The next time you’re watching SABC 1, e.tv or Mzansi Magic, check out the ads, especially those targeting 80% of SA’s population. Notice how many of them somehow tend to feel the same. Watch carefully and you’ll notice that a significant number of the ads feature a gogo or a smiling mom with a cute, small son called Sipho, all of them probably ending up dancing. It’s a crisis that has reached epidemic proportions. It’s almost as if neither agency nor brand has bothered to find genuine insights about the people they are talking to. But the reality isn’t that they haven’t bothered, it’s that they have been unable to. The lack of diversity in agency and client teams means the pool of insights they can dip into, especially when talking to consumers who aren’t like them, is as dismally low as the dam levels in Cape Town right now. And when there are opportunities to tap into insights from the few people who can offer them, there is often a lack of initiative or willingness to do so – a m...

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