Now expanding into the UK market! Make contact to find out what we can do to get you heard!

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Enjoy a night out at the zoo!

When the sun goes down many animals come out to play. What goes on after the lights go out at the zoo? Wonder no more! Experience Emerald Resort & Casino’s Animal World like never before! “The entire Animal World will be opened to the public on certain evenings throughout December for our new Night Walk offering, and will stay open until 22h00,” says Emerald Resort & Casino’s Marketing Executive Tanuja Gangabishun. “Witness the active nightlife of these incredible creatures.”

The walk offers guests the unique experience of exploring many animals, not just the nocturnal ones, that tend to take refuge from the heat during the day. Resort visitors can now take advantage of the cooler evenings to spot their favourite animals like wolves, chinchillas, raccoons and many more.

The following dates are available for Animal World Night Walks:, 14 December, 21 December and 28 December. Doors open at 18h00 and stay open until 22h00. The entry fee for Adults is only R35pp and Kids under 12 costs just R20 which includes a free ‘slushie’.

“Seeing the animals at night has a completely different ‘feel’ as opposed to day time visits, so join us as we showcase these fascinating animals to the public,” concludes Tanuja.

For up to date information and happenings at Emerald Resort & Casino, visitors are encouraged to stay close to their Facebook and Twitter pages, or guests can visit for more information on any of the events mentioned here.

Emerald Resort & Casino

Tel:                              016 982 8000





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Looking up towards 2019…

Gareth Grant, Business Unit Manager at The MediaShop says that we’re looking at our smartphones every 12 minutes, but is it making us smarter?

In today’s hyper connected ‘smart’ world, we find ourselves operating at an increasing and ever demanding pace. To help facilitate this are the likes of laptops, smartphones, Google, YouTube, smart watches, Google Home, SIRI and numerous apps to name just a few. But as a society, how smart are we actually becoming?

I reflected on a recent holiday I took with my wife and in-laws to the remote Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, a mere 1 096 kilometers from Johannesburg. A great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg and the demanding times we find ourselves in.

After about a week in the bush with no cellphone signal, I recall our last night in the park, where we happened to have some signal, albeit as strong as the Springboks backline. As we settled in for our last night in the park, I can remember those annoying notification sounds that came through on all of our phones, and just like that we had all fallen victim to the “head down” societal norm that we so often see these days. In that moment, our relaxing time in the bush had been taken away. Taken away not because it has the power to, but because we chose to give it away.

The above is true for our everyday lives, whether it is at home, at the office, in a meeting or even at a restaurant or dinner table. How have these devices taken such control? Or, are we actually starring in the third instalment of The Truman Show?

There is new research that says that we look at our smartphones every 12 minutes, equating to burying our faces into these devices 80 times a day. Yes, we find ourselves in an extremely fast paced world that demands so much of us. Our time. Our energy. Being always on. And that go-go-go society in which today’s business world operates. However, at what cost?

Surely we can go more than 12 minutes without looking down? Or is the “head down” culture that strong that it cannot be broken?

Yes, attention spans are changing. But surely we have some kind of control? I encourage you to read Sean Sullivan’s Blog article from 25 October:

Glance around a boardroom table and you will see the same behaviour I experienced in the tranquillity of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. People have their heads buried in their smartphones or their laptops, with very little engagement. For me, personally, it comes down to respect or a lack thereof. A lack of respect for ourselves, our colleagues, our clients and our partners.

If you are too busy being consumed by your smartphone or laptop, why be present in that meeting?

I think we owe it to ourselves, our clients and our colleagues to show each other respect, put those devices away and be present.

As 2018 draws to a close, take stock of the year that was, and how you can be present and show up in 2019, ensuring we add value in every aspect of our lives.

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Caxton and SPARK Media ready for the festive season!

This is the state of Caxton Printer’s factory floor right now! “Our local newspapers are filled to the brim with inserts from our retailers ahead of the 2018 festive season, ready to be delivered to homes around the province,” says Gill Randall, Joint CEO of SPARK Media. “Retailers know that these inserts are probably the most important part of their Christmas campaigns. We’re ending 2018 with close on record sales for this time of year and would like to thank our media agency partners and retail clients for their continued support.”


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The world’s largest Programmatic conference in a nutshell

On the back of attending Programmatic I/O in New York, Ashleigh Footit, Head of Techops, Programmatic and Performance at SPARK Media shares some insights into the state of programmatic advertising, brand safety and ad fraud both in the US and here at home.

