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Ranking the Analysts 2015

Future of Media – a new kind of reality to build brand experiences

With the introduction of increasingly immersive platforms such as virtual reality and tools like programmatic buying and gamification, the media landscape is becoming an ever more complex space for brands and marketers to navigate. But, by the same token, it also offers greater opportunities for brands to create memorable experiences with their customers.

Defining the future of media

In an age of voyeurism and commoditised, recycled content, the only way forward for media platforms hoping to stay relevant is to make the move from volume to value – so said Juan Senor, partner at Innovation Media, in his opening address at the Future of Media conference in Johannesburg yesterday.

Big Stories

Future of Media: Storytelling as a core feature

Effective storytelling still lies at the heart of all forms of media, no matter how fragmented and complex the media landscape becomes as it continues to transform at a rapid pace. “If brands want to speak meaningfully to audiences, they need to tell stories; storytelling is, after all, a human truth,” said CEO of Lucky Bean Media, Donald Clarke, at the Future of Media conference in Johannesburg last week.

Half an hour with Yvonne Diogo

Marketers across every brand and consumer market are trading in a very challenging business environment, says Yvonne Diogo, GM: promotions & trade marketing for Ster-Kinekor Theatres. Not only is there commercial pressure such as heightened demand for return on investment, but South Africa also has certain socioeconomic issues to contend with, she says.

Unilever takes a stand against gender stereotyping

Unilever has launched an initiative against gender stereotyping, #unstereotype. The company says it would like the industry as a whole to move away from advertising that uses stereotypical portrayals of gender.

Half an hour with Andrew MacKenzie

As new trends and technologies constantly emerge, the worlds of marketing and advertising have become like moving targets. Industry players need to be on their toes to keep up, says Boomtown MD Andrew MacKenzie.

Picture: ISTOCK

Online database: Linking brands to agencies

Online tool makes use of a 'freemium' revenue model, has been running in live beta form since early June and already has 137 listings

Marc De Swaan Aarons. Picture: SUPPLIED

Marketing: Brands at a crossroads

Marketers must be more adept at interpreting data of consumers swamped by brand touchpoints

Fighting for rhinos by inspiring Vietnamese youth

It’s a frightening reality, and one that South Africans have been fighting for years – rhino poaching. In the first four months of 2016 alone, 363 rhinos were killed by poachers. Much of the illegal rhino horn ends up in Vietnam, currently the world’s largest recipient of legal and illegal rhino horn from South Africa. In an effort to change perceptions of rhino horn among Vietnamese youth, the Wilderness Foundation approached Boomtown to conceptualise a campaign to reduce future demand.

Trends coming your way at Future of Media Conference

The fifth annual Future of Media conference will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 21 July. The full-day conference offers a packed line-up, covering the latest insights and trends relating to every aspect of the industry, from branded content to digital migration, location media, start-ups, word of mouth marketing, gamification, virtual reality and programmatic buying.

Listen, podcasts are growing in popularity

Thanks to the rapidly expanding smartphone market, as well as access to cheaper data, South Africa is seeing massive growth in the popularity of podcasts.

Apex Award winners

Joe Public was the big winner at this year’s Apex Awards, perhaps among the most important awards in the marketing and advertising calendar given that they acknowledge and reward ad campaigns that deliver tangible and measurable returns.

Emma Carpenter. Picture: SUPPLIED

Mobile advertising: First aim to be helpful

Marketers should produce engaging content — and only after that select the right device

Picture: ISTOCK

Snaphchat: Who's snapping?

South African marketers continue to debate whether to include Snapchat in their social media strategy

Repositioning a lighthouse brand

Lighthouse brands are purpose-driven in everything they do. They tend to be high-quality brands which engender trust in the consumers who support them. Their behaviour, products and services are aligned, and what they say, do and believe is consistent with their brand messaging. These brands know who they serve and why. Moreover, they understand the emotional and rational attributes that are relevant to their customers and appeal to their hearts and minds in an engaging, tangible and believable way. Consumers tend to support lighthouse brands because they demonstrate leadership and make a meaningful difference.

