The Red Zone – 25 February 2013


The ADFORUM proved to be a phenomenally successful event which highlighted vital information on retail advertising within the online and television space.


Ad after ad, a panel of 4 judges, which consisted of top media professionals in South Africa dissected, scrutinized and analysed both local and international advertisements with no holds barred. The audience also joined in with red and green cards and delivered a final verdict as to whether an ad worked or not. What did we learn?


Retail …a destination brand?

The recent Best Buy Super Bowl advertisement featuring funny lady Amy Poehler got a sea of green cards from the audience and a few endorsements from the judges. The ad features Poehler who delivers a barrage of funny questions to a sales consultant at the store with casual flirts fitted in between. It proved humorous and quirky and seemed to engage the audience.

Bobi’s Dee Blackie highlighted that the retail experience in commercials can be showcased as a destination brand. She stated that an advert that emphasizes the ‘fun’ of the retail experience works effectively. This is worlds apart from an ad that adopts the usual retail commercial strategy that punts products and prices onscreen.

“Dancing in front of a white screen” a no-no

Rob van Rooyen, Executive Director of Strategy at House of Brave expressed discontentment with retail ads that simply display numbers and prices and what he called models “dancing in front a white screen”. He feels that retail stores “can do more with their money”. Advertisements by Pep and Edgars that advertised tees and golfers were regarded as hard to remember due to this.

The ultimate goal of the ADFORUM: Retail Therapy was to gauge the effectiveness of ads. When it came down to the final votes by judges and audience members, it was those ads that told stories (Woolworths), featured consumers (Shoprite) and engaged the consumer with tasteful humour (Game) that were favoured. It would be wiser to move away from price flashing and dancing models to find more innovative ways of advertising retail.

Event images can be found here.


Dancing models and flashing prices have been overdone. Move your retail brand to new heights by thinking more innovatively of how you present your brand on television.

The next ADFORUM event presented by Jeremy Maggs entitled Car Showboating will happen on the 26 April 2013.


PR, Marketing and Social Media Manager, Larry Khumalo provided great insight with Ornico’s brand intelligence analysis on SA’s Biggest Retailers. He is a very smart man. Click here to view a  summary of the findings.