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

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Bona Magazine’s star shines brightly

In an economy and at a time when magazine publishers dread the next Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) updates and with comments abound regarding the freefall of the South African magazine category as a whole, Caxton Magazines’ monthly family interest magazine, Bona, clearly bucks the trend and stands out like a beacon of light amongst the carnage.

In the February release of the ABCs Quarter 4 October to December 2018, Bona effectively increased circulation by a massive 13% versus Q4 2017 and by 7% on Q3 Jul-Sep 2018. These are some amazing growth figures when the total magazine circulation declined by 8.4% on the previous quarter, and by 19.7% year-on-year. Consumer Magazines in total decreased by 3.8% in the previous quarter while the category declined by 12.4% year-on-year.

Bona is soaring and the ABCs prove it!” states Bona’s editor Bongiwe Tshiqi. “In fact, Bona has one of the highest circulations in the Caxton Magazine group and some of the best statistics and circulations in the Female and Family magazine categories.”

She attributes the success of the 63-year-old brand to a few factors. Most notable is the engagement and interaction between the brand and its readers, the relevance of the content and a fundamental understanding of its reader. She also adds that this due to the fact that BONA is the only magazine in the country that publishes in four different languages. – English, Zulu, Sotho and Xhosa, also plays a huge role.

“It’s imperative for me that we constantly stick by our brand promise; ‘“Be who you want to be” which celebrates the differences in SA women rather than try to confine them to one idea of beauty and success.”

The typical Bona reader is a mom between the age of 25 and 49 with two kids at home. She is family orientated and focussed, has a full-time job, is upwardly mobile, likes stability and hasn’t moved house or changed jobs in the last year. As such the magazine provides her with tips and education around her life, inspirational and aspiration content that addresses her modern concerns. For example, the magazine explores heathy options and self-nurturing tips, helping her to look after herself. It is relaxing light reading and most of all provides her with hope and assurance that she is doing an amazing job as wife, mother and go-getter.

Another aspect that has assisted with Bona’s growth is the understanding that advertising within the magazine plays a large role. The Bona editorial team is open to new ideas and works closely with the sales team. “There have been some amazing and innovative advertising campaigns that has come from this close cooperation,” says Bongiwe.

Anton Botes, General Manager of Caxton Magazines comments, “We have, over the past year or so, really come to understand our readers through research, discussion panel responses and feedback and this has impacted directly on the type of content published in the magazine and online.”

“We’re extremely proud that we are one of the biggest female interest magazines in the country that provides our readers with what they want to read,” concludes Bongiwe. “We really look forward to growing our audience base even more in 2019.”

Caxton Magazines DNA

Storytelling is our business. Content is our currency. Caxton Magazines is a division of Caxton CTP Printers & Publishers and houses 12 brands in print and digital formats, primarily aimed at the women’s lifestyle segment across life stages, lifestyles and income groups. These brands are: Vrouekeur; Woman & Home; Bona; Living & Loving; People; Food & Home Entertaining; Your Family; Garden & Home; Farmer’s Weekly; Essentials; Rooi Rose and SA Country Life. Visit

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One size does not fit all

Maggie Pronto, Media Strategist at The MediaShop

Personalisation in advertising communication is a key part of the consumer journey. Consumers want a unique connection in exchange for their time, but they’re also concerned about how brands use their data. Or are they?

Research from “The State of the Connected Consumer” by Salesforce, indicates that consumer’s attitudes about how their data is being used is changing.

Salesforce surveyed more than 7000 consumers to understand what drives them, and what they have discovered is that personalisation is not only expected but demanded.

When consumers evaluate purchases, they equally rank personalisation and reputation. In fact more than 52% will not hesitate to switch brands if they don’t receive the customisation they expect.

Once they have chosen a specific brand, 62% want personalised product recommendations and discounts – like Netflix for retail.

