There is a unique African aesthetic emerging in South Africa’s on-air promos and broadcast design, according to the international judges of the fourth annual Promax/BDA Africa Awards.
This message was relayed to the industry at the Promax/BDA Africa Conference & Awards event which took place at Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre on 16 October by Promax/BDA Africa chairwoman Nisha Jones (Sales Director & Acting Marketing Director, SABC).
“The judges sent me an email in which they said that Africa has shown a bigger growth in quality of work than any other Promax/BDA region and that it rivals that of Europe,’ said Jones.
Noting that these were very challenging times for the broadcast industry with the recession shrinking budgets, the number of channels increasing all the time, audience fragmentation and more complex schedules, Jones said the importance of the Promax/BDA Africa conference was to help on-air creatives and marketers find waning audiences.
“The easy days of appointment viewing are over. Promo producers have less time, less money and less support to do their jobs. It’s a time for writers, designers, etc. to invent the future. Programmes still need to be promoted, but more economically. In times of hardship creativity thrives. Imagination does not have to cost a fortune,’ stated Jones.
Top international speakers for the Promax/BDA conference came from Australia, US and Belgium, covering topics such as dramatic structure in promos, the future world of digital aboriginals, honing a brand’s personality, sports promos and broadcast sponsorship. In one session by local presenter Bron Dean of Orijin JHB, delegates were shown the best promos from around the world.
Another local speaker, Ingrid Bell of Red Pepper, talked about the importance of viral campaigns. “There is a global budget crisis but you can always do viral marketing. The idea behind advertising on social networking sites is that your message lands up in millions of inboxes around the world. What you need is a short, sharp piece of great entertainment that you can’t resist sending to your friends. You don’t need a big budget to produce a great viral ad. Remember that no idea is a new idea.
“A recession in broadcasting terms is all about repeats – every broadcaster is struggling with how to show repeats. So you need great promos to attract viewers to repeats. Timing is very important in any campaign.’
In a beer-swigging presentation, America’s MK12 showed how an art and design agency from Missouri ended up designing the main title sequence for the most recent James Bond film, Quantum of Solace.
For more on the Promax/BDA Africa conference, see November issue of Screen Africa.