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    Trends in advertising in Africa

    The advertising marketing in Africa has grown significantly in the past five years, due in part to investment from international advertising networks, as well as the digitisation of the industry.
    Advertising in Africa report
    Advertising in Africa report

    ‘Advertising in Africa - retaining broadcast’s share of the pie’ (July 2016) is a new report published in July 2016 by Balancing Act, an independent consultancy and research company focused on ICT and media in Africa, ¬†that provides a health check of the advertising industry on the continent.

    The report was produced to collect data about the industry on the continent and to highlight emerging trends.

    The revenues of the advertising industry are crucial for a number of business sectors in Africa. The media in general and radio and television in particular thrive or contract on the money brands spend on them. Increasingly, mobile phones are becoming advertising channels and operators are getting revenues from this channel.

    And as Africa is increasingly online, advertising money spent on digital banners and social media is growing in size and has become a key part of many online start-up business models.

    For over a year, Balancing Act has studied market trends, innovations, weaknesses and opportunities, the impact of advertising in the media and in particular television advertising revenue.

    The report includes spreadsheets providing: advertising revenue by country; TV advertising revenue by country; and projections of advertising revenue by 2020 for the continent. This report provides advertisers, agencies, content producers, media and other players in this ecosystem a part of quantitative, qualitative information and contact details they need to assess market conditions, identify trends, seize opportunities, make purchase and investment decisions, and assess training needs.

    Among the things identified by the report, it notes a "rush of global advertising agencies to many countries across Africa over the past five years", also citing equity investments and acquisitions in African communications groups.

    Advertising agencies come with major advertisers that are investing in Africa, which they see as markets with new opportunities.

    The rush to buy companies has included several agencies that have purchased new digital agencies, allowing them to get into the newly emerging African online advertising and social media space.

    Major trends

    Three major trends have emerged:

    1. Analysts confirm a significant improvement in the quality of advertising campaigns over the last three years, improvements stimulated by competition between existing and new agencies who are “upping their game” and existing advertisers who are sticking to local expectations.
    2. The 2010 FIFA World Cup was a catalyst that put the continent in the spotlight for multinationals. South Africa has been the main gateway of African advertising, but Nigeria, Kenya and the Ivory Coast are now among the other countries that are also serving as platforms to reach neighboring regional countries.
    3. Although there is considerable disagreement about the size of the emerging African middle class, there is no doubt it exists and it is the target of many marketing strategies. After mobile telephony, financial services, food and the transport sector, there are new brands in other sectors that need to communicate to keep or gain market share.

    In the coming years, the liberalisation of many sectors, regulations to strengthen competition rules, the emergence of national brands, the need for diversification of economies and the transition from informal to formal economies, will provide further fuel for growth to brands and advertising agencies.

    Furthermore, digitisation and media fragmentation will force many African brands to re-invent themselves, and to communicate differently.

    *The report is available from Balancing Act here.

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