After an intense two days spent at the world’s largest conference on programmatic advertising it was fascinating to see how America’s online publishers are utilising data and selling inventory programmatically. In 2018, more than $47 billion in the US was spent on programmatic display advertising with Facebook and Google taking a large chunk of the pie. By 2020 that figure will climb to nearly $69 billion.

In the United States, there is an average of 14.5 programmatic tech partners per publisher, whereas in South Africa, we have an average of just three. This is not a bad situation to be in as our ecosystem is less fragmented and we have more control over our inventory. However, it does highlight that we are still in the infancy stages of programmatic selling.  Programmatic is becoming more and more commonplace and the more that advertisers demand it, the more we’ll see that number increasing.

One of the US speakers, Taylor Schreiner at Adobe said that “Organizations are transforming to take advantage of programmatic. Brands are now more hands-on. They have a better understanding of the metrics they are facing, and they’re more specific in their directives to agencies. We’re seeing more clients who now have people in the organisation who are in a position to think about reach across channels.”

First party data is another big theme that came through – this is essential to publishers and needs to be a priority as a competitive advantage assisting in fighting against the duopoly that is Google and Facebook, who account for around 50% of programmatic revenue in the US. They continue to be successful because of their amazing audience intelligence, reach and measurement capabilities which advertisers are not going to pass up.

Relationships are key in this fragmented industry! The display ad tech Lumascape was shown multiple times highlighting this fact. There are many touch points available when it comes to making a deal and publishers need to ensure that they are talking to all parties involved. There is no such thing as set it and forget it. Secondly, CPM rates are lost to tech costs and the publisher comes out with only a fraction of what the seller initially spends.The issue of viewability came across a lot throughout the two day conference. A viewable ad is defined as 50% of the pixels of a regular creative or 30% of the pixels of a large size creative, are on an in-focus browser tab on the viewable space of the browser page for a minimum of one continuous second. (this description was even questioned a few times by brands). As far as many brands were concerned, 100% viewability has to be a non-negotiable and advertisers/buyers should not pay for a non-viewable ad.

AI (Artificial Intelligence) also came across quite strongly with a few interesting developments on the cards. We can’t escape the fact that AI is and will be an essential part of our lives. The Nest Cam Indoor security camera for instance learns who the regular members of your household are. If a stranger or visitor is in your home, Nest reports back to you immediately via your connected device. The Ricoh whiteboard is another great AI example – once you’ve made your notes on it you can email the contents to anyone around the world, with full translation capabilities. All of these things will add to the wonder that is big data which ultimately will assist advertisers to better target consumers.

It was evident that there’s a need for deeper conversations on brand safety between publishers, agencies and brands who all need to understand and explain what brand safety means to each of them. Some brands mentioned that they won’t pay if creative appears in a negative environment. However, they would consider an environment that has a positive spin next to controversial content. Unfortunately, safety tools are screening out these environments as the story contains black list key words. Private market places need to assist with this more.

Ad fraud and fake news is rife in the US industry, and ad fraud specifically, but on a lesser scale, here in South Africa. Publishers are fighting hard against these practices and buyers are turning to technology to assist with eliminating and reducing their ad spend on these practices that deceive.

There are many types of ad fraud but in general challenges in programmatic include invalid traffic (IVT), domain spoofing, page level scripting, ad injection, poor user experience etc. Low-quality human traffic is another issue, through paid media channels (incl. click bait) traffic is pushed to transit hubs by fake authors and instantaneously bounce off these sites, purely to serve ads and receive ad revenue. These are all things that advertisers and publishers need to be cognisant of. Publishers need to adopt ads.txt as a non-negotiable and advertisers need to be selective when buying inventory across the open market.

I learned that a dollar in does not equal a dollar out when it comes to programmatic and intermediaries are more prevalent than thought. But most importantly relationships are more important now than ever before. Successful partnerships between publishers, agencies and clients are open and honest about what works for them.

The conference was an enormous insight into the world of programmatic and even though we have some catching up to do, it’s an exciting time in our industry!

For even more on SPARK Media, visit their website or follow them on social media @sparkmediasa.

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Enjoy Summer Fun at Emerald!

School’s out, well, very nearly! The heat is on but that means a month of summer fun can be had at Emerald Resort & Casino with activities, events and entertainment galore for absolutely everyone in the family.“We have more than a month of summer fun planned at the Resort,” says Emerald Resort & Casino’s Marketing Executive Tanuja Gangabishun. “From an outdoor movie night to beach sports at Aquadome, it’s all happening over this festive season.”

On 8 December, the Resort will be hosting their well-known outdoor movie night, especially for the kids this time, with the well-loved animated movie, Zootopia. Bring an outdoor chair or a picnic blanket, order a family sized picnic hamper, sit back and relax under a perfect, starry Vaal evening.

