Pangea Ultima: Reshaping African advertising as we know it
By: Leigh Andrews
A new local boutique ad agency opened its doors just a few weeks ago. Here’s what Pangea Ultima stands for and how it intends to reintegrate marketing as a whole.
The words ‘Pangea’ evokes images of an old world – one of unity and integration, especially if you run a Google Image search for the term. Fitting then that new ad agency ‘Pangea Ultima’ is so named as a geographic analogy of the marketing communications industry.
Founders Hadyn Townsend (chairman and CEO), James Cloete and Gareth Lessing (creative partners) explain that Pangea is the name given to the single landmass from which the continents we know today split apart. Ultimately the continents will drift back together as the world is round, and this new super-continent will be called Pangea Ultima.
Townsend adds that this is exactly what happened to the marketing industry we know today: it all started as one single entity with multiple departments such as media, research and promotions, but these departments eventually split apart to form the myriad of agency types we are flooded with today.
Townsend argues that the time for these to come back together as a collection of separate entities working as one is now. Here’s why…
1. Let’s start with the basics: When and how did the agency get started?
Townsend: Officially, we launched on 1 September 2015, but we have been building the partner network over the last year. Once we had the key partners and building blocks in place, we officially went to market.
2. Explain Pangea Ultima’s strategy and what makes you stand out from the rest.
Townsend: Over the years, the fragmentation that is now plaguing the industry brought with it an unintended consequence: the duplication of creative and strategyacross every agency. So while the intention was always to remove the implementation components from the central agency, these implementation agencies found themselves in a quandary as they still relied on the “lead agency” to deliver conceptualisation. As the pressure mounted to show value, these agencies started bringing in the creative component as a “loss-leader” as their core businesses is and always has been implementation/execution. This then is where the fragmentation begins. Each agency nibbles itself further and further away from the central idea.
Even if the idea integrity is maintained, the nuances will vary enough to create discomfort, as the same team is not overseeing it creatively. We completely eliminate this duplication and inconsistency by having numerous independent agencies all serviced creatively and strategically from one central point.
3. Why is the reintegration of marketing and advertising then so important?
Townsend: Whilst the communication channels to market have proliferated, the need for idea consistency has increased. The more touch points, the better chance of reaching the right consumer, but the greater the risk of misrepresentation or confusion. To this end, a marketing and advertising unit that is 100% aligned and 100% delivered is fundamental to success. Without it, you will end up with more noise than harmony.
4. What’s the basic workflow or creative process in the agency?
Townsend: The key differentiator for us is that you have one central port of call whether you require a digital campaign, activation or a TV ad. Whilst the entities remain independent, they have project managers that deliver on projects, but we have one central account management lead for the client interface. Even the billing is done centrally, minimising multiple invoices along with all the removal of other duplication such as statuses etc. and their associated cost.
5. Let’s talk about the state of the local advertising awards industry…
Townsend: There is no doubt that we are world-class when it comes to “traditional” advertising. The tricky bit is when we leave these conventional categories and venture into the realms of Titanium or Digital – this is where we come unstuck. We seem to be struggling to break into these worlds, for a host of reasons. Marketing investment in these areas remains comparatively underfunded with the dominance of TV in our country perpetuating this problem. We subsequently don’t have enough skilled creatives who can think beyond the lucrative ATL arenas that still has significant runway in SA, but seriously putting us on the back foot at the global award shows, who are visibly migrating away from ATL in its traditional form.
6. Let’s shift focus to change. What trends do you see as the biggest to come in 2016?
Townsend: Creative sourcing beyond the agency walls is becoming an imperative. The art director/writer duo is heading for a shake-up with crowdsourcing agencies emerging at a rate of knots and agency disintermediation becoming a daily reality. The reinvention is inevitable and exciting at the same time. How this looks, is certainly still to be defined, but that it will happen, is beyond question.
7. Exciting. What’s next for your agency?
Townsend: The Holy Grail for us is to have numerous case studies proving the success of our model and hopefully entice a big brand to take up the proposition. Whilst the need remains greater for big brands to have a central ideation and strategic unit, it appears that the small to medium brands are more willing to try it. With four wins in the last 30 days, we certainly are seeing the nose of the plane off the ground, but we looking forward to some aerobatics.
Certainly an impressive start. For more on the agency, visit their website and follow them on on Twitter.
Article : http://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/12/136796.html