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Building bridges in 2020 to succeed together

Gareth Grant, Business Unit Manager, The MediaShop

At the end of last year, my wife travelled to New York City for business. In my boredom, I was left aimlessly Googling interesting facts about the city. Did you know for instance, that over 120 years ago five boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island) were consolidated to create the city of New York? Some of these boroughs are islands, like Manhattan and are connected to others by bridges. There are also over 2,000 bridges in New York City with 21 major bridges connecting Manhattan. This was quite interesting to me and piqued my curiosity about bridges – clearly my boredom had hit rock bottom while my wife was away. These thoughts also made me realise the similarities between these giant structures and good business relationships.

I’ve never really given much thought about bridges and the engineering behind them and yet we use them quite often in everyday life. These icons were built to span a physical obstacle in order to provide easy passage and just like linking Manhattan to the rest of New York City – bridges enable connection.

While planning for 2020, the topic of connection is very top of mind for me. No doubt about it, 2019 was a tough year with the state of our economy, load-shedding and the likes and 2020 has arrived with its own challenges. Constant alignment on plans and objectives will be key to succeed in business, and I really want to focus on making sure I am connected with my colleagues, clients, partners and the industry.

Bridges come in all shapes and sizes, just like relationships, but what they all have in common is the engineering aspects that keep them up. Firstly, they have to be built on good, solid foundations on both sides in order to have structural rigidity and withstand some of Mother Nature’s “temper tantrums”. Without solid foundations it would be difficult to construct the centre of the bridge and it would crumble. The same is true for relationships. Both sides need solid structures in place in resources, communication and processes.

Secondly, to keep the bridge in place and prevent collapse, there are several important forces that bridges must withstand. Two of the most important forces are compression and tension. These forces provide the push and pull required to keep these engineering phenomenons standing. Similarly with relationships we need to withstand some forces. There will be times where there is tension, but tension can be good if it’s constructive. After all, tension is part of keeping the bridge up. There will also be times when clients and agency partners push each other. This push is often uncomfortable, but it is in the uncomfortable situations where we grow. So if we wish to grow, be and do better in 2020, then let’s have these two forces at play.

Thirdly, a solid bridge or relationship needs to be able to withstand unforeseen forces, like extreme weather conditions, unexpected events, accidents, and unplanned changes in the industry or economy, which can all create additional stress, but when relationships (and bridges) are built on solid foundations, these can be overcome.

And finally, relationships, just like bridges will require “maintenance” in order to keep it in good standing so that both parties prosper and have a mutually beneficial year. Inspectors and engineers look for signs that indicate when a bridge is stressed and damaged. Similarly in a business relationship, communication is critical to indicate to each other when we are strained.

Personally, I look forward to what 2020 has in store for my relationships and I look forward to the gains, strength and growth that come with the uncomfortable push and pull. We may find ourselves doing things we had never thought of, and unlocking huge opportunities in the process.

I also look forward to the maintenance of my existing relationships as much as I look forward to building some solid new ones.

So let 2020 be the year where we remain strong in tense times and where we drive connection and build bridges.

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It’s love at first bite this Valentine’s Day

Cupid has requested delicious food and intimate settings this Valentine’s Day and Emerald Resort & Casino is delivering. Dress to impress and fall in love with each other all over again while enjoying superb three and four course menus at Breeze and High Stakes.

“We can always help create a lasting impression on the most romantic day of the year,” says Tanuja Gangabishun, Marketing Executive at Emerald Resort & Casino. “While our restaurants have created superb menus, the Resort is completely geared to ensure that couples, lovers, spouses, boyfriends and girlfriends have the most starry-eyed day on 14 February.”

High Stakes

For over 18s only, this four-course set menu includes a bottle of Robertson Sparkling Wine and live entertainment.

Time:   17:00 – 22:00

Price:   R260 per person


A three-course sharing menu perfectly suited for couples with a welcome drink from Bon Courage Blush.

Time:   12:00 – 22:00

Price:   R230 per person

It’s not only the Resort’s restaurants that are responding to Cupid this year. Couples can bowl their way to a free dinner for two at Breeze valued at R500 along with two Ster-Kinekor movie tickets from Pins, Emerald Resort & Casino’s popular ten-pin bowling alley, while Love Martini cocktails will be available all day long for R30 on the 14th of February.

“Whether it’s an intimate and elegant four-course set menu at High Stakes or a three-course sharing menu at our family friendly restaurant Breeze, we’ve got all our guests covered,” concludes Tanuja. “And you are invited!”

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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What is happening in 2020?

Richard Lord, Media & Operations Director, Meta Media discusses.

A new year. A new decade. And as with every new year, everyone wants to know what 2020 is going to hold in store for us in our world of media and advertising.

Already this year my inbox has been inundated with top 10 trend predictions, and I’m sure that many of yours have been too. I am not going to re-hash and regurgitate those.

Instead I am going to focus on one trend in particular that has been gaining momentum for some time now and is showing no signs of slowing down. It is a trend that, whilst having a significant impact on consumers, has yet to be fully embraced by advertisers.

