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Do it once more with meaning!

Do it once more with meaning says Maggie Pronto, Media Strategist at The MediaShop

We’ve heard it all before: “our consumers are distracted”; “they are multi screening”; “there is too much clutter”; “ad avoidance is on the rise”. Yes of course it’s all true but what are we as the advertising industry doing to change the way in which we communicate to consumers, without throwing additional capital at the dilemma?

Although there may be multiple solutions – I believe that the best way to stand out is to utilise advertising that really connects with people (notice the word ‘people’, not consumers, not target markets, but rather real people). This includes a shared human emotion or as communication strategists like to call it a “human truth” – something that is relevant and has real meaning to a person.

Advertising is powerful, and if executed properly it can enhance the way we see the world – it encourages us to think, to feel and consider the issues around us in a new light. The best advertising does more than sell things – it changes minds and facilitates meaningful experiences thereby affecting the way we communicate.

Howard Gossage said that “advertising justifies its existence when used in the public interest – it is much too powerful a tool to use solely for commercial purposes.”

Here are a few examples of ads that were relevant when they aired some many years ago – and still remain relevant to this day.

There are many methods and techniques used by the advertising industry to try and break through the clutter, but creative work that has real meaning to an individual, which touches on real life experience, where the “that could be me!” moment happens – is remembered.

Whichever way you look at it, if brands create something with meaning, that has meaning to a person’s life, they’ll be left with a creative piece of work that speaks to emotions and makes those that have been touched by it speak and share on your behalf. These brand advocates account for more value than any budget can buy. You can count on that!


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Emerald Resort & Casino is Hot on Your Wheels!

Over R1 million in cash, Free play and a brand new Nissan Hardbody NP300 is up for grabs at Emerald Resort & Casino! The Hot on Your Wheels promotion is running until the 30th of September with R60 000 being awarded every Wednesday until the end of the promotion.

“This is one case where it may sound too good to be true but it’s not, a vehicle like this can change a life,” says Tanuja Gangabishun, Marketing Executive at Emerald Resort & Casino. “The culmination of Hot on Your Wheels will be one customer winning that beautiful Nissan Hardbody worth over R300 000 on the 30th of September and we can’t wait to hand over the keys to that lucky guest.”

The mechanics are simple. Guests receive one draw ticket for every 50 points they earn playing any of the casino’s tables or slots. Weekly draws will take place every Wednesday at 13h00 and 21h00 on the casino floor and a spot in the final play-offs will be won.

“A total of 10 tickets will be drawn every Wednesday to maximise the chances for more of our guests to walk away with cash and Freeplay,” says Tanuja. “Remember that you have to be ‘in it to win it’, so we look forward to seeing our guests on the casino floor!”

Emerald Resort & Casino is a licensed gambling venue. Winners know when to stop. Only persons over 18 are permitted to gamble. National Problem Gambling Counselling Toll Free Helpline 0800 006 008.

Emerald Resort & Casino.

Tel:                              016 982 8000



Twitter:                        @emerald_resort


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PAMS – the innovative Reading currency

With PAMS (Publisher Audience Measure Survey) in field this month, the PRC (Publisher Research Council) discusses the advantages of the survey’s inclusion of brands, large sample size, innovative flooding technique, multi-platform measurement and other highlights.

 The purpose of PAMS is to provide an innovative “Gold Standard” Reader Audience Measurement founded on global best-practice and local experience.

“The primary objective of the survey is to measure and track audiences across all reading platforms to enable the buying and selling of advertising. We (the publishing industry) felt that the high RPC (Readers Per Copy), so prevalent in AMPS, had to be addressed in order for us to get closer to the truth,” says Peter Langschmidt, consultant to the PRC. “Other elements in the brief to Nielson included the ability to fuse our currency survey to ES (Establishment Survey), IAB data and the PRC mobile reader panel.”

The face-to-face interviews in 10 000 households will be flooded to produce a sample of around 20 000. One of the biggest costs in any survey is actually getting to, for example, a household in Viljoenskroon, so why not take advantage of interviewing everyone in the house while the interviewer is there? Hence flooding which doubles the sample size, but not the cost.

