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Advertising and Media

  • Dolce & Gabbana offends China, then claims its Instagram was hacked

    Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana is facing a huge PR dilemma after a tone-deaf advertisement was published to social media, mated to leaked discriminatory messages from co-founder Stefano Gabbana. Let's start with the ad. On Sunday, the brand published the first of a series of #DGLovesChina marketing clips to Instagram. The clip was part of the fashion company's build up to "The Great Show", an extravaganza featuring some of China's top personalities and models. The ad, which took the form of a short Instagram video, aimed to meld Italian and Chinese culture, but largely represented the latter as basic. "Welcome to Episode...

  • Google Chrome 71 could ad block your entire website

    Google has revealed a new plan further to protect Chrome users against abusive ad content. “Starting in December 2018, Chrome 71 will remove all ads on the small number of sites with persistent abusive experiences,” says the company on its blog. This means that entire sites could have their ads blocked if Google flags them for containing abusive ad content. Google notes that harmful ads still affects users despite its current efforts to block ads that have bad intentions, with over half of the offensive online content still slipping through. “These ads trick users into clicking on them by pretending to be system...

  • Google recruits Will Smith to flaunt the Pixel 3’s selfie mode

    Google hasn't really done much to market its Pixel devices. But after the Pixel 3 launched earlier this month, the company's seemingly all in. After an Eminem performance at the Empire State Building was part-filmed using a Pixel 3, Will Smith is the latest celeb to parade the phone. Taking to Instagram, the Fresh Prince posted a selfie from the upper floors of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. While the snap is pretty impressive, the caption is 100% cringe. "A thousand years from now, humans are gonna look at the Burj Khalifa the Same way we look at the Pyramids... like...

  • Bad data is harming your email marketing efforts: here’s how to fix it

    Anyone who’s spent any time around the marketing space knows how valuable data is. It’s no accident that the value of data is frequently compared to that of oil. Like oil, data’s real value lies in the way you use it. And just like the wrong kind of oil can damage your car’s engine, bad data can seriously harm your marketing efforts. This is especially true for email marketing, which is a vital part of the toolkit that enables organisations to speak directly to their customers. Bad data can impact everything -- from how many people see the messaging you send...

  • Watch this painted elephant ‘fly’ across a billboard

    Billboards can be obnoxious pimples on the picturesque face of South Africa's beautiful landscape, but this example is perhaps an exception to the rule. Cape Town-based street artist Falko recently spent five separate days painting and repainting a "moving" image of an elephant on a billboard in Cape Town. The artist -- who is well known for his elephant and other artwork -- was commissioned by ISP WebAfrica, to give his portrayal of the company's mascot Rocket Ellie. Yes, that would be a rocket-wearing elephant with a knack for inter-planetary travel. "Over a period of six weeks, Falko updated the billboard five times...

  • Cape Town’s the real star of Apple’s Watch Series 4 ad

    Apple may have been trying to showcase its new Apple Watch Series 4, but its one filming location in particular glimpsed within its new ad that piqued our interest. With "Hokey Pokey" playing in the background, the ad tracks the daily movement of people across the world, all doing what they seemingly love. However, if you look at little closer, you may spot a Table Mountain or two. A large portion of the advertisement was filmed in Cape Town. Bo-Kaap, the CBD, the Atlanic Seaboard, Hout Bay, and Camps Bay beach are all visible in the heavily-cut 60 second clip. "Apple Watch has...

  • 5 ways to enhance your marketing images on social media

    Humans are visual creatures. Half of the human brain is designed to process visuals, more than the other senses such as touch and hearing. The brain is able to identify images in as fast as 13 milliseconds, and humans are able to remember more than 2000 pictures with at least 90% accuracy. So if someone sees a beautiful or a haunting image, they'll won't likely forget it. In the age of social media, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. If you want to stand out, you must have really compelling visuals in your arsenal. Online consumers are said...