Picture: SUPPLIED

Cannes ad winners

The big winners in this year’s Cannes Lions ad awards and the key trends that have emerged

A British flag flutters in front of a window in London, the UK. There is concern over how Brexit would affect the longstanding Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement concluded between the European Community and SA. Picture: REUTERS/REINHARD KRAUSE

Brexit and ad spend: Riding out the storm

Brexit is likely to have a short-term effect on the advertising industry, says Mat Baxter, global chief strategy & creative officer at IPG Mediabrands

Interrogating financial services advertising at AdForum

A seminar focusing on financial services advertising at the recent Cannes Lions festival discussed the fact that work produced in the sector globally is overwhelmingly dull, clichéd and poorly informed. The most recent Financial Mail AdForum, hosted at Vega School of Brands in association with Ornico, put the claim to the test.

Consumers driven by promotions and special offers

A Nielsen study, SA Shopper Trends 2015/2016, reveals that shoppers exhibit promotion seeking behaviour, actively searching for special offers at grocery retailers. Many admit to searching for promotions while shopping; others regularly switch brands because of promotions.

Social media a good indicator of the Brexit outcome

In the aftermath of the dramatic decision by the British people to leave the European Union, many are seeking to understand just how the polls and pundits could have got it so wrong.

Shopper marketing: Update and simplify

Brands need to be aware of new technologies that allow for consistent consumer engagement, says Grey Africa shopper marketing expert Talita Myburg

Yossi Schwartz. Picture: SUPPLIED

Y&R and Edcon: ‘A pitch we had to win’

The ad industry is talking about whether Y&R can switch from selling baked beans to fashion, writes Jeremy Maggs

Grocery shopping’s e-commerce boom

There’s growth ahead for online grocery shopping, which creates opportunities for brands. But they need the right strategies in place to protect and grow their market share.

Google as a 24/7 sales force for marketers

An investment in a competent search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy can boost visibility and sales for companies. Yet as few as 21% of organisations include SEO in their budget, according to research conducted on 300 senior marketing decision makers in the UK. The research is surprising as it is widely recognised that appearing prominently in Google’s organic listing is a surefire way to build a brand, generate leads and make sales.

How to judge brand ambassador impact

With the right tools, marketers can make the most of the relationships they build with brand ambassadors, tracking and optimising influencer activity to inform smarter business decisions.

Deborah Bothun. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/ BRYAN STEFFY/WIREIMAGE

Become a super agency

To pinpoint value opportunities, companies need to understand the forces at play at a local level

Advertising economy: Coping in a squeeze

WPP says procurement and finance remain the dominant functions, for understandable reasons, with marketing taking a back seat

Using advertising to drive social change

Being able to deliver a campaign that combines brand values with social good is by no means simple – but this was the intention of Ogilvy & Mather Cape Town with its Volkswagen Amarok “Social Test Drive” campaign, which has been receiving positive responses from consumers and dealerships.

Nike voted coolest brand by SA youth

Nike remains the coolest brand, according to South Africa’s youth. The results of the 12th annual Sunday Times Generation Next survey – the leading youth brand preference and consumer behaviour research – were announced at an awards ceremony in Johannesburg last week. Nike walked away with a slew of awards, including coolest clothing brand, coolest shoe/footwear brand and coolest brand slogan: “Just do it”.

Learning to talk to South Africa’s youth

The common theme running through all this year’s presentations and discussions at the annual Sunday Times Generation Next conference was that marketers and advertisers need to learn to speak the language of Generation Z in order to win their buy-in.

Picture: SHUTTERSHOCK

Most valuable brands: What drives success

Technology tops brand rankings; mobile access is a key trend

Airline magazines an effective means of consumer engagement

What’s a flight without the obligatory airline magazine tucked into the back of the seat in front of you? Of course, for many it’s merely a way to pass the time between take-off and the firing up of laptops. However, a quality airline magazine should hold your attention a little longer than that. Successful airline publications know their readers and what their interests are, catering for them by providing content that is not only informative, but presented in an attractive and engaging manner.

Industry Insights

Ready for the Internet’s third wave?

The way we use and understand the Internet is changing. We’ve long surpassed the first wave and are just about done with the second. On the cusp of the third, we’re about to face a host of new opportunities and challenges. Are you ready?

The chicken and egg of business and brand

It’s a classic case of what comes first: the chicken or the egg? When it comes to business strategy, there is a company’s sense of purpose and there is its “difference that matters”.

How shop fitting can reinforce a brand

Shop fitting plays a subtle but important role in reinforcing the overall brand. Brands establishing retail outlets or a presence in a department store typically issue design briefs and layout plans in line with the overall brand identity, leaving it up to the shop fitter to follow orders and simply get the job done. However, few major brands consider the impact a shop fitter’s approach to getting the job done can have on the brand’s reputation.

