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Social Media Infograph Index

Social Media Infograph IndexRecently, there has been a number of ‘infographs’ released by numerous online publishers. These charts show the impacts of social media in 2010 and all relevant trends online to expect this year.

In case you have missed out on some of this important data, i have taken the liberty of compiling our very own collection of the top 5 infographs that you may find interesting and will play a major part in online trends for the year.

Sidenote: If information graphs or “infographs” (as they are also referred to as) are not one of the best graphic visual forms of understanding online data or information; then i don’t know what is.

The History of Social Media
“A visually organised look at the past 30 years or so of social media history”.

The Rise of Social Networking
This infographic analyses the rise and the total Social Networking ad spend over the years.

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Online Trends to watch for 2011

Online Trends to watch for 2011A collection of Interesting Online Trends have been lined up for the year 2011. As social networking and other online marketing forms continued to grow in 2010, we definitely expect this trend to continue developing and becoming a more integral aspect of any business that wants to trade in this new age.

We have summarized the trends that we feel will play a major role in online marketing and advertising this year.

Facebook will pass 1 billion users. Facebook has 550 million members and is said to be adding 700,000 per day. That would put it over 800 million in 2011 at its current pace. But with the potential of China letting Facebook into the market, this may surpass a billion users and continue to command more web traffic than Google.

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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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Facebook – The Power of the Like Button

Besides the Facebook Movie, the Facebook Like Button has got a lot of tongues wagging over the internet in recent weeks.

The Facebook Like Button has been in existence quite a while now but only a few people have ever bothered to actually think of its power in terms of numbers in web traffic.

The kind people at Mashable have written a comprehensive article on this ‘tool’ after attending the Facebook’s Developer Network Insights Conference. They found that the Facebook Like Buttons don’t just generate interesting data about the ‘likers’ (users that click ‘like’ on the content) but this “data also speaks volumes about click-through-rates, time on-site and other engagement metrics”.

Here are a few points i picked up from the article:

  • The Facebook Like Button is now present on roughly 2 million sites around the web, from sports sites to news organizations and many other publications.
  • On average, a Facebook user who “likes” your content has more than double the number of friends than a typical Facebook user.
  • An even more interesting stat about the likers is that they click on five times more links to external sites than the typical Facebook user.
  • News sites: The average Facebook user who “likes” content on a news website is 34 — that’s about two decades younger than the average newspaper subscriber.
  • Facebook relays messages from publishers saying that these users “are more engaged and stay longer when their real identity and real friends are driving the experience through social plugins.”
  • Facebook is only part of social media referral traffic, but it’s becoming a larger part as the network grows and users become accustomed to interacting with third-party and external content from within the comfort of their social graph.

Read the full article here.

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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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SEO has a funny side too!

Today I am deliberately taking a lighter approach to blogging with a collection of my ’5 Funniest SEO Cartoons’.

I know what you are thinking – and the answer is Yes!! I am lazy to write a blog that some of you may not have time to thoroughly read through. Besides, like Mani Karthik says, “SEO is not always serious stuff you know” (I also took the liberty of adding a short explanation to the terms in each cartoon: For my non-SEO folk). Enjoy :-)

Happy Birthday

Keywords and phrases strategically placed and crafted into your website can significantly boost your ratings in search engine results


SEO is no longer about ranking anymore. The significance of ranking has disappeared with the use of personalized search, universal search, real-time search and local search in the SERP’s. Search Optimisers are crazy about this factor, often worrying about drop in their rankings for competitive keywords.

Changed Algorithm

Search engines like Google are frequently changing their ‘algorithms’ that can help your site rank number 1 for targeted keywords. Just imagine there was an algorithm to get to heaven?! – a constantly changing one at that.

No Follow

Basically the No-Follow attribute instructs the search engines how they should value a particular link, in this case not to index the link.


Not only Search Engine Optimisers suffer from “Socialitis” – addicted to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr).

Click here to see more SEO cartoons. Props Mani Karthik for insipiring this blog with his blog post.


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Watch out Facebook and Twitter, Google Buzz has arrived

Its official there is a new big dog in the social media space. Just a week after Google launched Buzz, the social media service is already rattling the cage of top dogs Facebook and Twitter. It seems as if Google has finally made a successful foray into the social media world. Despite initial privacy flaws Google Buzz has proven to be an absolute success.

Google Buzz has surprised many experts who thought Google would never make it in the social media world. In the past Google suffered embarrassing setbacks with their attempts at creating a rival to Facebook and Twitter. Google Friend Connect and Orkut never really left the ground but Google Buzz shot into outer space.

The growth of the newest challenger to the social media crown has been phenomenal. According to statistics released by Google, just after the launch on the 9th of February 2010, there have been over 9 million posts and comments in about 56 hours, amounting to around 160,000 posts and comments per hour.

