Autor: Tilo Grätz
Revista: Journal of African Cultural Studies Nº 25 (1)
This article explores the increasing importance of advertising in African electronic media, exemplified by radio commercials in the Republic of Benin. It will analyse the various types and formats, contents, and main actors involved in the making of these promotional audio productions (in a wide sense), as well as their relevance to the daily programme schedules and budgets of the respective radio stations.
Furthermore, it will address the modes of production of these announcements, which involve a growing diversity of sources, formats, and performative styles (including oratory genres such as praising and self-praising), and finally refer to conflicts between the state and advertisers over publicity and authority, exemplified by a recent case of advertising for healers.
The contribution to analyses audio-related media and thus adds important empirical insights to the large literature on visual means of advertisement in Africa. I argue that these genres should be seen both as local transcriptions of globally circulating ideas, and as local imageries of a better life, as well as competing media goods in changing economies of attention.