We are lucky enough to be living in a country where there are 11 official languages. Such an expanse of South Africa’s vernacular framework has kept advertisers, market researchers and multilinguistic copywriters at full speed ahead. Sometimes advertising campaigns are dubbed to engage with various language markets and some are created entirely on their own, coining concepts that may directly appeal to a certain set of ethnicities or cultures. In Cape Town and surrounds, the two most prevalent languages adopted by the public are Afrikaans and isiXhosa. Put on your cultural cap and take a peek at some of the best brand communication to market itself in these two mother tongues.
Afrikaans and isiXhosa Advertising - Afrikaans
Advertising agency DDB made it to the finals at the Pendoring Advertising Awards awards last year (2014), being nominated in the “Truly South African Radio” and “Original Afrikaans” categories. The campaign consisted of three radio spots for Wrigley’s Orbits chewing gum. The communications is based on the concept of traditional Afrikaans children’s folksongs. The catchy and pleasant tunes are wrapped up with a brilliant CTA that captures the brand’s essence. A triumph for Afrikaans radio, you can listen to them here. Cape Town based ad agency Ninety9cents were also graced with a shining silver at the 2014 PAA for their work with Digicape. Thier print ad “Apple-uitverkoping” adapts the silhouette of the apple logo and creates the shape of an onion. The copy reads “Up to 30% discount on Apple products. 8 - 30 August.”
Afrikaans advertising has its fair share of merits in the TV, digital and interactive medium, successfully leaping into the online world of brand communications. Youtube has enabled a viral spread of authentic and engaging video ads. In 2013, OLX carried out a TV humorous afrikaans campaign starring actors from the local film industry. The adverts were a collaborative effort, graced with the creative services from ad agency Studio Zoo. The campaign shifted onto their Youtube channel and one of the inclusive ads has received over a quarter of a million views!
Afrikaans and isiXhosa Advertising - isiXhosa
Radio plays a large role in connecting with the isiXhosa market. In 2013, South African ISP providers MWEB rolled out a isiXhosa radio ad entitled “Witchcraft”.
The spot used the concept of traditional folklore and played on the conspiracy that traditional witches and sorcerers supposedly meet in the Gwadana forest of the Eastern Cape during the night. The ending result proved humorous and drew a lot of attention to the consumer - enough for a feature piece at 10and5.com. The ad agency behind the humorous communication was the Cape Town division of M&C Saatchi Abel.
Brand communications in isiXhosa seems to be following pumping out a lot more advertising on the television platform, creating a gap in print. These campaigns are often based on some sort of PSA initiative, sport-centric, infused with educational roots or simply pertain to retail/lifestyle products which are popular with the isiXhosa market. Perhaps the steady rise of technology has opened up avenues for lower LSM’s to engage with modernised branding communications.
It seems that the digital trend in South Africa is slowly but surely extending its reaches into African niche markets. DSTV has been on the forefront of communication directed at these markets, broadening their insights into a more complete South African archetype. Below is a TV ad presented in isiXhosa by Supersport, enlightening the market about the addition of Xhosa commentary on certain channels:
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Contributed by Cameron Smith.