Google Buzz

Google Buzz also generated big shock waves in mobile phone market. Google revealed that over 200 mobile check-ins per minute, nearly 300,000 mobile check-ins per day. The key to this success is the fact that Google Buzz is embedded into Gmail.

Gmail has millions of users around the world and by putting the Google buzz tab just under the inbox tab; Google applied a very innovative idea. When a user logs into their Gmail account they are greeted by a Google Buzz tab. The system is almost similar to Twitter the greatest difference is its integration to Gmail.

Many Gmail users find the system very convenient, when they open their e-mail account, they can quickly read the newest mail and won’t have to leave the account to create a social media post. Twitter, Flicker, Picasa and Google Reader can also be connected to the system. You can share pictures but this will be saved at Picasa. The most convenient aspect of Google buzz is that you don’t have to set it up if you have a Gmail account.

Key Features

  • Simple interface
  • No set up required
  • Social media integration
  • E-mail integration

Initially there were major privacy concerns. The system had an auto follow function where a user automatically followed people he regularly sent e-mails to. According to Ben Parr Co-Editor of Mashable “the auto follow function can let people figure out your email habits.” Google has changed this to an auto suggested model. This allows you to control who you follow. Another concern is that your inbox can be flooded by Buzz spam.

There are clear indications that Google Buzz is already taking some market share from Twitter and Facebook. People are spending more time on their Gmail accounts than before and this is surely taking some time from Twitter and Facebook. The Buzz threatens Twitter and Facebook’s ad revenue. Advertisers are certain to be impressed with the reach that Google Buzz has.

The future of Google Buzz will depend on how it is going to react to upgrades by the two social media giants. Some predict there is going to be a major dog fight between the three networks. If this fight gets very intense Google buzz will be the last network standing. Google has immense resources and will be able to match any upgrade. Google has been salivating for some time now at the prospect of properly sinking its teeth into the social media world. It has shown great determination at penetrating the social media realm overcoming numerous setbacks. Like a hungry dog biting into a bone it won’t let go of its new grip on social media.

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Everybody is excited about the Apple iPad

The iPad is one of the most eagerly anticipated products in the Apple range. It is an all in one touch screen entertainment system that can also function as an e-book. After months of speculation last year Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, officially launched the iPad on the 27th of January 2010. Within an hour after the launch the iPad was mentioned in 177 000 Tweets.

So what is the fuss? Touch screen and e-book technology is not new. The difference is the ipad’s versatility. The iPad was built to fill the gap between laptop and smartphone. It is very versatile and gives a unique social media experience. It is also powered by Apples vast app store.

  • The iPad weighs only 0.68 kilograms for Wi-Fi model and 0.73 kg for the Wi-Fi + 3G model.
  • Its height is 242.8 mm and width 189.7 mm. Its depth is only 13.4 mm.
  • The most impressive feature is the 9.7-inch widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology. The iPad takes touch screen technology to a whole new level.
  • It makes navigating the web very easy – to scroll you simple flick up or down with your finger on the screen. You can zoom into a picture by simple pinching on it.
  • The iPad also has an onscreen keyboard.

The photo and video quality gives the user a different experience of using Facebook and YouTube. The pictures appear in crisp quality. The photos in an album appear as if they in a stack. You can flick through them with your finger. You can also zoom in or out of a picture by touching it . You can watch YouTube videos in HD quality. To select a video you just tap on it. To change from small screen to large screen you just double tap. The iPod is integrated into the iPad. You can flick through your favourite songs with your finger and tap on it to play it. iTunes also comes standard with the device, allowing you to buy and rent movies and music. The iPad has very good internet access. Steve jobs said “the iPad is the world’s best Web browser. He said “It’s like holding the Internet in your hands.”

The device also functions as an e-book. You can read a bestselling novel or even a school textbook on the iPad. This means the iPad is now a rival to the Amazon Kindle. Some publications have indicated that they want to leave Amazon for the iPad. Many experts say that the iPad has more functions to offer than the kindle but that it is more attractive in design. The iPad looks very futuristic and stylish while the Kindles design looks something from the early nineties. The Kindle can’t rival the iBook function. Once you have bought a book on the iBook it appears on your bookshelf on the screen. To select a book you just tap on it.

The device also has maps, notes and contacts functions. The most exciting aspect of the maps is that you can view your required destination from above using a satellite image. You can zoom in until you find the exact street of where you want to go. The high resolution, HD screen, lets you watch movies and play games in style. The e-mail function is compatible with most e-mail providers these include MobileMe, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Hotmail, and AOL.

The fuss and excitement over iPad is worth it. Apple has upped the stakes, and they are going to kill any direct competition in the short term. Touch screen, IPS and Wi-Fi technology is not cheap, but Apple has set a very affordable and competitive price for the ipad. It costs $449. It is geared for mass consumption. It puts a wide variety of media at your fingertips. It will be very easy to become a Twitter or Facebook celebrity while using the iPad. The IPad is not yet available in South Africa but this kind of technology means well for the future growth of social media and the digital industry in the country.

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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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