As long as there are real benefits, a brand’s customers will likely become repeat buyers with 40% of consumers (Segment’s research) saying that they have purchased something more expensive than they planned because of their experience. It’s like when I receive my tailor made Pick n Pay vouchers – you never leave the shops with what you planned to!

According to Evergage’s Study on Personalisation, there are a wide range of benefits to personalisation with results from marketers provided based on their programmes:

  • Realised a measurable lift in business results (88%) – with 53% reporting a lift greater than 10%, and 10% reporting a lift greater than 30%
  • Increased conversion rates (63%)
  • Improved overall customer experience (61%)
  • Increased visitor engagement (57%)

These results would surely encourage marketers to prioritise personalisation, understanding that budget is a key barrier. Where would a brand start and how would they use it? Findings indicate the following:

  • Channels for personalisation – Marketers are using personalisation in email campaigns (72%), as well as on their company’s website (57%), mobile site (28%), web app (20%) and mobile app (18%).
  • Personalisation criteria – Marketers report personalising based on visitor location (60%), demographics (56%), pages/content viewed (54%), campaign source (50%) and previous behaviour (48%).
  • Machine learning on the rise – Among marketers applying just rule-based personalisation, one in three (32%) plan to use machine-learning-driven personalisation next year.
  • More personalisation staff – 59% of marketers say their organisations have personnel focused on personalisation, 38% say it’s a full-time responsibility for those individuals.

We have come a long way – from broad to more individual based communication. With all the messaging that our consumers have to sift through – more relevant and tailor made messaging makes for more ‘stoppable’ moments and from what we have seen, brands really need to inspire consumers to make a purchase.

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Mi Casa & Lady Zamar at Emerald!

Recognise these lyrics from one of South Africa’s hottest bands?

 “Ah Jika my baby, Jika”. Yes, that’s right, Mi Casa together with Lady Zamar and DJ Shimza will be performing at Emerald Resort & Casino on Saturday, 15 June 2019.

“Good morning, to the world, out there

Sanbonani, Ninjani, out there”

“Emerald Resort & Casino is presenting another stellar ‘One Night With’ event, this time featuring award winning South African music sensations Mi Casa, popular singer and songwriter Lady Zamar and DJ Shimza,” says Leolize Naidoo, Emerald Resort & Casino’s Events & Entertainment Manager.

These talented South Africans need absolutely no introduction and have been heard and seen, live, across the country with their sublime voices often gracing our radio airwaves.

To be part of this incredible on-stage experience, tickets can be purchased at Computicket for R500 for VIP and R200 for General access.

Venue:            Emerald Resort & Casino, Emerald Arena

Date:               Saturday, 15 June 2019

Time:               19h00

Considering that it is a long weekend that weekend, why not stay over and experience the full hospitality that Emerald Resort & Casino offers? Special accommodation promotional codes have been published on their website in order for guests to qualify for exceptional rates.

“We absolutely cannot wait to welcome these legends to our stage and we encourage guests to get in early when booking tickets and accommodation – you do not want to miss this,” says Leolize.

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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Caxton CTP makes sustainability a priority in its business

With almost 50 years in the industry, Caxton CTP has taken steps to ensure that all elements of their print production do not negatively affect the environment.

There is a global shift towards going paperless in an effort to save the environment, and a number of companies have been quick to join the bandwagon. However, there is a lack of statistical information and research that shows that going paperless is in fact better for the environment. And while cellphones and laptops might reduce paper waste, they’re not quite green enough to plant and fertilise our soil.

Caxton ensures that their customers and clients enjoy premium paper, news and entertainment quality through their magazines, newspapers and packaging arms. By partnering with international and local suppliers that are globally compliant, Caxton stands firm in their assertion that they have the environment’s best interests in mind.

Controlled supply of paper material

Caxton’s network of paper product suppliers are certified practitioners who source their paper from plantations and controlled environments. This ensures that the proper procedures have been followed in procuring the materials, but also in handling and managing by products and wastage.

Sappi, one of Caxton’s local suppliers, prides itself on certification of their products.

