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Rocket Creative Reaches 20 Year Milestone

Rocket Creative Reaches 20 Year Milestone

March 2018 signifies the 20 year anniversary of Rocket Creative’s innovative and trendsetting design and display business. Launched in February 1998, Rocket Creative has evolved exponentially to become an innovative player in the design and display industry.

Richard Nilson, Rocket Creative’s founder and MD elaborated, ‘Having launched Rocket Creative from very idealistic beginnings, the intent has always been to operate with an entirely unconventional and inventive design approach. We have succeeded in building a career and respected business out of doing something that we love. Our job is essentially to build things that we dream up, and have someone else pay for them. It is 100% driven by passion, having the opportunity of doing something so neat and unique that no one has ever seen before.’

ROCKET CREATIVE (+27 11) 262 4698 hello@rocketcreative.co.za www.rocketcreative.co.za

ABF Hosting Annual General Meeting

ABF Hosting Annual General Meeting

The Advertising Benevolent Fund (ABF) invites all interested parties involved in the advertising, media and marketing industries to the Annual General Meeting for the ABF which will be held on 22 March at 3pm, at SPARK Media’s offices (Block 3, Burnside Office Park, 410 Jan Smuts Avenue).

For more information contact: Chirene Campbell at chirene@owlhurst.com.


Instant Grass International: Gender-Inclusive Marketing

Instant Grass International: Gender-Inclusive Marketing

According to Jess Jorgensen and Paul White from Instant Grass International (IGI), in the last few years, the world has seen a massive flux and relaxing in attitudes toward gender and its representation in the media. In this article, they explore how gender-fluid is becoming the new norm.

To look for inspiration we should begin with fashion. This is being pioneered by the fashion industry, perhaps traditionally the safest space to play with androgyny. Consider Jaden Smith, an early poster-boy pioneer by posing in a skirt for Louis Vuitton.

And while we might expect boundaries pushed in the realm of fashion, they are also being challenged in the hip-hop world, where we might not traditionally expect them to be. Artists like US trans rapper Mykki Blanco blasting down boundaries with (now five years old) music videos like Wavvy, or artists like Lil Yachty, whose newest album cover shows the rapper flashing his rainbow grill seated amid a spectrum of individuals that includes two young men kissing in the corner of the frame. Reactions across the internet were mixed: many praised Yachty for depicting a gay couple on the cover of a major hip-hop release, while others took to Yachty’s Instagram comment section with homophobic remarks.

Nobody can deny the PC lingo is ever-evolving. ‘Trans’ is still PC, and quite normalised, to the point where more gender-fluid terminology has now become a symbol of progression. Colin Nash of Variety magazine claimed, ‘Trans’ almost feels like a couple of years behind for our audience’.

We’re seeing uses of gender terms such as: gender-queer, non-conforming, non-binary and gender-neutral, all of which are used to describe a form of self-expression outside the good ol’ gender box of strictly man/woman or masculine/feminine.

To show how prevalent gender neutrality has become in mainstream media and brands, Covergirl launched their first male Covergirl model in 2016 – James Charles, a YouTube makeup artist and model who has made huge waves in popular culture.

National Geographic created an entire special issue, calling our times ‘The Gender Revolution, a great read and reference point for anyone struggling to keep up with ever-changing terminology’. Locally, Wits, UCT and UJ have rolled out gender-neutral bathrooms, as have many restaurants and bars.

Brands are ditching the old stereotypes, too. But understandably, are not yet going as far as pop culture is currently pushing.

Within the advertising world, we see change as happening on a spectrum – from ‘women belong in the home’, to total gender fluidity, where anyone can be whomever or whatever they want. We’ve moved away from the arcane beliefs, but we haven’t quite reached total freedom yet.

If we take a step back we can see how advertising has both described and prescribed gender roles throughout history. Advertising has both reflected and created symbols and messages that shape our behaviour as individuals. Advertising of the 50s and 60s shows how patriarchal advertising messaging was towards women and their roles in the home and society, with taglines like, ‘It’s a wifesaver!’ advertising an oven or, ‘Blow in her face and she’ll follow you anywhere!’ promoting an old brand of cigarettes. These seem positively ridiculous, viewed in 2018.

While we’ve come a long way in advertising, we’ve almost come no way at all. From the 50s, telling women they ‘belong in the home’, to the 70s where women have more freedom yet are encouraged to be sexy for their men, to the 90s where shock appeal keeps rising as women are depicted in more and more risqué ads. We must ask ourselves where branding stands: does it merely describe culture at large, or does it have a responsibility to lead the way?

