inspired.

    Netflix, Disney+, Paramount, eTV and Open View are the gold sponsors for Promax Africa.

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