Kantar's Best Liked Ads list celebrates South Africa's favourite TV commercials. These are the ads that have been rated as the best liked by the South African audience whom we believe to be the most important critic - the person who ultimately chooses to buy your brand or not.
So who is getting it right?
David Ogilvy once said, “There isn’t any significant difference between the various brands of whiskey, or cigarettes or beer. They are all about the same. And so are the cake mixes and the detergents, and the margarines… The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand will get the largest share of the market at the highest profit.”
This rings true for our number one ad, “We can fix our S#*t” from Nando’s who ranked #6 in the 2018 Top 30 Most Valuable South African Brands report. Nando’s distinctive creative approach takes a light-hearted jab at life in South Africa, giving us occasion to laugh at ourselves. It’s this unique creative style and the way that Nando’s risks it all walking a fine line between appropriate and inappropriate - that has landed this ad in first place. A great example of understanding and engaging the South African consumer.
Coming in at number 2 is Nike’s ad “Just do it: Caster Semenya” that also won a bronze Glass Lion at the recent Cannes Festival of Creativity. The ad is hugely emotional and tells an engaging story that creates a strong, emotional and meaningful impression in our consumers’ minds. Purposeful advertising at its best, the ad sparks further debate on inclusion and equality, putting #FairnessFirst squarely in the spotlight. The ad reflects on the controversy surrounding Semenya, but shows that none of it is going to stop her: “That’s too bad,” says Semenya of her dubious critics, “because I was born to do this”, inspiring consumers to “just do it” too.
In third place we see Bernini’s “Press for sparkle” ad by Singh & Sons. The champagne flute (also recently used by Appletiser in their ad), creates an aspirational feel – playing in the emotive territory of the girl’s night out, setting a beautiful, glamourous and luxurious backdrop for their drink.
Local is lekker
The top 20 ads have an overwhelming South African flavour, with local ad agencies leading the way. The brands in the ranking reflect “a day in the life” of our consumers, they are all very relevant and relatable, with some great South African humour coming through. The ads for Kia and VW’s polo also tell a lovely story that ‘shows’ instead of ‘tells’ about the cars, also using humour to engage. Our AdReaction data shows that humour is one of the most fundamental characteristics for engagement in South Africa, with SA scoring nearly 20% higher than the global average.
Interestingly, the Voltaren ad from Saatchi & Saatchi, produced by the South African office, was made to travel. We usually see global ads appearing in the SA market, and not often SA ads in global markets - highlighting the ads ability to cross borders and still engage in another market because it tells a universal story.
But not all ads are created equal
The winning ads score high on enjoyment, involvement and positive emotions, connecting with the consumer on an emotional level - entertaining the audience and making the ads memorable and easily recalled, not always an easy feat. Analysis of the Adtrack database from Kantar shows that in 2016, 63% of ads failed to cut through. This year, between January and March, a massive 77% of all ads have failed to resonate effectively with consumers, with 49% of all new ads achieving below average cut through at launch. Effectively this means that every second ad launched on TV is a complete waste of media investment.
Over time it would appear that brands are investing more behind lack luster executions, as the trend of below average ads continues to rise over time. The best chance of winning is if you are a brand operating in categories which consistently over index in terms of recall. The top categories include carbonated soft drinks, fast food/ restaurants, coffee creamers, retail groceries, dental, telecommunications/ itc, fruit juice, long term insurance, banking, alcoholic beverages and household cleaning. If your brand doesn’t operate in these categories, you can easily see how misleading category only norms could be, as it is not only the competition within your category you should be concerned with, but rather cutting through the whole mental space available to consumers.
The best way to ensure media ROI is to start with a great creative
There is no doubt that categories and brands need to cut through the clutter and work hard to get the consumers’ attention, and there is certainly a plethora of clutter to work through in the South African advertising TV space! With so much competition, understanding how a campaign cuts through, and more importantly how campaigns can be optimised, delivers a real competitive advantage in this cluttered environment.
But grabbing attention in itself is not enough. Quite often you hear people rave about an ad, but when asked who the ad was for, they are not too sure! And what’s the point of great creative if you cannot link the ad to the brand? Both your media and your creative need to work in synergy to maximise your marketing efforts.
Congratulations to the following brands and agencies:
Adtrack™ is Kantar's proprietary advertising testing system, evaluating the impact and liking of all brand advertising in South Africa for over 35 years. The resultant database stands at over 100,000 TV adverts tested, and more than 1.1 million interviews conducted, making this database one of the largest of its kind in the world.
Find out how your creative and media benchmarks against the competition! Adtrack is the most comprehensive and sophisticated post launch evaluation and planning efficiency tool available. A commissioned Adtrack study offers deeper insight and understanding on the performance and effectiveness of your ads. Through the use of Kantar’s Media Optimiser tool, we are able to recommend the optimal future flighting of ads, to maximise your return on investments. Adtrack studies are available across all media channels.
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