That trend is the continued growth and movement of audiences to online streaming video. The pace of on-demand video continues unabated. We have a new entrant into the marketplace… Apple TV+. If the past is anything to go by, we know that whatever Apple puts their money behind is going to be successful and will drive others to follow.

The big difference between Apple TV+ and the rest is that they are taking the 100% original content approach – although Netflix and Showmax also play in the original content space.

Netflix received 24 nominations in this year’s Academy Awards. This is more than ANY OTHER Hollywood studio. This shows just how important good quality content is for attracting and keeping audiences! But they also carry content produced by the major Hollywood studios. Apple on the other hand has partnered with some superstar creators like Steven Spielberg and JJ Abrams and will only show original content. Apple TV+ is priced similarly to Netflix at around $7 per month (or R105 depending on how well the Rand is doing). But Apple is keen to incentivise trial – so if you buy any new Apple device you get a year’s free subscription to the service.

The back end of 2019 also saw the launch of Disney Plus. This is set to shake up the world of streaming video in a big way. Disney Plus will stream ALL of Disney’s vast catalogue of movies and TV shows, AND also every Marvel movie and TV show ever made, every Pixar movie ever made, every Star Wars movie and TV show ever made, plus Disney also own National Geographic and ESPN. All of that content will be available on the platform too! Talk about a powerhouse. What this means is that as Disney’s contracts with other streaming services like Amazon and Netflix come up for renewal, all Disney content will be taken off those platforms and kept exclusively as their own. We don’t know yet when Disney Plus will launch in South Africa. Tech savvy South African’s will find a work around to get the service, but don’t expect to see it officially in SA until at least 2021.

And of course, let’s not forget that South African’s also have access to Showmax, Dstv Now and YouTube, all of which have big audiences and excellent content. I have written about this before, but just to demonstrate the size of the Dstv audience watching content digitally, the 2019 RWC final between SA and England had in excess of 500,000 unique viewers on the Dstv Now platform!

What does this mean for advertisers? Well simply, it means that consumers have more choice and it’s going to become harder to pin down audiences. Whilst there is no advertising yet available on Netflix, Apple TV or Amazon Prime, it is coming soon to Dstv Now and Showmax, and YouTube have been taking ads for years. This means that it is going to cost more to reach these fragmented audiences.

But let me caveat this with a dose of reality; in order to access any of these streaming services, people need decent, high-speed internet. So over and above the monthly subscription fees that the OTTs charge, there is the added cost of data. Data in South Africa is prohibitively expensive, whether it be 4G from your cellular provider, or fibre to your home. Not everyone can afford to watch content online which means that this trend is going to affect the top-end of the market more than the mass market. But the Competition Commission is looking to the cellular providers to drastically drop the price of data and once that happens, we will see more and more people going this route.

Additionally, many companies offer free WIFI to consumers in shopping malls, airports, and taxi ranks, all of which allows consumers to watch and download content to their devices. This means that even in the mass market there are very big audiences that can be spoken to through the likes of YouTube and Viu (which hosts much of the SABC’s local content such as Uzalo, Generations and Skeem Saam).

Should you now rush off and ask your media strategist to stop advertising on TV? Of course not! TV in South Africa is still the single best media platform for reach, no other platform comes close! No, TV advertising is safe, cost effective, and will continue to work in growing your brand. However, TV advertising should be supplemented with spend on digital video platforms. The benefits are numerous:

  1. Additional reach. With more people turning to digital video as their primary (and sometimes only) form of entertainment, using TV and digital video lets brands speak to everyone.
  2. Better, cheaper, targeted reach. Whilst TV is great for speaking to the masses, it is not as targeted as we would like. YouTube and Facebook however offer loads of data to overlay onto our bookings, so we can ensure messages are seen by the right people.
  3. Expand on your message. Let’s face it, TV is expensive! A 30 second ad in Uzalo on SABC 1 costs well over R200,000! Even brands with huge budgets can only afford to buy so many spots. But because digital video is cheap, brands can flight longer ads unpacking offers, or flight multiple ads allowing for the showcasing of an entire brand range.
  4. Lastly, there are some audiences that are just impossible to speak to through any other media platform except digital! Generation Z and the hard-to-fathom millennials are very light (even non-existent) TV viewers, but they live online. If they form a part of your brand’s target audience, digital video is not only a no-brainer, but an absolute necessity in media plans!

Richard Lord is Media & Operations Director at Meta Media, South Africa’s newest media agency, and part of the IPG global network. At Meta Media we don’t just look at the numbers, we dig deeper, we look for the story behind the story. We find the “so what” to give our clients the edge, to provide real solutions based on real insights. We are real, we are authentic. We are curious!

Meta Media DNA

Meta Media is South Africa’s newest media agency, and part of the IPG global network. They are a data-led team who don’t just look at the numbers, they dig deeper and look for the story behind the story. They find the “so what” to give their clients real solutions based on real insights.

Hive Digital participates in the Unilever Media Day

Many successful campaigns have been executed using the InspiHer product range, prompting an invitation to the Unilever Media Day 2019. Media owners showcased their offerings and the audiences that they could potentially reach to Unilever marketing and brand teams. Attendees were asked to engage with the various products in fun and exciting ways, to execute potential synergies between Unilever brands and publisher products.

