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The Smartest Event of the Year – The Annual Marketing and Media Conference (Part 1)

A warm welcome from Jeremy Maggs to everyone at The Smartest Event of the Year

Agencies Agency of the Year

It was time to announce the agency chosen by other agencies, who stood out head and shoulders above the rest. Congratulations to the Agencies Agency of the Year award goes to Ogilvy JHB.

We welcomed to the panel:
Media Panellists:
Adrian Ephraim – Independent Online
Yusuf Abramjee – Primedia Broadcasting
Deon du Plessis – The Daily Sun
Gordon Patterson – Starcom Mediavest Group
Barry Sayer – Continental Outdoor Media
Andy Rice – Yellowwood Future Architects
Anastacia Martin – Mail & Guardian

The Smartest Event of the Year saw a panel of the top minds in media come together to discuss the worries, past events, and future happenings in media for 2010.

The first half of discussion brought up great topics from the World Cup 2010’s involvement, to racial discrimination reporting in news.

There was as shift in marketing from an excitement of the 2010 World Cup, where we now see that not as many companies bought into the marketing field as they should have.

Main opening points:

  • Newspapers saw a decline in sales, as most people stayed at home during this period, rather watching at home, as consumer behaviour showed that consumers felt prices would go up, and transport would be an issue during the 2010 World Cup.
  • People are also looking for an easier mobile solution.  They’d like to get newspapers on their phones.
  • Yusuf Abramjee thinks the radio industry has done very well, and the World Cup boosted it.
  • Adrian Ephraim saw a spike in mobile platforms with people at home, and news on the go.  Everything is gravitating towards a digital platform. A shift needs to take place in the print environment, and it needs to become more techno savvy.
  • Deon also thinks every facet will adapt where necessary, be it on online or wherever.
  • Andy Rice thinks that 2010 isn’t the year to remember from a commercial point of view. Most were caught unawares, in the context of a global recession. People forget that people go back to the brands they trust in times of recession, and they did not adapt their strategy towards it.
  • Gordon made a point that most radio audiences are declining. It comes down to content. Not enough effort has been put in to find the want of the consumer. Circulations have declined and will continue to decline, because of pressures that aren’t being communicated. It will fuel the interest in traditional ABL media.
  • Yusuf: Newspapers will be focusing more on the niche, and might become high end luxury product.
  • Andy Rice: The synergy when you put a media strategy together that blends the best of old and new.  It is fed by digital agencies, as traditional media people need guides. It’s about strategy, content and tone.
  • Deon: “The middle of the market moves and warps. 8 years ago when we launched, even 30 years ago to now, shows that LSM 1 and 2 will disappear. We have moved from those markets to a LSM 5 and 6 market.”  Newspapers must move on, and stay on trend.
  • Yusuf feels that generalizations should not happen. We need to take stock of what we are doing, right and wrong.  There are major problems within the print industry.  “I wonder if the prolem is not about race?”
  • Why do we have to follow international news, why not set a benchmark of following our own agendas?
    Barry Sayr’s response is that international media just does it better.
    Yusuf says “with race agenda it is always diverted to another argument.  There is a lot of room to sell good news”
  • Adrian Ephraim “We can’t discard the effect of the New Zealand story for South Africa, and can’t make it about race.”


Do we have a proper understanding of what audiences want?
Deon: A new charter for us has been done, so we do in depth research regularly.
Andy Rice: I think the media who as businesses live by the survival of brands who advertise there, don’t learn the lesson of brands about differentiation.  There are to aspects to media, the WHAT and the HOW.  The brand differention is what media fails to spot, let’s deliver media in a completely original format.
Gordon: Media need more frequency of engagement. Research is controlled by the media owner, and should actually be owned by the clients who buy, as we end up with this two thirds view of the market, which is just a lie. It affects all agencies, and products that people buy. Clients need to take the responsibility.

Honesty in media – are they really honest?

Barry feels that news and media should be honest and live integrity.  Everything is blown up, with a glossy glow and hyperbole. People want an experience though.

Andy feels that different genres interpret different news worthy articles differently.

Why do digital and traditional platforms not merge to work collectively?

Deon: “it is happening right now.”

