In what can be seen as a significant departure from traditional banking campaigns, the second series of Absaville – a bespoke storytelling campaign created for Absa by Creatrix to educate consumers around Absa’s shared growth strategy – launched earlier this month across the SABC’s nine African-language radio stations.

Lynn Joffe of Creatrix explains that this form of content marketing, packaged as a 10-minute show within a show, is perceived by listeners as programming as opposed to advertising, and is proving highly successful. 

“It’s a platform that [has achieved] all the campaign objectives. We wanted to create an edutainment platform in all SA languages that would provide a fusion between education, product information and entertainment, as well as one that would create a connection with listeners, causing them to tune in weekly. This form of storytelling engages the imagination and creates an ongoing brand experience that no other platform would be able to deliver, allowing the audience to be touched in an intimate, one-on-one manner.”

Joffe says the campaign shows empathy for all South Africans irrespective of language, culture and heritage and creates significant credibility for Absa.

Edutainment, or branded content campaigns, provide an opportunity for brands to communicate their values and offerings to an audience in an original way, one that engages them on both a cognitive and an emotional level. They work particularly well in the lower LSM and youth markets, providing the building blocks for credible relationships between brand and consumer.

Joffe says because emotions play such a critical role in human experience, this type of brand communication can trigger a change in brand perceptions.

The Absaville campaign, she says, ties in particularly well with African language radio stations, which deliver the audience that suits the brand’s storytelling narrative in terms of psychographics and demographics. This is particularly the case in terms of building connections with the audience, which it does far more effectively than anything that could be achieved with a 30-second radio spot. It creates not only brand loyalty but an actual listening market that tunes in to the show each week, among an audience (African language stations as well as community stations) whose members share a long tradition of listening to dramas in their mother tongue.

It’s measurable too, says Joffe, explaining that qualitative and quantitative research is conducted to determine whether there is comprehension around brand values. Stations have provided positive feedback in terms of audience reactions.

Shows of this nature offer an opportunity for ongoing exposure and amplification across different platforms, Joffe says.

The big take-out: Absaville, a bespoke storytelling education campaign around Absa’s shared growth strategy, has been successful in terms of forging emotional connections with audiences and creating brand loyalty in a way that acknowledges the language and culture of the markets it targets.

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