Aquadome is where everyone will want to be throughout December for great holiday sports action. Expect beach sport activities such as volleyball, touch rugby and beach soccer. There are great prizes up for grabs for the winners. Other games include hit the tin, hangman, tug of war, sack race and three legged race. It’s all happening from 16 December 2018 to 05 January 2019, 11h00 to 18h00 daily.

Kids need to be on the lookout for Father Christmas from 20 to 25 December. He’ll be at the Resort to take photos with kids and their families. For PlayStation enthusiasts, a mobile gaming unit will be available for free, packed full of PS4’s and the latest games, from 21 December 2018 to 5 January 2019, 10h00 to 18h00.

Since it is summer and it’s all about having a good time, Aquadome will be playing host to some amazing DJ’s these holidays. In the mood to dance? Get those dancing shoes on as DJ Rayz and DJ Pepe spin the decks!

“The December holidays are all about the kids, but we haven’t forgotten about the adults,” concludes Tanuja. “There will be numerous promotions on the casino floor, whether it’s high stakes tables to progressive jackpots, our lively and extensive casino offers 22 prestigious Roulette, Blackjack, Poker, and Baccarat tables alongside more than 430 Slots.

Don’t forget to book for Christmas lunch at High Stakes, Breeze or at the Emerald Hotel as they have geared themselves up to deliver exceptional flavour in extraordinary dishes.”

For up to date information and happenings at Emerald Resort & Casino, visitors are encouraged to stay close to their Facebook and Twitter pages, or guests can visit for more information on any of the events mentioned here.

Emerald Resort & Casino

Tel:                              016 982 8000





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On trimming your dog’s nails, heart rate monitors and captivating advertising

Craig Wallis, Business Unit Manager at The MediaShop

We are all aware of the fact that we get bombarded with hundreds of advertisements every day courtesy of our exposure to numerous media.

Just this morning I was on Pinterest reading a post on, “How to trim your dog’s nails.” (Yup, a real first world issue). Scrolling through it, I was amazed at the number of ads that literally “infested” the article.

I counted 16 ads that were in the 834 word article, which was three A4 pages long (yes, I checked – I copied the article to Word and came up with those stats). If I used this blog as an example, it means that you would have been exposed to two full adverts by the time you get to the end of this sentence.

To me, this is clutter of the highest order.

Little wonder that I gloss over mobile ads every day of my life.

I had to have a giggle at the re-targeting I got from an online retailer recently. I bought a heart rate monitor (thanks Discovery Miles!) and lo and behold the same retailer peppered me over the next few days with heart rate monitor ads… were they hoping that I would buy a second one as I have two wrists?

What a waste of ad spend.

Having spoken about the advertising clutter that I encounter, I need to highlight two gems that CAPTIVATED me. And I mean that literally…

I always rant (and lament) about how many advertisers just do not get creative right for Digital Out Of Home screens.

Every morning on the school run, I drive past a large roadside digital screen. As I am invariably stationary at the traffic light, I have time to critique the ads that are being flighted. I must admit that it is not often that I am impressed by the quality of the creative.


I was amazed (AND totally captivated) by a Woolworths ad on this screen. They were promoting their rotisserie chickens.

Why was I captivated by it? Firstly, the videography was exceptional. The HD visuals of the roast chicken just oozed succulence. Barely had my cereal gone “snap, crackle, and pop” in my gut and here I was ready to eat some clearly delicious chicken.

The second thing that Woolies got right, is that all the while the chicken visuals and messaging mesmerised me, they PERMANENTLY had their “W” logo as well as “Woolworths” in the top corners of the screen. So few advertisers do not utilise this essential awareness tactic on their DOOH ads. If I have a two second glance up at the screen whilst driving past, I immediately know that I can buy that chicken at Woolies.

So, in two seconds Woolies would have pulled the ultimate “advertising job” on me. Kudos

My other venue where I do my best to “skip this ad,” is my go-to source of entertainment, namely YouTube. I go to great lengths to ensure that my remote’s cursor is over the “Skip Ad” button so that I can do just that. I am mostly very successful in only being exposed to the ad for a few seconds before my next Jonathan Pie/Trevor Noah/John Oliver episode captures my attention.

I was on YouTube a couple of nights ago, AND THEN IT HAPPENED!!!

I was immediately taken by the content in the pre-roll for a Pratley’s ad. Just like Woolies did, they piqued my interest in a flash with their content and visuals. I was fascinated by their new product called Frogz Eggz. This name, in relation to Pratley’s (Putty) jarred with me, so I was immediately interested in finding out the connection. They also showed the unique properties of the “eggs,” and this too had me riveted to the screen.

