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What matters most … consumers

By Brett Morris, Chief Creative Officer, Draftfcb South Africa

A few months ago, it was announced that Draftfcb South Africa was the only agency to take two of the coveted spots on the most recent Millward Brown Top 10 list of South Africa’s Most Liked TV Ads.
Millward Brown's Best Liked Ads list celebrates the country's favourite TV commercials and their advertising agencies, chosen by the industry’s most important critics, the consumers.
We came in at Number 2 with a commercial for Vodacom’s sponsorship of Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates that utilised the war cry: ‘Ayeye, liyez’ iKhosi’ and ‘Ayeye, liyez’ iBhakaniya’ or ‘Beware, Chiefs are coming’ and ‘Beware, Pirates are coming’.
Our execution of an ad for Coca-Cola – “Crazy for Good” – took the Number 8 spot.
The poll position on this most recent list, which ranked favourite ads for the first quarter of 2013, was taken by an overseas agency, which therefore also makes Draftfcb the highest ranked local agency in the line-up.
Our performance each year on this list matters a great deal to us. In fact, it matters most.
Yup, what matters most to us is what matters to consumers because they are the ultimate judges of our work, so it's a fantastic validation that consumers have voted a piece of our work as the most liked locally produced ad.
This is something that we have always focused on as a group and it will always be at the core of what we do regardless of how the media landscape changes. In fact, it’s particularly interesting when you consider how, through social media, consumer engagement and feedback are more instantaneous and more powerful than ever before.
Circa 2001 BSM (before social media) we used to talk about whether or not an ad campaign had the “braai* factor.” The question we’d ask is how likely are people to talk about the ad when they’re gathered at a braai. (You can replace “braai” with “book club” or “hairdresser” or “carwash” or “golf course” or whatever, you get the point.)
The more likely they are to talk about it, the more ‘braai factor’ it had. This was a good filter to apply because it made you think about what really matters to the audience. When there’s a lull in conversation between discussions about which sporting franchise did, or is going to do, what to whom and at what point each piece of meat should be turned over and/or is done; would they say “have you seen that great ad for … insert brand name here?”
That was the most important measure for us because it meant your campaign had social currency. You knew people cared enough to talk about it.
Social media, and Twitter in particular, have made the braai factor exponential. Most people now watch television with a mobile device in their hands and they’re sharing their thoughts on the content they’re watching.
According to Twitter as much as 10% of that conversation is about brands and advertising. This means that brands are able to get real-time feedback on whether people notice and like or dislike their advertising.
And they generally only comment if they like or dislike something, not if they are indifferent. Which means the advertising better be relevant and engaging to the audience … or it could end up being bad, expensive PR.
* braai is the South African term for barbecue.
Excerpts of this post originally appeared in The Daily Maverick.