TV faces Africa youth scepticism

15 February 2013

CAPE TOWN: A majority of young South Africans sees TV advertisements as entertaining but only a minority believes that they portray brands truthfully, new research has found.

Pondering Panda, a consumer insights company, polled 1,924 South Africans between the ages of 15 and 34 on their attitudes to television advertising, finding that while 71% enjoyed watching television ads, 64% did not believe they were being honest about the brands shown.

Only 32% felt that what they were watching depicted the truth, while a similar proportion said they bought things quite often as a result of seeing ads. 

But a small majority (55%) claimed they seldom bought anything as a result of advertising, while a hard core of 13% declared that their buying choices were not at all affected by advertising.

Commenting on the findings, Butch Rice of Pondering Panda said: "There are too many campaigns out there that are poorly branded, leading to a serious wastage of advertising budgets in terms of their effectiveness."

He added: "Viewers often recall the ad, but can't say whom it was for. Worse, they also often think it was for a competitor."

In terms of enjoyment, black viewers were most likely to say they enjoyed watching TV ads, with 80% admitting to this, followed by 71% of mixed-race respondents.

Other ethnic cohorts were less enamoured of TV ads, whether regarding them as truthful or not, with just half of whites and 47% viewers of Indian origin conceding to liking them.

Data sourced from All Africa; additional content by Warc staff