If you’ve ever watched South African television or are a fan of quality entertainment in any form, you should be well acquainted with the television commercial industry in South Africa and the high volume of unforgettable clips produced annually in the country. From the side-splitting and hilarious to the poignantly dramatic, they’ve got it all.
If you’re not in South Africa and don’t know where to go to further investigate my claims, thankfully C. Zambane, a South African television commercial enthusiast, has taken it upon himself to thoughtfully curate the best of the best with his tumblr blog “South African TV Ads”.
We talked to him to find out a little more about the personality behind the blog as well as how his passion for South African television commercials was ignited.
Describe yourself in five sentences or less:
A committed South African TV watcher and compulsive internet trawler, but you can call me C. Zambane.
What inspired and/or motivated you to start this blog and how long have you been operating it?
I’ve spent a few years watching TV outside South Africa and missed being “the target audience” of ads, even the terrible ones. Homesick for mnca Mzansi-flavoured advertising, I searched online and found most sites either had limited content or they were awful to browse or were they are designed for advertising industry insiders.
I started my blog in May 2012 - a great relief to my friends and family who got sick of me spamming them with ads I liked. I want consumers to have a place to select the ads they love or hate, be entertained and have their say - something traditionally reserved for so-called media, advertising and marketing experts. I’m having fun with my first attempt at blogging and social media, watch this space.
What do you enjoy most about the content you blog about?
"But wait there’s more…" as they say. SA TV ads are lekker to watch, but they also make me wonder about myself as a consumer and as a South African. I’m not "as seen on TV" and I know can’t take myself or the advertising industry too seriously but it does make me think.
Which are some of your favourite ads?
Typically, I go for funny ads like the Vodacom “We’ve been having it” series, the always irreverent Nando’s ads and some of the better warm fuzzy rainbow nation ones like SAA’s “One flag”.
My more recent favourites include the heartwarming MTN “Thula thula” ad and the punchy CTFM “Gullrooster”. Ag, there are so many super creative, crazy and simple ads - you should be browsing South African TV Ads and telling me your favourites!
Concerning the diverse and dynamic aspects of Africa, what areyou most passionate about?
Like it or not, our ads portray something of who we are to ourselves and the outside world. Africa is blessed with amazing creativity, diversity and innovation but not enough is built into the continent’s advertising (in my humble opinion).
My guess is that our average consumer in Europe or North America typically still associates us with the starving African children in their charity ads and your average African TV watcher sees far too many cut-and-paste variations of ads made by/for urban South Africans.
I believe the next big thing in global advertising will come from African entrepreneurs and will put more power in the hands of ordinary African consumers. In the interim, I’ve got some great SA TV ads to watch.
Where else can you be found on the internet?
On Twitter @SATVads and Facebook http://www.facebook.com/SouthAfricanTvAds. It would be fantastic to see and hear your views online.