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Navigating the new advertising landscape

With millions of people walking around with their heads down looking at their screens and fast-forwarding through ad breaks on TV, it's no surprise there's a major shift from traditional to digital advertising.

Advertising has transformed from one-medium broadcasts such as radio and television to targeted content that works across platforms. With this change comes new considerations and challenges in research, rights and clearances of content, to ensure brands, agencies and publishers play by the rules of copyright – while still pushing the boundaries of creativity.

The advertising shift

Traditional advertising doesn’t permit a two-way relationship, because it’s based on the premise of broadcast – one to many. This means the advertiser can only make an impression or get attention by talking to the consumer.

With technological advancements, reach is no longer a measurement of success – instead, the aim is for conversation and engagement, which is why new and interesting forms of content are a must.

“For some clients, generic images and motion content as well as traditional broadcast channels simply aren’t enough – while for others they still fit the brief perfectly. It’s about exploring all possible forms of content,” says Margi Sheard, Managing Director of leading visual solutions provider, Greatstock.

This requires content to suit each particular medium – content that’s quirky and engaging for the target market and that’s distinctly out-of-the-box.

According to Sheard, in this new advertising age where ads are shared and distributed widely across platforms, agencies need to consider the regulations and licensing standards of each channel carefully.

The new media challenge

In the social media space, Greatsock has become a leader in sourcing relevant content with the required licensing – in spite of the fact that it presents complexities for researchers.

“We’re always up for a challenge where sourcing and licensing of unique content is concerned, and feel the end result speaks to the effectiveness of an innovative approach,” shares Sheard.

She believes many of these projects, which involve user-generated or never-before-seen content, yield excellent results for clients on social media, for which they are ideally suited.

In addition to the diversity of content, clients are also seeking iconic and one-of-a kind historical footage to add gravitas to their campaigns.

Many clients have approached Greatstock to clear and license this kind of content – the recent Sanlam Wealthsmith ‘Muhammad Ali’ ad being a stellar example. Other campaigns have seen Greatstock securing the rights to footage of Stirling Moss, Mahatma Gandhi and many others, including sporting greats.

Navigating the new advertising landscape

A recent project for Ogilvy Cape Town’s client Volkswagen reflects the shift from traditional to experimental content and mediums. The ‘Dancing Dog’ ad carried a simple and accessible message (“Just because it sort of meets the requirements, doesn’t mean it’ll perform quite as it should”) which was crafted to match a crazy clip of a dog performing on an armchair. This was user-generated content in the form of a home video, which made the licensing process complex.

The unusual appeal of this type of ad attracted customers on social media – which provided the client with excellent opportunities to leverage the power of engagement to re-enforce their mainstream advertising, with the necessary copyright.

Marketing possibilities

These days users are seeing more, doing more and saying more, which means agencies have to push the boundaries and think beyond the expected. To do this, they need a content partner who’s not afraid to navigate the new ad space – even when it’s a totally unchartered territory.

“The rapid evolution of marketing across a variety of platforms opens up the need for extraordinary content – and thus extraordinary thinking – as we explore the new opportunities together with clients.” concludes Sheard.

For more information on Greatstock’s visual solutions offering, visit, email Margi Sheard at az.oc.kcotstaerg@igram or call her on 011 8802037

5 Oct 2016 10:30