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Advertising in Africa emerges with vigor

Abidjan

Africa is undergoing a true transformation in the field of advertising, which has long been neglected by international giants since the years following independence. This shift is attributed to the emergence of a middle class estimated at 300 million individuals on the continent. Despite the challenges resulting from inadequate infrastructure, distribution networks, and advertising structures, the latest report from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), published in May 2016, reveals an economic advantage specific to Africa that so-called “mature” economies have since lost: optimistic and eager-to-spend consumers.

Africa is resolutely embracing consumption The prospects of economic development, demographic boom, and urbanization portend lucrative opportunities for both international advertisers and local players, who, in reality, seize the largest share of the pie. It is worth noting that one of Africa’s most significant and prestigious advertising groups originated in Côte d’Ivoire. Founded in 1999 by Fabrice Sawegnon with Ivorian capital, Voodoo Communication has made a mark in several domains by heavily investing in the advertising sector and diversifying its activities into political communication and the press. Today, it stands as a true conglomerate. In 2002, Sawegnon won the prestigious Francophone Advertising World Cup in Beirut, Lebanon, for his rebranding campaign for Orange. Since then, he has expanded operations to Senegal, Cameroon, and Gabon, employing over a hundred people and generating a turnover of 15 million euros. In reality, the African advertising market, accounting for 5% of global sector expenditures, remains largely unknown to major multinational firms such as Publicis, McCann, JWT, or Ogilvy, often perceived as the “oligopoly of foreign agencies.” How has this sector structured itself on-site? By reinventing from within. Simple advertising has given way to a content-driven advertising strategy. The era of contemplation is over; welcome to the era of interaction!