We’re seeing much more non-conformity compared to past expectations. Consumers expect brands to embrace these issues and not ignore them. According to consumers, it’s not cool to be stuck in the old gender stereotypes.

Major US retailer Target has been one of the first to break down the ‘pink aisle’ structure – with explicitly ‘girls’ toys’ in pink and ‘boys’ toys’ in blue or other colours. Now, toy aisles are gender neutral. Barbie, who has drawn the ire of feminists for many decades, released their 2015 Moschino Barbie ad, which for the first time, included a boy in their advertising.

Locally, character model agency My Friend Ned has started their own gender-neutral division to meet this need. At SA Menswear Week 2017 we saw SA designers like Kim Gush making waves and defining themselves as ‘gender-neutral’, breaking the barriers of gender conformity by throwing thigh-high pleather platforms on male models. Gush’s ethos as a designer is to become gender non-conformist. To be shown in this way at a platform like Menswear week, is still considered pretty risqué by many.

To show how mainstream gender non-conformity is becoming locally, Woolworths jumped on the bandwagon and featured a trans model during their 2017 #StyledBySA capsule. We cannot deny that this trend will only strengthen in 2018 and beyond. What we must remember though, is that even with Woolworths embracing gender-neutrality, South Africa does lag behind a little.

This allows us a great opportunity to see what is coming. What we need to ask ourselves, is how much tolerance audiences in SA have for these admittedly challenging statements. While we know we must embrace these changes, we must ensure we do not alienate those people loyal to our brands.

INSTANT GRASS INTERNATIONAL (+27 11) 026 3801 info@instantgrass.com www.instantgrass.com

Ogilvy & Mather Flights #NoExcuse Campaign Before Soweto Derby Kick-Off

Ogilvy & Mather Flights #NoExcuse Campaign Before Soweto Derby Kick-Off

Ogilvy & Mather led the FNB stadium Carling Black Label #NoExcuse campaign against women abuse. A #NoExcuse female choir sang ‘Asambe Nono’, a well-known South African football song, just before kick-off in front of 85,000 people at the PSL game between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates on 3 March 2018.

The lyrics of the song suggestively say, ‘Let’s go, my baby, let’s go and sleep’. As part of the #NoExcuse campaign, the ‘Asambe Nono’ lyrics were changed to tell the all-too-common story of a South African woman being abused by her partner when he comes home under the influence from a soccer match which his team has lost. The chorus said there was no excuse for women abuse.

The revised lyrics were shown live on the big screen at FNB Stadium and the choir’s performance was televised on SABC and SuperSport. The football players were standing behind a #NoExcuse banner to show their support in the fight against women abuse.

VP Marketing for ABInbev Africa, Andrea Quaye, said, ‘When we launched #NoExcuse last year with a Men’s March and a major television commercial, we vowed to follow through and continue to drive positive change. The Soweto derby was an obvious place to make a powerful statement to so many men, and this was an emotive and impactful way to do just that.’

Tseliso Rangaka from Ogilvy South Africa said, ‘This was an enormously complex execution involving the client, multiple agencies, the choir, both teams, FNB Stadium management, the SABC, the PSL and SuperSport, and we are all incredibly proud of the outcome this was an original and highly relevant way to drive this important message.’

OGILVY & MATHER +27 11 709 6600 joburg@ogilvy.co.za www.ogilvy.co.za

CORELDRAW! 2017: New Name, New Features, New Possibilities

CORELDRAW! 2017: New Name, New Features, New Possibilities

Mohammed Jogie, Creative Director of Morning Star Design, gives a quick run-through of Corel Corporation’s flagship software, released in 2017.

So there are a couple of misconceptions I’d like to clear up. CorelDRAW! 2017 is the latest version. CorelDRAW! X8 is not. A number of us are taking the X in X8 and converting that to 10, then adding 8 to that to come to 18. While this is not necessarily wrong in principle, please understand that this method of determining your version will give you version 18. Which would mean that 2017 would equal version 19. Now that we’re clear on that, another misconception is that the Home and Student version is the same as the commercial, production version. I have seen a few folks actually purchase the ed version in the hope of saving a few valuable Randelas. But while they may look the same, they are not. So what’s different?

