SBC News Clever Advertising: riding the wave of African regulation

Clever Advertising: riding the wave of African regulation

Writing for SBC News, Liliana Almeida, Head of Brand at Clever Advertising, walks us through some of the reasons why Africa is a focal point for the company in 2024, highlighting how bespoke ad campaigns are changing the game for gambling operators.

It seems that over the last few years, the African market has garnered a lot of attention from sports betting and casino companies. And it’s easy to see why. With a population of approximately 1.5 billion people across 54 different countries, the continent presents a whole world of new opportunities for gambling companies to sink their teeth into. 

As of 2024, 12 countries across Africa have introduced a regulated gambling framework, each of which has its own economic, political, cultural, and regulatory nuances to consider before entering. 

Of those regulated markets, there are a few that we at Clever Advertising have been laser-focused on: Angola, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa. We have been incredibly proud of our successes in each of these markets; we have a strong track record in all four jurisdictions, and we’re incredibly confident that this growth will continue throughout 2024 and into next year. 

A growing opportunity 

Africa is a region that has always held a large amount of potential for betting and gaming companies. You could say that it’s been somewhat of a ‘sleeping giant’, often not getting as much attention as regions such as Latin America or the US. 

But with more markets due to open up, we strongly believe that Africa could soon become a major powerhouse for gaming. The industry seems to be waking up to the immense potential that the continent boasts. And I think that there are several reasons for that.

With a population that, in general, has shown a love for sport combined with an increasing uptake of smartphones and growing acceptance of gambling, the possibilities for growth are limitless.

As with any region, however, Africa is one where localisation is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it is absolutely a commercial and operational necessity. What works in South Africa might not work in Nigeria, for example. 

Riding the wave of regulation

Let’s take South Africa as an example, we’ve found that players have a strong love for sports such as horse racing. That’s not to say that casino isn’t popular – it is certainly becoming a favoured vertical for many bettors. So, to best cater to the preferences of players within that market, we have been working with our partners to create highly-targeted campaigns. 

An excellent example is currently happening in South Africa, where we drawing upon our team’s collective experience and running a massive cross-channel campaign that is truly immersive. From media buying, to site takeovers, influencers, newsletters and push notifications to internal performance campaigns, we leave no stone unturned when covering the digital landscape of our clients’ brands. From an operator’s point of view, this level of exposure is invaluable. 

We wanted to keep the consistency of the campaign and create a tidal wave of engaging advertising opportunities that would make the players feel engaged. We are respectful of mobile-first African behaviour, the reason why our AddApp solution is a key success factor as it has been designed to understand shifting market behaviours, as well as comprehend changes in player preferences.

AddApp utilises artificial intelligence-led technologies to produce and serve unique and interactive campaigns across a number of different verticals that enhance performance; it can also make instant adjustments, ensuring our campaigns resonate with the local audience in South Africa.

The most important thing for us is that AddApp also enables our partners to quickly pivot their marketing campaigns according to different regulations. In South Africa, each different province has different requirements regarding advertising. 

As integrated partners with Appsflyer and Adjust, two of the top three MMPs in the sector, it also means that we can very quickly pivot our marketing campaigns in accordance with changing regulations, ensuring that they are always compliant, quite literally with the click of a button. You could say that’s pretty Clever …

In Nigeria and Tanzania, our Bold division – the influencer marketing-led division at Clever Advertising – is taking our clients’ growth to new heights in these markets by leveraging a vast network of digital content producers across well-known platforms like Twitch, YouTube and Meta. 

Influencer marketing has been a great acquisition tool in the last few years, so we want to use BOLD to provide our partners with maximum exposure to their target audience. This, we have found, has helped drive both customer engagement and greater levels of brand visibility.

To complement this, our media buying division is in full force across all regulated African markets, thereby generating more eyes on our partners’ brands across multiple different jurisdictions.  

Effective brand marketing and advertising are absolutely essential to keep pace with the ever-changing world of igaming, and we strongly believe we are raising the bar for advertising engagement.

Future opportunities

We are incredibly proud of the growth that we have achieved in Africa over the last few years. But as we edge closer to the second half of 2024, we are hoping to solidify this position even further. Our data has suggested that in-app traffic, alongside our bespoke ad formats, will be an absolute game changer for mobile-led African markets 

We have been keeping a very close eye on the regulatory developments taking place in markets across both East and West Africa, so it’s likely that this will be high on our agenda for the remainder of this year. So stay tuned for some more BOLD, Clever campaigns!

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