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The NATIVE VML September 2016 Trend Report

Research - Trends and Insights

A Monthly Snapshot of Trends in Marketing, Storytelling and Digital Culture for Africa.

“Africa is more and more perceived as the new frontier for investors and global economic growth. This new shift is fuelled by a steadily growing economy, uptake of technology, and untapped markets with ready consumers.”
- Estelle Verdier-Watine, Managing Director of, the leading hotel booking website in Africa.
Creativity and a New Reality
Storytelling has long been an oral tradition, reliant on the mind’s eye to immerse oneself in the narrator’s world. Virtual reality presents an entirely new dimension for African storytellers to transport their audience into brave new worlds. Leapfrogging reality

New Dimensions of Storytelling
The combination of augmented reality, virtual reality, and noise-cancelling headphones has the ability to transport an audience into new imaginings of Africa, as is done in the Elsewhen project for the Dakar Biennale. Source:

“Millions of people in Africa already have one half of a VR device in their hands, and that number will only keep rising. I really look forward to the day when African kids casually boot up virtual environments and use their imaginations to shape the architecture of the metaverse.” - Jonathan Dotse,
Innovation and Disruption
Africa is not a continent that always easily accepts copy-paste models of Western infrastructure. Our world has different needs that require specialised and unique solutions. We can see this phenomenon clearly in our transport systems, and in the variety of ingenious solutions that have developed as a result.

Transport re-imagined
Everything Uber in Africa In Africa, Uber has moved to not only disrupt the local taxi industry, but to take on the greater transportation system as a whole. This will have a significant effect on e-commerce on the continent, making delivery services more efficient and comprehensive with UberEverything. Source:

The World’s First Flatpack Truck The OX is the result of a very unique combination — a philanthropist, a Formula 1 designer, and IKEA flatpack furniture. Sixty pieces, twelve hours and three skilled people can produce one assembled OX truck. Let’s hope the instructions come with more than just pictures. Source:
Media Jujitsu
A fresh look at gaming as a medium not only for entertainment, but of real-world outcomes that have the potential to greatly impact people’s lives.

The game of life
Diagnosis: Gamification Miguel Luengo Oroz took the laborious process of diagnosing malaria and translated it into a ‘malaria hunter’ game. The objective: identify the malaria parasite in blood samples. Source:
Connecting the Unconnected
Light has been integral to human existence from time immemorial, but that doesn’t mean it’s reached the limit of its potential usefulness. Light has been used in each of the following examples to connect people in new and extraordinary ways.

Shed light on the situation
Satellite Imagery + Machine Learning Researchers at Stanford University are using day and night satellite imagery in combination with machine learning to determine where aid is most needed in Africa. This could prove key to lighting up the lives of people who need it most. Source:

Solar-Powered Digital Television Kenyans who do not have access to electricity are now able to connect to thirty free television channels through M-KOPA — a solar digital television kit. While this may seem frivolous, we must bear in mind how crucial television can be for education and the dissemination of information, especially about current events. Source:

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Contact Janice Wilson - PR Manager

The Digital Revolution is a Consumer Revolution.

Marketers are no longer the sole proprietors of their brands. Today, brands are co-owned by their customers. To remain relevant within this people-powered market place, brands must deliver shared value. Simply telling people about your products and services is no longer enough. You have to give them something in return.

Marketers who make this shift from “telling and selling” to building mutually-beneficial relationships, unlock new levels of affinity for their brands. They transform their customers into fans. They extend their reach with relevance, trade cynicism for trust, and embed their brands firmly into the cultural conversation.

At NATIVE VML, we strive to achieve these high levels of Brand Advocacy by creating purpose-driven work that lives in people’s lives.

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Six HR trends to look out for in 2017

Research - Trends and Insights

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Secrets of the most successful digital supply chains

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Today’s digital customers are looking for unique experiences at a hyper speed, making a super-flexible supply chain as critical as a super-efficient one. However, many organisations haven’t realised the full, value-driving potential of digital technologies.

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Research - Trends and Insights

The commuter market is South Africa’s largest consumer segment comprising over 22 million people. Advertising on taxis should therefore be an excellent way to reach an extensive audience.

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Research - Trends and Insights

The South African market seems to be grappling with a major gap between the work of digital marketing agencies and digital business analysts.

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The Rise And Fall - Social Media Trends in 2017

Research - Trends and Insights

Don't panic. Social media is not going anywhere. Last year I looked at blogging trends for 2016. I believe that most of these will hold for 2017. This year, I want to look at some social media trends that are rising and others that are falling.

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