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Advertising & Marketing

  • Google wants to make annoying mobile interstitials a thing of the past

    Google has announced that it will soon revamp its mobile search functionality to better aid users on their journey through the web. This improvement comes in two major forms. Firstly, the company announced that it will shed its "mobile-friendly" label from websites altogether, thanks to the steady growth of mobile web traffic. The company notes that it found "85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet this criteria". The removal of the label serves to reduce clutter, but will remain as a ranking signal. Secondly, and perhaps the change with the the biggest update, is its treatment of websites...

  • Kansas City Diaries: the 3 new rules for social video

    Kansas City Diaries is an exclusive article series by Natalie Pool as she goes undercover at VML’s global agency headquarters in Kansas City, USA, to find out how organic search, Snapchat and other technologies are changing the advertising and marketing industry. Just when you get comfortable with social video, the rules change. Here are three that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Don’t sacrifice quality for speed “There is an expectation of the quality of work a brand puts out,” says Director of Integrated Production, Scott Stone, who heads up VML’s internal production team, Vault. “Regardless of the channel it goes on, video should...

  • South Africa’s Quirk rebrands as Mirum

    One of South Africa's largest digital agencies, WPP-owned Quirk, has today announced that it is rebranding to Mirum. The move comes after the company joined the New York-based J. Walter Thompson Company chain, alongside Lebanese agency Cleartag and UK agency HeathWallace. These three companies will form the base of Mirum's Middle East and African operations. The rebrand also sees a shuffle in management. Quirk founder and long-term CEO Rob Stokes -- who Memeburn understands resigned from Quirk two months ago* -- takes on a role as chairperson in the newly-branded agency. Current Quirk MD James McKay will operate as Mirum's local CEO,...

  • Kansas City Diaries: the art of organic search

    Kansas City Diaries is an exclusive article series by Natalie Pool as she goes undercover at VML's global agency headquarters in Kansas City, USA, to find out how organic search, Snapchat and other technologies are changing the advertising and marketing industry. At the heart of many digital agencies is a Paid Search department. But how many agencies and brands give Organic Search the love and attention it deserves? Not that many in South Africa, is almost certainly the right answer. VML’s headquarters in Kansas City is one such company whose Organic Search team is growing and slowly taking over the world...

  • Are South African brands ready for augmented reality?

    Although augmented reality (AR) technology is not new, it is only now beginning to gain the attention of media and marketing professionals. The big question remains: Are South African CMOs ready to include AR into their brand strategies? AR has moved away from its early days when it was reliant on expensive, specialised hardware. The rapid adoption of smartphones and even faster evolution of their AR capabilities means that AR is now well within reach of the average South African. However, CMOs who choose to go the AR route without integrating it into their holistic brand delivery strategy will miss out...

  • Google Pixel is a physical search bar, according to ad

    Google doesn't do subtle any more. Sure, Google Tricks weren't exactly marks of elegance, nor are the coy names for its Google Pixel smartphones' colours. But the company sure knows how to make an advertisement, regardless of how obvious the metaphor is. Published shortly after the Pixels' launch on 4 October, and airing on US television a few hours after, Google's new advertisement shows the progression of the company, from a humble internet search engine to the behemoth it is today. Google is evolving to keep its core business fresh, and Google Pixel is evidence of that And the metaphor? A literal...

  • Instagram fast becoming a powerful marketing tool in SA

    Facebook-owned Instagram has grown exponentially over the last few years and brands are adopting ways to utilise this social media platform to tell a visual brand story and sell products or services through appealing imagery. In fact, Instagram has seen the fastest growth of any social network in South Africa over the past year, according to the South African Social Media Landscape 2016 study. It grew an impressive 133%, from 1.1-million to 2.68-million users. Taking our own experiences with the platform into consideration, and we have some experience as our communities range from motorheads to job-seekers and enthusiasts of just about...

