The growth and importance of Africa is undeniable and whilst others look for dots on the map, BBDO’s focus on the work and talent has carved a different path in the region. The approach has been to partner with Clients who are pioneering a new creative landscape across the region with a focus on world class creativity that puts Africa on the map.
BBDO now has a body of outstanding work, across several brands, which has been recognised commercially and at regional awards. This has now culminated with a Gold and a Bronze Lion at Cannes for Made of Black, for Guinness. This is the only gold for the continent in the film category and has transformed communications in the region.
The work was developed under the stewardship of BBDO Africa CCO Mike Schalit under an agency coalition featuring BBDO offices in London, Lagos, Nairobi and Johannesburg. The work had so much potential that it attracted Sam Brown, from Rogue films, Black Skinhead, a track by Kanye West, and is a celebration of a new creative generation featuring real creative pioneers from across the continent. Talent that carve their own path, rewrite the rules, embody a progressive, entrepreneurial spirit, and are, like Guinness, Made of More.
Mike Schalit, CCO, BBDO Africa says, “Dipping into local culture and nuance, we were able to connect this global platform at a more relevant, more compelling level through Made of Black. It’s is more than a TV ad, it is a platform that has redefined the beer category and unites the creativity and ingenuity of the world’s most iconic beer with a continent’s unrivalled potential, energy, passion and confidence. We’re proud of this recognition.”
BBDO Africa’s rise is built on great Clients, great work, and great talent. Talent like Brad Reilly (ECD, Net#work BBDO, South Africa), Gau Narayanan (Regional Director, BBDO Africa), Robert Nganga (ECD, BBDO MediaEdge, Kenya) and Chuma Obumselu (ECD, BBDO West Africa, Nigeria). This team has driven new business growth and creative success for the network and will continue to push BBDO to greater heights on brands like MARS, Wrigley and also Visa.
“As an agency we are well aware of the new creative voice that is gaining in volume in Africa and we are excited to be part of its influence on breakthrough, world-class communication platforms and ideas for our clients. It’s differentiating, it’s relevant and it is only now beginning to really be defined. There has never been a better time to be in Africa,” says Schalit.