by Remon Geyser (@remongeyser) Are there campaign concepts and product messaging which translate across cultures that provide media efficiencies, or should all ads be created from scratch? First up, we investigate the impact of Chicken Licken’s “The Great Dlamini” by Net#work BBDO and director Terence Neale of Egg Films, which flighted in South Africa from late June 2015.

With recent research indicating that almost 58% of ads flighted in South Africa do not “resonate effectively with consumers”, we believe a renewed call will come from brands and their agencies to produce communications and branding tailored to their intended audiences. But, assuming they get back to producing SA-relevant advertisements, would they not do well to place the same local emphasis wherever they market to in Africa, be it in Kenya or Nigeria, Botswana or Uganda?

To further the conversation, we were curious to see if ads that perform well in SA would perform just as well in other African countries. Using simple practices in qualitative research, we reached out to our panel of creative professionals in Nigeria and Kenya to get their feedback on what will and won’t work by simply transferring SA ads into their markets.

Creative gauge

We know there are many different factors that will determine the success of a TVC in other markets but, across a panel of ‘creative consumers’, we are able to identify trends in feedback plus risks and suggested opportunities for tailoring, scratching or flighting the campaign. Great Dlamini creative gauge

Feedback from Kenya

Overall, the consensus across the panel was that the big idea of the ad has a high chance of working well across Africa, particularly in Kenya — there is even a tribe known as “Luhya” that is particularly known for being “chicken-loving”. Being the second largest tribe in Kenya, this particular ad has the potential to go big due to its already relevant product.

As is, the ad would need minor-to-moderate tweaks, however, as Kenyans enjoy localised humour — which would be more in line with “going out and chasing the chicken, in order to slaughter and grill it”. This is no surprise, as it is well-known that locally relevant ads resonate better with consumers in Pan African countries. The unique flavour of an ad should never be underestimated.

Feedback from Nigeria

In Nigeria, the big idea is just as strong and relatable; however, the biggest barrier in this particular ad is the perception that the fast-food category is for “people who are rich”. Because of the diversity of Nigeria, the creative professionals feel that the ad, as is, is “too South African” in the way it’s executed. Nigerians are generally also not that familiar with public displays of magic, so the way the big idea is executed would need to be altered.

There is a perception that SA ads generally come with a “dark and gritty” feel, whereas Nigerian ads are much more “bright and gaily” [sic]. So, in Nigeria, the main message is powerful but the execution should need to be altered further to give it more of a ‘Nigerian’ feel.

Highly regarded

Good news: the art direction is highly regarded by both Kenyan and Nigerian professionals! The only obstacle is that certain elements would need to be made more locally relevant (the cast, the fashion and use of humour). The actual direction, nevertheless, is of a high standard.

The copywriting and tone of voice are on point; it’s a simple story that people can follow easily. The voiceover adds to the story in a way where the audience is enticed to listen. The message “[t]hat you can’t escape the craving of Chicken Licken” comes through strongly in both countries, and the tagline, “When it’s got you, it’s got you”, is very catchy. Lastly, the balance of the audio (in terms of music, voices, background noises, etc) is perfect. Overall, the creative effectiveness of the ad is high, giving it a strong chance to cut through in these markets.

Other recommended media

The creative professionals were asked in which other media would this campaign work well. This campaign is universal in this sense, and may work effectively on radio, print, outdoor and online. It is interesting to note, however, despite our Nigerian professionals feeling that the ad needs a lot of work to make it more locally relevant, a 360-campaign would work very well, using all media at the brand’s disposal. In Kenya, they feel that print should be the other main media, as visually staring at that juicy chicken would entice many Kenyans and lead them to go and purchase. Great Dlamini other recommended meida

Next steps

Overall, there are many aspects of this TVC that translate well in other markets. In Kenya, there are some slight-to-moderate aspects that would need to be refined; in Nigeria, more moderate modifications would be needed. If Chicken Licken ever decided to launch this ad in these markets (if it has not done so already), some aspects would need to be reconsidered to ensure that a high ROI is achieved as this execution is truly a delight! Great Dlamini recommended next steps


Lastly, the talkability of this ad would be a 6.2/10 (no norms available), which is not as high as a brand would like. With such a fantastic big idea and creative execution, a brand would like it to go viral and create a buzz among its consumers. Here’s how to achieve a stronger execution in these markets: Great Dlamini talkability


Remon Geyser 2015Remon Geyser (@remongeyser) is a burger fanatic, wine connoisseur and eSports enthusiast (yes, a fancy term for playing computer games). He is also co-founder of, heading up research, operations, product and culture. provides creative expert feedback anywhere in Africa, in order to rock marketing ROI. Remon contributes the new monthly “Taking Flight” column, which provides Pan-African feedback on South African ads for other markets, to

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