Gordon: “We have 2 economies in SA. Digital is routed in the upper LSM, but moving downwards.  Specialization happens because there are too few people in the industry who fully understand it, those who know it, and are in it.”

Adrian: “the attitude is changing. All of a sudden media platforms are becoming interested.  There is a whole world newspaper can’t afford not to be a part of. These platforms need to be educated.”

Jeremey: Do you think you’re selling the concept of digital enough?

Adrian: “We’re still grappeling about it., because the options out there are so ever changing.”

Andy: It’s about, within the media groups, that journalists. It is the digital media’s agency own responsibility to market themselves and get the message of what needs to be done out there. Or sell themselves as evangelists, but those with answers.

Barry: From an outdoor adv point of view, we have to take a broader point of view. You can see a lot of integration internationally with outdoor advertising platforms and digital platforms. Even billboards are becoming immediate and can compete with radio and TV.


What are your things to look out for 2011:

Adrian: More innovation. Tell stories differently.
Deon: The year to sell more and get more ground back.
Yusuf: The legacy of 2010. Local government elections. Corruption. Malema. Govermnet delivery.
Andy: Braver agencies.

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The Smartest Event of the Year – The Annual Marketing and Media Conference (Part 2)

TNS research was tasked to give delegates good insight into 2010′s biggest marketing campaign for South Africa – the 2010 World Cup

  • Major points:
    It started in 2005.
    Governmet spent R34 Bil over the 5 year period
  • o   R31b is considered investment spend
  • o   Only R20b is useful in terms of long term sustainability
  • ACSA spent R17b over a three year period.
  • At it’s highest, spend reached 0.4%GDP
  • Overall benefits at the end of the event – R93b (62% before 2010 and 28% in 2010)
  • Created 130 000 more jobs
  • 415 000 indirect jobs
  • R7.4b paid in wages
  • Estimated number of visitors – 300 000
  • 3.18m people attended matches
  • 52 000 flights handled by ACSA
  • Gautrain had 13 000 weekday travelers
  • 94% of people in the study thought the spirit of the country was very high.
  • 80% love the Waka Waka song.
  • 8 billion unique people saw at least one part of the game
  • Adspend was up 21% over the period
  • Moderate contribution of +0.2% to GDP for 5 years, 1% up
  • Earlier completion of infrastructure
  • Uplifted our image

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The Smartest Event of the Year – The Annual Marketing and Media Conference (Part 3)

Part 2 of the conference, saw a panel of Marketing panellists from leading companies and brands in South Africa.

Marketing panelists:
Graham Pfuhl – Multichoice
Ian Penhale – SAB
Zayd Abrahams – Coca-Cola
Serame Taukobong – MTN SA
Bradley du Chenne – Telesure Investments
Happy Ntshingila – Absa

Have the basics of marketing changed?
Bradley: Basics haven’t change, but things happen a lot quicker. We have to gind new ways for engagement and innovation.

Zayd: New media is part of our toolkit to connect with people, but it is part of a packet
Happy: Basics have been lost in terms of companies telling people, to people telling companies. In the world of today, there are a lot of accountants making decision, because today is a world of costs. You have to look at things a whole lot differently, because price determines. In the same sense you have to find ways to do things more cheaper.
Graham: New media allows us to understand our customers a lot better. It makes you stay on your choice

Do we know our consumers?

Graham: If we hadn’t used research, we wouldn’t know what people thought.
Serame: If you take new approaches to research, then you find out what people think

Happy: a substantial part of research can be attributed to gut feel.

Zayd: the critical thing is to get ROI on all your efforts. The most important thing is to gain insights from the market.


Why are marketers cutting down on sponsorhip?

Bradley: In the near future, sponsorship is under threat because marketing budgets are under threat. It does allow you to connect with the consumer.
Ian: ROI is difficult to talk about in terms of sponsorship

Zayd: things that we now pay for is things we have done with our market since we’ve been in the country.  Now there is a price to it. The challenge comes in with the strategic partnerships that have been signed years ago, and to align them with current goals.

Happy: Contrary to popular belief, ABSA’s sponsorships have been consolidated to what works best. It’s no longer about pushing the brand, to leverage and push some of your business through those sponsorships.

