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Ranking the Analysts 2015

Out to pitch: Edcon and MTN

Two big brands, Edcon and MTN, in talks with global agencies as part of new advertising strategy

Weaker rand, stronger outsourcing opportunities?

The rand has hit record lows in 2016 and doesn’t look likely to recover soon. But David Graham, Digital Engagement Leader at Deloitte, believes the currency’s depreciation could in fact help South Africa’s local outsourcing industry. He says South Africa could establish itself as a cost-effective destination for outsourcing contracts.

Big Stories

WhatsApp encryption and what it means for digital security

Online messaging service WhatsApp – owned by tech giant Facebook – recently announced that it had added end-to-end encryption to every form of communication on its service.

Ad-Tech Academy to build industry knowledge

Popimedia has launched South Africa’s first Ad-Tech Academy to help marketers understand the technology used in social and digital media.

Roots 2016: a wealth of consumer data

If you were a tattoo artist and wanted to open your own tattoo parlour but weren’t sure of the best location; or were idly wondering in which areas of South Africa people own more cats as opposed to dogs; or what the main reason is for people visiting garage forecourts (and no, it’s not to get petrol, it’s to buy airtime), the data revealed in Roots 2016 would more than likely provide you with the answers.

Announcing the Prism Awards winners

South Africa’s public relations industry’s top achievers were announced at the Prism Awards in Johannesburg last night at the Indaba Hotel. Small consultancy PR Expert won Campaign of the Year for its work on “Creating Groundswell for South Africa’s First Dance Movie – Hear Me Move” with Coal Stove Pictures. Overall, 49 awards were made in 34 campaign categories.

The 2016 Prism Awards

In the world of public relations, innovation and creativity are non-negotiables. At this year’s Prism Awards, which take place on April 17, entries will be judged on these and other criteria that take campaigns out of the realm of standard and ordinary.

AdForum: Assessing retail advertising

The first Financial Mail AdForum of the year, hosted in association with Ornico, focused on retail advertising, a particularly interesting sector right now in the adverse economic climate. The panel comprised Ahmed Tilly, founder and ECD of Black River FC, Lara Cassel, managing partner at the Strategy Department, Deon Wiggett, creative partner at Famous Copy, and Mongezi Mtati, marketing manager at Ornico.

Deloitte TMT predictions

Deloitte recently announced its annual TMT (technology, media & telecommunications) predictions for 2016.

Business, government search for solutions at Directors Event

Leaders in business and government gathered in Sandton last week to collaborate on identifying the major issues facing the country and put forward possible solutions. Problems surrounding innovation, health care, education and competitiveness were thrashed out through robust and interrogative debate at the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies second annual Directors Event.

Tell a story – build your brand

There’s been much talk about the need for brands to tap into the emotions of consumers. And brands that are able to inject storytelling into their marketing efforts find that making an emotional connection with consumers becomes that much easier. Easy to say, sometimes less easy to do. To be successful, storytelling from a brand perspective must be authentic. This is not about making a sales pitch; stories must be based in reality even if they are embellished with a measure of creativity.

Targeting tribes in event strategy

As businesses demand a better return on investment for customer events and event sponsorships, marketers no longer “spray and pray”. Brands now target “tribes” – but is that strategy also becoming outdated?

Brands in sports sponsorship: zero tolerance?

With tennis star Maria Sharapova the latest in a line of sports stars to lose lucrative sponsorships as a result of a failed drugs test, it appears brands are taking a firmer stance with the individuals they sign up to represent them. The trend is evident in South Africa too.

Enabling the perfect fit

The ACA has launched the ACA AGENCY LOCATOR™, an online tool that will change the way in which marketers search for agencies, while making the process more time- and cost-effective.

Brands missing the opportunities in April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s Day is a good excuse for brands to have some fun, and provides a valuable opportunity to connect with consumers. But this year’s pickings were slim for South African brands. Only a few brands made use of the opportunity. Was this because consumers are more concerned with politics right now?

Brad Reilly and Gau Narayanan. Picture: SUPPLIED

Creative pedigree: Recasting Net#work

A leading advertising agency re-examines its work and adopts a new philosophy

Emotional connections build better brand experiences

Today’s brands compete on a number of different levels – while products certainly come into play, emotional experience has become equally important. That said, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to control those experiences when it is up to consumers to create their own journeys and choose their own touch points.

