16 February 2023
by Molebo Sehume
Advertising Week Africa 2023 had its inaugural debut in February 2023 at Vodaworld in Midrand. It was quite energising to be at an industry do and see familiar faces, especially after COVID ensured we all stayed well in-doors. It was good to hear industry news and mingle with various industry players as there were agency people, media buyers and generally all different types of talent who work within this industry.
e-Media Investments partnered up with Hart Entertainment to make this possible for local audiences. It was very well received judging by the venue which was packed to capacity. There were great creative talks, with various topics and the creative industry heads, such as Mark Scheckner – the Global CEO at Advertising Week and Tebogo Malope – Film Director & Partner at the Star Films.
“Content creation” were the key buzzwords on the day. Talks focused heavily on content creation; distribution channels; understanding audience research; new technologies and the efficient use of social media influencers.
There was hardly any mention of climate change communication and how fossil fuel companies are yet to account for their huge emissions. There were also no climate activists – however I did manage to interact with some of the delegates in the pause areas, and they all agreed that Clean Creatives is embarking on a mammoth task, but one that’s needed.
The comedian Kevin Hart delivered the Opening Talk in his comical way although I found it quite hearty and warm. Interestingly, he reiterated what we all know about, “brand Africa” and how it’s perceived in the Western World, still as “The Dark Continent,” yet has produced some amazing talent from sporting heroes; entertainment personalities and world respected leaders and hence the importance for him and his team to travel here to unearth new content and new talent.
The next part of the conversation for creativity in Africa is how we will use the power of creativity to shift the conversation on climate change, and rapidly phase out working with fossil fuel clients. The African continent is considered to be the most vulnerable region in the world to climate change, and so as an advertising industry, it’s vital that we start this conversation on our continent as soon as possible.