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Ranking the Analysts 2015

Crossing the chasm

Picture this. On the one side of a chasm is your business. On the other, the people you would like to do business with. Most teams developing a business strategy spend the bulk of their time examining what the business can do to build a bridge that will reach across the chasm to the people on the far side.

Half an hour with Rudy Hassiem

The key to an enduring client/agency relationship is trust – specifically the personal touch. When an agency and client trust each other, says Rudy Hassiem, MD of Brandnew Creative Agency, the result is evident in the work. And when there is a personal interest, you can tell the agency cares about the brand just as much as the client does.

Big Stories

Leaders on the move

It was perhaps fitting that the recent Sunday Times Top 100 Companies’ Leaders on the Move event was sponsored by Johnnie Walker, a brand that inspires purpose and recognises that the journey is as important as the destination.

All I want for Christmas

If you’re a baby boomer all you want for Christmas is material goods – anything to ensure you’re keeping up with the Joneses, which defines status and success. The Christmas wish lists of millennials, on the other hand, look quite different, according to a recent article by Dallas Lawrence, chief communications officer of the Rubicon Project posted on

Pay by selfie to revolutionise online shopping

If a patent filed by Amazon is anything to go by, consumers will soon be able to pay for online purchases with selfies. Aimed at making online purchasing more convenient for shoppers, the patent will allow consumers to take a photo of themselves instead of having to enter a password.

The Trump approach to political communication

Brands are expected to be transparent, truthful and authentic in their communications. In contrast, the US presidential election has shown that the same principal does not hold true in politics. However, in a presidential race that has become increasingly ugly, some brands have inadvertently been drawn into the fray.

There’s too much bluffing about digital marketing

Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer, Keith Weed, headlined the first day of the Festival of Marketing 2016 in the UK. He argued that there is an entire generation of marketers, most of them working for leading businesses, that has very little knowledge of the digital landscape. He cautions that if these marketers don’t act fast and skill up to find their place in the digital world, it’s likely they will be left behind.

Most-liked ads: Feel-good factors

Ranking indicates to brands what advertising themes strike a chord with consumers

Most valuable brands: Apple and Google tops

For a fourth year, Apple and Google have claimed top positions in the annual Interbrand most valuable brands survey

Are marketers stereotyping age too much?

A recent post by Thomas Hobbs on highlights information brought to light from a study that claims millennials and older generations share many of the same characteristics, and warns brands to stay away from advertising based on stereotypes of age groups.

Mobile has changed our response to natural disasters

Hurricane Matthew revealed an interesting trend in mobile and social media. During the hurricane mobile technologies were able to offer assistance while brands leveraged digital platforms to keep the public informed and help those in need.

Interbrand’s 2016 best global brands

Apple, Google and Coca-Cola have been awarded top rankings in the recently released Interbrand 2016 Best Global Brands report, which identifies the world’s 100 most valuable brands. New entrants included Tesla and Dior, at 89 and 100 respectively. Overall, the rankings were dominated by automotive and technology brands.

Innovation for a post-demographic age of consumerism

The shift from traditional to post-demographic consumerism is turning old ideas about consumption patterns on their heads. Age, gender, location, income and family status now make way for individual expression and interest-based segments. Many marketers are looking to their agencies for answers and solutions as they attempt to get to grips with this shift.

Thabang Ramogase

Media agencies: Brands before boycotts

Instead of boycotting the SABC, media agencies must show how they could add value to brands

Picture: ISTOCK

Media & entertainment: ‘Digital will drive growth’

SA’s Internet access market will rise from R39.4bn in 2015 to R68.5bn in 2020

Retailers are tapping into markets through content publishing

Content publishing is increasingly becoming a part of modern inbound marketing strategies, with retail brands investing in their own content to connect and engage better with their consumers. At the same time, their investment in traditional print advertising is declining as they shift their focus to communicate with customers in more creative ways.

The future of Africa’s entertainment and media industry

Despite a slowdown across most major industries, PwC’s Entertainment and media outlook: 2016 – 2020 report (South Africa – Nigeria – Kenya) released in September, predicts continued growth in the Internet, video games, television, and filmed entertainment segments. Publishing, however, will have to make dedicated strides to gain any ground.

Unpacking the Coalition for Better Ads

Ad blocking has become a serious obstacle for digital advertising, and advertisers, agencies, advertising technology companies and publishers have come together to form the Coalition for Better Ads to create global digital advertising standards in the hope of countering ads that frustrate consumers.

Jeremy Sampson. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS

Interbrand founder Jeremy Sampson jumps ship

Fall out with management sees Interbrand founder move to rival Brand Finance

AdFocus Awards: Agencies on the shortlist

Twenty-seven agencies across eight size and speciality categories make it on to the 2016 AdFocus agency of the year shortlist

Fast food advertising under the spotlight at the Financial Mail AdForum

Fast food advertising was put under the spotlight at the most recent Financial Mail AdForum, hosted at Vega School of Brands in association with Ornico.

The future of data-driven marketing

While marketing departments crave the benefits of personalisation, they seem to fail at executing on an individual basis. According to analytic data intelligence solutions company Effective Intelligence the reason is simple: disparate data sets.

Gary Leih and Chris Gotz

Talent boost at OFyt

Straight-talking creative hotshot back from the US to become partner in Cape-based agency


MTN, Liberty accounts up for grabs

Three major ad agency groups are waiting for results of an intensive pitch for MTN account while Liberty Group is also out to pitch

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.

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

Industry Insights

Where’s the research?

In the digital age, some agencies no longer see value in brand immersion – the research in the more traditional landscape was the nucleus of brand strategy. This intense comprehension of a client’s products or services – including who makes them and who buys them, and taking this information to inform the strategy and the campaign, is suddenly no longer the alpha and omega of brand strategy that it used to be.

Why social media will never overtake PR

Scan the headlines of public relations and marketing industry publications, and you will read dire warnings about the future of PR, as I wrote in a piece originally published on Mobile Marketer. The 2015 Holmes Report identifies a 5% drop in the growth rate of the global PR industry. Some pundits suggest that PR has lost its way and that social media will eventually replace PR.

Predictions for 2017

The world we are living in is so fiercely volatile at the moment that it would be foolish to predict with any level of certainty what the market is going to do.

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, 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.