Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

If advertising is one barometer of society’s commercial preferences, South Africans have a disposition towards cars and food (especially chicken). These are two of the main trends that emerge from the latest Kantar Millward Brown best-liked TV ads survey for the first and second quarters of 2018.

The survey, which is closely watched by brands to determine best-practice ad agencies, is dominated by the Ogilvy group, which has six ads in the top 10 list of both quarters. No other competitor in the latest measurement period places more than one ad.

Notes one brand manager: "This is an agency that continues to demonstrate the power of creativity in delivering ads that work and resonate with target markets, something which is critical at a time when TV advertising is under increasing threat from better and often more cost-effective digital solutions which come at a fraction of the price."

Millward Brown’s research lists ads that are liked by an SA audience, which, says the agency, is the most important critic — people who ultimately choose to buy brands or not.

Topping the Q2 list are two ads for fast-food brand KFC, a major Ogilvy client. There is a clear creative competition going on between KFC and rivals Nando’s and Chicken Licken. A Nando’s ad by M&C Saatchi Abel called "We can fix our s#*t" tops the Q1 list, while Joe Public’s ad for Chicken Licken – "Sbu 2.0" – takes 10th spot in the Q2 ranking.

Millward Brown says: "What’s so great about some of the approaches that we see from Nando’s and Chicken Licken is that they have engaged their consumers with strong storytelling and less about the brand’s functional, tactical and practical information such as price points. Make no mistake, South Africans love to hear about the functional messages from a brand — but these ads are great examples of how to create strong and meaningful impressions in consumers’ minds."

Irreverent appeal

Nando’s iconic, irreverent approach in its advertising has lost none of its appeal. "It’s this creative style and the way that Nando’s risks it all, walking a fine line between appropriate and inappropriate, that has landed this ad in first place. A great example of understanding and engaging consumers."

TV car advertising has lost its high production value and event status, but three vehicle ads crack the Q1 list. Kia and Volkswagen are second and third and another VW ad for the Polo marque is placed sixth.

While the ranking is predominantly the preserve of larger established agencies, three smaller local operations also crack the combined top 20 list.

Gorilla Advertising and its client Shield make the Q1 list in 10th place and Left Right Advertising is fourth in Q2 for its client ACC 200 effervescent flu tablets. M&M Pictures is sixth in the Q2 list for client Assupol Funeral Plan.

Five international agencies — The Martin Agency and client Oreo; 72andSunny (Samsung); Mullen Lowe London (Sunlight); Big Rock Media (Clearscore); and Red Fuse Paris (Colgate) — also feature on both lists.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.