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

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Countdown To Launch: The Lucky Listener Radio Show A New Broadcast Innovation From Nfinity And Mediamark

The Nfinity Group, in partnership with Mediamark, is gearing up to launch episodes of The Lucky Listener Radio Show on Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio to air seven days a week. “The show is an exciting and groundbreaking product partnership with radio trailblazers Mediamark, forging a new way of thinking to provide another level of engagement and interaction for consumers and brand advertisers,” says Ken Varejes CEO of Nfinity.

In this joint venture, Mediamark and the Nfinity Group are focused on bringing media innovation to the market with a world-first radio show that delivers interactive brand education, retail and service solutions for its clients.

Wayne Bischoff, CEO of Mediamark anticipates a massive take-up in the market. “Mediamark prides itself in leading radio innovations, and this exciting new show is a unique approach to retail programming, where we offer clients an opportunity to extend their level of brand engagement through on-air and online two-way communication.  The partnership on the production and sales of The Lucky Listener Radio Show with the Nfinity Group, combines broadcast expertise with value-add marketing benefits, and we are looking forward to the results that this show can produce for advertisers.”

“Its full steam ahead on production as the show prepares for the first broadcast on radio from 3rd June”, confirms partner Craig Clay-Smith, creator and Executive Producer of the shows. The shows are completely supported with a digital strategy covering the full spectrum of social media to grow audience engagement, market reach and provide an additional level of exposure. There are limited slots per show across the 52-week season, and with only three advertisers per show, early booking and confirmation is essential.”

Visit to find out more.

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AI won’t lead to better consumer engagement but machine learning will

Jarred Mailer-Lyons, Head of Digital at The MediaShop

Science fiction movies and novels did an amazing job of creating and dramatizing encounters with Artificial Intelligence – but did it prepare us for the real world of AI? Unfortunately not…

Most people probably still envision AI in the form a robot straight out of The Jetsons if you were lucky enough to have watched a couple episodes in your youth. If you didn’t, then I’m sure you can recall our very own South African filmed Chappie? Of course, the unpredictable nature of self-improving machines lends itself well to fictional stories but is it really something that tech companies are investing in?

Not really – well, not physical robots at this stage that are going to cook you a decent meal at least! But I do know that machine learning is on the cards and of course it’s no surprise when it comes to the likes of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook. These tech giants, some more so than others, are heavily invested in the acquisition of companies that have built their empires on machine learning before being snatched up by one of the big players.

Machine learning is all about moving forward, and whether we like it or not, it will play an essential role in our technological future. The largest and best companies in the world already know this, and they’re heavily invested.

But what does this mean for us as advertisers – will we have a role to play in digital advertising in the coming years?

I mean let’s give machine learning the credit it deserves. Up until now we have all consumed content through traditional and digital means – all the while knowing that we’re bound to be served a random untargeted, irrelevant ad along the way. It was unfortunately a relationship we had to accept in the past, unless we had invested in premium rated services or some sort of ad blocker. But, it’s no surprise that we became increasingly intolerant and immune to this form of disruptive and sometimes untargeted advertising.

Some of the big players have identified this problem and saw the need for change in order to continue to grow and hold on to their current and loyal audiences. A prime example back in 2018 was when Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its news feed algorithm to prioritise content to focus more on friends, family and groups and promised us less exposure to public content like posts from businesses, brands and media. It was a step in the right direction but of course Facebook is built on its commercial offering so how to you adapt the algorithm to the changing needs of individual consumers?

Companies build AI that delivers on customisation – a buzzword that stuck a couple years back. Now that ads are delivered through a medium marketed on the promise that it would be personalised to us, mass ads don’t cut it anymore. Consumers don’t only want to be heard – they expect to be heard, understood, respected and not just fed mass advertising – especially when it comes to the social space. In fact, according to SalesForce’s Connected Consumer Report, 51% of consumers expect that by 2020 companies will anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before making contact.

I mean how does a giant tech company like Facebook even begin to understand an individual consumer’s needs before they have even made up their own mind… well that’s machine learning for you and that’s what makes us better marketers. These algorithms will allow us to better refine our targeting based on individual needs, interests and characteristics.