What a fascinating DIY product. I watched the whole ad very willingly as I was really being educated. And, imagine to my surprise, the very next ad served to me was a different Frogz Eggz ad which showed me another practical use for this product. (FYI it is a hand mouldable plastic product).

I watched three of their ads. Well done PratleySA!!!

I even went on to their website to learn more about this interesting product. I was not disappointed with their website either. Lots of info and tips were easily accessible. I will definitely be buying some Eggz on my next trip to Builders Warehouse. I guarantee you that very soon it will solve a few DIY issues around my home.

You will thank me… and as John Robbie always used to say, “tell them I sent ya.”

So, just as I have become rather jaded with digital ads; I discovered two gems (at last!).

So the motto of the story is that if you want to get someone’s attention in this day and age, then you HAVE to make sure that your ad is relevant, creative, intriguing, entertaining and informative. If not, then it is meaningless, and will not break through the clutter.

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Emerald scoops 13 awards!

At the inaugural 2018 Vaal Explorer Awards which celebrate excellence in local Vaal tourism and leisure, Emerald Resort & Casino triumphed by walking off with 13 of the awards over the course of the evening!

“Hard work certainly pays off and we’re extremely proud of this achievement, in particular the Gold Award  received for the Leisure category and Silvers in the conferencing and adventure categories,” says Emerald’s Marketing Executive Tanuja Gangabishun.The Vaal Explorer Awards recognises stakeholders who have worked hard in making their respective establishments a success, by attracting visitors and delivering service excellence while ensuring a memorable experience for patrons.

Some of the awards received by Emerald Resort & Casino included Bronze for the Accommodation Category, Gold in Leisure and Silver awards for Conferencing and Adventure. According to Mark Hands, Emerald Resort & Casino’s Resort Director, there were some stiff categories with many tough competitors.

Hands is recognised internationally and within the industry as being passionate about customer service and this ethos has certainly rubbed off across all levels of team members at the Resort.

“This  achievement is only due to the exceptional hard work that every single team member puts in day in and day out, recognising that each and every customer is a VIP and knowing that it’s the small things that add up to create the overall experience,” concludes Hands. “I’d like to thank each and every person that puts so much into this Resort, without them none of this is possible!”

For up to date information and happenings at Emerald Resort & Casino, visitors are encouraged to stay close to their Facebook and Twitter pages, or guests can visit for more information on any of the events mentioned here.

Emerald Resort & Casino.

Tel:                              016 982 8000





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Advertise to a possible 7.6 million people!

Ignition TARGET is SPARK Media’s programmatic and direct audience solution. Through their Data Management Platform (DMP) they collect and deliver customised interest based, demographic and in-market audiences.

Over 7.6 million people were collected in October across Caxton owned and affiliated websites, with 69.2% of traffic coming from mobile devices.

“Our in-market audiences are super exciting and interesting to potential advertisers with product and price specials. Users collected into these segments have actively shown an interest in a specific in-market category, i.e. they have searched for the product specifically or browsed catalogues within the product and price environment.

These audiences are already well down the purchasing funnel and just need a bit of a nudge from advertisers to buy products online or instore,” explains Ashleigh Footit, Head of Techops, programmatic and performance.

Top performing in-market segments include property, groceries and office, with the top growth segments being building supplies & DIY, furniture and appliances.

To access these audience insights and programmatic solutions, contact SPARK Media, or view the monthly DMP Performance report here.

Example of the DMP performance report

For even more on SPARK Media, visit the website and follow them on social media @sparkmediasa.

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AMASA adds to its Board

The Advertising Media Association of South Africa (AMASA) has announced two new additional members to its board of directors. AMASA welcomes Mpho Maseko and Parmeshan Moodliar to the table.

Mpho and Parmeshan join current directors Wayne Bischoff, Wayne Bishop, Karen Bailey, Lyn Jones and Rob Smuts. Wayne Bischoff says: “Both Mpho and Parmeshan are old hands at AMASA so to speak, having spent the past five and three years on the committee respectively. They have already added enormous value to the committee and we have no doubt that they will continue to do so as directors of AMASA.”

After working on the Monthly Forums portfolio for a few years, Mpho moved over to the Gordon Patterson AMASA Learnership Programme (GP-ALP) portfolio, an entry point into the media and advertising industries that provides young individuals with fully funded bursaries for the AMASA Media Management Course.  “This opportunity then created an easy transition for me to lead the AMASA Education portfolio from 2017/18,” she says.