To achieve a new and improved reader currency, newspaper prompts will be regionalised, so as not to waste time with publications unavailable in an area. For example, what’s the point of asking a Johannesburg based resident if they have read The Argus? Available publications are represented in both print and online formats, allowing respondents to simply select read titles.

Traditional readership methodology had the interviewer asking the respondent if they had read any of a long list of publications. In order to appear well read and informed, the respondent would reply in the affirmative to at least a few, normally unread, titles. This verbal barrage led to ‘respondent fatigue’ and the ‘halo effect’ of answering at least some titles positively contributed to over-claiming. The PRC has addressed this by handing the tablet, containing the mastheads of the titles, to the respondent allowing them to select titles in complete privacy.

“We believe that this, together with other changes we have implemented like reading or glancing at titles for longer than one minute, will go a long way in addressing the readers per copy issue,” comments Langschmidt.

Other improvements in the survey include ‘time spent reading’ for each publication to gauge  loyal and regular reader measure, as well as a new visual frequency scale based on actual publishing intervals, and not a standard 4 or 5 point scale.

One of Print’s biggest strengths is that a single issue is read on multiple occasions, unlike other channels, like radio for example, where there is only one opportunity to hear per spot. PAMS asked readers about the number of times they pick up a single issue. “We’re hoping that the PAMS results will mirror other studies we have conducted this year where the average OTS of two is achieved in a single issue advert. This effectively halves the CPT of newspapers and magazines,” says Langschmidt.

PAMS also measures if and how inserts are used by readers.

With the exclusion of brands from the Establishment Survey the PRC took the decision to include many brands from major adspend categories. These include cellular networks, financial institutions, automotive, and retail – food and grocery, furniture and clothing.   For detailed information regarding the brands and products, please contact the PRC or download the PAMS questionnaire from the website.

All the usual demographics (Language, Literacy, Gender, Age, Ethnic Group, Income, Education), geographics (Province, Community, Metros) will be available complete with LSM and SEM measurements. These together with other frequency and recency questions form the fusion variables, or ‘hooks’ into the ES, IAB and other data, including the Nielsen CPS household panel.

“Obviously the questionnaire is set, but the PRC looks forward to engaging with everyone regarding the questions asked in PAMS and looking at possible additions to be added to the next survey,” concludes Langschmidt. “We want to achieve the most complete measurement of reader audiences, across all platforms, to inform effective advertising investment.”

The survey fieldwork began on 11 July 2017 and the full PAMS data release and launch will happen in early February 2018.

For additional information and research on reading, visit

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Got extraordinary talent? Read further!

Emerald Resort & Casino is searching for the hottest new local talent and will be hosting a ‘Talent Search’ competition on 12 August 2017 where entrants stand a chance at winning a performance contract with the Resort.

Are you the next Susan Boyle, musician Tokio Myers who won the recent Britain’s Got Talent series or Craig Lucas, winning SA’s The Voice?

“We know that there are many talented people out there and if they can sing, dance, juggle, paint faces, tell jokes, perform tricks or keep an audience riveted with great entertainment, then  this competition is definitely for them,” says Emerald Resort & Casino’s Marketing Executive, Tanuja Gangabishun.

Registration for the Talent Search must be completed on or before 4 August 2017.  The competition is free and the registration forms can be downloaded from Emerald Resort & Casino’s website at

Programme for the Talent Search on 12 August. (Times may change, depending on the number of registrations received)

12:00 – 13:00 – auditions for jugglers, buskers, face painters etc

13:00 – 14:00 – auditions for singers

14:00 – 15:00 – auditions for bands

15:00 – 16:00 – auditions for rare talent

Emerald Resort & Casino will provide a small PA system (one cable microphone, one small speaker and a CD player for backtracks only). Any additional equipment required for the act must be provided by the entrant. Should entrants be shortlisted for a second audition, they will be notified in writing within seven days after the audition.

Contestants are asked to familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions of the competition which can be viewed at Contact for more information.

Emerald Resort & Casino.