“Forest certification gives our customers the assurance that the trees used in our pulp and papermaking processes originate from plantations that are managed according to the standards and requirements of sustainable forest management,” Sappi Sustainability Report, 2017.

By-products and wastage

There are systems in place to handle the by-products and water usage involved in the entire process from plantation to print.

Through Caxton’s deliberate and strategic partnerships with their suppliers, by-products are re-used and invested in other industries. For example, boiler ash is used as raw materials, and pith is used as soil enhancer by farmers.


In addition to users recycling paper materials in their homes, such as newspapers and boxes, Caxton’s paper suppliers have put in efforts to make sure that what they take out is put back through reforestation and replanting.

“The demand for paper in turn creates a demand for forests, which have both environmental and economical benefits,” says Jaco Koekemoer, MD of Local Media & Coldset Printing.

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Tell Mom that you love her!

This coming Mother’s Day on Sunday, 12 May 2019, the Emerald Resort & Casino’s chefs will not be holding back as they deliver some of the finest fare for the finest moms out there. This is one day where she deserves the best!

Stevie Wonder said it really well: “Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love.”

“If she is your greatest teacher, then doesn’t she deserve to be spoilt?” asks Tanuja Gangabishun, Marketing Executive at Emerald Resort & Casino.

“Emerald Resort & Casino can help make this day really special.”

Breeze Restaurant, has a brilliant all-you-can-eat buffet spread that is sure to put a big smile on the entire family’s faces.

Breeze Mother’s Day buffet:

Cost: Adults R260pp and Kids under 12: R140pp

First sitting: 12h00 to 14h30

Second sitting: 15h30 to 18h00

 Emerald Hotel is offering families a fabulous buffet that includes salads bar, starters, carvery, a variety of main course options, and the chef’s famous desserts.

Emerald Hotel Mother’s Day buffet:

Cost: Adults R320pp and Kids 4 -12: R140pp

Time: 12:30 – 15:30 Hotel & Hotel Gardens

Bookings are essential at both Breeze and Emerald Hotel! Please contact or 016 982 8149.

“How are you going to spoil Mom on Mother’s Day?” asks Tanuja. “Make a full day of it at Emerald Resort & Casino. Take her and the entire family Ten Pin Bowling at Pins, maybe add a round of adventure putt putt or a walk through Animal World. There is so much to do!

So, stop what you are doing right now and go tell your Mom that you love her, text her, or call her and tell her.”

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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Living & Loving readers share the love online

Caxton Magazines’ Living & Loving brand has been receiving major online love from its readers with a 106% increase in search traffic from January to February 2019. Want to know what the six early pregnancy symptoms are before a missed period or how to cope with your baby’s acid reflux? Many others want to know too, and they find the answers at Living & Loving.“The Living & Loving website continues to grow in leaps and bounds,” says editor Sonya Naude. “At the end of January 2019, we had an audited 115 298 South African users as verified by Effective Measure compared to 77 624 SA users in Jan 2018. We attribute the growth to a keen knowledge of content that resonates with our readers.”

Living & Loving’s Pregnancy section remains by far its most popular category on the website, followed by the Baby section. “Competitions continue to do well on our online platforms and we’d encourage more brands to get involved.”

At the end of Feb 2019, we had 110 937 unique South African users visiting our website. Our target for the first six months was to achieve 100 000 SA unique visitors and we’re thrilled that we’ve already exceeded this so early on in the year,” she says.

Online, Living & Loving’s pregnancy category continues to be the most popular with 261 271 unique page views according to Google Analytics. Baby category articles are the brand’s second most popular with 155 421 unique page views.

Total users from search traffic for February 2019 is 375 410. This figure represents a massive 106% increase in hits from January 2019.

