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Facebook Creative Accelerator helps sharpen best practices for digital storytelling in African markets

 Facebook Creative Accelerator helps sharpen best practices for digital storytelling in African markets

Facebook’s Creative Accelerator programme is helping brands such as Virgin Mobile in South Africa and Coca-Cola in Kenya to unlock the power of personal storytelling and reach people with stories that are personal, relevant and meaningful in Africa.

Through the programme, the Facebook Creative Shop is working with clients and their agency partners in South Africa, Kenya, India, Indonesia, and Turkey to bring brands’ stories to life. The goal is to help establish best practices for high-growth countries by developing campaigns tailored to the people in each country and the devices they use to experience Facebook.

Says Fergus O’Hare Creative Strategist, Facebook Creative Shop: “A good story can break through geographic, linguistic, technological and even cultural boundaries. And thanks to the rapid adoption of mobile phones in high-growth countries, brands have unprecedented opportunity to reach people with stories that are personal, relevant and meaningful.

“Since Africa is mobile-first and in many cases mobile-only, we are particularly excited about reaching its massive base of feature and smartphone users with targeted marketing,” says O’Hare. “We are already seeing some exciting developments from this programme as we work with agencies and clients to craft campaigns tailored to the people in each country and the devices they use to experience Facebook.”

Spreading happiness in Kenya
Coca Cola, for example, wanted to spread a message of happiness to people across Kenya to create more brand awareness. Facebook partnered with Coca Cola Kenya’s creative agency, McCann Worldgroup in South Africa, to create a campaign across all devices and connection-types in the diverse country – including people with 2G connections and feature phones.

The campaign begins by targeting the local audience on feature phones with beautiful images of local Kenyans smiling and doing the everyday things they love. It includes a hashtag to encourage people to share their own #Kenyanhappiness.

The campaign targets Kenyans in addition to audience segments of Kenyan expats who live outside Kenya, as well as frequent travellers to the country, spreading the message of positivity. As people uploaded their own #Kenyanhappiness stories, Coca Cola spreads those messages of positivity around the world.

McCann Worldgroup and the Facebook Creative Shop are also working with Virgin Mobile in South Africa on a campaign that will launch soon.

Outside Africa, clients in high-growth countries taking part in the Creative Accelerator programme include Durex and Lifebuoy in Indonesia, Nestlé Everyday Whitener and Axe in India and Samsung in Turkey. 

Reaching the unreachable
Says Fraser Lamb, CEO and Executive Chairman of Africa at McCann Worldgroup: “Our campaigns with the Creative Accelerator programme highlight how Facebook’s tools can reach historically unreachable customers in the world’s key growth markets.

“This is important for global brands in the consumer goods, tech and telecoms market that are looking to emerging high-growth regions like India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa for their future growth. Through Facebook, brands can be where people are on their most intimate, personal devices.” 

Key learnings so far
O’Hare says that the lessons Facebook has taken from the programme so far include the following:

  • Build for everyone: Create campaigns that account for the wide array of devices and mobile connections people in high-growth countries use to access services like Facebook. If you’re only building content that looks great on iPhones or high-end Android devices, you’re excluding a huge portion of potential audience.
  • Tailor content to different experiences:The creative specs for feature phones and older smartphones differ from newer devices. Campaigns that deliver the right creative for the right device will feel more relevant.
  • Use the same devices as your audience:If you’re building content that’s supposed to work well on feature phones with a 2G connection, test the experience by using a feature phone with a 2G connection yourself.
  • Respect people’s bandwidth:Bandwidth targeting on Facebook gives advertisers the ability to send ads based on the quality of a person’s network connection. Brands are now able to develop and send rich media ads, such as videos, to people on faster connections and more relevant pieces of content such as, still images, for those accessing Facebook on a weaker connection.


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