|Attaining Superbrands status in 5 years, the Warid brand is a force unto itself.|
On the other side of the pond Scanad Uganda, largest and by far the most efficient ad machine has been handling the Warid advertising and marketing account. It must be said that they did not give Warid the Pakalast name and fame, that award goes to a smaller but equally ingenious agency – Maad. What they did do was bring Warid to a point where it has had all of its competitors shitting bricks with ad campaigns that have literally remained top of the public’s mind year in year out and have created such a high bar for the industry and anyone trying to get people to remember anything. If you think I am lying ask anyone next to you to tell you the Samona or Omo or Standard Chartered tagline or ask them who Onesmus, or Milton or the Kungfu Master is? Simply marveling. Scanad is part of Scangroup. Their revenues are reported as part of the Scangroup success story. Now that they have lost their beloved Warid Telecom what will they do?
- Scanad Uganda has a larger; more experienced team directly connected to the Scangroup resource superstructure and therefore would present as a better agency to work with.
- Because Scanad is directly linked to the group and is not an affiliate its revenues would be going directly to Scangroup hence revenues and profits would be kept within the group.
- If market prevalence/awareness is anything to go by Scanad have produced more memorable work in the last 2 years which gives them the best advantage in their david-goliath match up against MTN – the market leader if they were to lead the Airtel onslaught.
- After this article and recent news in Tanzania and if the move of buying Warid was for Airtel to solidify their numbers, grow their revenues, increase the brand’s market share in order to eventually offload the telecom to Vodacom/Vodafone while they focus on West Africa where its bloody, then they would need an agency that had the capacity to deliver on that promise – Scanad.
- In the worst case scenario, this account goes to a pitch in order to give the existing account holder (Moringa) a chance to compete. I personally think this would be the cruelest thing anyone could do; put your worst enemy in a pitch against Scanad because even hell won’t forgive you. Resources, tools, manpower and experience all seem like mundane things which are merely business jargon but nowhere else, and I mean NOWHERE, do they coalesce with such fervent ferocity to petrify and debilitate as when pitch fever is at fever pitch.
So that is how I see it and while I’m very very happy to be wrong you have to consider the possibility that I might not be. Any chess player will tell you “you don’t look at the now, you look at five moves ahead” So the market just got a bit tighter for the smaller agencies out there and since markets, like businesses are grown and shaped by the players in them it safe to assume that also much like in the jungle, we shall all eat when the lion is satisfied.
It will be a space for nascent application developers to register as freelancers, if they are looking for paying projects…”
Last year, at the Digital Africa Summit, I sat down with the Chief Technical Officer at IBM Sub-Sahara, Clifford Forster and in what would be an eye-opening conversation; he explained what IBM was thinking.
A smarter planet; something he called “the internet of things.” The idea behind what was thought to be the next stage in innovation and technological advancement. The idea that all the main areas of our lives were connected and that at no time in history than today were we able to allow all these things to “talk”. Energy, infrastructure, traffic, food, banking, telecommunications, intelligence, cities, etc; all these functions and elements today are connected and monitored and IBM is looking at ways of making a smart planet: enabling sustainable businesses and systems for a sustainable planet.
This year in his presentation, Walter Mhlongo, took this conversation to the next level with “Smarter Telecommunications”. Africa has only about 1% of its information online and so has to download about 99% of its information from the rest of the world. Challenged by language barriers despite inter-connectivity and facing similar problems, he explained that IBM’s commitment to a smarter planet had led it to develop “spokenweb” (IBM’s leading automated translation technologies) in areas like health care, trade and travel bringing to life real-time automated translation solutions all available on the internet.
It is estimated 2 billion people will be on the Web by 2011 – and they’ll be doing more than talking. Video on demand, IP television and internet TV will account for nearly 90% of consumer IP traffic by 2012. When people talk, it will be to many more people – via social networking sites, whose memberships will top 500 million in the next three years. Figures that are not only indicative of the future, but also of the countless opportunities that will arise for companies to innovate, collaborate and to feed into and re-define their world in order to continue delivering top notch services to their clients.
“Over the next few years, you will see IBM playing a critical role as an innovator, providing inspired solutions to local issues and creating high valued products that matter to the communities and clients it serves”, he confidently states. “We will continue to leverage industry leading forums like the Digital Africa Summit to engage in meaningful conversation with our clients and partners across Africa.”
In just three years, IP traffic is expected to total more than half a Zettabyte (a Zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes or – 1 followed by 21 zeros). The need for this information to reach the last half of Africa, triggering access to massive amounts of information and thus allowing informed decision making, better sustainable practices and an interconnected system of performance to deliver our planet to the next level has never been greater.