We’ve included a comprehensive list in this article for your benefit, ‘cos we good guys like that. The latest home/student version as of the writing of this piece is still X8. That means you will be a full version behind if you ignored this advice. No point in comparing apples with pink ponies, sporting candyfloss tails, in Springbok rugby jerseys right? Please read this carefully because it will save you money sooner than you think. The first challenge is you cannot upgrade your software. Then of course, pro features are missing for both Draw and Paint including support and drivers for high-end output devices and RIPs.

So unless you’ve cottoned on to a new A4-sized trend in signage that is going to be as big as Bitcoin, you’d be well advised to steer clear or you might have a rather expensive paperweight. If you bought online, you’ll find that digital paperweights are extremely light. Also excluded from the ed/home version are: professional colour management, seps, postscript options and more. You will have access to an extremely small library of clipart, fonts, bitmaps, etc. Just don’t touch it unless you’re a student or doing hobbyist type of stuff. There, we’ve saved you some hard-earned Tom, and you’re very welcome.

The most compelling feature in this version has to be the Livesketch tool. The idea behind this technology is to cut out the multiple steps when creating a design, namely sketch to paper, scan, clean up scan, trace. What if you could go from sketch to trace with liquid-smooth nodes in a single step? Well now you can. Takes a bit of getting used to and tweaking so that Corel understands your unique stroke style. Once set up though, you’ll wonder how you worked without it.

Needless to say, this comes with the added bonus of arguably the most keen attention to drawing tablets, touch devices and other new input devices that make it much easier to create content on Wacom, Microsoft Surface and other touch and pressure sensitive devices. I’ve been working on the Wacom MobileStudio and what a pleasure it has been. Add to this the robust support for Tablet mode in Windows 10 that Corel has taken very deliberate advantage of to offer an uncluttered and clean environment. Moving between Tablet mode and the fully fledged Windows interface is easier than taking candy from a baby.

Corel is noted for its node prowess, and the 2017 iteration is no let-down in that domain either. Node editing has been seriously overhauled to help you easily distinguish and edit nodes with a rich array of visual indicators and cues. You’ll be able get down and dirty in real-time, whether your’e cusping, smoothing or working in perfect symmetry. Not only that, they have worked on making the vector previews really pop when viewing them against coloured backgrounds, fills, images and so on. I like, I’m sure you will like too.

Whilst not a brand-spanking new feature, I’d be remiss if I did not mention the spiffy Corel Font Manager. This guy is worth all the bucks you spent on Corel and then some. So, imagine trying to tame your vast font collection. You feel the headache coming on, right? You have limited, valuable RAM which you can’t squander for fonts you may use perhaps once in the day, week, month, year or decade. But you need it when you need it right? Ta-da-ta-daaa. Enter Font Manager. Get this: you can now create collections and work with fonts in these collections without them even being installed on your system. Fontopia, I tell you. Give it a whirl and let us know what you think.

Mohammed Jogie is a strategist, designer, writer and artist. He is Creative Director of Morning Star Design, as well as founder of Mzansi Creative Foundation. He is a Corel accredited trainer and provides advice and consulting.


Visit The Sign Africa Durban Expo 2018

Visit The Sign Africa Durban Expo 2018

The Sign Africa Durban Expo, taking place from 7-8 February at the Durban International Convention Centre (Hall 3), will allow visitors to explore the latest technologies and trends in wide format digital printing, garment decoration, screen printing, signage and more, right in their own city.

Product experts from various leading companies will advise you on the latest and most relevant products to help you grow your business.

The popular Speed Wrap Challenge will be held at the event. Contestants will race against the clock to wrap a vehicle door to the best standards. This event is brought to you by platinum sponsor Roland, vinyl sponsors Grafiwrap (distributed by Maizey Plastics) and Ri-wrap (distributed by Red Hot Media).

Compete in three easy steps:

1. Pre-register at the Speed Wrap stand.
2. Your registration will be confirmed with your time slot.
3. Be present at your time slot and wrap to the best standards.

Printing SA will hold a Members Fourm at 11am on both days on their stand at the expo, addressing training in the printing and packaging industry. Non-members are welcome to attend. RSVP to gwarren@printingsa.org.

For more information about the expo, and to register online, visit: http://www.signafricaexpo.com

Upcoming Sign Africa expo’s include:
Cape Town: 14-15 March, Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Bloemfontein: 10 May, Ilanga Estate.
Zambia: 6-7 June, Mulungushi International Conference Centre.
Johannesburg: 12-14 September, Gallagher Convention Centre.

SIGN AFRICA (+27 11) 450 1650 dyelan@practicalpublishing.co.za www.signafricaexpo.com

JCDecaux Partners Again With Foundation For A Better Life

For its third year, JCDecaux and charity Foundation for a Better Life have worked together to deploy a new ‘Pass It On’ campaign across JCDecaux’s digital network.

The charity’s goal is to offer inspirational messages to people everywhere in order to help promote good values and good role models.

This time, female activist Malala Yousafzai has been featured in the nationwide campaign alongside the statement: ‘Girls should learn history. And make it. Courage is in you.’

Past campaigns include messages promoting strength, fitness, determination, confidence and so on, all alongside inspirational figures.

Ben Maher, sales and partnerships director at JCDecaux UK said, ‘We are incredibly proud to be working with Foundation for a Better Life again on its mission to promote positive values within our communities. By using digital out-of-home, the face of Malala, an incredible activist for female education, will be spread far and wide across the UK, along with the powerful message: ‘Girls should learn history. And make it.’ This truly is a fantastic campaign to start 2018 with.’

The campaign was live from 2-8 January.

JCDECAUX UK www.jcdecaux.co.uk

Expandasign Shares Insight Into What Makes A Successful Brand Activation

Expandasign Shares Insight Into What Makes A Successful Brand Activation

Expandasign shares insight into pulling off (what the company believes to be) a successful brand activation. Below are some top tips the company has learned and that are critical for a successful brand activation.

A strong concept

Everything hangs on your concept, so you need a strong one in order for the brand activation to succeed. Obviously, a great idea is the crux but it’s not all there is to it.


Coming up with something entirely unique will help position you as a thought leader and ensure that people remember your brand. If you can’t make the whole brand activation entirely unique, make sure you have elements that are.


This should be obvious but sadly it’s often overlooked. Basically, you need to be sure that your concept not only works but also works for your brand. Coming up with a great idea is one thing but if it’s not true to the nature of your brand, you risk the results being lukewarm.


It’s easy to get swept away with great ideas but you need to be sure that everyone else is on board and that you have the means to execute it. The problem arises when you have a great idea but you have to water it down in order to get it done. Sometimes it’s better to scrap a complicated idea that you have to dilute in favour of a simpler one that you can execute well.

Customer insight

This principle is as simple as ‘look before you leap’. Before you even start thinking of an idea you need to know your target market inside. Create a buyer persona and make sure you’ve done exhaustive research. If you’re a new brand, you’ll need to create an ideal buyer persona to think about the type of customers you want to attract.
Think through your brand activation from your customer’s perspective. This means you should consider everything from the social media you use to promote it to the time of day you launch it. Get inside their head and decide what works best for them, not you.
Remember that your customers will relate the brand to the activation, so make sure it’s sending the right message to the right people. If your brand activation is high energy but your brand is zen you’re sending mixed messages, or even worse: if your brand activation is sloppy people will assume your brand will be too.

Good promotional merchandise

No brand activation is complete without the right branding and promotional merchandise, particularly if you’re hosting an event.

The human brain remembers imagery well, so make sure you capitalise on the hype by having branding that’s good quality and easy to see. Don’t just go for numbers. Having something custom or novel makes more of an impact than sheer number or size, allowing you to save on your budget and have a bigger impact.

A realistic budget

Budget plays a massive role in planning brand activations and you want to be sure to strike the right balance between quality and affordability. Below are a few things to keep in mind to help you do that:
Get quotes before you begin to plan your budget – that way you can get a realistic idea of what you’ll need to include.
Plan your budget together with your concept so that you don’t commit to something you’ll struggle to execute.
Allow sufficient time to shop around for prices and deals.
Be upfront with your suppliers about your budget.
Remember that a substandard brand activation can damage the brand image, so be sure that you’re committed to investing in a good one.

An engagement tactic

Engagement helps to imprint a brand into a customer’s long-term memory system. In addition, allowing someone to touch and hold something also triggers feelings of connection according to psychologists, so letting people interact with your branding and products is a great way to foster brand loyalty.

Finding an engagement point generally involves supplying customers with something they need, want or can make use of.

Sufficient planning

For a brand activation to run smoothly, you’ll need to have planned for every eventuality.
Ensure you have enough products, samples and staff as customers can feel hard done by if they are left out.
Ensure you have enough space and enough branding if you’re hosting a brand activation event.
Make sure you have a plan for crowd control.
Ensure that you have a plan B if your brand activation event is weather-dependent.