What we do need to remember though is that technology has a way of outpacing our ability to understand what is actually going on – and that’s definitely the case with machine learning. So much like some of the major tech companies making advances in AI and machine learning, what are you doing to continually learn about your consumers? Don’t let your brand become a distant memory.

IDG exclusively appoints Turn Left Media in Sub-Saharan Africa

Founded in 1964 by Patrick McGovern. IDG, (International Data Group) have become the undisputed leaders in technology media, data and marketing services worldwide. From January 2019, Turn Left Media have been granted exclusive representation of IDG’s product portfolio across South Africa as well as the greater Sub-Saharan African region. With more than 217 million global unique visitors monthly and over 44 million fully opted-in technology decision-maker subscribers globally, there is no other tech media, data and marketing services company that offers this unique quality audience and reach at scale. Overall, IDG delivers over a million unique visitors per month, and has access to around 2.5 million opt-in subscribers across Sub-Saharan Africa.

IDG’s success lies in how it influences the most powerful tech buyers in the world — from C-suite or Line-of-Business technology influencers to end-consumers and everyone in between. IDG’s mission is to help their global audience (including South Africa and SSA) make the smartest technology purchasing decisions. Through IDG’s media brands they collect valuable audience data and intelligence which has allowed IDG to build unique demand generation and marketing services capabilities globally.

IDG’s award-winning editorial brands have huge success in delivering content that informs and influences technology decisions and access the most powerful tech buyers. IDG offers a unique demand generation portfolio which has full funnel lead generation and account based marketing capabilities. IDG also delivers over 900+ branded technology events which help customers build face to face engagement with their technology buyer audiences. Using the Marketing Services Portfolio, IDG bring together their strategy and consulting teams, data and audience insights, creative design capabilities and the marketing solutions portfolio to build custom content marketing programs that deliver real ROI against set marketer objectives.

Turn Left Media will become the contact point for businesses interested in understanding the IDG portfolio of solutions. Turn Left Media is an independent, boutique digital media sales house helping brands (with their relevant agencies) to reach the right high-value and B2B audiences across key digital platforms. With IDG, the world’s leading technology media, data and marketing services company, Turn Left Media add another quality partner with high value audiences to their portfolio.

Founder and Director John Bowles explained the significance for Turn Left Media. “As a media sales house focused on the professional audience, the IDG solutions excite us tremendously. We know the pressure businesses are under to reach relevant audiences while generating top quality leads, and with IDG in our portfolio we have the assurance that we can deliver results in the technology vertical better than ever before! IDG brings experience, knowledge, credibility and ROI to the table for its clients. We’re very proud to be associated with IDG’s solutions and look forward to the relationship”.

Neil Michael, President of IDG Global Solutions added: “This is an incredibly exciting step forwards for our strategy in region and joins together our work in Middle East & North Africa to provide us more complete coverage across MEA. The modern marketer needs help with targeting the right audience with the right message at the right time, building and bringing in sales pipeline to their businesses and help with their content marketing programs. By combining Turn Left Media’s regional marketing & sales expertise with IDG’s deep understanding of technology audience and buyer behaviour and reach into Sub-Saharan Africa we are certain that this partnership will bring incredible value to regional technology customers.”

For more information contact Marius Greeff at or visit

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Announcing a global first in the marketing field

In the Mckinsey and Company report on ’The coming era of on-demand marketing’, Peter Dahlstrom states that ‘digital marketing is about to enter more challenging territory. Building on the vast increase in consumer power brought on by the digital age, marketing is headed toward being on-demand – not just ‘always on’, but also always relevant, responsive to the consumer’s desire for marketing that cuts through the noise with pinpoint delivery.”

It’s exactly what the entrepreneurial creators of ABIE from Trial Run Media had in mind when they conceptualised the world’s first network of Automated Business Intelligence Engines (ABIEs), launching this Spring, that offers on-demand content like free samples and loyalty rewards, linked to automatic data collection. The Intellectual Property is owned by Trial Run.

While sampling isn’t new, it has never been automatically linked to data.

