Shelf Life: New African brand for export — Mami Wata
Cheryl Hunter (shelflife at marklives.com)’s weekly pick of all things new — product, packaging, design, insight, food, décor and more!
- Africa offers premium surf gear
- Vital hyper-functional foods
- Absaville launches second season
The African Mermaid
Across Africa, from Madagascar to Morocco, Mami Wata is an African mermaid-like water spirit; it is said that those whom she takes for lovers return with a new spirit to become successful and good looking…this is the story of new brand Mami Wata.
“Mami Wata” is West African pidgin English literally meaning “Mama Water” or “Mother Ocean”.
The Mami Wata brand was founded upon a deep-rooted love of Africa and a passion for surfing — surrounded by four seas and oceans, Africa is a continent with some of the world’s finest surf. For those who ride her waves, Mami Wata designs and produces premium surf apparel, surfboards and accessories, inspired by the continent, its surf and its nature.
Based in Cape Town, Mami Wata wants to take Africa to the world with the debut of its first campaign story: “Woza” tells the story of a 22 year-old Transkei surfer, Avuyile Ndamase, who has been taken as a lover by the African water spirit. Created in-house by Peet Pienaar, the film aims to capture the spirituality of the surf culture and brand.
The film was produced by Pantera (Buenos Aires) and features music by BCUC (Soweto): “Asazani”.
A booming market
Consumer interest in the relationship between diet and health has spiked in the last few years, while the information age has ushered in the age of instant gratification. This has resulted in a demand from consumers for snacks made from natural ingredients, with added vitamins but no added sugars or preservatives.
Says Bruce Dennison, president of the Health Products Association of South Africa (HPASA), “We’re seeing more and more how consumers are leaning on their diets, and not on pharmaceuticals, to prevent disease and optimise their health.”
So-called ‘hyper-functional’ foods, which combine ‘health-giving’ natural ingredients with added vitamins and proteins — think smoothies or fruit-and-nut bars — are gaining in popularity, as are natural and herbal tonics based on tried-and-trusted recipes.
Vital Health Foods nutritional expert, Andrea du Plessis, says: “Nutritious snack foods are playing an increasingly crucial role in our daily lives, as we no longer have the time to have three balanced meals a day, and rely on snacking for much of our nutritional intake.”
Many retailers are seeing the shift in how consumers are relying on snacking even more and are creating hyper-functional foods, in the form of health bars, raw food bars and energy bars, to meet the demand.
“Vital recognised how the consumer — namely millennials — were relying more on snacks for their meals, so we have developed some fantastic on-the-go snacks to fill this ever-growing market.”
Telling a story
The second series of Absaville, Absa’s bespoke storytelling campaign, hit the airwaves of nine SABC African Language Stations last week, bringing Absa’s Shared Growth strategy to life on radio.
Packaged as a 10-minute show-within-a-show, the series is perceived as programming rather than advertising.
Says David Wingfield, Absa’s head of marketing, “When we decided to roll out our Shared Growth strategy to the market, 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.”
Creatrix, an agency specialising in telling brand stories using multilingual, destination-driven radio content, will write and produce over 300 programmes in nine languages, knowing that the series must sustain interest and validity for a long period.
Absaville flights until 15 December 2017 on Thursdays, 2pm-3pm.
Cheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison.