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Advertising & Marketing

  • Digital marketing must be a boardroom conversation

    Even among South Africa’s most progressive brands, digital media and marketing have not yet taken the leading role they should in boardroom conversations. Many brands remain fairly conservative about how much money they spend on digital channels, allocating at most 10% of their total media budget to digital, depending on which market research you believe. The reason for this is perhaps due to the confusing jargon, the pace of technology change, and the complexity of the media purchasing models. Many conservative brands and marketers retreat to what they know and understand when faced with fragmentation (premium sites, networks, ad exchanges);...

  • Miss One Rand Man? Prepare for the One Rand Family

    One Rand Man was one of the biggest advertising campaigns to hit South Africa last year. In a country where many are saddled with serious debt, it resonated with many. For the duration of the campaign, a middle-class South African man, with a solid job and in an apparently stable financial situation, was asked to give up his credit and debit cards for one month. And with execution across digital and traditional channels, it received big media attention. It was also a winner at the Bookmarks Awards in February, netting a number of pixels for King James -- the...

  • Lessons from adland legend Keith Reinhard [Cannes Lions]

    This week I have been at the Cannes Lions festival of creativity. It's the largest global gathering of its kind and all the who's who of advertising are here, as well as all the big tech companies. But by far the most incredible session I was honoured to attend was a presented by Keith Reinhard, Chairman Emeritus of DDB. I honestly think he is the best living godfather of advertising I have ever had the honour of meeting or listening to (and believe me, I get around). The session was held by the Berlin School of Advertising, the best school...

  • Cannes Lions: Pharrell, Tim Berners Lee, and RTs from Busta Rhymes

    Hello again, so as midweek approaches at the Cannes Lions I have I think finally moved from being overwhelmed to acceptance and just going with the flow. The day kicked off with Pharrell Williams who is 42 but looks about 25. He was asked if he can share whatever secret beauty cream he uses with the crowd. His main insight was that when he writes music he is not just interested in the sound and the beat, but in how it makes you feel. Tim “Inventor of the WWW” Berners Lee discussed the dangers of AI, saying we are at 11:59pm...

  • How do you keep the socially conscious, hyper-connected generation interested in your product?

    Short attention spans, flicking through multiple open internet tabs and having at least two windows open at once, this is the scenario your brand is competing with for your Generation Y audience’s attention. Born between 1980 and the early 2000s, this is a group born at a time when the Walkman was new and exciting, and long before Google became a commonly used verb! The members of Generation Y are unsurprisingly shaped by the massive developments in technology of the past few decades. To get your brand noticed, and to keep them interested long enough for them to absorb the...

  • Cannes Lions Day 2: Marilyn Manson, Snapchat and Airbnb

    You know that slightly uneasy feeling you get when overwhelmed by an excess of choice? Well that’s kind of what my second day at Cannes Lions has felt like, more than ever I realised we are truly living in the attention economy...so many great choices, so little time. My day started off at the “Wake up with the Economist” session, a daily morning gathering of some of the worlds leading marketers to have a casual chat on the beach and deconstruct creativity. Today the Executive editor Daniel Franklin chatted to the heads of marketing at Nestle SA, Mars, and Airbnb. Jonathan...

  • Should SA agencies adopt the ‘lean advertising’ model

    If you haven’t heard the expression ‘Lean Advertising’ yet, and you work in marketing, you soon will. Noted Kiwi adman James Hurman is pushing this notion, building on the ubiquitous proposition of Lean Business developed by management guru Eric Ries. Just as Ries urges business start-ups to abandon lengthy, expensive R&D and to quickly get into the real world of product trial, error, feedback and refinement, so Hurman says the ad industry must change. He wants us to forget about spending “months behind closed doors developing the strategy and creative work... and then testing it with consumers in research environments that...