What Trial Run Media has created is a consumer experience radically integrated across the physical and virtual environment. With Trial Run, consumers are in charge of the marketing experience. They choose the ‘content’ – a FREE sample of the brand they want to try – by entering a campaign URL into the browser of their smart phones. They are then prompted to enter their name and cellphone number, after which, they effortlessly receive a code to enter into ABIE’s keypad to release the sample.

A live dashboard tracks each sample in real-time and connects it to the recipient’s mobile phone, creating an instant feedback loop that connects consumers to the brand world on their own terms.The holy grail of marketing is cracking the code that would see consumers choosing to interact with a brand or business. Trial Run allows consumers to choose their marketing experience and their engagement is tracked, leading them down a funnel towards purchase, loyalty and personalised engagement.

Appointment sampling is dead. Gone are the days where consumers have to purchase a magazine to try a new product or be harassed in a shopping mall to get their valuable attention. On-demand sampling is the new disruptor that puts the consumer in charge and gives brands and businesses access to instant business intelligence.

Founders Ursula McDonald and Pippa Capstick call it ‘Advertising on-demand’.

Ursula explains, “Trial Run will give brands the data they need to make informed business decisions, understand who their market is and reward their most loyal consumers.”

Pippa sees exciting engagement possibilities with consumers: “When someone has chosen to try your brand, they want to hear your brand story and with Trial Run the possibilities are endless – you can share videos, you can chat in real-time, you can invite consumers to events and even direct them to your online store in the moment when they have your brand in their hand.”

But much of their focus has been on creating value to the sales funnel. “Trial Run connects traditional advertising to the trial of a product effortlessly,” explains Ursula. “Brands can add a Trial Run short campaign URL to their TV or print adverts, social media posts and in-store collateral. Consumers will receive a code with a link that tells them which ABIE is closest to them.  Or they have the option of simply accessing the code whilst standing in front of the machine, with the added option of a QR code.  We know that trial is fundamental to getting consumers to switch brands and Trial Run makes this effortless for both brands and consumers.”

The marketing can also be time or location based. “Follow up marketing messages can easily be tailored for the time of day when consumers are receiving a sample or relevant to the location in which they are receiving them,” says Pippa. “Imagine the loyalty possibilities – who wouldn’t thank you for a FREE umbrella when it’s raining?  That’s the power Trial Run can bring to your marketing arsenal.”

It’s a new concept, never before tried anywhere in the world but these two marketing pioneers are excited about the measurable results Trial Run can deliver.  “We can offer 24/7 automatic sampling, automatic stock control, automatic POPI compliant data collection and an instant data driven marketing campaign,” explains Ursula. “There is no wastage, no pilferage and results are measured in real-time. Promotions can also be automated linked to real-time sales. It’s the switch machine marketers have been waiting for.”

At launch Trial Run’s footprint will extend across 50 malls in Gauteng, offering 1.9 million sampling opportunities monthly across multiple consumer profiles. This will soon extend to malls nationwide as well as corporate offices, gyms, airports, retail environments and schools nationwide.

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The value of published media, an ironic lesson from Netflix

Over the past few years much has been said about the demise of print and the perception that the traditional printed word is no longer the force it used to be. However, it seems that we may be coming full circle as once again the written word is being used to entertain, promote and educate.

 This is particularly evident when companies that are primarily focussed on visual media are opting to make use of published media. Take Netflix for example, the streaming service is using a tactic far removed from the nature of its service to make the best of its movies and TV series stand out. Netflix has announced that it will be publishing its own magazine to, called Wide, to promote their own stars and programmes ahead of the 2019 Emmy Awards. The first issue of Wide is set to launch in June this year.

“As the world of publishing is constantly evolving, we are seeing more innovative uses of the written word to encourage more reading,” says Josephine Buys, CEO at The Publisher Research Council (PRC). “These examples are by no means a once off, but rather a demonstration of the power of reading matter.”

A prime example of encouraging more reading takes place in London where tube commuters are able to read short stories, printed on eco-friendly paper and dispensed free by vending machines installed at Canary Wharf. Author of the short stories, Anthony Horowitz, notes: “What appealed to me was that I travel on the tube every single day and I see everybody buried in apps and games.” These same vending machines have also been installed in locations across France, in Hong Kong and the US.

