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Ranking the Analysts 2015

How do you land the messaging of a worthwhile cause?

With so many meaningful causes in the world, it can be tough to make the ones that you want to highlight shout instead of whisper. At a World Forestry Week event at the UN Food & Agricultural Organisation’s headquarters in Rome, Robert Grace, Founding Partner and Head of Strategy at M&C Saatchi Abel, used three compelling advertising case studies to answer the question “How do we lead forestry out of the woods?”

Singapore food vendor with a Michelin star has a marketing dilemma

In a world first for Singapore’s street food industry, vendor Chan Hon Men has received a Michelin star for his stall, the Hong Kong Soy Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle. It was awarded together with another street stall, Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork. Chan has been quoted as saying that he had not been aware that street vendors were eligible for a Michelin star, and that he was excited to receive it.

Big Stories

Selling the city

Marketing a city is quite unlike marketing a product or service – it comes with a unique set of challenges and opportunities. A city such as Cape Town, which is globally loved and recognised, comes with more opportunities than most.

Tech trends to develop Africa

With the surge in the uptake of digital and mobile, a great deal of which has taken place on the African continent in the past few years, there is no doubt that tech trends will continue to affect the continent significantly in the future. They will also provide opportunities for forward-thinking brands to innovate in the areas that need it most, such as infrastructure, health care, transport and education.

A new team heading up HDI Youth Marketeers

Earlier this year, Jason Levin announced his resignation as MD of youth market specialist agency HDI Youth Marketeers. In his place, a new team has been appointed: Cuma Pantshwa takes on the role of stakeholder & client service director; Tamsyn Louw has been appointed commercial director; and Catherine Bothma takes the lead as the new MD.

Finding the opportunity

Decimal MD Raffaele McCreadie has an infectious enthusiasm for his job, and is an avid believer in developing careers and job creation as opposed to lamenting the poverty and lack of job opportunities in SA.

Innovating in an agency ecosystem

The traditional media agency should work to remove any bureaucracy that stifles initiatives by embracing and using content generators, their platforms and their audience.

Understanding mobile moments to beat the 90% opt-out trend

A new Forrester study shows that despite mobile messaging increasing in volume, 90% of consumers opt out when messages are not timely or contextual.

Newspaper press. Picture: ROBERT TSHABALALA

On a downward path

Print media continues to lose the most share to online, while TV remains resilient

Warren Moss. Picture: SUPPLIED

The long idea will fly

Why business-to-business marketing should not be ignored

Have brands overinvested in digital?

Digital has long been heralded as the “next big thing” in terms of brands being able to engage with consumers meaningfully – but according to the CEO of WPP, Sir Martin Sorrell, as quoted in Marketing Week, some big brands are of the opinion that they may have overinvested in digital.

OOH advertising and the changing commuter landscape

There is little doubt that the rapid rate of urbanisation – which is expected to continue growing apace, particularly in SA and the rest of Africa – will affect the commuter landscape, which in turn will influence how brands communicate and engage with consumers on the move.

Most sponsors failed to make the most of the Rio Olympics

The Olympics were an opportunity for brands to engage with a global audience of billions – but research done by global PR firm WE Communications (previously Waggener Edstrom Communications) revealed in its Brand Agility study that the majority of brands failed to generate meaningful buzz, with only tech brand Samsung really hitting the mark.

Picture: BLOOMBERG/NADINE HUTTON

Absa's R500m move to FCB

Ad-land is abuzz with speculation about why Absa switch from Jupiter to FCB

The ins and outs of SA’s loyalty programmes

With over 100 loyalty and reward programmes operating in SA, consumers can win numerous points, bucks, vouchers and miles by selecting one brand over another. But while some programmes drive increased spend and loyalty, others seem to have very little effect on consumer behaviour.

Augmented and virtual realities the game changers for SA brands

While much has been written for the mass market in SA about augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and the more futuristic artificial intelligence (AI), these technologies are still the stuff of stories – but this won’t be the case for much longer, because of recent advances in visual marketing using AR and VR.

Tara Dales

Content marketing: Flare for connecting

Matching brand content to audience in a competitive digital world is a complex matter

Loeries awards: Feathers in their caps

If one word described this year’s Loeries awards for creativity it would be chicken

And the winner is … SA’s top brands announced

The annual Sunday Times Top Brands Awards event recognises and celebrates the country’s best-known and popular brands by monitoring consumer perceptions and sentiment. This year the 18th brand survey was undertaken, and winners were selected by surveying 3,500 consumers and 502 corporate decision makers.

Why brands need to deliver the total experience

The global economy is facing its toughest challenges yet, which calls for a different way of doing business. “If brands continue to do business the way they have always done, they will keep contributing to the economy’s downward trajectory,” warned Nuala Harris-Morele, director of business development at TNS Global, at the Sunday Times Top Brands conference in Johannesburg this week.

