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Lessons from Outsurance and the Katlego Maboe debacle

Katlego Maboe and Outsurance have been jubilantly gracing our home TV screens with their #chenchadaideng campaign, which features satisfied Outsurance clients, who enthusiastically sing and talk about the excellent service that they have received from the insurer, and the money they've saved by switching to Outsurance.
Screengrab from Outsurance ad.
Screengrab from Outsurance ad.

Katlego is a celebrated South African TV presenter, singer-songwriter and accountant, who has been awarded for his talent as the Best TV Presenter by the South African Film and Television Awards in 2015 and 2016. He is also one of the friendly personalities that South Africans look forward to waking up to every morning on the Expresso Talk Show, which has been flighting on SABC 3 since 2010.

On 23 October 2020, South Africans woke up to an unfortunate viral video of Katlego and his partner tussling with matters relating to infidelity and disease that occurred as a result of his infidelity. Other allegations surfaced from Katlego’s partner’s family that compromised the personality’s personal reputation and impacted the brands that he is associated with, especially Outsurance, which has been reported to have pulled the adverts that featured the personality.

It’s all about trust


Over the years we have seen brands abandon partnerships with influencers, due to negative circumstances surrounding the influencer’s personal life. This is because the number one reason brands invest in influencer marketing, is to build trust, when that trust is broken brands have no choice but to protect their reputation, assess the damage that the risk has caused and go back to the drawing board to strategise around how to restore the damaged and lost trust.

Your private life on social media impacts your professional REAL life


Everyone’s social media activity, that which they control and that which they do not control, i.e. generated by other users, has brought about a change in how brands and companies partner with influencers and even how they acquire or fire their employees, service providers and suppliers.

An example of how an individual’s personal behaviour on social media can impact their career is evidenced by Miss South Africa hopeful, Bianca Schoombee, who withdrew from participating in Miss SA 2020 due to her tweets from 2014.

How brands can mitigate risk


Considerations for brands and their influencer marketing strategies

This begs the question, what risks are brands exposing themselves to, by investing in influencer strategies?
 
Consideration #1: Influencers are people and people make mistakes
Brands should take a page from good stock market investors and spread the risk. They should not have all their eggs in one basket or allow a campaign for an entire product portfolio to hinge on one influencer. Before an influencer campaign can go live to the market, the brand should have a full understanding of the risk, is it conservative, moderate or high risk? Within each of these scenarios, what is the anticipated return on investment?

Consideration #2: Conduct a strategic scenario plan for your influencer campaigns
Strategic scenario planning is required, brands should ask themselves what is the number of plausible futures and analyse how the brand would perform under each of them, good and bad.

Consideration #3: How to mitigate risk
The brand should always be the hero, the influencer’s brand should contribute to the brand’s equity and not erode it, especially when unforeseen circumstances strike. When brands invest in strategic scenario planning, late-night, last-minute meetings when crisis strikes will be minimised because they would have considered their risk before the campaign goes live and planned for the worst. Just like the concept of investing in insurance.

About Josephine Sebesho

With over 11 years of experience, Josephine, also known as Jay is inspired by creating brand to consumer connections. Jay has worked as a Brand and Communications Strategist for agencies in Africa like The Jupiter Drawing Room, The Restorative Justice Centre, Joe Public United (SA and Namibia), Mixology, The Hardy Boys, The Digital Brand Agency in Kenya, FireBrands in Malawi and now heads up Janong Digital Agency in South Africa.

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