The Book of Brands

Ideas And Perspectives You Won't Find Anywhere Else. Presented by Nelson Moropana


What’s Advertising In The Age of Collapse?

It goes without saying, the world has somehow turned itself upside down, if not worse, against itself. You need proof? watch the news, it’s not even about the news anymore, but pay attention on how they’re presented. The truth is, nothing is the same anymore and, in a world so ever changing, we advertisers are always challenged and stretched in our approach when it comes to brand communication.

As leaders we are tasked and responsible for heading some of the world’s biggest brands in navigating them through these tough times. With such a privilege of course comes a huge responsibility and that is to be even extra mindful and vigilant of our surroundings than we’ve ever been.

Before I dive deep though let’s get into some of the key concepts in this publication. What is it that I call collapse we’re talking about?

Corporate Industry:

The rise of corruption scandals that have rocked up KPMG, VBS, Steinhoff and the others, are sending warning signs that perhaps the foundations that these major institutions were built on are not the best after all, and if so, we the individuals who are faced with selling their image, their culture and products are faced with ethical decisions to make when we’re tasked to do so.

Should we even entertain these institutions?

Public Governance:

Or should I say the government? Governments all over the world are faced with the same challenges, if it is not corruption, it is lack of solving public issues, a simple thing that they’re supposed to get right as public servants, right?

When the government fails, the people’s confidence is lost and so is the overall ‘vibe’ or hopes for a better future. Picture for a moment how SA has been trying to re-collect itself one blow after the next, the public is no longer interested anymore, and nothing seems to be worthy of our attention and that being life, the future, or any kind of promise, at least with the aid of the government.

Now here then lies you and I, the earthly civilians, lost and confused, and then, your brand — trying to communicate hopes and dreams.

Advertising dilemma.

The Public Shift:

The third collapse that I want to speak about is the public. I have already touched on this above.

What do you do when you’re at your lowest point?

You crave, nothing is rationalized but emotional, you buy unnecessary things and buy also slide your way into addiction in the hopes of escape the ongoing wave of collapse.

The main question is the, how do we sell to people responsibly seeing that they are lost and confused?

Here’s my view of what advertising should look like in the age of collapse.

Agencies to Reinvent their Business Models

No one goes online to watch ads anymore. The reason why people love the ‘outlandish shows’, the ones that makes fun of people, on TV is because they’re hang on to the ‘escapism’ mental state, which means selling smart and intellectually won’t cut it.


No one ever popped their phone just so they can check out the latest ad and if you think in this way you’d notice how traditional advertising is slowly losing its grounds against digital content.

Why are we slipping into consuming digital content?

The world is a mess, nothing seems to work out, the best thing people need is great content, and the last thing we need is ads.

Those who can strike a balance between smart ads and creative content will win but for this to happen, agencies need reinvent their business models.

Brands to Rethink Their Strategic Focus

When everyone is down and out, do you take advantage or you uplift people?

This is a question brands should be asking.

When Nike chooses to bet on the other side of social issues, it’s a simple realization that it is pointless supporting movements that don’t benefit humanity in the long run.

To achieve this brands will have to think and commit to long term goals. 20–50 year business and brand plans need to be in place.

This helps re-position brands by emotionally connecting to the people’s hearts by offering lifelong value that is everlasting.

Creatives to Think Unconventionally

Gone are the days of treating a traditional brief with ads or banners. Creatives are forced to nail a brief into the people’s face and still solve business challenges and that does no longer involve ads

Nelson Moropana

24 October 2018,


Johannesburg, South Africa

#SmallBusiness #Branding #BrandVission #Advertising #LongTerm

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