Joe Public wins Nedbank

Joburg agency wins final pitch shootout against M&C Saatchi Abel

Nedbank has awarded its advertising account to Joe Public, the Johannesburg agency enjoying a golden period. According to the Nielsen Company, Nedbank spent R260m on media advertising last year, the same as the much bigger Absa, but trailing some way behind Standard Bank’s R382m and FNB’s R372m.

Joe Public last week went into a final shootout against M&CSaatchi Abel , the fast-growing Cape Town shop with a virtually unblemished record in new-business pitches in the three years since it was launched.

Joe Public has doubled in size in the last year as it geared up to handle new accounts such as Jet and Jet Mart Stories, Foodcorp, Incolabs, Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive. Existing clients included Clover, Tracker, Dial Direct, Nike, Ocean Basket and Anglo American.

It has also lifted its creative performance to new heights, and is currently lying fifth on the creative leader board. Ahead of it are Ogilvy Cape Town, Ogilvy Johannesburg, TBWA Hunt Lascaris and Net#work BBDO. With only the Ad of the Year to come, Joe Public’s ranking is unlikely to change.

The agency is also expanding operationally. Three units have been opened in South Africa specialising in brand design, below-the-line and above-the-line projects. Internationally, it is building a chain of franchised agencies, Joe Public United. One office has opened in Amsterdam, and two more are on the cards.


Goodbye Steve

FNB’s controversial TV character takes a break

Steve, the much put-upon character in DDB’s campaign for FNB, is taking a break – and there’s some doubt about whether he will return.  The campaign has proved to have remarkable legs, running for more than two years with an endless stream of amusing stories in which Steve is trumped by FNB with every sale he cold-calls the client of an unnamed rival bank.

At times, Steve seemed to have been convinced by the opposition arguments, and one wondered whether he was about to jump ship. But then he came back, persistent as ever and resumed the campaign, which worked up a storm for FNB in terms of new accounts opened. But in the last few weeks, Steve has disappeared without trace. New characters and new themes have emerged.

DDB, which devised the Steve campaign, is giving him a rest while it runs the “Beep Bank” campaign.

“We’ll take a view on the irritation factor and then decide whether to bring Steve back or finally sack him,” says agency CEO Emmet O’Hanlon.

Meanwhile, MetropolitanRepublic, which handles FNB’s business banking and brand advertising, has produced another gormless idiot, Henry, who keeps getting saved by his bank-savvy wife. Will Henry be the next Steve? Or is his lifespan likely to be short?


Taxi rescue act

Many taxi operators battle to get finance for their vehicles or end up paying excessive interest costs.  Now help is available from Beijing Automobile Works, which last month opened a R196m taxi assembly plant in Springs. It includes a factory reconditioning facility so if a bank does repossess a taxi, it will be given a complete overhaul and converted back into a valuable asset.  With the assistance of the IDC, BAW has also signed a finance agreement with ABSA.  Four other banks are expected to follow suit.

Ogilvy ad pulls donations

Ogilvy & Mather Johannesburg’s new television commercial for Médecines Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) showcases the extraordinary efforts of MSF workers and their daily toil. In its first week of flighting on DSTV, SABC and eTV, MSF recruited 166 donors through the ad, which earned an Orchid in the Saturday Star.

Digital trends

The digital marketing landscape is a vastly changing one and in recent years, we have seen two trends emerge almost simultaneously. Real Time Bidding (RTB) has taken off and completely changed the face of digital advertising, and the rise of mobile has forever altered user’s interaction with digital content. (AdVantage).

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