by Remon Geyser (@remongeyser) It’s no secret that South Africans love ads that are humorous. Even cheeky ads get us all excited. Nando’s has been one brand that’s paved the way for the cheeky revolution. But will this type of advertising work elsewhere in Africa? Is SA humour really that unique? We asked our panel of creative, advertising and marketing professionals in Nairobi, Kenya, and Lagos, Nigeria, for some insights on “Gill shampoo’s hair ad is actually worth ‘washing’” from FCB Joburg and directors Asher Stoltz and Bryan van Niekerk of Team Best.

Creative gauge

At a quick glance, it seems that there might be something that may be transferable to other markets. Overall, the production values are really good, particularly when it comes to the use of audio (sounds, voice, music, etc). The opulent setting and scenery are recognisable as exaggerated luxury and therefore should work almost anywhere. The acting is simple and effective. Gill shampoo worth washing: creative gaugeFeedback from Nigeria

The models with the different hair textures are something that stand out and are unique (and also indicate that the shampoo works well on all hair types), along with the narrator’s tongue-in-cheek confidence. While the tone might need more “life” for the Nigerian audience, as they enjoy ads with more energy, the confidence portrayed is something that resonates very well though.

The main actor and his brilliant performance helps in achieving this “no-nonsense” message, which portrays Gill as a “no-nonsense shampoo that works”.

A word of caution, however: in Nigeria, the use of sarcasm might not be very relatable (particularly the audience in Northern Nigeria). This has the potential to alienate consumers there. Nevertheless, it should still appeal more to the “younger, more sarcastically fuelled generation” — particularly the punchline “Stop the nonsense, man” which is likely to be a big hit. At the very least, our professional panel has consensus that this ad will easily cut through and be recalled.

Feedback from Kenya

As hair and beauty ads are a big thing in Kenya, consumers should relate to the ad. They might not, however, relate to the stab at tutorials in shampoo ads, as apparently, not many Kenyan shampoo ads have that. In Nigeria, this ad has a very high relatability factor — particularly for the youth. Gill shampoo worth washing: other recommended media Gill shampoo worth washing: recommended media by countryOur panel recommends using a 360 campaign in their respective countries, with Nigeria being hesitant if it will be effective in print.

The ad’s ability to be ‘talk of the town’’ seems to be quite high* (*no norms available) in other African countries. At the very least, if this ad does not land, it is surely an ad that will be shared and talked about. It is an ad that is seen as unique and could cut through the noise of competitor ads. If Gill wants to create awareness in Kenya and Nigeria, this has the potential to carry some “no-nonsense” weight. Gill shampoo worth washing: recommended next steps

Making this ad more effective

Generally, this ad will do well in in other markets, even if it is launched as is. For this ad to be optimised further, consider the following:

  • To link with the no-nonsense angle, the ad might need to highlight more functional benefits. Currently, it is more focused on where other brands are lacking and not on what makes Gill great.
  • The copy would need some tweaking to be more relevant for the masses, as it’s currently very focused on millennials.
  • The actor’s accent needs to be more Nigerian/Kenyan — as it is clear that it’s an “international” ad (which is not a bad thing).
  • For Nigeria, the ad needs more “life” — as there is a particular high-energy style that is currently very appealing in the market. Gill shampoo worth washing: 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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