Tel:                              016 982 8000



Twitter:                        @emerald_resort



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Emerald Resort & Casino warms Boipatong and Sebokeng this Mandela Day

Emerald Resort & Casino’s team members were more than happy to brighten the communities of Boipatong and Sebokeng this Mandela Day.

A team of 50 enthusiastically painted the Boipatong Community hall and offices before cooking and feeding 600 community members. The team were welcomed and introduced to the community by NAFCOC President, Bongani Dlamini.  The Resort thanks the local ward councillors and SAPS for their support in the planning and assistance throughout the day.

Happily covered in paint, the team visited Nyakallong Home for the Disabled in Sebokeng, where they washed windows, planted vegetables and prepared a braai for the residents.  This week, Emerald Resort & Casino will return to repair the ceiling and paint the home’s roof and present clothing that has been donated.

“We’re so pleased to have made a small difference in these communities,” says Tanuja Gangabishun, Marketing Executive for Emerald Resort & Casino. “We had an incredibly warm welcome from the residents of Boipatong and it was also extremely heart warming to see the unreserved way in which our team members rose to the challenge of spending time with and enriching the lives of our fellow South Africans.”

As a gesture of gratitude, Emerald team members were treated to a dance display from the children in the Boipatong community which the team thoroughly enjoyed.

“Although Mandela Day, and what it means to this rainbow nation, always has a special place in our hearts, we know that assisting others is an all year round endeavour,” says Tanuja. “As such we are consistently involved in other CSI projects, some of which include a Sanitary Towel campaign where Emerald Resort & Casino will be supplying 600 school girls with sanitary towels for a year.

We also work closely with local orphanages that are invited for a leisure day out at Aquadome and Animal World throughout the year,” she says.

Emerald Resort & Casino.

Tel:                              016 982 8000



Twitter:                        @emerald_resort

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TLC and Hubble partner on dynamic new digital platform in Uber vehicles

Indoor media advertising specialists and Primedia Unlimited subsidiary, TLC, has partnered with Hubble, Uber’s in-vehicle interactive entertainment partner, to sell video content advertising on their platform.

“TLC has the exclusive rights to sell high viewability video on Hubble’s interactive touch screens in Uber vehicles,” says Greg Bruwer, TLC’s Managing Director. “It’s an ideal platform on which to engage on a one-on-one basis, with tech-savvy, early adopters in the high income market.”

Uber passengers spend 20 minutes on average in the vehicle, own a credit card (in many cases multiple cards) and a smart phone. With nothing to do but engage with content, it’s the ideal immediate call-to-action platform.

The fully interactive advertising platform offers high quality video and interactive content in a captive environment with measurable ROI. Content includes documentaries, comedies, neighbourhood insights, news, sport, weather and things to see and do within Johannesburg and Cape Town. Like the traditional media platform on television, commercials are flighted in between standard content without being intrusive.

Statistics have shown the level of engagement on Hubble’s screens to be 75 times higher than traditional digital advertising. Considering that the user is always in control, it virtually guarantees a positive experience from interested passengers.

“We are extremely excited about this partnership and the initial feedback from the market has been very promising,” concludes Bruwer.

For more information on TLC offerings contact or visit

TLC Unlimited

TLC (Targeted Lifestyle Communication) introduced the concept of washroom advertising to the South African market in 1996, and has since become the sole player in this media arena offering a plethora of in-mall and washroom advertising platforms such as standard and talking frames, cubicle wraps and treadmill branding to mention a few. More recently, TLC has expanded its portfolio to include a number of new businesses which are housed in TLC Unlimited (under Primedia Unlimited) namely TLC; Salon Media; and Fitting Exposure. Visit or for more.

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Women hold South Africa’s purse strings

“Did you know that in the past few years in South Africa, women have purchased more PCs, cars and TVs than men? Marketers should have no further doubt that South African women hold the purse strings and SPARK Media has just the right product to reach this lucrative female market,” says Digital Manager of SPARK Media Ashleigh Footit.

 “Over the past few months our team has been working hard to perfect an offering that is aimed solely at women that hold significant influence over brands. We’re very pleased to launch SPARK inspiHer – a new women’s online lifestyle network, spanning the entire Caxton media group. The women’s online lifestyle network reaches up to 4 million women every month,” she says.