Picture: ISTOCK

Online shoppers look for price comparison and convenience

Consumers are looking for lower prices and added value. The recently released Nielsen Global Connected Commerce Survey reveals that just over half of all local online shoppers use the Internet to check whether they’re getting the best possible value before they make a purchasing decision. And more than 40% admit to using price-saving apps or deal websites when they plan their grocery shopping. Convenience is a driving factor for growing online shopping, with 46% of respondents saying it saves them time.

Directors Event to tackle South Africa’s problems

Business and government leaders will meet at the Sandton Convention Centre on 8 April to discuss some of South Africa’s most pressing concerns – including economic growth, health care, education and skills development and global competitiveness.

Weak rand provides international opportunities

While the dire state of the economy should be cause for concern for most people, the weak rand is providing opportunities for some sectors. According to Charlie Stewart, CEO of digital marketing agency Rogerwilco, digital agencies are in a prime position to take advantage of the weaker rand and attract international clients.

The merging of digital technology and education

Much of the learning taking place in South Africa’s current education system is by rote and regurgitation. This system is clearly not working for employers, judging by the growing unemployment statistics: South Africa currently has 5.8m unemployed people between the ages of 15 and 35. It’s time to get creative about finding solutions to education and talent development in general, said Dr Taddy Blecher, co-founder of the Maharishi Institute, at a Heavy Chef event in Johannesburg recently. The Institute offers free tertiary education to those who would not otherwise be able to afford it.

Picture: ISTOCK

Skilling the sector for the market

Newly appointed chair of the board of directors at the AAA School of Advertising, Marella O’Reilly, has a firm vision of what she needs to achieve during her tenure. O’Reilly replaces Nkwenkwe Nkomo, the former chairman of the ACA board of directors, who was later elected to chair the AAA. O’Reilly, who has served on the AAA board since 2006, has a realistic concept of the role the school plays in the industry.

Online shoppers look for price comparison and convenience

Consumers are looking for lower prices and added value. The recently released Nielsen Global Connected Commerce Survey reveals that just over half of all local online shoppers use the Internet to verify whether they’re getting the best possible value before they make a purchasing decision. And more than 40% use price saving apps or deal websites when they plan their grocery shopping. Convenience is a driving factor for growing online shopping; 46% of respondents say it saves them time.

Positive prospects for African retail and consumer businesses

Despite a general outlook of rising costs, falling commodity prices and slowing revenues, the long-term prospects for African retail and consumer goods businesses remain positive, reveals a PwC report.

Consumers expect ‘omnichannel’ brand engagement

Consumers are looking for connections with the brands they use at multiple levels, across various digital platforms and social media channels. What’s more, the experience in stores must deliver on the brand promise; staff should know their products.

Branding for a cause: French chocolates come to SA

One of France’s favourite chocolate brands will be coming to SA as part of a fundraising initiative to provide a sustainable income for Mam Khanyi’s Home of Hope in Johannesburg.

Listen to what you want, when you want it

As content becomes more customised, audio on demand is a growing trend in radio. Podcasts, in particular, appeal to audiences because people can listen to what they want, when they want it.

Industry Insights

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.

Is your business drowning in data?

We live in an age where information is readily available … and there is lots of it. It’s estimated that in 2011 alone, 1.8 zettabytes of information was created (the equivalent of 200 billion HD movies) and this figure doubles every two years. But if information is multiplying and so easy to access, does it still represent a true competitive advantage in business today? And are we not perhaps investing a huge amount of money and effort into collecting data that is irrelevant when it comes to doing business better?

Your sweat glands don’t lie: the power of neuroscience in the marketing mix

Emotion. We can’t control it and we can’t hide it. We can’t hide it from our family or friends and we definitely can’t hide it from Neural Sense, an agency making waves in the art of neuromarketing. Mark Drummond, director and marketing head at the agency, has a lot to share about our fascinating emotional and cognitive processes.

Leveraging trends with tension in retail

Retail is a discipline filled with contradictory realities, and may leave marketers unclear as to where to focus their energies, resources and talent. The Y&R Trends with Tension in Retail report identified some of the major trends as observed in retail throughout the EMEA region.

HDI’s top youth trends for 2016

As the year kicks off in earnest, HDI’s Reamogetse “Gee” Motsepe and Lara Petersen have sifted through the trendcasts to highlight the top six youth trends for 2016.

Know your strategic targets and prime prospects

Having an in-depth understanding of your consumer makes it far easier to find the sweet spot for your brand’s investment and growth.