An amplification strategy

You’ve done all the hard work, now it’s time to make sure you get a decent ROI on your brand activation. For that you need to make sure you’re promoting it through a variety of channels. Encourage social media sharing and make it easy for people to do so – event hashtags and competitions are always good for this purpose.

Share as many photos of the event as possible and get participants talking about it by tagging them. Allow those who missed the brand activation to participate through social media by engaging with their comments after the activation. Make sure you do this timeously as people tend to expect responses within the hour.

Make the most out of your investment by creating some sharable content (videos, slideshows, mixed-media etc.) from the event and sharing it on your social media and website.

EXPAND A SIGN +27 11 466 0304

Street Network and JCPZ Combine Efforts For OOH Communication

Street Network and JCPZ Combine Efforts For OOH Communication

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) recently collaborated with Street Network to get its recent campaign’s messaging out to the public.

JCPZ is mandated by the City of Johannesburg to manage the City’s cemeteries, parks and designated public open spaces as well as to ensure that its environmental conservation function is carried out. This includes the maintenance of all street and park trees within the City’s borders and the Joburg Zoo. JCPZ is entrusted with the preservation and management of biodiversity through direct conservation action, education, research and recreation.

As the custodian of Joburg’s green heritage, the JCPZ is currently running a campaign which highlights the valuable work it does in terms of Capital Infrastructure Development; Open Space Management; Zoological, Horticultural and Ecological Services and Urban Forestry. Its portfolio consists of 20,000ha of green open spaces and 3.2 million trees, while the Zoo has 326 species consisting of 2096 specimens, all housed within a 54ha area.

‘Key to the #WelcomeOutside campaign was ensuring that multiple messages related to the range of services offered were delivered effectively. By selecting Bus Shelters, the JCPZ was able to not only get the messaging out to the general public, but the flexibility of out-of-home and bus shelters in particular allowed for each service offering to be unpacked further,’ commented Jonathan Everest, head of sales at Street Network.

Bus Shelters can be used in a targeted and contextually relevant manner, with the JCPZ campaign taking full advantage of this. Visible in the vicinity of a number of key locations such as the Joburg Zoo and to targeted audiences along major routes, the campaign successfully delivered multiple contextually relevant messages.

‘The JCPZ’s vision is to develop, maintain and conserve public open spaces, cemeteries and animal life for present and future generations. Street Network delivered a solution that amplified and extended the reach of the current campaign in a bold and creatively engaging manner,’ concluded Everest.

OUTDOOR NETWORK +27 11 234 7861 billboardsales@on.co.za www.outdoornetwork.co.za

JCDecaux Sub-Saharan Africa Announces Staff Appointments

Janice De Jong, Uyanda Manana and Diana Mtombeni.

Three new staff appointments for the JCDecaux Sub-Saharan Africa have been announced.

Uyanda Manana has joined JCDecaux Sub-Saharan Africa as head of sales, regional and direct. With more than 14 years experience in marketing communications, Manana has managed and led campaigns at several prestigious advertising agencies.

She started her career at L’Oreal based in Johannesburg, South Africa then later moved to London where she joined Publicis working on a client portfolio that included L’Oreal, Garnier and United Biscuits.

After returning to South Africa, she joined The Jupiter Drawing Room to head up MTN. During this time, the agency produced the iconic and award-winning FIFA World Cup-MTN Ayoba campaign.

Manana has also worked for activation agency Hariz M.E in Dubai on the Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management account, as well as for Saatchi Abel in the capacity of account lead on key brands, including Nedbank and Nando’s.

Janice De Jong has been appointed as client services manager. She has a combination of over 11 years’ managerial experience in production, printing, manufacturing, flighting, outdoor and special projects.

Prior to joining JCDecaux, she has been involved in a number of outdoor campaigns with top end clients and their projects. These include, but are not limited to, the iconic Guinness World Record soccer balls that were erected on the Telkom Towers for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Diana Mtombeni is the newly appointed sales executive for Africa. Diana holds a BCom Marketing degree from Unisa and a PMD from GIBS.

She has over eight years’ experience in sales, marketing and customer service across Africa. Mtombeni’s passion is account management and client service delivery and she has a proven ability to develop and grow relationships across diverse groups and levels within organisations in Africa.

JCDECAUX AFRICA +27 11 514 1400 uyanda.manana@jcdecaux.com www.continentaloutdoor.com

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