Salame: A few years ago, it was a good medium. But as the years go on, no investment was made to grow these properties. You have to move to where your customers are.

Graham: The big thing on sponsorships is this: do you just chuck money at something and leave it.  To make your money work for you, you have to sweat those sponsorships. In total it is a relatively small portion of marketing.


Do marketers have a broader role in society in terms of social responsibility?

Graham: Marketers do have obligations, but we don’t necessarily do it well.

Ian: Originally it was around building brands. The product dictates the role the brand has in it. It is an increasingly important way of marketing going forward.

Happy: The issue of the business of business going beyond business should not be the marketer’s job, but the relevant department’s. To leave the marketer to do what they are meant to do. The reality is our paradigm has changed. Brands are under threat across the world, so from a brand point of view, you have to integrate the responsibility into the campaign. Consumers want to know if the brand cares about them.

Serame: Companies should influence the negative and positive about communities.

Where is the relevance of customer equity and retainability for brands?

Graham: Retaining the base becomes more and more volatile towards the lower LSM’s.

Happy: We battle to try and hang on to what you’ve got. That’s why you spend lots of money on retaining, but while one door closes, another opens.

Corporate Brand vs Brand viewpoint – shouldn’t they be aligned?

Bradley: Have to become more aware of the roll the corporate brand can play

Zayd: The brand is the company, is the consumer, is the message

Serame: It’s important that the corporate and consumer brands are aligned.

One thing that keeps you awake at night:

Graham: Please can we get more creative.

Serame: Brand engagement is not a fad, and partners should really understand it

Happy: I wish everybody could impress within the company you work for that the marketing role is the role of every person within the organization.

Zayd: Going back to the basics of what is marketing, and making sure that all the basics are in place for the future

Ian: We live in world of increasing change and expectation, and we’re underinvesting in people. The marketing will look different in the future

Bradley: Best we understand user feedback

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The Annual Ad Forum – Part 2

Advert 3:
Closing ceremony for the Soccer World Cup
By Agency VWV
Abey Mokgwatsane


Clients were:
Dept of arts and culture – artist interest.
City of JHB – Callabash interest.

Click here to view advert 3

  • The grass was taken extremely seriously by FIFA, so the grass had to be taken into extreme regard in strategy execution.
  • Rehearsals were only allowed twice
  • Legacy of the work: 30 students from Educational institutions, 400 people crew, 130 from SARU, 60% of the spend with BEE level 3 and beyond, and only 10% were spent on international partners.

The story:
• Raise the curtain on the biggest, most watched final in the world.
• Find a way to represent the contemporary and progressive side of SA
• Don’t forget the heart and soul of Africa.

Questions answered:
• Jack Morten produced the Athens games, and assisted in all dimensions of the production, in terms of charting and mapping the project.

• Innovation in terms of picture projection made it all stand out. 18 of the world’s biggest projectors around the stadium. Projectors were positioned on the ring of the Calabash, to create 1 unified image on the floor. Mapping was used to project images around objects that aren’t necessarily flat.
• The message to the diverse audience, to glue it all together, is when “we come together, we can do it”. Also they Africa can compete on global level.
• Most panicked point: Contract was only signed on 5 March, with not a lot of time or budget to get it done, up until 5 March. Strikes threatened the ceremonies twice.
• How was it sold to client: presentations were done to boards. To all three mentioned above. DVD packaging was used, to distribute to the different board. Wrapping an emotional context around the message.
• Back up plan if the projectors didn’t work: There was NO room to fail. There was no back-up plan.

Advert 4:
TV Campaign for Chicken Licken
Rob Mclennan from Network BBDO

Click here to view Advert 4

  • Only 4 ads every year
  • Objective: Based on, “if you havn’t tried it, where have you been?” – from the principle that it has become a huge cultish poduct in the black markets.
  • Humour was the differentiator, with the typically South African proposition of the 1994.