“The written word provides a depth that is extremely difficult to replicate on other media platforms,” says Buys. “The Publisher Research Council has made great strides in conducting research that promotes the value of reading versus listening, viewing or glancing.”

Many global studies reaffirm this with statistics proving time and time again that time spent with print media is more focused. A Newsworks survey, conducted by PwC discovered that for 60% and 58% of the time spent reading newspapers and magazines respectively, readers are focussed solely on that medium, concluding that a trusted medium, that people choose to pay attention to is more important than ever. *

Insights from the South African Establishment Survey (ES) show that people who read earn more than their non-reading counterparts, across the entire spectrum of society. According to the ES only half of South Africans read newspapers and magazines monthly. However, this percentage grows the higher one moves up the SEM (Socio-Economic Measure) scale. In SEM SuperGroup (SG) 5, the top 10% of the population, 77% read. This same SG also has the highest household income, demonstrating that reading is the key to success and a better life. **

Anyone who has ever studied for an exam or test, knows that reading is the best way to learn, and that the longer one studies the more familiar one becomes with the course material.  Reading media, whether newspapers, magazines or online provides a depth of information unlike any other media. The ability to put it down, pick it up and assimilate information at your own pace is all too often overlooked.

“The PRC’s online library is a rich repository of information that marketers, advertisers and media agencies can draw from,” concludes Buys.

For more information, please visit the PRC’s website at



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The dilemma of leadership in the advertising and media industry

Chris Botha, Group Managing Director of Park Advertising

Maria Ramos appointed CEO of Park Advertising Group (NOT REALLY…)

A similar news headline recently caught my eye: “Maria Ramos tipped to head up Eskom unbundling”. WHAT? I naively thought to myself. A bank CEO is going to manage the unbundling of a state owned enterprise? What does she know about electricity generation?

While Maria has a massively impressive CV, electricity generation and the unbundling thereof, is a different kettle of fish all together. Oh how narrow minded I am sometimes. While time will tell how successful Ms Ramos will be at this exercise, my reaction in itself caused me to think a bit more about the advertising and marketing industry’s approach to leadership.

Look at every big advertising and media agency in South Africa and you will find one thing in common when it comes to their senior management profile – they are people who, for the most part, grew up in the industry and in all likelihood practised the trade at some point, and then got promoted to leadership. Brett Morris (CEO of FCB) is a copywriter by trade. Alistair Mokoena (CEO of Ogilvy) has a marketing background by trade. Most media agency leaders (including myself) come from media strategy / media owner / marketing backgrounds. We are not ex-lawyers, ex-bankers or ex-doctors.

I find that strange. Surely to lead a marketing business, you don’t really need to have a marketing background. You need to be able to lead people. You need vision to grow a business and have the ability to see the opportunity that others don’t. Sure, industry experience helps, but it is not the be-all and end-all.

How are leaders in our industry chosen? Often, the position goes to someone who is ‘likeable’ and a natural ‘people’s person’. Oh, and often very good at their job. But is that the real qualities that we need in a leader? I don’t think so.

As some of you will know – I am a rugby fanatic. A not so well known gentleman Steve Tew is one of my heroes. He is the CEO of New Zealand Rugby. Steve took over the reins in NZ in 2007 after the country got knocked out of the Rugby World Cup by France. He was not a provincial rugby player. He had never coached a provincial rugby team. So why is he my hero?

  1. He led NZ rugby to become the most dominant force in sport winning every single trophy and world cup since he took over.
  1. He signed broadcast deals that have massively improved the profitability of NZ rugby and helped the country retain some of their best talent.
  1. He created a structure where all players are centrally contracted, ensuring that NZ Rugby always has their best players, playing for the best union, and are centrally managed and controlled.

Interestingly, he appointed Steve Hansen as NZ rugby coach (a man who only played a small handful of provincial games). The rest is history. Their success is unrivalled not only in rugby, but in any sport. Jake White was one of South Africa’s best rugby coaches who similarly never played any provincial rugby of significance.

Back to advertising Chris….

