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VML SA Scoops 17 IAB Bookmark Awards

VML SA Scoops 17 IAB Bookmark Awards
VML team

VML South Africa took home 17 awards at the 2019 IAB Bookmarks, including a gold award, three craft golds, seven silvers, two craft silvers and four bronze awards across multiple categories.

The IAB Bookmarks is considered the benchmark for tech, digital and leading-edge innovation in digital marketing in South Africa. VML South Africa CCO, Ryan McManus said, ‘It’s always gratifying to be recognised by the industry, especially when there are so many excellent contenders for the prize. But of course, without the foresight, trust and bravery of our clients who entrust their brands to us, the work would never have seen the light of day. Now more than ever we are seeing the important role digital is playing across the industry, but there still needs to be an authentic connected experience. And that is the space in which we excel.’

The agency’s Drop the Hint campaign for American Swiss Jewellers walked away with six Bookmarks, including a gold for content strategy. Based on the ‘in a relationship’ Facebook status of South African women, the target market saw ads in their feed that encouraged them to ‘Bring their boyfriend to his knee’ and drop the hint with American Swiss.

Clicking the ad took them to a microsite where they could choose the ring they wanted and send their boyfriend a funny video. Using the power of digital remarketing, said boyfriend has dropped hints everywhere he went online, from Facebook to YouTube, and his favourite sports page. Once he finally gave in and took the hint, he was directed him to a microsite with the ring she’d chosen and a 50% off discount on the diamond to sweeten the deal. Over 3000 ladies dropped the hint in the first few days, and a video open rate of 89.5% proved that their guys took notice. 1% of guys clicked the ‘buy’ button, which means that dozens have popped the question.

VML also won a craft gold for Software, Coding & Tech Innovation for its Nando’s food delivery app. The app brings the full Nando’s experience to customers online. Orders can be placed via voice or text. Search is easy with the system recognising menu options by name, localised synonyms and/or nicknames. It has an auto-configuration capability based on previous behaviour.

VML South Africa takes 17 for the win at IAB Bookmark Awards




Smart Technology Still Requires The Human Touch

Smart Technology Still Requires The Human Touch

Warren Ravinsky, Head of Advertising, Gumtree SA, states that programmatic buying makes ad buying significantly more efficient and has created opportunities for brands that we couldn’t have thought possible five years ago.

Picture a world where a car dealership can deliver a message to a prospective buyer for the exact make and model they’re looking for (in their neighbourhood), the minute that they start doing research on it. A fashion brand can serve a prospective customer an ad based on what the weather is like at their planned holiday destination. Everything is possible with a combination of the correct data providers and skills.

I am excited by the disruption and new possibilities that automation has brought to the industry. The talent and the technological strides we’ve witnessed in the space of a year has been nothing short of staggering.

However, smart technology without the human touch can be stupid. Programmatic buying is a tool and like any tool, it’s only as effective as the person who wields it. Don’t be dazzled by what technology can do. The real eye-opener will be what technology can do in the hands of the right people.

Content and channels can be managed in a wholly automated way, but it shouldn’t be. And even if it isn’t, decisions often come down to guesswork and trial-and-error. Agencies are doing themselves and their clients a disservice if they don’t follow the two-pronged approach of technology and consultation working together.

Anyone can create an ad campaign, but it takes a village to make a sale. You need a large community of experienced digital marketers, agencies, data management platforms and advisors to achieve the exact manual configuration needed to close the loop. Companies are still too focused on how programmatic works, while ignoring why it works.

Advertising 101: serve the right message to the right audience, in the right place, at the right time. In most instances, the parameters for the right place and the right time are too wide. If you are in the off-road vehicle market, you can serve a message to a client who has browsed the web looking at an article about the latest 4×4. It’s not a bad idea, but that client could easily be a 15-year-old with an interest in off-roading and zero buying power.

