Homenewsabout usContact UsWebsite

Advancing Africa acceleration

Digital has given Africa a voice
Advancing Africa acceleration

Digitisation has moved the needle for Africa. It has given our continent a voice, allowing us to connect between our countries and the rest of the world without the hurdles of flights and accommodation costs that are unattainable for the majority.

Linda Snyman, country director of Invibes Advertising, discusses how the digital landscape has changed since joining the innovative technology company: “Digital has flooded the market. It’s cluttered, and we are bombarded with messages. When Invibes entered South Africa to establish its global footprint, we had one goal. To stand out from the clutter. To be different. Be better.”

Abey Mokgwatsane, CMO of Investec, highlights the shift in client expectations: “With the democratisation of content production and distribution, people’s behaviour and expectations have dramatically increased. Most digital media is irrelevant to our customer base, with online content increasingly framed by machine learning algorithms like Amazon’s product recommendations and TikTok’s intelligently curated feeds.

The result is white noise in a fast-scrolling environment, with some customers adopting ad-blocking technology. We need to ensure we’re on top of these kinds of technologies and use data and insights strategically and effectively. More importantly, we need to make sure we deliver unique, impactful creative that resonates with our target audiences and rises above the noise.”

“Standing out on a continent with over 570 million internet users is challenging,” says Snyman. “South Africans spend over nine hours a day online. When you scroll on your social feed, the ad-to-content ratio can go as high as three to one.”

The Africa lens

Abey Mokgwatsane, CMO of Investec, holds Africa in high regard: “These days, just about everyone around the world has access to the same technologies, so tech has almost become a hygiene factor. One of the things we have going for us is the richness and diversity of our culture. The bizarre quirks of living in this country can sometimes be exasperating, but they also provide wonderful material for humour and great stories – two things we do particularly well. It’s great to see these traditional strengths applied to emerging formats in social media and content marketing.

"The advantage of digital platforms is that they’re not one-way media. They are dynamic public forums that reflect the cultural discourse of the moment. Many of the best examples of great South African advertising are when brands hack topical trends and memes and adapt them to deliver a brand message, such as Engen’s recent Instagram campaign that plays on the Barbie selfie trend.

"From a technology perspective, some digital applications, such as M-PESA, have found resonance in emerging markets in ways they could never have in the developed world. To think that over 45% of Kenya’s GDP runs through M-PESA is extraordinary, showing that developing markets such as South Africa can be technology trailblazers too.”

Lean forward

Mokgwatsane cautions against a one-size-fits-all ATL-driven approach: “One thing that doesn’t work is approaching digital as a bolt-on to campaigns designed with traditional media in mind. Cutting down a TV ad for YouTube or resizing a print ad for Instagram is a recipe for irrelevance in the digital space. It’s not enough to understand your audience. You also need to understand each digital channel and how people use it. Brands that miss this can easily come off as inauthentic and out of their depth.

Another pitfall is when technology is used irresponsibly or intrusively. Just because you can send thousands of clients an email or a text message with a single click doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. We’re also seeing examples of brands being less than transparent about using tech, like trying to pass off AI-generated fluff as thought leadership to boost their SEO. As in any medium, it’s important to respect your audience and be honest and true to your brand.”

Linda Snyman talks about the impact of breakthrough digital advertising: “Within online platforms like the Sunday Times or Business Day, we target people who have leaned forward, who have chosen to go to a site to read information they value and trust. They are already engaged. The ad units are developed to enhance the overall reader experience with attention-grabbing, engaging artwork and a strong call to action that combines video, carousel, static images and sound within the first paragraph,” Snyman says.

Be new. Be fresh

“Digital can be a powerful tool when the advertising is new and fresh, and the format differs from the daily messaging overload that people see. By spending resources on in-feed digital with creative and brand messaging designed to stand out, be memorable and motivate a click, you can reap the reward that more than makes up for the effort,” says Snyman.

“Invibes directly integrates with top-tier publishers like Arena Holdings and Caxton to track audience behaviour in real-time. What, when and where they are reading content. Our AI is smart. It can tell you who needs to wear glasses for people who zoom in, who is travelling when they go from one location to another, and when someone last upgraded their device. This live data matches brand messaging with audience behaviour and interests. Our AI is our superpower,” Snyman vaunts.

Pay attention

“The most important metric is attention. Invibes creates impactful, rich ad units. You can turn the sound on, include video, change images, and have big branding and logos. We’re top of the page with content that scrolls seamlessly in-feed. We work hard to ensure people see ads that grab attention and enhance the reader experience. It’s different from programmatic advertising, which is volume inventory that people scroll past every day.”

Accelerate Africa

Linda Snyman discusses Africa as the land to sow opportunity: “To accelerate, we need to connect across Africa. Our global footprint offers a gateway to any market worldwide, including Portugal, the UK, Poland, Paris, Dubai, the Nordics and more. Our Africa network means we can do this for our global and South African clients to deliver growth.”

Invibes Advertising company profile

Invibes Advertising is an international technology company specialising in digital advertising innovation.

Founded on the philosophy that advertising efficiency comes from being truly innovative and naturally engaging to users, Invibes has developed an integrated technology platform for brands to reach consumers through impactful in-feed advertising.

Invibes delivers advertising that creates positive attention by harnessing the power of big data, innovative in-feed formats, wide reach and extensive intelligence services.

Pioneering the way in sustainable advertising, Invibes also offers a unique solution to offset campaign emissions through its Carbon-Neutral label.

In order to partner with some of the greatest brands in the world, like Amazon, Bacardi, Dell, IKEA and Toyota, we rely on even greater people. At Invibes, we strive to maintain an energetic, open environment that fosters a culture of ideation, growth and #GoodVibes, that shines straight through to our clients.

Want to hear more about Invibes? Visit or email moc.sebivni@az.selas.

25 May 2023 12:38


About the author

Linda Snyman is country director at Invibes Advertising, South Africa.