I would love to know what Maria Ramos would do, should she be appointed Group MD of Park Advertising (owners of The MediaShop and Meta Media). Some might assume that just because she has never spent a day in a media agency, she would not be able to do an amazing job.  Well quite the opposite might in fact be true. The fact that she doesn’t know our legacy issues should count in her favour. The fact that she doesn’t know what agency commission is might well lead her to structuring a far more common sense approach to agency remuneration. She is clearly a strong leader, a strategic visionary, and a vastly intelligent leader. I would personally love to see what she does after spending a few weeks in our business.

I think the boards of major media and creative agencies need to relook how they appoint their leaders. Knowing the ins and outs of our industry, I believe, can be taught in a few months. But real leadership instinct is something that no amount of years can develop if you don’t have it. I challenge everybody to cast the net wider.

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It’s here! MAPS goes into the field!

The Marketing Association of South Africa (MASA) and the Marketing Research Foundation (MRF) are delighted to announce that MAPS, the long-awaited products and brands replacement survey for AMPS, will officially start collecting valuable consumer insights from July 2019.

 MAPS is a modernised, updated and enhanced survey focused on consumer insights. Built on the legacy of AMPS, it includes product and brand research designed for marketers and media planners which is independent from any commercial interests, is transparent and neutral. The MAPS survey will be available on an exclusive basis to subscribers that sign up for it. The pre-launch subscription drive to meet the funding requirements of a study of this scale has been successfully completed, with a majority of SA’s top 50 advertisers giving it their support.

The survey has been designed around the products, brands and intermedia needs of marketers and their agencies, providing single source insights on consumer, media and brand interaction.

“This is an exciting time for the marketing, media and advertising industry and has been a long time in coming, but I am pleased to announced that MAPS research will start in July this year,” says Virginia Hollis, Chair of the MRF. “We now have a sufficient number of committed subscribers which has enabled us to press the ‘GO’ button.

The survey will only be available to subscribers and their designated agencies, giving them a significant edge over competitors who don’t subscribe. The research will be released on a quarterly basis with a rolling 12-month sample.”

“Aside from giving subscribers by far the most comprehensive national product and brand data, MAPS will drive improved advertising effectiveness and ROI.  Subscribers have input into the research, including a marketer driven resolution to the segmentation model. It’s the familiarity and comfort of AMPS but modernised, updated and greatly enhanced,” says Greg Garden, the CEO of MASA and a director of the MRF.

“This research solution delivers what marketers and their agencies specified as important to them, filling the void left by the demise of AMPS” he concludes.  “It is not too late for further subscribers to sign up, and we look forward to welcoming additional brands to this ground-breaking research that will provide them with the most reliable insights into media driven consumer awareness purchasing and usage behaviour.”

For additional information, please contact MRF on 011 463 5340 or

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Suzuki South Africa confirms Penquin as partner agency again

In a partnership that has already enjoyed an impressive 19 years together, Suzuki South Africa has once again affirmed Penquin, the full-service results-based communications agency, as its preferred supplier.

Veronica Wainstein, Managing Director at Penquin says: “We are an agency that relies heavily on tangible results and measureable outcomes. During our 19 year partnership with Suzuki Auto South Africa, we have always measured our success based on the client’s achievements.

Almost eleven years after the company’s Automotive launch into South Africa, more than 60 000 new Suzuki vehicles are on the road with the brand having won’s Consumer Brand of the Year two years running (2017 and 2018).

“We are absolutely thrilled to see this partnership continue.”

As lead agency, Penquin manages all campaign strategies, concepts, artwork, production and media solutions for Suzuki South Africa.

Suzuki Auto South Africa’s Megan MacDonald says: “Our relationship with the Penquin team over the past near two decades has been one that took our brand from a ‘newbie’ entering South Africa to one of the most successful car brands in the country. Not only that, we have developed a solid brand personality that permeates our cars, our dealerships and our communication that continues to drive our success.

They aren’t just any service provider; Penquin is a partner in every sense of the word. We firmly believe we’re in the right hands.”

“We are 100% into building authentic connections for our client’s customers and we’re honoured to have the opportunity to continue doing so for Suzuki Auto South Africa,” says Ryan Nofal, Penquin’s Client Service Director. “It’s our ‘Way of Life’ too!”

For more information on Penquin visit

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Emerald Resort & Casino excited to join the Peermont family

Recently announced, Emerald Resort & Casino has been purchased from Caesars Entertainment by Peermont Hotels, Casinos and Resort a dominant hotel player in southern Africa.

“Its exciting news that’s extremely positive for Emerald Resort and Casino – team members and guests,” explains Mark Hands, Resort Director at Emerald Resort & Casino. “What it means for our guests is more options, more rewards and more benefits by being part of a leading gaming and hospitality group in South Africa and Botswana.”

“While Emerald Resort & Casino is a unique property, it receives limited benefit from the Caesars’ Rewards network effect given its remoteness to other properties in our network,” said Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars Entertainment. “We’re pleased to monetize this non-core asset in our portfolio, which will enable Caesars to sharpen its focus on other strategic markets.”

Peermont considers the acquisition of Emerald Resort to be mutually beneficial as it presents great opportunities for growth and development. An additional benefit of the acquisition is that Emerald Resort will be able to offer a wider range of rewards through Peermont’s Winners Circle loyalty programme.

Caesars Entertainment will continue to operate the property until the transaction closes, which is expected to be in the third quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Emerald Resort & Casino.

Tel:                              016 982 8000





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Big, bigger, biggest #ROOTS2019

Constructed, layer by layer, brick by brick, the all new ROOTS 2019 will be unveiled to the marketing, advertising and media industries this coming June. In the meantime, some influential media personalities have provided their thoughts and expectations of #ROOTS2019.

“ROOTS is one of South Africa’s largest and longest running consumer behaviour surveys and in June we’re excited to be bringing the latest research to life,” says Debbie McIntyre, Marketing Services and Research Director SPARK Media. “We enjoy receiving feedback and hearing what the people that make use of the data have to say and what their expectations of ROOTS 2019 are.”

Managing Director at Vizeum (Johannesburg), Byron John, comments: “We’ve used the previous ROOTS survey extensively across the Dentsu Aegis Network for a lot of strategic input and insights and I am excited to see how the key data touchpoints have changed, grown or developed over the last few years.

The ROOTS data has given us great insight into the suburban make-up of our diverse South African consumer(s). Putting any media strategy together should start at the what, where and how consumers access brands or products and everything else should flow from there. We’ve used it often as a geo-location ‘proxy’ (at suburb level) to inform where consumers live to establish the foundation of where the consumer narrative plays out. From a category perspective there’s a lot of data available which allows us to profile each consumer category in detail which is very valuable.

I’m looking forward to unpacking this data with the new release of ROOTS.”

Wayne Bishop, Managing Director (Johannesburg) at PHD South Africa remarks, “ROOTS has always been an insightful survey that injects significant marketing, branding and retail data into the industry. Since its inception in 1980, the survey has not only proved to highlight changes in the composition of geographical micro-economies, but has also been a constant reflection in the changes to the South African market as a whole.

Anyone interested in business growth should be a constant interrogator of the facts and data points from ROOTS. If you are not, you are missing one of the most valuable vaults of information that comes from an in-depth look into 27 000 lives and what drives their purchase habits.”

Rika Nell, Group Talent Director at Joe Public says: “I’ve been using ROOTS for more than ten years and find it invaluable at understanding community groups. Adding it to my data analysis mix not only improves my strategic decisions, but makes it easy to convince clients too.

This year I’m looking forward to a deeper dive regarding the use of Social Media and digital growth areas.”

For the June launch, SPARK Media will partner with LEGO to showcase ROOTS 2019.

“Just as LEGO encourages imagination and inspiration with their building bricks, so do we encourage that same curiosity and enthusiasm in the thorough and in-depth interrogation of the ROOTS 2019 data, providing the building bricks for marketing strategies and insightful media plans,” concludes Debbie. “We can’t wait to launch!”

ROOTS launches in Durban on the 4th of June, Johannesburg on the 6th of June and Cape Town on the 11th of June.  For more information and to book space visit or contact

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


Established in 2015, SPARK Media, a division of CTP Ltd, are experts in retail and location based marketing solutions. The company owns and represents an arsenal of print 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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