  • Apple’s new products star in stunning advertisements

    In Apple's bid to show off the features of the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2, the Cupertino-based tech giant has released three adverts highlighting the features of the devices. There's something that the company's getting right with these adverts: not only do they showcase the devices' features, but they also show pure human resilience and beautiful cinematography. The three adverts focus on the iPhone 7's  low aperture camera qualities, and the IP67 water resistance on both the iPhone 7 and Watch Series 2. Apple's iPhone 7 and Watch Series 2 now boast water resistance ratings, unlike previous generations The first ad,...

  • Is your brand getting on the SA eSports bandwagon?

    A new summit at rAge 2016 aims to educate brands about the burgeoning SA eSports scene. The eSports Branding Summit, a partnership between rAge and Global Assembly Marketing eSports (GAMeS), will "explore opportunities esports presents to South African business and how it can capitalise on the eSports phenomenon". GAMeS cited worldwide figures for eSports, saying that the worldwide esports market will reach US$910-million in 2016. The organisation also pointed to The International 6 Dota 2 tournament, which had a record-breaking US$20.7-million prize pool. "Despite these impressive figures, for many, eSports remains the biggest thing most people have never heard of," says Mlondi Mashinini, GAMeS summit programme...

  • SEO, PPC and social media should support your marketing strategy

    Digital marketing has come a long way since the birth of SEO and Google. Social media marketing is also nothing new and many businesses are relying on this form of marketing to generate sales, leads and awareness. Digital marketing isn't new and not just a trend that will pass. Digital marketing is at a mature stage for many, but measuring the true ROI and results of online marketing is still a mystery to some and often I get asked which digital marketing tactic is the best to use. Even though there are many answers to this question and a wealth...

  • TFG advertises sale using Mario-inspired game

    The Foshini Group (TFG) is using a Mario Bros. inspired game to encourage users to shop on its platform, as part of its site-wide Shop Hop promotion. The company earlier this week debuted Super Stan, a browser-playable game in which the titular character hops over shopping trolleys and collects items from various stores. The title takes a few liberties with Super Mario Bros' first level, but remains pretty fun to play. "Super Stan, inspired by the Nintendo megahit Super Mario Bros, was created to educate customers around the breadth and depth of the TFG eMall, in the run up to its Shop Hop...

  • Online brand identity: 12 questions to ask before creating one

    Creating an offline or online brand identity is one of the biggest challenges for present day startups, regardless of their size or funding corpus, as it gets increasingly difficult for them to differentiate their products or services (which more often than not suffer from the me-too syndrome). While things like your logo, office stationery and website colours don’t matter a lot at the initial stage, if the going gets good, things could quickly start to get complicated. Before creating your online brand identity, here are some essential questions you should ask Nevertheless, a lot of people tend to waste precious hours on...

  • Twitter now shares ad revenue with content creators

    In hopes to compete with YouTube and Instagram, Twitter will now share advertising revenue with those who upload videos to the service. This is part of the company's Amplify advertising programme. Before you get excited, this isn't to say that the company's now dishing out its earnings to its users, but rather advertising revenue garnered from videos that make an impact. For instance, if you were to upload a video to the company's platform, 70% of the advertising revenue accrued from said video will be returned to you. This model is only valid for US citizens for now, but it clearly...

  • Facebook Messenger’s bots can now send you advertisements

    A lot has been said about Facebook and its advertising mentality this month, but this week the company announced that's change its advertising policies to help Facebook Messenger bots sell you things. While bots are still allowed to give recommendations (not advertisements) based on user input though a subscription system, Facebook has slightly tweaked the rules. If you happen to be subscribed to a Messenger bot and reply to recommendation sent on said channel within 24 hours, the bot can then send users advertisements and promotional material. Replies need to take the form of an "eligible action" as well (Facebook gives...

  • Beyond the traffic: 3 ways to engage an online audience

    The "Field of Dreams" principle generally doesn’t apply to web traffic. You can’t just build a website and expect that people will come. It can take some heavy lifting to draw visitors. But there’s a problem here, too: Focusing on traffic and clicks doesn’t always mean more sales. Instead of thinking about visitors in terms of stats, start thinking about them as your  audience. Imagine your website is a town on a busy interstate. Building a fast-food restaurant at the exit ramp will bring lots of traffic and visits, but it won’t do anything to boost the town’s economy. Drivers are...