“Creativity starts when you cut a zero from your budget. If you cut two zeros, it becomes much better,” so says Jaime Lerner (world-renowned urban planner and architect).

Looking at the current economic climate – and if you believe in the sentiment above – it might be safe to say that the industry is very well placed to produce some highly impactful, creatively genius TV commercials in spite of (or even because of) the need to (sell!) on an ever-decreasing budget.

When the first Financial Mail AdForum of the year, in association with Ornico, was hosted at the Vega School of Brand Leadership this April 2016: the focus was firmly on retail advertising and the mood was festive given all the holiday adverts that had flighted at the end of 2015 and were now up for discussion under the guidance of Aforum host, Jeremy Maggs.

The panel comprised Ahmed Tilly, founder and Executive Creative Director of Black River FC, Lara Cassel, Managing Partner at the Strategy Department, Deon Wiggett, Creative Partner at Famous Copy, and Mongezi Mtati, Marketing Manager at Ornico.

As is the format of every Adforum: each advert was first shown to the audience, before commentary was sought from each panellist. The advert was then put up for a vote by the audience – who, by the power of their green and red cards, either agreed or disagreed with the efficacy level or creative merit of the advert in question.

The Overall View:
From a varied selection of local and international retail adverts, audience opinion was split down the middle with five of the ads earning green cards, five earning red, and one resulting in a split vote.

Some of the Gritty Details:

  • Cape Union Mart’s Christmas ad was found to inadequately capture the attention of the viewer upfront because of its generic introduction. It also failed to illustrate the brand’s essence of adventure. Red Card.
  • Checkers’ advert on its range of wines was found to be the result of a successful campaign that has differentiated the entire brand from its competitors. The focus went beyond price to the actual shopping experience – affording the advert an air of authenticity this way. Green Card.
  • The international Target Holiday ad effectively pulled the audience in and retained their interest through good production and storytelling values. “The ad drives pester power, which cannot be underestimated because the resolution of children today to get what they want is remarkable,” Cassel commented. Overall… Green Card.
  • Game’s “We Beat Any Price” ad was given an immediate red card by the panellists. Although it underlined the brand’s tagline of “beating any price” – its delivery was still found to be terrible – (low budget should never equal terrible advertising).
  • Tesco’s international “open tills” ad was given an undisputed green card for its humour and ability to retain interest even when focusing on a detail as minute as opening additional tills when the shop is busy. The ad, stated Cassel, succeeded in reflecting the human truth that everyone wants to feel special.

For the full effect of these insightful, entertaining, no-holds-barred morning breakfast sessions – be sure to book yourself a seat at the next Adforum event. Contact Tiso Blackstar Events to be placed on the mailing list for further details.