If you serve the same message to a client, with pre-approved finance, who has already sent queries to a car dealership for a specific 4×4 model that day, you are much more likely to get a click and a sale. Analytics is only as good as the data you’re examining. The right platform will be able to provide you with third and first-party data sets, as well as the depth of their experiences in a completely open and transparent way.

You can compare an online ad campaign to investment management. You could also probably throw caution to the wind and manage it on your own, but it’s so much more effective (and profitable) when there’s a skilled fund manager at the helm.

GUMTREE www.gumtree.co.za

Corruption Deeply Impacts Media Industry

Corruption Deeply Impacts Media Industry

Chris Botha, Group Managing Director of Park Advertising, says that the challenge with corruption is that it permeates and impacts every fibre of the media business. Whether it’s ratings on TV, magazines (or lack thereof) in the hands of consumers, illegal billboards, fake news stories being broadcast, or real news stories not being broadcast – there is no getting around it. 

I am sure like everybody else, you have been reading about the massive corruption being unearthed by the various investigative bodies and journalists in our country. Just this past week the Zondo Commission was in full cry, and Pieter Louis Myburgh released his book on Ace Magashule. The numbers are astronomical. Depending on who you believe – South Africa has lost R30-R300 billion per year because of corrupt practices. Horrifying. But for me, the bigger loss is the loss of opportunity.

The past eight years have been described as the ‘forgotten years’ or the ‘lost years’. This phrase really hurts my heart because it is so true. R30 billion across eight years is R240 billion that could have solved so many of our country’s ills. Imagine that sort of investment in youth education, housing or the medical field? Some would tell me: ‘You are a media guy, what’s this got to do with anything?’ Well, everything I would postulate.

The impact on advertising investment: firstly, while the world markets are all ticking up, our markets continue to tick down. Business confidence and performance has a direct link on ad spend. Net effect is a direct impact on advertising investment. I have had numerous discussions with South Africa’s biggest media owners, all of whom without exception state that this is the hardest economic climate they have ever traded in. In years gone by the adage ‘flat is the new up’ was jokingly bandied about. Now it is cried out in desperation and frustration.

Lost revenue means less investment in content, less investment in production, less investment in acquisition, and less investment in developing the new, smart and amazing. Only the strong, nimble, agile and intelligent will survive. The end is nowhere in sight. Buckle up boys and girls, this ain’t getting better any time soon.

Electricity supply and your TV ratings: Britta Reid recently wrote an excellent article on the impact of load shedding on TV ratings. The numbers are scary. In heavy load shedding weeks, up to 35% of audiences are lost. As with the overall corruption problem, that is also a lost opportunity. An opportunity that businesses would have had to sell more products, make more money, and invest in our country. TV stations have for the most part dug in their heels when it comes to compensation (rightly or wrongly). But lower ratings will no doubt impact them down the line as rate setting and projecting will become even more of a gamble.

Are your magazines reaching their readers? Many magazines use the South African Post Office (SAPO) to deliver to their most loyal readers – their subscribers. Advertisers gladly pay for their ads assuming that it lands in every hand promised at the right time. Well, considering the challenges at SAPO, that is no longer a straight guarantee. Some magazines probably arrive months later due to the inefficiencies. Opportunity lost once again…

Carl Sagan once said, ‘One of the saddest lessons of history is this: if we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.’

President Ramaphosa has a massive task ahead of him. He will need time, backing, investment, and a brave soul to turn this country around. Most importantly, this is not a problem solely solved by government. Government simply can’t. Private enterprise and big business needs to jump in. It affects all of us.

One has to believe that it is not all doom and gloom going forward. As an industry we are a collective of creative geniuses! We are diverse, and inspired. 2019 should be the year where we launch new agencies (like Meta Media), where we inspire our staff, where we lift up the youth in our industry. Where media owners need to help build our nation through education and inspiration. We have access to the whole country through our platforms. So let’s get our hands dirty. Bring on the 8th of May.


