A Community of Content

Published by Greg Wendzicha


12 April 2023


When programmatic was introduced to our industry, it was probably the first time we saw platform development that provided opportunity to single out a particular consumer from a targeting perspective but there was always something missing— the ability to emotionally connect to our consumers.

Since then, we continue to live in a society traumatised by political, social, and economic structures. This is exacerbated by cancel culture. In this current climate we must ask ourselves: How do we connect with consumers in a way that matters?

As an attendee of Adweek Africa, a key highlight was the opening keynote by Kevin Hart, Chairman of HARTBEAT, and Thai Randolph, CEO of HARTBEAT. They had a notable conversation between them centred around what I would call a production philosophy “HUMOUR, HART & HEAT”.

From a local perspective, universal language of humour has often been used as a “laugh at my pain” to disguise our disconcerting history. However, the said humour is spirited enough to joyously bring people together.

HART was defined as being passionate about and committing 100% to what we set our minds. But for SA, it rings a different bell. You see, the purpose for HARTBEAT’s trip to South Africa was to build partnership with the film and entertainment industry that offers development and exposure for our local talent.

The essence of HEAT is that SA is a “movie” and through the humour of it all, with little to no funding or development resources, our film and entertainment industry remains undermined despite the immense amount of talent SA has to offer.

Content is the one aspect, but when it comes to consumption there has been more of a shift to “relatable content”. The world of social media has opened our influencer and ambassador market, where celebrities and incredibly social individuals are paid to endorse a particular brand or product.

However, more and more consumers would prefer to pay for, and test products when they see a nano/micro-influencer, who is potentially someone we know. When they post relatable content that speaks to our everyday life and difficulties, it makes it real and provides an emotional attachment.

A developed cancel culture certainly alludes to the fact that consumers are far more critical and wearier of brands and their principles. Brands have needed to become far more accountable to their consumer stakeholders because brand advocacy goes beyond quality and price.

In conversation with Lebang Kgosana at Cliff Central, she shared how the “CEO Podcast” was developed.

Re-iterating the point, people connect with people. This not only provides CEO’s to be a physical voice of the brand, but provides the consumers with an opportunity to understand why they do or do not resonate with a particular brand.

Understandably, there is always the notion that anything a CEO does will be of a PR nature or scripted to some extent, but I think one of the main reasons podcasts have taken off is because there is very little regulation around how they’re structured and what can and can’t be said. I’d go as far as saying that anything goes provided our democratic rights are not infringed upon. This is point where we get to meet the CEO and as well as an individual behind the title.


Autotrader: https://cliffcentral.com/podcasts/autotrader-podcast/

Catalytic: https://cliffcentral.com/podcasts/unbundled-with-catalytic/