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Sylvester Chauke Opinion: A new world order in advertising

Sylvester Chauke is an award-winning entrepreneur and cascader of the Stand Against Bland movement in marketing amongst other fun things. He is founder and Chief Architect of DNA Brand Architects, sits on the Advisory council for WEF Global Shapers and is a Board Member of the South African State Theatre.

In the last 6 weeks, there was “that thing” in the air. There was magic flowing all over, happy moments sitting in traffic, bae’s morning coffee tasted even better, people smiling everywhere I went and even my poodles were extra cute – all of this because Game of Thrones Season 7 was back on – thanks, DStv.

Most people who know me, know that there is no one like Madonna and that I’m completely obsessed. Second after Madonna has to be Game of Thrones (GOT). You see, GOT is not just a TV show, it is an epic journey to a world like nothing we have seen before.

Besides the really good writing, plots and twists (and oh the ever so sexy John Snow), there is a vision in play and there is always the need to be extra vigilant. You need to know your allies but never really trust them, appreciate unexpected turns of events because things are forever fluid in the 7 kingdoms!

Just like GOT - and for those reading this and who are big fans – we are all trying to make sense of White Walkers and exactly what it is they want? In so many ways we all trying to navigate this question and I could not but stop to think about the parallel of this new world we are going to see in the coming season(s) of GOT and the change that is taking place in the oh so fabulous world of Advertising.

There is a massive paradigm shift in viewing behavior that has created an exciting and chaotic environment for television advertisers today. I don’t even think you need to be an advertising head to understand this.

Consumers have been freed from the chains of one-way communication since they can now compliment and condemn brands in an instant. 140 characters have become quite powerful today as we watch TV and also follow the commentary on the socials – the world has indeed changed! And it’s really exciting!!

Technology has liberated consumers from being captive audiences to active participants. This also comes with a lot of editing required by brand managers because this freedom also comes with a lot of admin – editing some of the annoying responses and comments.

There is a whole new world of engaging brewing. There is a real need for brands to review how they do things and how they navigate the new world order of brand engagement.

I know I speak for many brand teams when I say budget is under pressure, and so experiences are proving to be challenging to afford – especially for mass brands. The challenge, therefore, is how should we be approaching our brand building efforts as we get closer to understanding what our consumers expect from us.

One thing for sure is that advertising has evolved to espousing shared values, customer collaboration and enabling unique, memorable consumer experiences – the question is what is your brand experience?

We no longer dictate how consumers see our brands, and in a world with a gazillion choices, consumers are more discerning than ever, stimulating a shift in brand purpose from transaction-driving to relationship-building.

Traditional marketing techniques that have worked for decades are coming under pressure, especially when looking at the Millennials. In fact, if I could make 1c for every time I mention the word, I would be living in Monaco.

We may not fully comprehend the new world order of advertising that is required to survive the next 10 years but I am totally hopeful that it will be clearer as we move from season to season (see what I did there – haha). For now, we do our best with what we know.

I woke up this week with no Game of Thrones since that epic finale last week and yes the air is back to normal again, the poodles are back to their old self. Till we reunite again John Snow!

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