Integration of TV and mobile results in measurable campaign

In the wake of the recent recession, the advertising industry has had to reconsider its options and devise creative new implementations that clearly show return on investment for wary clients. Finding the balance between creative execution and effective market reach is a tricky business, but is becoming ever more vital.  The Cannes Lion Awards’ new ‘Creative Effectiveness’ category serves as a strong indicator of a changing industry.

 The recently flighted, award-winning series of television commercials for MMad, a newly launched digital retail and lifestyle portal, have found this balance. Each advert delivers a highly creative piece of communication that resonates strongly with its target market, whilst supplying quantifiable data through the use of shortcodes and keywords to assess the effectiveness and reach of each ad.

MMad is an on-the-go retail and lifestyle solution, providing users with a brand new way to shop, connect and engage. Accessible via a number of digital touch-points including mobile, web and social media, users are able to makepurchases, update their social media accounts, and download and access their favourite content from a centralised interface. MMad also makes queues a thing of the past for time-strapped users, allowing them to buy airtime, electricity, daily deals, gift vouchers and lotto tickets and pay traffic fines at the touch of a button.

The 10 MMad adverts, five of which have been airing on SABC and eTV since April, are the product of a creative collaboration between production company, Bioscope Films and advertising agency, The Greenhouse. The adverts have made a local celebrity of the central ‘Guru’ character, who features in all 10 commercials and provides various South African stereotypical characters with misguided advice on love, life and everything in between. The adverts use humour to great effect, and have been well received by both critics and the public alike, taking home May’s prestigious Creative Circle Ad of the Month award and receiving a finalist nomination for the upcoming Loerie Awards.

Hylton Tannenbaum, Director of Bioscope Films, believes that it’s this irreverent approach that has resonated so strongly with South African viewers: “Advertising for products of this nature has, in the past, always been packaged in the same way, with flashing fonts and bright colours being used ineffectually to market brands.   We were given complete creative freedom by MMad, which really allowed us to expand our thinking and find new and exciting ways to actually engage the audience and really get them talking. By sending up a variety of local stereotypes, we’ve been able to speak effectively to a wider audience.”

Over and above the adverts’ obvious appeal, they have been constructed to dovetail seamlessly with mobile technology to provide measurable data. Each advert contains a unique keyword, which viewers SMS to a dedicated shortcode number to download the application. Analysis of the data reveals which adverts have the most reach and consumer uptake.

MMad’s Technical and Operations Director, Grant Fleming, says this element is vital to the company’s marketing campaign as it allows them to adjust advert flightings to generate maximum impact.

“By analysing which ads have the most reach within selected market groups, we’re able to customise our flightings to achieve the best possible return on investment,” explains Fleming.

“If, for instance, one of the ads is generating more impressive returns, we’re able to increase its distribution to reach a wider audience. The data also helps us assess which adverts work best on which channels. This shortcode system allows us to track impact in real time and is invaluable in terms of delivering an effective advertising campaign.”

Not only have all the adverts been widely viewed on social media forums such asYouTube and Facebook, but the Guru character has been thoroughly integratedinto all consumer touchpoints to create a seamless and synergised campaign.

“Over and above the tv ads, we wanted to give The Guru a voice and an outlet to communicate via a variety of different channels,” says Fleming. “The Guru has his own Facebook page and Twitter profile, which extends the reach of the creative and gives viewers a chance to engage with both him and the brand long after the adverts have aired.”



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