ABSA Bank Africanacity Digital Campaign

Breaking the boundaries of the traditional retail banking campaign

The Brief

In this spot for ABSA’s Africanacity, we explore a myriad of visual styles to establish an emotional connection with a new generation of banking customers.

We were given a CI book for the bank’s brand repositioning which consisted of colour palettes, taglines and messaging tone. Utilising these resources we developed a full spectrum of visual collateral including illustration, stop-motion, 3D motion design and particle simulation.
We needed to focus on creating a memorable and recognisable campaign that would differentiate from other financial institutions. The aim was to familiarise the audience with the term “Africanacity” a word that was not in the cultural lexicon.
Client: ABSA
Date: 2019
Services: 3D Modeling, Motion Design
Agency: FCB Africa

The Idea

Our thinking was “How do we make this term land?”. We needed to create a mechanism to teach people how to pronounce and spell “Africanacity and forge brand association with the tagline. Africanacity is “the distinctly African ability to always find ways to get things done.”

The idea was to gamify the experience of learning the new word. We broke up the word into syllables and created tappable Instagram, stories. These stories were then tailor-made to suit other social media platforms. The viewer would tap forward and back to reveal the unique artwork and the pronunciation of each syllable to sound out the word Africanacity. By doing this they create a tangible first-person interaction with the word. Visual cues were used to reinforce the pronunciation.

The Process

The development of the visuals involved utilising interesting typographic explorations. The golden thread of each exploration was “the distinctly African ability to always find ways to get things done”.

The key inspiration was functional African artworks which are very adaptable and multi-use. If an artist does not have access to the raw materials they augment what is available to transform it, redefining an object’s purpose.

We explored various visual creative pathways including wood printing, 3d printing, mixed media and paper art, beadwork, Ndebele painting styles, neon lightboxes and water systems to give each board a unique, handmade look and feel.

The final campaign encapsulates all our bespoke visual collateral including a new colour spectrum. It’s  an arresting array of visuals that demands a viewer’s attention whilst remaining brief, fun and memorable. All whilst fitting snuggly within the timeframes allowed on social media platforms. The viewer is constantly and consistently engaged throughout. Special care was taken to create a narrative that differentiates from conventional retail banking campaign norms.

The final campaign was something ownable for Africans and the African continent and was able to move the viewer to engage with the media in a first-person perspective – a powerful way to communicate and establishing brand equity with the brand.



FCB Africa

Creative Directors
Collette Wasielewski, Loyiso Twala, Thithi Nteta

Group Account Director
Roxanne Singh

Digital Creative Director/Strategist
Hayley Zara Doron-Weil

Alex Hope-Bailie


Creative Director
Colin O’Mara Davis and Graeme Carr

Angela Muthuma

Warwick Allan

Post Production
Mushroom Media & Wondermerk & Chocolate Tribe

Post Directors
Graeme Carr & Colin O’Mara Davis

Designers, Animators & Online Artists
Graeme Carr, Colin O’Mare Davis, Gerard De Jager, Terence Holt, Zenè Stoltz, Johan Schepers, Rob Van Den Bragt, Tiaan Franken

Graeme Carr