The landing pages from search traffic in February 2019 indicate and confirm that we are providing content that readers are looking for on issues that are relatable,” confirms Naude. The top five ranked pages include:

  • 10 twin pregnancy symptoms
  • 5 types of pregnancy discharge and what they mean
  • The secret benefits of turmeric for pregnant and breastfeeding moms
  • 5 common baby genital health problems
  • 7 tips to wean your toddler off the bedtime bottle

The brand’s social media pages boast 75 612 Facebook likes; over 9 000 Twitter followers; 4 500 Instagram followers and close on 14 000 weekly newsletter subscribers with competitions being a massive drawcard.

Anton Botes, General Manager of Caxton Magazines says that South Africans are engaging with their favourite magazine brands both in print and online. “Magazines allow readers the luxury of dipping in and out of content multiple times, referring back to articles over a period of time while the online option allows immediate interaction and one on one engagement with the brand.

We’re proud to have a multi-faceted approach to all our brands which gives so much more power to the reader who can choose how and when they’d prefer to interact with us.”

Caxton Magazines DNA

Storytelling is our business. Content is our currency. Caxton Magazines is a division of Caxton CTP Printers & Publishers and houses 12 brands in print and digital formats, primarily aimed at the women’s lifestyle segment across life stages, lifestyles and income groups. These brands are: Vrouekeur; Woman & Home; Bona; Living & Loving; People; Food & Home Entertaining; Your Family; Garden & Home; Farmer’s Weekly; Essentials; Rooi Rose and SA Country Life. Visit

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Are brands living up to client expectations?

Jedd Cokayne, Business Unit Manager at The MediaShop

I am not sure about you, but there is an underlying feeling that the world’s equilibrium is not quite balanced at the moment. I think this is abundantly evident in South Africa’s downturn in consumer confidence due to the current economic situation, the fact that we’re in an election year, the fuel price going up, Eskom leaving us in the dark and just a general lull in the market place.

Because of these general unease consumers tend to go into their shell and spending slows which turns most marketers grey overnight. Budgets are not met, targets have to be adjusted and explanations have to be had with stakeholders either nationally or internationally – that’s never a fun moment.

This slowdown in consumer spending makes every marketer relook their service and product offering as consumer’s expectations of them change and demand more for their hard earned cash. Just as brands thought they had their marketing offering down to a fine art, comes a punch out of nowhere, lands perfectly on the sweet spot and you find yourself flat on your ass on the canvas for the obligatory eight counts, if you are lucky, or the ten which ends the fight.Right now it is vitally important for us to understand what the changes are in consumer’s expectations, how we work around them or modify our offerings to suit their needs, while still continuing to grow in the market.

Access to information has changed the consumer’s behaviour at never seen before levels. The more information they have, the more it influences their expectations and gives them the ability to evaluate products and services simultaneously to find the right choice for their needs at the right price.

Expectations can be measured in two ways, explicitly or implicitly. Explicitly means that consumers have certain mental targets in mind for a product’s or service’s performance eg, 30 minutes to deliver food, 60 minutes for a haircut etc. Implicit expectations reflect established norms on performance of one brand vs another brand.

We can go one step further into marketing terms to start determining how we need to change our marketing offering to meet those expectations in a very tough year ahead.

  1. Static performance expectations – evaluation of the consumer in terms of accessibility, customisation, dependability, accuracy and performance.
  2. Dynamic Performance Expectations – how the product or service is expected to evolve over time, changes required in service to support it into the future.
  3. Technological expectations – evolving technology changes in the product or service category to stay ahead of competitors
  4. Interpersonal expectations – relationship between the consumer and the product or service provider revolving around the ability to solve problems, ongoing communication and general client service.
  5. Situational expectations – How do you influence pre-purchase expectations and measure post purchase satisfaction?

Consumers continue to demand proactive service, personalised interactions and connected experiences, so what are we as brands doing to satisfy those expectations? Consumers demand a seamless experience with a brand and therefore departments within a company can no longer trade in silos, inter-departmental communication is key.

The ripple effect of a single bad experience or a missed customer experience goes way beyond a lost sale. 57% of customers justify a move to a competitor who provides a better experience and that meets or exceeds their expectations. As we know, this has a direct effect on the bottom line.