  • Nando’s latest ad throws shade at South Africa’s brand campaigns

    If you thought Netflix nailing DStv was harsh, or Cell C mocking Rain's LTE service was crude, you're going to love Nando's shade at practically every brand in South Africa. In its latest ad posted to Twitter, the food firm takes aim at brands' lavish and often esoteric advertising campaigns. "Is this how we sell things now? Mxm. There’s more than one flavour to South Africa," Nando's chides on Twitter. Front and centre is an allusion to Absa's (sorry "African Nasti") recent brand refresh, adopting a similar logo and font. Aesthetically rich marketing campaigns are also slated, including those with face paints,...

  • How your competitors can help you improve your digital marketing

    Death and taxes are two big guarantees in life, and if you're running a business, then sturdy competition is another one of these certainties. Managing your brand is a constant balance between being the best possible version of yourself (or your business) while also ensuring you keep up to date on what the businesses around you are getting up to. The last thing you want is to fall behind on how they're promoting their products and services and appealing to customers. After all, competition is the fourth biggest cause of business failure for businesses. Beating out the competition these days is about...

  • Netflix is now showing ads between episodes to some users

    Update, 22 August: Netflix South Africa's PR has told Memeburn that there's "no confirmation that Netflix will be rolling out the previews in our market". See the additional statement by Netflix in full below: At Netflix, we conduct hundreds of tests every year so we can better understand what helps members more easily find something great to watch. A couple of years ago, we introduced video previews to the TV experience, because we saw that it significantly cut the time members spend browsing and helped them find something they would enjoy watching even faster. Since then, we have been experimenting even more with...

  • Cell C’s new weatherman ad mocks Rain’s LTE network

    We're seeing more and more brands coyly attack one another on social media. A good example was Netflix's swipe at Multichoice's DStv, and Huawei's recent dig at Samsung after the Korean firm's Note 9 was unveiled. This week however it was two South African companies who stepped into the ring: Cell C and Rain. The former dragged its new data-only rival through the mud on Monday with an advertisement posted to YouTube. Rain has come under pressure from users for "teething problems" and spotty coverage across South Africa's major cities. It seems that Cell C was keen to highlight these issues. We're blown...

  • Spotify may soon let users skip advertisements

    In an extremely brave and risky financial play, Spotify may soon allow free tier users to skip audio and video advertisements whenever they want. At present, free users are not allowed to skip ads at all, but that could soon change according to a report by AdAge. The Scandinavian streaming service is currently testing the tweak to its free tier in Australia. Users Down Under are allowed to skip ads whenever they like, getting back to their voracious music consumption sooner. Spotify is also making note of which ads users of skipping, building up a playlist of relevant ads, if you...

  • Soon you’ll be able to test L’Oreal’s cosmetics using augmented reality

    If you love shopping online, especially for cosmetics, but always wanted to try things on before making that risky purchase -- it may soon be possible. Cosmetics brand L’Oreal, with the aid of its recently-acquired AR company ModiFace, has teamed up with Facebook to create augmented reality (AR) testing tool to help online consumers make informed decisions about their make-up. For L’Oreal, it's a play that opens up its product to various social channels, notably Instagram. "We are at that magical moment when technologies have matured enough and consumer appetite for using them is growing everywhere. We are very excited about that...

  • How machine learning will revive radio in South Africa and beyond

    Over the past decade, the dazzling rise of digitally-driven technologies has had a profound effect on almost every industry. Within the broad sphere of media and advertising, new technology has been hailed as both hero and villain. Print media, for example, has faced a catastrophic decline in readership as audiences turn to online platforms. Similarly, broadcast media has been challenged to find growth in advertising revenue as digital platforms become more widely used. One of the oldest and most beloved of media platforms -- radio -- has also been under threat. Yet in the case of radio, and more specifically, radio...

  • Netflix’s ‘Man in a Van’ ad is really going to annoy satellite TV companies

    It's safe to say that Netflix South Africa has adopted the Wendy's brand of guerilla marketing, this after its latest ad dropped in the country this week. Dubbed "Man in a Van" and starring South African comedian Jason Goliath, the 97-second long short pokes fun at satellite options' often convoluted installation methods. Okay, mainly Multichoice's DStv, to be honest. XD. Although it was off to a slow start, the ad has now racked up more than 44 000 views on YouTube since it debuted two days ago. On Twitter, it has also accrued a further 3000 retweets with more than 5000 likes. It's not...