New PRC CEO To Drive Company Into New Phase Of Industry Involvement

PRC Appoints CEO
Josephine Buys, newly appointed PRC CEO

The Publisher Research Council (PRC) has been conducting pioneering studies in the publishing space since 2016. New CEO Josephine Buys will leverage the research and relationships built to date, to drive the company into a new phase of industry involvement, while Peter Langschmidt will continue to focus on the technical aspects of research to ensure it is as accurate a reflection of the reader universe as possible.

Buys said, ’The PRC library is a rich repository of information that marketers, advertisers and media agencies can benefit from and I look forward to unlocking the value of our reading platforms, being consumed and trusted in a quality environment, to prove that reading is one of the most effective platforms to deliver a significant Return on Investment (ROI). I have always been passionate about reading, whatever the channel. In my new capacity as CEO of the Publisher Research Council, I will be a champion of the written word in all forms.’

As a non-profit company conducting research on behalf of its members, the PRC has made great strides in conducting research that promotes the value of the written word versus listening or viewing. This appointment marks an exciting increase in resources, and an intention to add widespread value to the industry at large. A seasoned marketing and media professional, Josephine is the ideal candidate for the role.

Executive Headhunter, Maha Deeb, who introduced Buys to the PRC said, ‘My brief was to identify someone who would be the voice of the PRC and an ambassador for the power of reading and recall. Media and communications thought leaders and senior executives whom I spoke to about Buys attested to her credibility, passion and drive.’

The PRC welcomes Buys’ insights and experience she brings to fulfil the mandate of the PRC, which is to educate the marketplace and sell the inherent benefits and strengths of the written word.


Digital School Of Marketing Launches Online PR Course

Digital School of Marketing Launches Online PR Course

The Digital School of Marketing (DSM) has launched their online Digital Public Relations (PR) course for individuals who want to pursue a career in PR, or those who have small businesses and want to learn how to market their businesses through PR.

Course modules include:
• How to create a PR plan.
• How to manage relationships with stakeholders.
• How to create and manage content in PR.
• How to build relationships with the media.
• How to master marketing communications concepts and online public relations.
• How to use social media for public relations.
• How to manage reputational crises in PR.
• How to evaluate public relations activities and events.

The course holds accreditation from both MICT SETA and is endorsed by the IAB, which means that once completed the qualification will give anyone the upper hand in this competitive digital world.

The DSM Digital PR course addresses how to meet both organisations and the target market’s needs, weaving in the fundamentals of traditional PR into a digital world. The art and science of engaging with media on all different digital channels, enabling one to spread a brand’s message through strategic communications, is also covered.


Marketing Is A Strategic Exercise

Firejuice: Marketing A Strategic Exercise

Bernard Jansen, owner of Firejuice, says that the market wants you to bring your prices down, compares you with the next best alternative, bombards you with requests for quotations and prefers to dish out work through tenders only. The market is the enemy that wants you to fail. 

When we refer to the ‘target’ market, launching a marketing ‘campaign’, gathering market ‘intelligence’ and sending your sales force ‘into the field’ we are referring to the art of commercial warfare that is marketing. Anything that involves war requires strategy. Your battle plan is essentially your marketing plan.

Strategy is an overused word. Working with entrepreneurs, I know how strong the urge is to ‘just get it done and not over-think it’. A propensity for action is good, but it is no good if you don’t focus your efforts.

Recently we heard that the once mighty Group Five had to file for business rescue. Fundamentally, what happened to them, or any one of the thousands currently in trouble, is the market beat them to a pulp. Simple as that. It tore into them with its number one weapon: a price war.

Marketing is commercial warfare. To survive, you need strategy, tactics and brilliant execution.


How To Maximise Sports Marketing Content

BrandTruth Maximising On Sports Marketing Content

Zubeida Goolam, co-founder and Creative Partner, BrandTruth//DGTL, states that sports storytellers are playing a game that moves as quickly as the matches, meaning that fans have a huge demand for content. They expect real-time, high-quality content, commentary and updates of a game on social media, and they also have an interest in learning more about their favourite teams.