  • Day 1 in Cannes: Cannespiration and selfie sticks

    Picture an Englishman in 30 degree heat by the beach in the French Riviera surrounded by glamorous well tanned advertising creatives and “the French”….well that’s me right now at Cannes. After seven or so years I have finally made it to the Cannes Lions festival of creativity and find myself writing this whilst looking out at the ocean with a glass of rosé, so excuse any rambling. Cannes Lions bills itself as the largest celebration of creativity -- it’s where the worlds advertising industry gather for a week of inspiring talks, networking, award giving (and the inevitable back patting that goes...

  • 3 ways men and women respond differently to marketing, according to science

    We’ve read about how men are from Mars and women are from Venus. We’ve even observed the stark differences in behavior between ourselves and the opposite sex on numerous key moments. In conversations and interactions, we adapt our own responses significantly to match the behavior of both sexes. Why then do we use a one size fits all approach when it comes to marketing? Unless it’s a male-only or female-only product that we’re peddling, we don’t even bother to take the sex of our target audience into consideration while designing our marketing communication. I’m going to discuss five compelling reasons...

  • Unleash the power of retargeting to drive better ROI from digital advertising

    Today’s customer flits from device to device during any given day – perhaps browsing the Web on a smartphone while waiting in a queue, doing online banking and shopping from a PC at work, and watching videos while lying in bed at the end of a hard day’s work. Given that our customers live in a multi-screen world where they do so much on the go, good marketers should engage them with appropriate services and messages - wherever they are and whatever they’re doing. This is where retargeting has an invaluable role to play in your marketing strategy. This is...

  • Cerebra launches academy to get corporate drones comfortable with social

    Cerebra, the WPP-owned digital and communications agency, has launched an academy aimed at empowering corporate workforces in social media use. The academy uses a combination of face-to-face and online video based training designed to help corporate employees to mitigate the risks, and deliver on the opportunities, of social media. As the agency notes in a press release sent to Memeburn, big corporates fall victim to social media disasters on an almost weekly basis. This, it says, is largely down to a lack of education, especially when it comes to the relationship between an employee's personal social profile and their employer....

  • Valuable content: how it can be used to unlock customer equity

    Since when did advertising ever retain customers? The age of intrusion has conditioned marketers into believing that bombarding consumers with annoying, pushy and often irrelevant messages will create the promise of healthy sales. In fact according to research conducted by Nielson, in 2013 alone, 27 million pieces of content were shared every single day. These figures validate that most people would rather share insights and interesting tidbits of information than product driven adverts and brochureware. It’s no wonder that content marketing has naturally taken its rightful place in the world of business today. Although content marketing has made great inroads...

  • Why you should consider replacing airtime giveaways with sponsored call marketing

    Many brands are finding that instant airtime giveaways are a fantastic marketing product to drive engagement with consumers. It’s an instant reward that the majority of consumers consider rather valuable – much more valuable than coupons that they may or may not redeem before they expire. Now there’s an even more effective mobile marketing tool on the market. It’s called sponsored call marketing – and it’s much more powerful than its predecessor. Sponsored call marketing enables brands to give away the same amount of free talk time, but with some powerful additional benefits to the brand. Tell your brand story before their...

  • Augmented Reality: a marketing primer

    “When you think of any aspect of life or work, augmented reality is completely going to change how we do it.” – Ori Inbar Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology platform wherein real life objects or “triggers” are scanned by a digital device in order to return information, a website or other digital media. The technology can also superimpose a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. The technology is hardly new, although you might not have heard about it yet because technologists, marketers and CTOs are still trying to figure out use...

  • 4 ways social media can provide you with insights better than traditional market research

    Market research has always had an important role to play in shaping brand strategies, from product development and customer service through to marketing and advertising. Previously, however, invaluable and in-depth research used to be an expensive and slow process. For example, if you wanted consumer feedback on an advertising campaign in the past, you’d usually only get it weeks after the campaign had run to its conclusion. Or if you had an operational problem in your call centre that was leading to customer churn, you may have lost a great deal of market share before the research could give you...