“I believe the work that we do on the committee is crucial for the industry, serving the entire integrated marketing and communications industry and will always be of value to marketing and media professionals in South Africa.  Being involved in AMASA, now as a director, gives me the opportunity to give back to the industry that has developed me as professional and  exposed me to a wide spectrum of media and advertising professionals who continue to help build my skills and expertise.”

Parmeshan has spent the past few years on various profiles including the Workshop, Golf Day, Awards and Annual Party portfolios. He says: “Education remains the primary pillar of AMASA and this focus area, through the Media Management course and the Gordon Patterson AMASA Learnership Programme, facilitates new blood gaining access to and information about our industry as a whole.

I am extremely proud to be part of an organisation like AMASA that has stepped up and stepped in to drive debate and change around the current state of the media industry and in many cases, how these issues impact the future. While AMASA has always been synonymous with education and networking opportunities, we have also grown into a professional organisation despite the challenge of being run by volunteers,” he says.

“I have the primary focus of identifying and solidifying our relationships with our primary suppliers, sponsors and members who give of their time, resources and finances to assist us with what we do.”

Parmeshan will oversee the body’s commercial relationship with stakeholders in order to safeguard the financial well-being of the organisation. Being extremely passionate about transformation in the industry adds additional impetus to his role.

“Transformation must remain front and centre within the media and advertising sector. For me, any significant change starts with individuals who are willing to drive change from within themselves and their organisations. It is my hope and genuine belief that this personal change among many individuals will then affect change to the greater whole.

We need to take responsibility for our own industry and the time of criticism from the side lines without putting skin in the game yourself has ended. I would encourage all media professionals to get involved in our industry, even if it’s in a small way. You be will humbled by the difference you can make.”

For more information on AMASA visit or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Emerald commits to support SMME’s

At the recent 2018 Vaal SMME Conference and Exhibition, hosted by Emerald Resort & Casino and partners, exhibitors, entrepreneurs and visitors from the Sedibeng District were given the opportunity to network, collaborate and stimulate trade amongst themselves and larger corporates. “This is the first SMME exhibition that we have hosted, providing a platform for entrepreneurs to interact with industry experts, buyers and executives in order to build stronger and more profitable business networks,” says Mark Hands, Emerald Resort & Casino’s Resort Director.The event provides delegates and local SMME’s that are operating businesses in and around the area with a local, innovative networking platform where they have a chance, especially one that offers the advantage, at presenting their business to bigger corporates, while establishing additional business trade amongst each other. It also presents an opening for them to understand current business trends and forces the shaping of the local SMME sector.

Hands’ opening remarks showed his commitment to support  local business and mentioned that local businesses provide support and create job opportunities for the local community. Buying local boosts the economy and it has been proven that the money is twice as likely to stay in the local community and purchases are doubly more efficient in terms of keeping local economy alive. Entrepreneurs need to invest their time in what he calls ‘the study of gap’ – or rather, the ability to see opportunities where they don’t exist.Some of the exhibitors included NDS Chef’s Academy, Bolle Technology, Tintswalo & Engineering, The Innovation Hub, ER Signs and Safety and Thenga Online Radio with important topics covered by Phorohlo Nkadimeng (SARS Compliance), Yandisa Hene from Innovation Marketing Consultant who spoke about ‘Smart marketing ideas for SME’s on a budget’, Dr Joe (Director VUT Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park).“We would like to thank the sponsors Eskom, Arcelor Mittal, Seriti Coal, SEDA Small Enterprise Development Agency. Emfuleni Local Municipality, SA, Gauteng Treasury, Metsimaholo Municipality, Ceramic Industries, VUT Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park and Gauteng Enterprise Propeller GEP for getting behind this initiative,” says Walter Bause, Emerald Resort & Casino’s Finance Executive, “The event was a huge success which, for the first time, brought regional SMME’s  together in such an effort.

We look forward to seeing this important occasion and opportunity for local business growing into an even bigger event next year.”“The conversation that we must have on both sides, namely with bigger corporates and SMME’s, is how we build real entrepreneurship and sustainable business in order to stimulate the economy around the Vaal Triangle area.

This will become an annual event and while we had a great turnout, we encourage even more entrepreneurs and local business within the Sedibeng District, Metsimaholo Municipality and Emfuleni District to participate at next year’s event,” concludes Hands.

For up to date information and happenings at Emerald Resort & Casino, visitors are encouraged to stay close to their Facebook and Twitter pages, or guests can visit for more information on any of the events mentioned here.

Emerald Resort & Casino.

Tel:                              016 982 8000





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