“Whether its fashion and beauty, décor, celebs, finance, news, shopping, relationships, cars or any other passion point, we know what women want and can deliver quality content they can trust, using brands that they’ve depended on for decades.”

SPARK Media aggregates audiences across its entire network and can distribute an advertiser’s message in a credible way in a brand-safe environment; to the women that marketer’s really want to reach. With SPARK inspiHer, brands can target the RIGHT audience, by interest category, with the RIGHT message in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time.

“Advertisers have the opportunity to partner with SPARK Media to create engaging content that will drive their message across our platforms, no matter the category,” says Ashleigh.

Through SPARK Media, Caxton journalists will create engaging white label content and videos that really talk to the needs and interest of its female users. The content will then be published on relevant websites within the SPARK InspiHer network and will be boosted to targeted audiences through display, newsletters and social media platforms namely Facebook and Instagram.

“Through our journalist’s understanding of the tone and style of each publication, the client’s content is seamlessly integrated into the format of each branded platform,” says Ashleigh.

“It is our belief that SPARK inspiHer will compliment and strengthen our existing offering aimed at the lucrative female market. Our SPARK Media team is on hand and ready to maximise our advertiser’s brand engagement with this powerful audience.”

To find out more, to connect, discuss or engage with SPARK Media, call 010 492 8390, visit, follow us on Twitter – or find ‘SPARK Media’ (sparkmediasa) on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Spark Media DNA

Established in 2015, SPARK Media, a division of CTP Ltd, are experts in retail and location based marketing solutions. The company owns and represents a myriad of print and digital products that deliver locally relevant, effective audiences for advertising clients. SPARK Media are Strategic Partners in Audience Research and Knowledge and offer ‘Insights that Ignite’.

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Indoor Pool Party features DJ Speedsta this July at Emerald Resort & Casino

Last month’s inaugural Hot Beatz indoor pool party held at Emerald Resort & Casino’s popular water park Aquadome was such a resounding success that the Resort is hosting a second event on the 28th July.

“We were completely overwhelmed by the positive feedback received from our guests through social media and direct feedback that we’ve decided to make indoor pool parties at Aquadome a regular feature,” says Emerald Resort & Casino’s Marketing Executive, Tanuja Gangabishun.

“This month on the decks are DJs Speedsta, Classic Tank, Pepe, T-Skull, Soul Mo, Jozi the HipHopGuru, Costa Deep and a performance by Masedi.”

The transformation between daytime pool fun to night-time rocking party venue has to be seen to be believed. “A special VIP area with brilliant panoramic views of the Aquadome, which includes a private bar, is ideal for guests who want to party the night away with a higher vantage point,” she says.

VIP tickets are R250 per person while general entrance tickets are R150 each, available through Computicket.

Emerald Resort & Casino.

Tel:                              016 982 8000



Twitter:                        @emerald_resort


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Marketing in a recession and beyond

Gill Randall, Joint CEO of SPARK Media says that markets don’t stop in a recession. According to Randall, people don’t stop shopping it’s just the consumer’s behaviour that changes.

Through our membership of the Ehrenburg Bass Institute (EBI) for marketing science, we have access to consumer behaviour tracked from way before, during and post the previous recession, and that data has revealed very clear shopper insights. One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned is just how habitual consumers are.

Consumers find it difficult to modify their regular behaviour. So in belt tightening time, they find it much easier to change non-regular behaviours. Regular behaviour would be defined as going out for lunch or coffee or shopping at their favourite stores, they’ll continue to do this, but just at a reduced frequency or expenditure level. Non-regular behaviours, however, like buying big appliances or re-decorating will be postponed or discarded.

The 2008 – 2009 recession resulted in purchase declines across all categories, with the after effects felt and seen in continued declines up until 2013. As the economy recovered, purchasing again picked up between 2013 and 2016 showing increased purchases across most categories.

But even during a recession, life continues to happen: appliances and cars that break down still need to be repaired or replaced, people still get married, move houses, start families and change jobs etc, money will still be spent, again, just at a reduced level and frequency.