What top brands do differently

To be a top brand in today’s fast-paced and highly competitive world is no easy feat. What seems to tie brands that are rated the most valuable together is their unwavering focus on the customer and on engendering brand pride in staff so that they act as effective ambassadors, said keynote speakers at the Sunday Times Top Brands conference, hosted in Sandton on Tuesday.

Celebrating the Loeries winners

The premier event on SA’s brand communications calendar is undoubtedly the Loeries – and this year there was a bumper crop of entries and winners, with a total of 316 awards and eight Grand Prix awards selected from well over 3,000 entries from 22 countries across the Africa and Middle East region.

Picture: BLOOMBERG/NADINE HUTTON

Absa ad account: Much at stake for agencies

Should the account move to new agencies, it would be one of the biggest realignments in advertising in recent years

Joanna Oosthuizen. Picture: SUPPLIED

Public relations agencies: A new landscape

Changing work environment means becoming more attuned to the needs of younger employees, writes Jeremy Maggs

The battle over ambush marketing at the Olympics

Since Nike stole the limelight at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics with the gold shoes that US athlete Michael Johnson wore when he won the gold medal and set the world record in the 400 m race (a record only recently broken by SA’s Wayde van Niekerk at the Rio games) the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has put strict regulations in place to ensure that nonsponsoring brands don’t get a piece of the action through ambush marketing.

Business as usual after the elections

The recent local elections may not have been a definitive turning point in SA politics, but they were an indication that change is in the air.

Human relationships key – findings from Cannes Lions

The Cannes Lions are the glitziest of the international advertising festivals, and the insights that emerge from the week-long extravaganza undoubtedly shape the creative industries and the direction that campaigns take. The biggest trend revealed at this year’s awards is the move from mass marketing to mass customisation.

Half an hour with Motheo Matsau

The cinema-going behaviour of black youth is stagnating. Historically, there was a culture of “going to the movies”, but now people tend to spend less time on the traditional rituals.

Advertising financial services: Middle-market wars

Latest findings on financial services companies’ TV ad spend, social media use and other trends

Picture: ISTOCK

Brand rating: Qualities of success

Customer perceptions of 100 global brands in 17 countries about attributes such as innovation, individuality and trust

Social media’s role in elections

Social media plays an important role in tracking consumer sentiment – and according to media analytics firm BrandsEye should have been studied more intensively by SA’s political parties ahead of the local government elections to avoid any surprises.

The importance of South African storytelling in brand communications

Storytelling lies at the heart of effective brand communication strategies, and in the diverse South African landscape, it’s critical to incorporate that cultural essence into brand messaging. “Brands are working to create stories that resonate with South Africans, but what is interesting is determining how we identify ourselves as South Africans,” says Neo Mashigo, ECD of I See A Different You and chairman of The Loeries.

Multitude of choices: Many consequences for advertising and beyond. Picture: THINKSTOCK

Viewers' changing needs

Makers of TV shows should be aware of how radically viewers’ needs have changed in two years, writes Jeremy Maggs

Pokémon Go. Picture: REUTERS

Augmented reality: How brands can catch up

As the Pokémon Go phenomenon takes hold, a leading AR expert says brands should be thinking about how the concept can be used to reach audiences differently

Industry Insights

Staying focused on revenue and customer experience in the digital deluge

It used to be tricky to know whether to invest in a new communication channel and to work out how to measure the effectiveness of existing channels. It took a considerable amount of skill to establish the link between marketing initiatives and their impact on sales. The digital age changed all of that. Today, digital marketing efforts can be forecast, measured and tracked with an alarming degree of accuracy – and there is always return on investment to report on.

The value of creativity in branding

Creativity is elusive and sought after, and has piqued the interest of researchers and professionals from various backgrounds, locations and industries for decades. In a post by August Turak on Forbes.com, creativity is aptly described as “a skill that can be developed and a process that can be managed”. It begins with a foundation of knowledge, of learning a discipline and mastering a way of thinking.

Key trends that herald the dawn of the Age of On-Demand PR

When Facebook and Twitter brought social media to the masses, it fundamentally changed the way PR practitioners applied their craft. Agencies scrambled to understand how this new way of communicating would affect their strategic communications efforts as well as those of their clients. It’s arguable that not a single PR agency has had the luxury of “business as usual” following social media’s arrival. And now we’re facing an even greater change in the way PR services are delivered.

Political branding lessons for marketers

Donald Trump’s underdog success in the US presidential race has baffled the predictions of political pundits, but marketers and advertisers could have seen this coming from a mile away. Voters, after all, are just another kind of customer and, whatever else you might think of him, it’s hard to deny that Trump is a marketing and branding force.

Digital on its own is not enough

Almost every company’s marketing budget has a portion allocated to digital marketing. But simply having a digital strategy is not enough for a company to be relevant and stay ahead of its competitors.

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.