They expect content from score updates and event highlights during the game, to player training sessions and behind-the-scenes content about the players. This demand for content has put a lot of pressure on sports writers to come up with innovative ways of giving the fans what they want and also engaging with them. If people can’t remember what you said, they won’t take action or feel compelled to support your team. This is where the power of storytelling comes into play.

BrandTruth Maximising On Sports Marketing Content 2
Zubeida Goolam, Co-Founder and Creative Partner at BrandTruth//DGTL
These are the keys to success for creating, repurposing, and maximising content in sports marketing:
1. Use feelings instead of facts

Stories activate the part of the brain responsible for experiences, while information activates the part of the brain which processes language and understanding. Humans retain 70% of information obtained through stories and only 10% from data and statistics. By using feelings and emotions you elevate your brand’s messaging by humanising it to connect with people. As a result, you build brand love, loyalty, trust, and inspire supporters to want to join the fan club and give them affirmations that they are supporting the right team. Hence you find fans becoming self-appointed ambassadors of their teams.

Storytelling also goes hand in hand with cognitive psychology. In Lisa Cron’s book, Story Genius, she mentions that in order to receive a positive emotional response and the desired decision making from the audience, storytellers must use the core principles of human perception, thinking and memory in their narratives.

2. Make fans the heroes

To master the art of storytelling, marketers need to know the core elements of a message for it to become a story. Fiction writers have been using this formula for centuries, and brands like Nike, Adidas, Brand South Africa, Vodacom, Investec, Consol and Virgin Media have adopted it in recent campaigns. The formula is threefold: set-up, narrative arc, and resolution. How do marketers use it for brand storytelling?

A hero (your target customer) leaves home on a journey to solve a problem, overcomes hardships and challenges, and comes back with a reward (your product/service). Given that 92% of consumers trust media and word-of-mouth to inform their buying decisions, it is important to always make the fans the heroes in sports storytelling. In doing so, you build a bond between them and the brand, so they would want to keep supporting the team.

That’s why Nike’s 2018 ‘When you’re born to do it—just do it’ advert with Caster Semenya was so well received by the public. The heartwarming campaign takes us on a reverse time lapse of a young runner’s journey from childhood, to becoming one of the greatest of all time, amidst adversity. This is a powerful narrative that speaks to being resilient in your pursuit of what you want; something that all South Africans can relate to.

BrandTruth//DGTL’s formula for a compelling hero’s journey:
● Turn people into the protagonists of your story.
● Include opinion leaders or public figures to tell your story.
● Make your story hard to forget and impossible to ignore.

3. Share content on social media in real time

The advancement of technology has empowered creative teams to keep up with fans’ compulsive ‘fear of missing out’ and the growing demand for fast content delivery. American baseball team, the Colorado Rockies, adopted a lightning speed photo workflow to transfer photos from camera, to social media. #27 Trevor Story swings and hits it out of the park. He rounds the bases, circles home and high fives his teammates. Minutes later, fans in the stands and those watching at home have photos of every one of those moments in the palm of their hands sharing and reposting it with their followers. But how?

Photographers link up to a wireless network or an ethernet connection and transmit photos from their cameras straight to their editors. This eliminates an immense amount of pressure for photographers on the field who can shoot freely without worrying about rushing to a laptop or workroom to send off images. This technology is critical in sports storytelling because, in a time when brands are sharing massive amounts of content, it’s crucial that your team shares the best content as quickly as possible.

A lot more professional sports teams are adopting real-time social media workflows. They will continue to pick up the pace in an effort to engage their fans while their stories are still hot on the trends. And most importantly, they will use cutting-edge technology to strike a balance between speed and quality. Although the workflow has changed dramatically, one thing will never change in sports storytelling: a good story is a good story.