Leadership challenges for modern communicators

Leaders have rarely had a more challenging time. Rapid technological disruption, a rebalance of world power and continuing economic uncertainty all combine to create a highly volatile and increasingly complex decision-making environment.

Half an hour with Cas Dreijer

To succeed in a competitive industry, you have to do things differently, says Cas Dreijer, the founder of brand activation agency Be Salt. He has ensured that the cornerstone of Be Salt – which celebrates its third anniversary on 1 July – is its people. Making a profit is not the aim of the business, he stresses; instead, it’s all about dealing with people – staff, clients and suppliers – and ensuring that they are all invested.

Using sponsorships to drive value

Last year New Balance was appointed the official technical partner of Cricket SA (CSA) and the Proteas. Levergy was subsequently appointed as its sponsorship agency on the cricket account in August 2015. Our brief: to assist New Balance to derive meaningful value from its investment.

The value of brands that push back

The cliché is that products should be silver bullets and brands should make life as rosy as possible. But when brands ask people to do their fair share of the work, they make a valuable contribution to society.

The importance of brand ownership

Michael Eisner, CEO of The Walt Disney Company from 1984 to 2005 and recognised for revitalising that company, said that as chairman and CEO, his job was to provide a corporate structure and culture that enabled the Disney “cast” members to perpetuate the values and traditions that fuel the Disney magic.

Half an hour with Petra Liu

In the current economic climate, agencies have to be responsive and reactive, adapting to the changes in SA, says Petra Liu, founder of Wetpaint Advertising. Despite the challenges faced by the industry, she says a “business as usual” approach is imperative – companies still have to put their brands out there if they mean to keep operating.

How does your content affect consumers’ buying cycle?

With hordes of consumers in the market, each with a short attention span and too much content to pay attention to, the brands that earn loyalty and attention are those that add value and relevance by creating and publishing exceptional content.

Selling value and quality

In tough economic times, FMCG brands need to sell affordable quality. Consumers are feeling the pinch and tightening their belts. Consequently, the retail environment has become extremely competitive with brands vying for shelf space and the consumer’s attention.

Half an hour with Jason Levin

A successful career in marketing and advertising relies on three things, says Jason Levin, MD of HDI Youth Marketeers: working with a good team; building strong client, supplier and colleague relationships; and challenging and inspiring yourself to do ever better work.

The consequence conscious culture

Billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson says most corporate mission statements are full of “blah truisms and are anything but inspirational”. He has a point – it may be time to reconsider the corporate reason for existence, ultimately articulating something more useful and tangible that will make sense to all stakeholders.

How Web developers can serve their clients’ business

A Web development company cannot simply serve one purpose: clients have to be part of the journey, not be burdened financially and, overall, be successful with their website. Web developers need to learn their clients’ business processes, and be able to provide sound business expertise to ensure that a return on investment is inevitable.

Useful content increases customer spend

Recent research by Ackermans has shown that store account holders who receive the brand’s custom publication spend a third more than account holders who don’t receive the publication. Over a measured period of 24 months, customers who received the Ackermans Club magazine slowly increased their spend.

Collaboration and integration

My first campaign outside the 30 second box was a campaign for Metro FM. It was an audio DJ profile for the trade and I think I stole the job bag off some other writer’s desk at TBWA. Nobody really wanted to do it. It wouldn’t win an award – it fitted into no category, was too long in the format and would be shown only internally and at roadshows. On the other hand, I got to interview all the DJs, discover the inner workings of the hippest radio station on the planet, and cover the rent.

The changing radio landscape- Part 2

Clients are producing their own top-quality radio content Because anyone with the right skill set can now produce and distribute content, companies have a huge opportunity to engage their customers in a highly effective way by delivering to them information that they really want, that talks to their passions and that enriches their lives.

Radio’s changed landscape – Part 1

The radio landscape has changed significantly over the past five years. And we'll be watching it continue to change dramatically over the next five years. These are some of the shifts that have already taken place.

Who exactly is the person behind your inbox icon?

Bizarrely, social media has erected barriers to communication between ordinary people like me and brands.

Youth and the digital world

The “always-on” digital tendencies of the youth in the Generation Z and millennial groups consistently manage to attract attention and criticism from older generations. In our recent white paper, “A Youth Lost in Translation”, which is based on research done by HDI Youth Marketeers, we explore the views of 5,400 urban and peri-urban young people and uncover both the positive and the negative consequences of the digital behaviour of SA’s youth.