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What SA can learn from Cannes ad festival

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At this year’s Cannes Lions advertising festival, South Africa scored many accolades – but not a single prize for digital work. This was hardly surprising, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

It took a flood of insults to point the way to a new trend in digital advertising. A campaign featuring supermodel Gisele Bundchen won a Grand Prix, the premium award, in the Cyber Lions, the digital category of the annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The campaign began with the announcement of an unlikely partnership between Bundchen and macho brand Under Armour. It sparked a flood of both subtle and outright sexist insults in conventional media and social networks.

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And that’s when the campaign truly kicked in. Real comments were used in TV ads featuring Bundchen working out. Under Armour’s website used a custom “engine” to scrape the Internet for insults, and projected them on the site in real time – all accompanied by videos and images of Bundchen in action.

The message? Bundchen had both the physical and emotional strenght to block out even the worst of the insults. Not only did it send a message of empowerment, but also combined numerous platforms, sources and technologies.

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Most important, it delivered results: 1,5-billion media impressions and a 28 per cent increase in sales. The campaign won another two gold Lions and four silvers for its various achievements.

No one is suggesting that an equivalent campaign could have been created in South Africa. But it is noteworthy that this country barely features in the Cyber Lions, while having a proud history across the rest of the competition.

This year, South Africa took 16 out of 58 awards for Radio, a category

It has dominated over the years, proving there is no shortage of advertising creativity in this country.

So why does it fall so short in digital? One answer was suggested to this writer two years ago during judging of the annual Bookmark awards, which recognise excellence in digital creative work and execution in South Africa. Some of the best work on show was brilliant in its execution, but clearly followed in trails blazed by digital pioneers elsewhere.

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While such works were not necessarily derivative, they were also not particularly brave, given that they were built on well-established foundations. And they barely left a mark in the collective South African psyche.

The best of South African radio advertising, on the other hand, tends to be both bold and memorable. One senses creative decision-makers ready to stick their necks out, which is a sign not only of courage, but also of confidence. They know what they’re doing, and are always ready to try something new.

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In the digital category, on the other hand, we tend to be led by what is happening elsewhere, and what has been made possible by others. It’s a matter not only of limited technical knowledge, but also of failing to appreciate the boundaries of digital creativity – or rather, the lack of boundaries. Globally, it is a medium that is being reinvented every day, and slowly becoming more important than most other traditional forms of advertising.

Eventually, all advertising will be a sub-category of digital. Until a few years ago in Cannes, however, digital was a poor relation of TV, radio and press advertising. In South Africa, it still is.

* Arthur Goldstuck has been a judge in the digital category of both local and international advertising festivals. He is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee, and subscribe to his YouTube channel at http://bit.ly/GGadgets

All the Cyber Lions Grand Prix and Gold winners

Campaign Brand Agency Country Award
Gisele Bündchen – I Will What I Want Under Armour Droga5 New York USA Grand Prix
Hammerhead Hammerhead Navigation R/GA New York USA Gold Lion
The Other Side Honda Motor Europe Wieden+Kennedy London United Kingdom Gold Lion
Gisele Bündchen – I Will What I Want Under Armour Droga5 New York USA Gold Lion
The Berlin Wall Of Sound Soundcloud Grey Germany Düsseldorf / Grey Germany Berlin Germany Gold Lion
Gisele Bündchen – I Will What I Want Under Armour Droga5 New York USA Gold Lion
Look At Me Samsung Electronics Cheil Worldwide Seoul South Korea Gold Lion
Groceries Not Guns Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America Grey Canada Toronto Canada Gold Lion
#Likeagirl Procter & Gamble Leo Burnett Toronto / Leo Burnett Chicago / Leo Burnett London / Holler London Canada Gold Lion
The Other Side Honda Motor Europe Wieden+Kennedy London United Kingdom Gold Lion
Print For Help Hewlett-Packard Brasil FCB Brasil São Paulo Brazil Gold Lion
Dream On Adobe Goodby Silverstein & Partners San Francisco USA Gold Lion
The Ice Bucket Challenge The Als Association The ALS Association Washington USA Gold Lion
#Likeagirl Procter & Gamble Leo Burnett Toronto / Leo Burnett Chicago / Leo Burnett London / Holler London Canada Gold Lion
Unskippable: Elevator Geico The Martin Agency Richmond USA Gold Lion Campaign
Unskippable Geico The Martin Agency Richmond USA Gold Lion Campaign
Unskippable: Family Geico The Martin Agency Richmond USA Gold Lion Campaign
Unskippable: Family Long Form Geico The Martin Agency Richmond USA Gold Lion Campaign
Unskippables: High Five Geico The Martin Agency Richmond USA Gold Lion Campaign
Clever Buoy Optus M&C Saatchi Sydney Australia Gold Lion
House Of Mamba Nike Akqa London / Akqa Shanghai United Kingdom Gold Lion
Safety Truck Samsung Leo Burnett Argentina Buenos Aires Argentina Gold Lion

