Ogilvy ad agency boss lauds the marvellous talent of Africa

By our News Team | 2021

‘We have an amazing wealth of talent across our continent,’ says leading agency chief executive in global TV interview.

In an interview with broadcast news giant CNN, Ogilvy South Africa’s Group CEO, Enver Groenewald, talked of the potential of the African continent. His comments covered the agency’s role on the continent, and how and where advertising dollars will come from in the future.

The potential payoff for brands is significant. Household spending across Africa is expected to be worth an estimated US$2.5-trillion by 2030. But marketing products to this vast consumer base is tricky. The rapid growth of mobile phone adoption across the continent means international advertising giants like Ogilvy have had to develop new strategies.

“I want Ogilvy to be a force for social change in Africa. I go back to the idea of us not seeing brands and the power of brands only through the lens of the transactional relationship between the consumer and the product,” he said.

Photo by Oswald Elsaboath on Unsplash

“I think brands can play a powerful role in creating social cohesion and social justice in Africa.”

Purpose-led marketing and brands

He continued: “Look at what we call purpose-led marketing and purpose-led brands. For Ogilvy that has to be the space that we absolutely own and occupy, and take a leadership position in. That is absolutely the right thing to do.”

“We have an amazing wealth of talent across our continent. I don’t think that talent in Africa, particularly from an advertising industry perspective, has to stand back for any other region. Some people may have that perspective that if the advertising doesn’t come from a North American perspective or Western European perspective, it’s not that great because those territories and regions are the benchmark. I reject that completely.

“I’m talking about African creative talent not trying to emulate any other region, but remaining authentic and true to what is intimately African. And I just want to qualify what I mean when I say typically Africa, because Africa is not one country. If you’re a creative in Lagos versus a creative in Accra or a creative in Cape Town, you’ve got very different perspectives and very different definitions of authenticity,” says Groenewald.

Source: cnn.com