Questions and comments answered:
• Brand is very unique, and the brand colour stand out a lot.
• Ad had to have a very broad appeal, in terms of audience and reach.
• Was told to appeal to everybody.
• Idea was very creative. But how does it communicate Chicken Licken above the other brands? It’s about the craving, the hangover cure, and the it thing to have on a night out. This ad worked mainly on one segment, and mainly the higher LSM markets.
• The shift from Chicken Licken target market from black markets, to more white markets. It feels a lot younger audience driven – is the brand trying to go younger? Yes, a shift is seen to student markets. Trying to play on societal leadership.
• Shift in consumption profiles can be seen where franchise membership has been granted.
• The brand has grown from a small franchise operation, to something a lot bigger, and going through all the growing presence.

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The Annual Ad Forum – Part 1

A beautifully fresh morning welcomes everyone at this, the next episode of The Journal of Marketing Breakfast, at The Michelangelo in Sandton. A Loerie themed morning, Hosted by Andy Rice, today’s topic revolves around “Squawking About Winning Advertising”.

Loerie ads are judged according to 5 categories:

  • Innovation – creativity in terms of being distinctively different
  • Quality – how well is the idea executed
  • Relevance to the brand,
  • Relevance to target audience,
  • And relevance to the  chosen medium

On the menu today to talk and question about winning ads are:

Andy Rice, Chairman, Yellowwood Brand Architects
Oresti Patricios, CEO at Ornico Group (Pty)Ltd
Steve Miller, CEO at BF Strategy
Lou Boxall-Davies, Chief Strategist at Morris Jones
Geoff Whyte, Managing Director at Snackworks


Advert 1:

The Vodacom Music Station, done by Draft FCB, directed by Neo Mashingo.

Goal: To promote that Vodacom provides the listener to have radio at their fingertips, their own choice of music.
Creative angle: The DJ Keeps talking over the music, that the listener really wants to listen to. Where as they have their own choice of music via Vodacom.
Delivery: Pointers were given for the voice artist to talk about, and then were elaborated on in studio.

  • The voiceover artist did a fantastic job at depicting the DJ.
  • The ad explains that it is music without a DJ, any category any music. Like listening to a radio station, on your cellphone.
  • Was flighted on vernacular ALS radio stations.
  • The Vodacom brand doesn’t come out strong, but appears as a spot read by the DJ.
  • Sales increased in terms of data markets. A lot of teaching still needs to happen. The campaign was driven to teach people on ALS stations to use their phones for other functions, like data, and not just voice.
  • In terms of building the brand, they wanted the brand to be viewed as a friend, with a comedic thread.

Advert 2

Yuppiechef vs Woolies
Agency: Hello World
Danni Vos, CEO

The sign, which had the incorrect URL on, which Yuppiechef held ransom.

Yuppiechef.co.za hijacked Woolies’s misspelt URL, registered it, and held it ransom.  Challenging them to donate money

Yuppiechef's ransom note on the hijacked URL

  • They had less than 14 days before Valentine’s day.
  • Social media driven, but mainly driven by the PR.
  • How do Yupppiechef now continue to engage? They are an online company, so they continue with online and social media.
  • It’s about finding the right social idea, and backing it up with the right brand.
  • If it were to be done again, would it be done differently: Because of time constraints, strategy couldn’t be planned.  A bigger base could’ve been achieved, and the Yuppiechhef current bas could’ve been utilized.
  • Great opportunistic campaign, and a great PR exercise – what was the PR strat: was totally focused on radio and online media. Power of online has turned a corner, to use Online PR more – to engage online bloggers more.
  • Built their social media database immensely.


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Ideas Will Travel

Last week, Mario Gamper paid Virtuosa a visit taking time as an ‘intern’ with the hope of learning more about specifically online  marketing and  search marketing  in the Agency  environment in South Africa. He met Ingrid Rubin, our GM, at Cannes two years ago at a Lowe Worldwide Digital Conference; and made Africa (specifically South Africa) one of his stops as he is interested in seeing how agencies are structured here, the maturity of the market and approach to strategy and emarketing.

For 5 days Mario had  an intense ‘internet marketing crash course’ to help him in writing his book before he continues with his worldwide tour to other countries and continents.

I had the opportunity to interview him while he was here and I must say that he is a very knowledgeable and interesting guy, with a fresh approach to looking at online advertising. I envy his vision and the end result of his worldwide summary of advertising and the future is certainly going to be interesting.

