• John Wolfe
The South African advertising industry looks set for a R1.7-billion (US$221-million) increase this year as major sports brands invest millions in marketing targeting World Cup fans.
Part of this is a major new ad campaign by global sports brand Nike, in direct competition to World Cup sponsor Adidas. The campaign, announced on 23 June, it has Facebook and Twitter messages sent by football fans displayed on a giant electronic screen alongside digital images of football stars signed to the brand.
This super-ad appears on Africa’s largest digital advertising screen on the Life Centre building in Johannesburg. Soaring above the downtown area the 30-storey, 138-metre-high building is one of the city’s most iconic structures.
Covering two sides of the building adorn are 90-metre-tall images of Cristiano Ronaldo and Robinho which, together, are the size of half a football field. The fourth-tallest in Johannesburg, the Life Centre is visible from across the city – prime advertising real estate.
Nike is encouraging sports fans from around the world to submit special messages to inspire their favourite players. A hundred messages will be chosen each night and transformed into animation on the digital screen. When a fan’s message is chosen they are sent a notification with a picture of the headline and the animation created from it.
One of the first people to post a message was Anton Ferdinand, brother of England captain Rio Ferdinand. The message – “Believe to achieve” – will be accompanied by an image of England star Wayne Rooney.
The campaign is part of Nike’s Write the Future campaign launched for the 2010 World Cup. The Write the Future video has gone seriously vial on YouTube, with over 32-million views since its launch in May.
Rising from the downturn
The recent global economic recession shrank South Africa’s economy to only 0.4% year-on-year growth in 2009, according to Group M, WPP’s combined media buying operation. This was a heavy blow for the county’s fast growing advertising industry which had benefited from double-digit growth for the previous eight years.
South Africa’s hosting of the World Cup has seen Group M double its original growth forecast for 2010 from 3% to 6.8%. The country is now predicted to fetch in an estimated R1.7-billion ($221-million) more in advertising this year than in 2009.
Television advertising alone is expected to be up by R153-million ($2-billion), a 10% year-on-year growth. “Despite the World Cup being one of the most predictable events for media growth, we were pleased to double our ad growth forecast to 7% this year, driven by TV,” said Adam Smith, director of Group M. “This is an unusually TV-dominated ad economy, which creates lots of leverage around sporting events.”
Internet advertising is anticipated to be up R145-million ($19-million), a 20% increase.