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Ranking the Analysts 2015

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.

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

Big Stories

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

Evaluating the pitch process

The tender and pitching process in the brand communications sphere internationally has recently come under fire for vague briefs, stiff competition reducing the quality of work and high pitching costs, among others. Is it any better in South Africa?

Half an hour with Charles Stretch

One of the biggest challenges facing marketers is the prevalence of clutter in the market, says Charles Stretch, MD of SMSPortal.


On Wednesday 3 August, South Africans go to the polling stations. On Thursday, 4 August, results should start trickling through. By the following week, the post-election outcomes will have had a few days to properly set-in. That is why Times Media, will be hosting Business Day Dialogues: The Hangover fired up by Nando’s – what the election results really mean on Thursday 11 August at the Wits Business School.

Marketing and IT bosses must work together

Four years ago, research company Gartner predicted that chief marketing officers (CMOs) would spend more on information technology than chief information officers (CIOs) by 2017.

Juan Senor. Picture: SUPPLIED

Print media: How to survive

Newspapers won't die out, a media consultant maintains, but they must specialise to survive

Gordon Patterson. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS

Gordon Patterson: A king in the media jungle

Patterson was uncompromising in his business principles and unmatched in his desire to share his knowledge with newcomers

A brand with a purpose

In an age of heightened awareness about sustainability, brands need to be able to demonstrate that they are giving back to communities and living their brand values.

Picture: ISTOCK

Brand origin: Local to global

Brand’s country of origin cited as equally important, or even more important, than other purchasing criteria such as price and quality


Best-liked ads: Kids, laughs, old times

Most of the ads on the list have a distinct local flavour, striking a chord with target consumers

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.

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.

Industry Insights

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.

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.