 

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Notre Dame, Scoop Makhathini, GoT, top week in search

From fire disaster to social media disaster, the top Google searches this week covered a wide gamut of themes.

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Paris and the whole world looked on in shock as the 856-year-old medieval Catholic cathedral crumbled into ash. The tragic infernal destruction of this tourist attraction of historical and religious significance led South Africans to generate more than 200 000 search queries for “Notre Dame Cathedral” on Monday. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire that razed the architectural icon.

In other top trending searches on Google this week, radio presenter Siyabonga Ngwekazi, AKA Scoop Makhathini, went viral when it appeared he had taken to Twitter to expose his girlfriend, Akhona Carpede, for cheating on him. Scoop has since come out to say that he was not responsible for the bitter rant and that his account was hacked. “Scoop Makhathini” generated more than 20 000 search queries on Wednesday.

Fans generated more than 20 000 search queries for “Sam Smith” on Tuesday ahead of the the British superstar’s Cape Town performance at the Grand West Casino. Smith ended up cutting his performance short that night due to vocal strain.

Local Game of Thrones superfans were beside themselves on Sunday, searching the internet high and low for the first episode of the American fantasy drama’s eighth season. “Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 1” generated more than 100 000 queries on Google Search on the weekend.

As the festivities kicked off in California with headliners such as Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande, South Africans generated more than 2 000 search queries for “Coachella” on Saturday.

South Africans generated more than 5 000 search queries for “Wendy Williams” on Friday  as it emerged that the American talk show host had filed for divorce from her husband Kevin Hunter after 21 years of marriage. Hunter has long been rumored to have been cheating on Williams, which reportedly finally led to the divorce.

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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5G smartphones to hit 5M sales in 2019

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According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Early 5G smartphone models will be expensive and available in limited volumes. Samsung, LG and Huawei will be the early 5G smartphone leaders this year, followed by Apple next year.

Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “We forecast global 5G smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Less than 1 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide will be 5G-enabled this year. Global 5G smartphone shipments are tiny for now, due to expensive device pricing, component bottlenecks, and restricted availability of active 5G networks.”

Ville Petteri-Ukonaho, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung will be the early 5G smartphone leader in the first half of 2019, due to initial launches across South Korea and the United States. We predict LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola and others will follow later in the year, followed by Apple iPhone with its first 5G model during the second half of 2020. The iPhone looks set to be at least a year behind Samsung in the 5G smartphone race and Apple must be careful not to fall too far behind.”

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The short-term outlook for 5G smartphones is weak, but the long-term opportunity remains huge. We forecast 1 billion 5G smartphones to ship worldwide per year by 2025. The introduction of 5G networks, by carriers like Verizon or China Mobile, opens up high-speed, ultra-low-latency services such as 8K video, streaming games, and augmented reality for business. The next big question for the mobile industry is how much extra consumers are really willing to pay, if anything, for those emerging 5G smartphones and services.”

Strategy Analytics provides a snapshot analyses for the outlook for 5G smartphone market in this Insight report: 5G Smartphones : From Zero to a Billion

Strategy Analytics provides a deep-dive into the air-interface technologies that will power phones through 2024 across 88 countries here: Global Handset Sales Forecast by 88 Countries and 19 Technologies : 2003 to 2024

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