IBase Unveils UPC Smart Retail Applications Panel

iBase Inveils UPC Smart Retail Applications Panel

The visually-appealing UPC panel PCs are aimed at enhancing customer experiences in retail and catering environments such as convenience stores, department stores, airports, cinemas and speciality stores.

These high-performance and low-power systems are designed for long-term use and have no problem operating in ambient temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius.

– The UPC-7210 and UPC-6210 models are offered with 7th Gen Intel® Core™ Processors and Intel® Atom® Processor E3825 respectively.
– They feature one USB 2.0, four USB 3.0, two Gigabit Ethernet, extra HDMI and DP graphics, 24VDC input and up to 32GB of DDR4 support.
– The 21.5” 1920 x1080 IPS LCD panel with capacitive touch screen allows multi touch and gesture touch functionalities.

IBASE www.ibase.com.tw

Adomni Announces Audience Buying Platform For Digital Out-Of-Home Advertisers

Adomni Announces Audience Buying Platform For Digital Out-Of-Home Advertisers

Adomni collaborated with PlaceIQ to provide location-based consumer 
insights and analytics for the platform that gives advertisers the ability to buy DOOH ads based on audience. This allows them to spend campaign budget more effectively and target their audience 
based on behaviours.

Jonathan Gudai, CEO of Adomni said, ‘Now, advertisers can use familiar planning techniques from their online digital campaigns to reach optimal audiences nearby OOH displays. This new offering on Adomni’s open marketplace has the potential to
 exponentially increase campaign effectiveness for advertisers by targeting their DOOH spend based on consumer behaviour. The location-based consumer insights provided by data industry leader PlaceIQ are driving an evolution in DOOH buying and selling.’

Advertisers can go to Adomni’s website and:
• Search OOH inventory by location.
• Filter search results by audience segments with the most relevant OOH locations on top.
• Choose from a variety of digital screens with an audience score.
• Launch an audience-powered campaign based on the selections.

‘Marketers crave real-world consumer insights that can be applied across all their media tactics universally and dynamically,’ said Duncan McCall, CEO and Co-Founder, PlaceIQ. ‘Until now, an easy-to-use, scaled OOH platform
 that could harness location-intelligent audiences for use in multiple OOH assets has never been available. To be able to join forces with an innovative partner such as Adomni to bring this first-ever capability to market has been exciting and gratifying. We believe this initiative will bring true business value to marketers.’

ADOMNI www.adomni.com

M&C Saatchi Abel Cape Town Announces Executive Creative Director Changes

M&C Saatchi Abel Cape Town Appoints Executive Creative Director

Jake Bester will assume the Executive Creative Director (ECD) role at M&C Saatchi Abel Cape Town. Neo Mashigo, Chief Creative Officer of the M&C Saatchi Abel Group, has announced that Founding Partner and ECD of the Cape Town Agency, Gordon Ray, will take on a new role at the agency.

‘Ray has played a huge role over the past nine years, growing the business and, in the process, producing iconic, award-winning work across a broad spectrum of our clients. But starting an agency and achieving all this within nine years is creatively taxing, so as of mid-last year he indicated a desire to hand over his ECD responsibilities to a suitable successor and focus more on working with the creative teams on key client portfolios as Creative Partner. Making brilliant work is what fires Ray up the most, so it’s great that he can just focus on that now,’ said Mashigo.

‘Bester acquired a wealth of experience in senior creative positions, including that of Executive Creative Director, in a number of leading SA agencies before joining the M&C Saatchi Abel Group over two years ago. Since joining the Group, he has enjoyed a close partnership with Ray as Creative Partner on a number of key brands.

‘This is a win-win for our clients and the agency as we now have two massive creative talents in the Cape Town agency. I’m looking forward to working closely with them and the Johannesburg ECD, as well as with the massive talent in our creative departments across the group to ensure we continue to deliver on our purpose of creating beautifully simple solutions for an increasingly complex world,’ concluded Mashigo.

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