This year is going to be about the law of attrition and the brands that move with the ebb and flow of the market and the change in the consumer’s expectations will continue to grow in a very tough market. Personalise marketing efforts, adapt customer service to suit the ongoing needs and constantly change the communication to reflect the brand’s desire but always remain true to it.

2019 will remain a watershed year in the history of SA for a number of reasons but it will also be interesting to see how marketers adapt to remain relevant and meet those ever evolving consumer expectations.

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#ROOTS2019 is coming!

The building blocks of #ROOTS2019 are all coming together! The individual pieces are being expertly constructed to deliver South Africa’s largest urban community quantitative survey. Set for release in June this year, some industry heavyweights have shared their expectations.

“The ROOTS survey is one of South Africa’s largest and longest running consumer behaviour surveys. Conducted every 3 years, in over 120 communities across the country” says Debbie McIntyre, Marketing Services and Research Director SPARK Media. “We asked a few influential people in the media industry what their thoughts are of ROOTS 2019 and what they are looking forward to.”

Here’s what they had to say.

Chris Botha, Group Managing Director at Park Advertising says: “One of the most critical aspects of any media campaign is knowing your target market. We know and understand that people are different everywhere but these differences are even more pronounced in local communities across South Africa. It’s this granular detail that I always look forward to in all the ROOTS surveys. Besides the additional areas and categories covered, I’m pleased with the inclusion of new metrics like SEMs and I’m looking forward to insights like how many consumers are using Uber (and where) amongst others.

We look forward to incorporating this new data into our media plans to reach our consumers even more effectively!”

Merissa Himraj, Chief Strategy Officer at Wavemaker says, “I am looking forward to ROOTS 2019, and am curious to see whether the consumption of media through digital channels has impacted reading habits of community papers, in which segment/audience this is happening and where the consumption growth is coming from! We now have a lot of data that can provide a snapshot of 20 years, showing that as people’s life stages change from single to young families so do their media consumption habits.”

The ROOTS data provides marketers with vital demographic and behavioural information at a local, regional and national level, but it’s the ability to deep-dive and access granular local data that provides the biggest marketing advantages.

“The local community newspaper amplifies the heartbeat of any community. People are creatures of habit and also have a need to stay close to home especially in the current political environment, with crime, load shedding and many other issues that plague the ever-burdened consumer,” says Tish Ronge, Head of Media Buying at Mediacom Johannesburg “Geographically each area also has its own unique socio-economic need.  No matter how affluent. In my opinion, it is only the local community newspaper that is tailored to fit this part of the media mix, especially for retailers.”

The survey will provide the marketing, media and advertising industry a national snapshot, at a local level. With new categories, added areas and an in-depth questionnaire that includes digital, this year’s ROOTS is one of biggest and most robust. Take for example the question, do consumers take care of themselves? To find the answer, the survey, amongst exploring multiple other categories, finds out about medical aid membership, changes in weight, physical activity and consumption and store preference for vitamins and supplements.

“It is exciting to see all the components being put together and what will be revealed about the local consumer in their local environments,” concludes Debbie.

“Watch this space, #ROOTS2019 is coming!”

For more on SPARK Media, visit our website and follow us on social media @sparkmediasa.

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Move Up in the world at Emerald!

Want to stand a chance at winning a share of R477,500 in cash, R354,000 in FreePlay or the grand prize of a Nissan Navara 2.3D SE valued at over R530 000? Then all you need to do is play “Moving on up” at Emerald Resort & Casino, the current Casino promotion.Recently launched, “Moving On Up” is super easy to enter. “The mechanics are really simple. For every 50 points earned on slots or tables, customers receive one draw ticket,” explains Tanuja Gangabishun, Marketing Executive at Emerald Resort & Casino.

“12 weekly draws will take place every Wednesday at 13h00 and 21h00 and the final draw which take place on 26 June at 21h00 where once again, one lucky person will be driving home in a brand-new vehicle, this time round a Nissan Navara,” she says. “These draws have great appeal to both local and national visitors.”

