Advertisers who undervalue the power of Afrikaans media do so at their own peril. This is the stern warning conveyed by Linda Gibson, CEO of Ads24, ahead of the annual Pendoring awards, the only industry recognition for Afrikaans advertising. The object of the awards is to promote and acknowledge excellent Afrikaans advertising.
Ads24, the national sales team for Media24 Newspapers, plays a key role in ensuring that a significant number of influential Afrikaans newspapers stand tall in an extremely competitive print media environment.
“Although Afrikaans speakers represent the third biggest language group in South Africa, the marketing and advertising community tends to ignore Afrikaans because of high production costs of multilingual advertising,’ says Gibson.
“However, when one takes the unduplicated readership of Afrikaans newspapers into account, it clearly shows that these readers are extremely loyal and that they cannot be reached by using English media for advertising purposes. In fact, advertisers do not realise that very few Afrikaans speakers read an English newspaper as well.’
It is against this background that Gibson justifies her group’s support for the Pendoring awards. “We stand firmly behind encouraging Afrikaans creatives to grow and remain in the industry so that marketers can effectively communicate with this sought-after target market.’
Ads24’s 2011 campaign, designed to raise awareness of its Afrikaans titles among the advertising community, is encapsulated in the following message: “Think in Afrikaans and your brand message will never get lost in translation. When you relate to the Afrikaans market in their own language you don’t just reach them – you move them.’
Gibson elaborates: “Our Think Afrikaans campaign illustrates the idea that when you conceptualise a campaign or translate into or communicate it in sharp, contemporary Afrikaans, your message will resonate with the Afrikaans-speaking consumer.
“Afrikaans-speaking South Africans still constitute the biggest section of the white population and are known to be loyal to their preferred brands, products and services.’
Emphasising that effective advertising is firmly anchored in the culture of a specific target market, Gibson maintains that the language with which that market identifies and in which the people conceptualise and think, must be taken into account in order to have an impact on that market.
“Pendoring provides a platform for acknowledging and rewarding Afrikaans creatives for their sterling work. The awards are a great opportunity to showcase this vibrant sector to the whole industry. As always, we are proud to be associated with Pendoring and look forward to seeing the winning entries unveiled.’
Pendoring GM Franette Klerck says Pendoring is privileged to continue its unique partnership with Ads24 this year.
“With its Think Afrikaans campaign, Ads24 plays a crucial role in conveying the importance and profitability of home language advertising to advertisers and advertising creatives. It’s also absolutely in line with one of Pendoring’s most important objectives – to stress and promote the importance of Afrikaans marketing messages to advertisers and creatives.
“As the impact of a commercial message in a target market’s home language is so much greater, marketers who heed this truth should reap rich financial benefits,’ says Klerck.