Any brand that is not truly connected with its consumers is at risk of survival in the future. Consumers care less and less every day about advertising that is irrelevant, interruptive, boring and irritating.
We all know creativity sells, but there’s no question that if agencies don’t transform themselves to become more results-focused, they cannot offer clients better value and real growth and their survival will be at risk in the future.
For the first time in its 90-year history, clothing retail brand Edgars won a Bronze Lion (entertainment category) plus two shortlists (brand experience and entertainment) at Cannes this year for the ‘Don’t tell me what to do’ campaign created by VMLY&R South Africa.
A comprehensive campaign, its multiple touchpoints included Africa’s fastest rising star, musician Sho Madjozi, and a cast of expressive personalities as diverse as South Africa, who created an anthem of self-expression. They were set free to create their own social content using the Sho Madjozi clothing range, specifically created for the campaign to celebrate their individuality.
Connecting to culture
By connecting the brand to every part of culture, from Madjozi’s specially-released song to a heritage collection named for her and a live relaunch, they shifted the Edgars brand from pedestrian to dynamic and made it impossible to ignore. In the process achieving a 533% increase in sentiment for the Edgars brand.
Globally, the VMLY&R network walked away from Cannes with two Grands Prix, 1 Titanium, 4 Gold, 7 Silver, 17 Bronze and 68 shortlists.
What all the award-winning work has in common is its ability to really engage with the customer in a culturally relevant manner.
Whether it’s a Wendy’s avatar in Fortnite destroying freezers to create awareness of its fresh beef offering, or Santa Casa Hospital in Brazil, using Latin American superstar Anitta to promote women’s health, or educating Polish men about sexuality and gender issues while challenging the county’s poor record for misogyny, through the country’s most popular porn magazine, and then shutting it down, all campaigns brought the conversation to the customer in new and exciting ways.
Having run digitally forward agencies long before digital was part of creativity, I believe that the dramatic impact of technology on consumers now means that agencies have to re-engineer the brand experience across every touchpoint.
The new VMLY&R South Africa is unique in that regard; part consultancy and part creative agency, with the right mix of depth and scale to combine creativity, technology and culture to continue leading brand creativity in a connected world.
Our approach to orchestrating connected brands brings together VML, who has pioneered the use of digital media to give consumers bold brand experiences that meet them everywhere they are, with Y&R, who bring traditional, creative excellence, allowing the new-look agency to connect consumers to brands at every level, from mobile and digital to radio and billboard, and to do so at scale with results.
Jarred Cinman is CEO of the recently rebranded VMLY&R South Africa.
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