In conjunction with this promotion, the Casino’s Blackjack tournament “Winner Winner” is running until 27 April. To enter, players buy in at the Cash Desk for R50. Players move through qualifying rounds into the semi-finals. The final will comprise of five players identified from the semi-final and a single player who qualifies with the highest qualifying chip winnings, from a single buy-in, during the qualifying rounds. The top three prizes will be distributed as a percentage of the total prize pool.

“We look forward to a great atmosphere on the casino floor during these promotions and wish everyone the best of luck!” concludes Tanuja.

For all up to date information on events, promotions 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 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





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The impact of corruption on your media rand

Chris Botha, Group Managing Director of Park Advertising

Carl Sagan once said: “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

I am sure like everybody else, you have been reading about the massive corruption being unearthed by the various investigative bodies and journalists in our country. Just this past week the Zondo Commission was in full cry, and Pieter Louis Myburgh released his book on Ace Magashule. The numbers are astronomical. Depending on who you believe – South Africa has lost R30-R300 billion per year because of corrupt practises. Horrifying.

But for me the bigger loss is the loss of opportunity.

The past eight years have been described as the “forgotten years” or the “lost years”. This phrase really hurts my heart because it is so true. R30 billion across eight years is R240 billion that could have solved so many of our country’s ills. Imagine that sort of investment in youth education, housing or the medical field.

But Chris, you are a media guy, what’s this got to do with anything. Well, everything I would postulate.

The impact on advertising investment: firstly, while the world markets are all ticking up, our markets continue to tick down. Business confidence and performance has a direct link on ad spend. Net effect is a direct impact on advertising investment. I have had numerous discussions with South Africa’s biggest media owners, all of whom without exception stating that this is the hardest economic climate they have ever traded in. In years gone by the adage “flat is the new up” was jokingly bandied about. Now it is cried out in desperation and frustration.

Lost revenue means less investment in content, less investment in production, less investment in acquisition, and less investment in developing the new, smart, and amazing.

Only the strong, nimble, agile and intelligent will survive. The end is nowhere in sight. Buckle up boys and girls, this ain’t getting better any time soon.

Electricity supply and your TV ratings: Britta Reid recently wrote an excellent article on the impact of load shedding on TV ratings. The numbers are scary. In heavy load shedding weeks, up to 35% of audiences are lost. As with the overall corruption problem, that is also a lost opportunity. An opportunity that businesses would have had to sell more products, make more money, and invest in our country. TV stations have for the most part dug in their heels when it comes to compensation (rightly or wrongly). But lower ratings will no doubt impact them down the line as rate setting and projecting will become even more of a gamble.

Are your magazines reaching their readers? Many magazines use the South African Post Office to deliver to their most loyal readers, their subscribers. Advertisers gladly pay for their ads assuming that it lands in every hand promised at the right time. Well, considering the challenges at SAPO that is no longer a straight guarantee. Some magazines probably arrive months later due to the inefficiencies. Opportunity lost once again…

The challenge with corruption is that it permeates and impacts every fibre of our business. Whether it’s ratings on TV, magazines (or lack thereof) in the hands of consumers, illegal billboards, fake news stories being broadcast, or real news stories not being broadcast – there is no getting around it. Corruption has a deep impact on what we do every day.

President Ramaphosa has a massive task ahead of him. He will need time, backing, investment, and a brave soul to turn this country around. Most importantly, this is not a problem solely solved by government. Government simply can’t. Private enterprise and big business needs to jump in. It affects all of us.

One has to believe that it is not all doom and gloom going forward. As an industry we are a collective of creative genius! We are diverse, and inspired. 2019 should be the year where we launch new agencies (like Meta Media), where we inspire our staff, where we lift up the youth in our industry. Where media owners need to help build our nation through education and inspiration. We have access to the whole country through our platforms. So let’s get our hands dirty. Bring on the 8th of May.

Thuma Mina.

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