Hive Digital Media’s team, a division of Caxton CTP, focused on getting the audience to better understand and engage with InspiHer. InspiHer is a dynamic women’s online lifestyle network.  A variety of content types are created specifically for the clients’ target audiences with key segments used to target individual users.  Our journalists create engaging content that really talk to the needs and interests of our female users. We are able to distribute the content across a brand-safe environment to female-interest categories across the Caxton network. Through our understanding of the tone and style of each publication, we ensure the content is seamlessly integrated into the format of each branded platform.  Hive Digital Media’s online magazine All4Women is core to the InspiHer network. All4women produces content which is distributed across a variety of women’s focused publications within the Caxton business. These include Essentials, Vrouekeur, Bona, People and Woman&Home.

Hive Digital Media’s activation involved welcoming guests to our stand to engage with our stunning display of themed bags. Each bag represented an audience which could potentially be reached through the InspiHer network. The various bags represented education, fashion, beauty, food, health, parenting and home & décor.

Over a hundred guests visited our stand and completed an online quiz describing which Unilever brand they represented. Based on their answers they were matched with one of our audiences. In addition, the activation included infographics in snapper frames detailing the different audiences. By sharing this information brand managers could get a better understanding of the type audiences Hive Digital Media could provide using InspiHer and were able to emphasize multi-dimensional nature of these audiences.

Each guest who filled in their details after the quiz was automatically entered into a lucky draw to win one of the various bags on our stand. All the bags were eventually given away to a group of very happy winners a perfect end to an amazing day of information sharing and product alignment.

Brands interested in reaching an engaged female interest audience using our InspiHer offering can contact the Hive Digital Media team and request a presentation. Email or phone us on +27 10 492 8329.  For further insight visit our new website

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Social Media Trends for 2020

Charne O’Haughey, Social Specialist at Reprise Digital South Africa

It’s clear that social media has become an integral part of people’s lives, forming a large part of their daily routine. So how are we, as marketers and businesses, connecting with our target audiences in 2020, given that there is an already large flock to social platforms?

This can prove to be extremely difficult for brands, especially when it comes to standing out in an already crowded space, unless of course you have a clear social media marketing strategy fuelled by staying up to date with the latest social media trends. Below are five big moves to keep your eyes on:

The use of Ephemeral Content

As in Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp Stories (with advertising opportunities starting for the latter this year).This temporary content takes advantage of real FOMO by only being accessible for a brief period. Attention spans are short and looking at how consumers consume information on social media, being pulled here and there – scrolling – swiping – laughing – scrolling – reading –scrolling – forgetting it all, makes ephemeral content appealing and more engaging as users are encouraged to create user-generated content, partake in polls, Q&A’s and so much more. This type of content is more spontaneous and allows brands to connect in a unique way, becoming recognised as more human, relatable and reliable.

Social Commerce Expansion

While we know that dominating platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have been long used by brands to sell their products, it’s safe to say that social commerce has become a new retail avenue for brands and this is going to rise in 2020 with more brands climbing onto the bandwagon. More niche platforms will follow suit by introducing selling / shopping posts. We will see these channels becoming mainstream retail on par with retail websites and offline stores. This means that competition will be fiercer, challenging new strategies around content and implementation on these already crowded platforms.

Domination from Video Content

Across all social platforms that may have been traditionally dominated by image or text content, it is clear that the most engaging form of content is video and this goes hand in hand with mobile users. Users are twice as likely than TV viewers and 1.4 times more likely as desktop viewers, to feel a sense of personal connection to brands that show video content or ads on their devices. As data continues to become cheaper, we can expect to see a significant increase in video content consumed by South Africans.

So whether it be short ephemeral content or long form YouTube videos, it is important to utilise video content in order to stay on par in the social media domain.

Personalising segmentation

While a brand has a main identity (with many sub factors), a key aspect we are able to leverage off of is the ability to personalise ads to reach different target segments. Social platforms offer advanced targeting options, including customisation of audiences and on various platforms we can include more than one primary copy, headline copy, description copy, and customisable placements. Personalisation will continue to rise with platforms serving ads to users who have showed interests in similar products from different brands.

Customer service, customer service!

We have established that social platforms have evolved into retail platforms, product discovery platforms, awareness platforms and now customer support platforms! This trend began gradually as a result of delayed / no response through various other channels. From there, brands started directing users to the correct channels to use. It’s not just some one-off cases where customers post their questions or complaints on social media and brands respond. Now, it has become a significant enough customer service channel for brands to recognise it as one.

Social Media is dynamic, and it is important to leverage these trends which will dominate the social media landscape in 2020 in order to stay ahead of competitors and to woo consumers. Happy clicking!

Reprise Digital SA DNA

Reprise is a digital-first agency, and everything we do is rooted in understanding how consumers interact across apps, sites, IOT-devices, bots, search engines, and social platforms. We uncover your audience based upon their digital fingerprints – and build a media approach to help transform your business digitally. Reprise has the ability to fuse smart digital approaches for our media agency partners in smart and sophisticated ways.

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