This month sees the broadcast of the third season of Absa’s multilingual storytelling campaign Absaville, successfully conceptualized by branded content specialists Creatrix to be perceived as programming rather than advertising and designed to bring audiences back for more each week.
Broadcasting across nine African Language Stations, reaching an audience of more than four million, the series is packaged as a ten minute show-within-a-show.
David Wingfield, Absa’s head of marketing explains: “We knew we needed a multilingual storytelling campaign that could communicate our narrative. Absaville is a dynamic platform to speak with people in their mother tongue; young, old, rich, poor, who are passionate listeners of radio soapies on their favourite stations conveying memorable content with which they can resonate and identify. It’s an audience, not a market.”
Lynn Joffe, ECD of Creatrix, says: “Absaville has legs, adapting and amplifying embedded product messages through plot and character development. The series’ expansion into four additional languages demonstrates the commitment and vision that the brand holds towards communicating on the same wavelength as the target market.’
The Creatrix crew writes and produces the programmes in all nine languages: “The series has built up a following that regularly interacts with the show and has developed a capacity to ‘mutate’ as required to discuss current events as the brief dictates, with the series so far covering a wide range of Absa offerings.
Set in ‘Absaville’ a city rendered in the theatre of the mind, reflecting the way people live today, the episodic series contrasts the worlds of our characters where underneath all the drama our characters all want the same thing – ‘to be better, to do better’.
The story arc offers riveting storylines filled with drama, relatable characters and plenty of intrigue.
Research into the efficacy of consistent destination-listening radio edutainment has shown to influence cognition, emotion and behavior, engaging and empowering thoughts and feelings with consumers on their terms, on their turf, and in their language.Wingfield says: “Between ourselves and the team at Creatrix, …we created Absaville and it’s worked spectacularly well for us. We find ourselves two years, two seasons later and we’re making a third season because we’re speaking to all South Africans in every single language, creating a connections platform. There has never been a better time, there has never been a better platform to do that and that is why we use it and why we will continue to use it. ”
The campaign has received over 360 minutes of added-value on-air as station presenters bought into the campaign and engaged with callers beyond allocated airtime, with DJ’s lending unsolicited support:
Wingfield ends: “We’re essentially speaking to all South Africans in every single language and the platform will continue and it will be used now to tell a new Absa story about our new value propositions, to new segments, to new customers we want to bring on board – it has been designed to connect with people, so season three, here we go.”