Thinner markets mean that less people are actively buying at any given time. They’re spending less and buying less frequently which generally means that smaller marketing budgets have to work harder. And along with tightening budgets, consumers are also extensively searching for bargains, therefore an increased mental availability for brands in tough times do go a long way in getting those much needed sales.

This is where the now generally accepted ‘reach’ and ‘continuity’ strategy becomes ever more critical. Less active shoppers, shopping less frequently must equate to advertisers adopting a wider reach of the whole category more often (continuously) to maintain conversion rates of available share of wallet.

Additionally, in good times and in bad, the principle of Share of Voice (SOV) applies – so marketers whose ad spend is above (or below) their relative market share tend to improve (or decline) in overall market share during these times. That’s why holding or, (yes please), raising your ad spend in a recession generally leaves your brand’s market share better off at the end of a recession than at the start. It’s simply a matter of SOV. But, if budgets are to be cut, don’t stress too much – competitors are more than likely in the same boat, but do try to ensure the retention of relative SOV.

Extensive EBI analysis shows that at best 50% of a brand’s business comes from regular shoppers and that better than 50% comes from the balance of buyers in the category. The bottom line is that target markets are not just regular shoppers, it’s all buyers in the category. Aim too narrow and ads won’t be seen by the big groups of flirtatious customers!

Local papers remain the only real mass reach print media available. ROOTS 2016 shows that 63% of urban decision makers read their local paper versus 25% of any other daily newspaper or 22% of any other weekly paper.

To sum up, in a recession purchases are fewer and further between than normal and the ratio of ‘need’ purchases to ‘pleasure’ purchases is far higher. Shopping is also less planned and more random. Random shopping can happen anytime, so brands need to be in the market continuously to attract the buyers as they consider their choices amongst a myriad of brand offerings.

To find out more or to connect, discuss or engage with SPARK Media, call 010 492 8390, visit, follow us on Twitter – or find ‘SPARK Media’ (sparkmediasa) on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Spark Media DNA

Established in 2015, SPARK Media, a division of CTP Ltd, are experts in retail and location based marketing solutions. The company owns and represents a myriad of print and digital products that deliver locally relevant, effective audiences for advertising clients. SPARK Media are Strategic Partners in Audience Research and Knowledge and offer ‘Insights that Ignite’.

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SPARK Media adds two more local papers to its stable

Local community newspapers, Die Pos and The Beat have joined the SPARK Media stable of local community newspapers, bolstering the media owner’s already 3.4 million strong weekly circulation in urban homes.

Die Pos, a sold paper, delivers 6,000 copies weekly into Bela Bela (Warmbaths), Modimolle (Nylstroom), Naboomspruit, Vaalwater, Settlers, Pienaarsrivier, Leeupoort, and Radium areas. The Beat, a freely distributed paper which has a circulation of 6,000 copies weekly, covers the township areas of Bela Bela, Modimolle, Mookgophong and Vaalwater.

“Die Pos has been in existence since 1982 and has a unique interaction with its readers and advertisers. In fact, there have been several weeks where up to five pages have been needed for its letters section – definite proof that the community is heavily engaged in the paper,” says Graham Sinclair, Channel Manager at SPARK Media.

The winning formula for both papers is hyper local content, creative advertising and upliftment among the less-privileged communities in the form of various charity initiatives.

Die Pos boasts a wonderful heritage since 1982. The Beat is a newer publication, starting in 2006, but both have incredibly passionate readers that care about what happens in their suburbs and think carefully about which of their local retailers and businesses they’ll be spending their hard earned money with.”

“We’re pleased to add these products to our stable and we’re confident that we’ll provide both papers with fantastic advertisers who recognise the buying power of these communities,” he concludes.

To find out more, to connect, discuss or engage with SPARK Media, call 010 492 8390, visit, follow us on Twitter – or find ‘SPARK Media’ (sparkmediasa) on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Spark Media DNA

Established in 2015, SPARK Media, a division of CTP Ltd, are experts in retail and location based marketing solutions. The company owns and represents a myriad of print and digital products that deliver locally relevant, effective audiences for advertising clients. SPARK Media are Strategic Partners in Audience Research and Knowledge and offer ‘Insights that Ignite’.

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