Mario Gamper

Mario’s Background

Mario Gamper has a TV and Print Ad agency background where he worked at Scholz & Friends for 10 years. After heading up the interactive department, he finally decided to travel and write a book on changes in the advertising sphere around the world and what to expect in the future.  He has teamed up with designer Raban Ruddigkeit, who is the editor of Freistil, a magazine on Illustration in Germany.

What the book will be about?

Mario’s project is called ‘Ideas Will Travel’, which is derived from the notion that people have to be moved by the ‘ideas’ in a campaign/ad. Mario views ads as ideas in motion and the book goes further to investigate:

  • how we create ideas that are being talked about,
  • why they are being talked about,
  • how they are being passed on.

Basically, in Mario’s view the challenge for ad agencies (on and offline) all over the world is to generate a successful ad that can generate a discussion, in his own words “that is the value… that is the lesson“.

Why is the book different?

Mario believes that we are already living in the ‘future’ that we predicted 5 to 10 years ago with micro-blogging and augmented reality, and the question the book answers is: “What can we expect in the next 5 years of the advertising industry?”.

He believes that ads/campaigns (on and offline) will aim to constantly re-educate and their success will be measured by their ability to create new ideas and be shared through various mediums.

It was great hosting him and I for one can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this insightful contribution to advertising. There are not too many authors and books in this market that have managed to provide a well researched and global insight into changes in marketing and advertising.

To keep track on Mario and his journey visit: Facebook and to ask him any questions, you can also visit his blog: www.ideaswilltravel.com .

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New Facebook Ad Format

Last week we saw the Virtuosa team heading to The Venue at Melrose Arch for the Habari Media Facebook Launch. The line-up of speakers  included Mike Stopforth a leading local social media expert, Blake Chandlee  a fairly important guy at Facebook and Mark Cohen.

Social media is media designed to be disseminated through social interaction, created using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media uses Internet and web-based technologies to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many). It supports the democratization of knowledge and information, transforming people from content consumers into content producers.

Among some of the topics discussed were social media  and how it  is changing the online world, its evolution of discovery, and the Facebook story itself. The interesting bit for me was the evolution of the Facebook ad.

The Facebook advertising strategy has evolved from the common banner and text ad into something much more engaging and informative for advertisers. For them communication in media is changing because the user has changed.

Facebook ads are evolving to drive user engagement and connections just as social media does.

They encourage users to interact and share advertising with engaging ad formats which range from the following:

Facebook campaign formats include:

  • Quizzes: Brands can ask questions about your brand  or find out what consumers of your product like.
  • Contests: Brands can advertise contests and promotions.
  • Coupons: Brands can give away free samples to the people that chose to interact with the advert.
  • Gifts: People are able to give brands gifts or recieve branded gifts.
  • Sign up forms: People can opt in from the ad to receive promotional material and product updates.
  • Fan Pages: People can become fans of particular products and brands. These fan pages can then in turn create connections and can be used for PR, Customer Services and Market Research.
  • Polling: You can find out what people feel about your product and what they prefer.

facebook ad format

This allows the user to engage and interact with the ad allowing a unique dialogue between the brand and the audience as well as share the advertising to others within their social network.

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Virtuosa Newsletter on Ben’s Beautiful Email Newsletters

In recent years email newsletters have become one of the most important traditional online marketing strategies used to drive leads and traffic to a company’s website. Ben’s Beautiful Email Newsletters is a website dedicated to publishing creative and innovate company newsletters.

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The decline of traditional media?

It is not news that print media such as newspapers have experienced losses due to the growing power of digital publications. With news that the Irish company Independent News & Media (who owns a number of South African news titles such as The Star and Cape Times) might be declaring bankruptcy by Friday, 24 July ’09, it really takes this concept home.

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Tony Koenderman does it again…

Again this year we were able to attend Tony Koenderman’s Adreview  held on 23 April 2009, and as in previous years the event did not disappoint. Emmanuel Castis as MC, entertainment like that seen at Madame Zingara’s and keynote speaker Kevin Roberts, Worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, who left the audience with food for thought. So for those of you missed this event have a look at the photos on flickr and be sure to diarise for next year.

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