FCB Joburg assists Absa in its relaunch in Africa

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FCB Joburg has created a new word, as well as a 360° campaign embracing traditional and new media, to assist Absa Group, formerly Barclays Africa Group, in its relaunch in Africa.

The group’s new brand strategy and identity were co-created by OgilvyRED (New York), Grid Worldwide and Yellowwood, in a year-long process that started in 2017. FCB Joburg’s responsibility was to assist Absa in launching these on 11 July when the name change took effect in South Africa, and to communicate them to the group’s internal and external stakeholders on the continent in the months ahead.

“The development of our new strategy and identity were governed by four principles: ‘collaborative’ to ensure every voice was heard, ‘bold’ to hold us to the highest standards, ‘fact-based’ so that we would operate with rigour and objectivity, and ‘innovative’ to reflect the new world we were creating,” explained head of Absa Group Marketing, David Wingfield.

“The process resulted in a new business purpose statement: where we see ourselves as enablers, helping individuals, businesses and society to ‘bring your possibility to life.’  It also resulted in a fresh brand being created as an expression of our new identity as an independent African bank with global scalability. We tasked FCB Joburg with communicating this,” Wingfield said.

“Absa’s purpose is inspired by the African continent,” said FCB Joburg executive creative director, Gareth Paul.

“This continent and its people have an amazing way of getting things done. They have a way of turning any adversity into an opportunity. There wasn’t a word out there that described this age-old attitude, and that is how we came up with the word ‘Africanacity’. ‘Africanacity’: it’s Africa’s ingenuity, tenacity, creativity, audacity and positivity all rolled into one. And it’s how Absa will get things done too.”

The Africanacity campaign conceived by FCB Joburg is a 360 campaign that comprises a 97-second film, a 60-second television commercial directed by Gentlemen’s Greg Rom, radio executions in most of South Africa’s official languages, out-of-home, print, as well as an extensive social media campaign.

Featuring a soundtrack that could only come from Africa, the TVC is a collage of vignettes showcasing the innovative ways people in Africa get things done, as well as their ability to embrace technology to keep pace with change.

“FCB Joburg has contributed to a number of large rebrands in the past, most noticeably Vodacom several years ago, but our work on the Absa refresh in terms of timings and number of elements exceeds them all,” said FCB Joburg managing director, Thabang Skwambane.

“As lead agency, we were tremendously proud to be entrusted with the task of pulling together so many people from so many different agencies and industry suppliers; at times it felt as if this rebrand was about the industry coming together with one client’s best interest at heart,” he added.

“The creative task, the production effort and the co-ordination facilitation this rebrand involved really challenged the core team at FCB Joburg. With the assistance of the other agencies involved and their tireless suppliers, as well as everyone else at 164 Katherine Street, they did a spectacular job. Well done, FCB Joburg and well done SA’s ad industry,” concluded Skwambane.

View the launch ad here and watch out for the follow-on breaking later this year.

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