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Mass Personalisation – A Targeting Paradox

Isla Prentis, Head of Tirisano Consulting at The MediaShop

If you are anything like me, then you start your year off by reading all the different trends and predictions for the upcoming year – 2020 was no different except that there were trends for the entire decade! In amongst these trends was one that received a lot of hype – personalisation.

Whenever a trend has that much hype, I worry about it. Why? Well when a trend is overhyped the term tends to be thrown around for the sake of appearing to be on trend (often misinterpreted) rather than by understanding it and applying it correctly. So let’s unpack this trend.

First we need to rewind and remind ourselves of the context. In the early 2000s marketing focus shifted from mass to one-on-one as we realised that audiences are not all like minded. But there was a major flaw with this approach. Individual communication at the time was extremely cost intensive, which meant that brands started to reduce their audiences.

Behavioural economics and marketing science provide us with empirical evidence that we need to broaden reach and target the category. If you aren’t yet familiar with these methods, a great starting place is Byron Sharp’s book “How Brands Grow”. We also learn from behavioural science that people are led by their hearts. Even when we think that we are making a logical, thought through purchase decision, it is mostly our brain working overtime to justify what the heart wants. So when we remember that audiences are not machines but groups of human beings then we must realise that brands need to connect through different emotions.

So as we enter this new decade we need to remember to look at all the learnings and string them together rather than just focusing on the latest trend or buzzword. We need to be intensely careful that the trend of personalisation does not take us back to the era of one-on-one communication described earlier. We don’t want to repeat past mistakes.

Let’s look at what else we know to find a place for personalisation. It is unclear who first said “Understanding is deeper than knowledge. There are many people who know me but not many who understand me” but it is a quote that I like to refer to because it reminds us that we need to strive to understand the human beings that make up our markets in order to resonate. There are many things that allow us to connect to emotions – names, interests and language are just a few to come to mind.

When looking through the web for an example to share, I was also reminded that mass personalisation is by no means new and it has been a topic of conversation for quite a number of years already. So rather than sharing an example that is just the latest, I’ve chosen to share an example that illustrates the concept of mass personalisation the best. I’m sure you’re all familiar with this campaign (after all, if I use an example you don’t know about – was it really successful at achieving the mass part of the equation). This campaign was particularly successful because they customised it for each market, and then continued to grow the story subsequently.

And so it is with this in mind that personalisation has a place and a chance to make a real impact. Personalisation allows us to use technology – analytics, AI and machine learning to understand the humans that we are talking to and adapt communication to the individual at scale. And that is how we create this paradox of mass personalisation – we can aim to reach the entire category but still connect with each and every one of them individually.

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OMC’s ROAD data paints healthy picture for Out of Home industry

Shot of a traffic on the motorway

For the first time ever, the Outdoor Measurement Council (OMC) launched its latest iteration of ROAD data virtually, covering the 2016/17/18 fused data results after interviewing a total of 45 466 respondents over the three-year period.

Trish Guilford, General Manager of the OMC, said that the OMC and partners, Ask Afrika, Kuper Research, Cuende Infometrics and Telmar had an interesting time leading up to the launch. “OOH continues to be a medium with robust, usable data that definitely assists the industry in providing clients with world class research and justifications for proposals,” she said.

“In total, this three-year fusion resulted in more than 13.4 billion impressions made up of 80% reach of All Adults with an average frequency of 621. Since our last release we have also grown our members to 22. The added growth has meant more trip analysis for more panels.  We now have over 6 800 panels on the Quantum system of which just over 6 500 are visible and available for agencies and clients to plan against.”

Methodology highlights of the research were presented by Lauren Shapiro, Managing Partner of Kuper Research who emphasised that OOH research is more fluid than other media types and that each release of the travel survey will represent a different sample with different travel patterns.

“Due to Covid-19, we have not been in field with our Travel Survey questionnaire.  Ask Afrika did complete just a portion of our interviews during February and the first half of March and therefore will have to complete the wave of 2020 data at the beginning of 2021 if all goes well and we don’t encounter the projected second wave of the virus.  We will reassess the situation again in 2021 and are therefore looking at alternative ways to deal with interviewing respondents” Lauren said.

With the move to change over from static billboards to digital plans, Lelanie Butler, Acting Sales and Marketing Director at JCDecaux shared the algorithm which the OMC has adopted to evaluate DOOH audiences.  The OMC launched this algorithm to the industry in April. Lelanie reminded the audience that the old way of taking the audience and dividing it by the number of ads in the loop is incorrect.  She shared the variables and information that is needed to be taken into account in order to get more accurate audience figures.

During the launch, international guest speaker Kym Frank, President of GEOpath, the Out of Home measurement, joint industry council equivalent from the United States of America stressed that the OOH industry globally has taken strain. She said that even though advertisers were concerned at the lack of travel around the States, data showed that people were still moving around quite a lot. She also said that the advent of Covid has placed increasing importance on available research globally, with advertisers demanding more data and more recency.

Trish adds: “The OMC is striving to close the gap in our research releases despite now being able to work on the 2016/17/18 data that is more up to date than what the industry has had until now. Therefore, our next release is planned for mid-2021 and will be the fused data covering 2017/18/19, with the consistent 45 000 sample size.

There is so much more information to share! What has come through the research, especially after speaking with our overseas counterparts, is that the world is a small place and it is heartening to know that the challenges we face are not that different to the rest of the world. DOOH, coupled with programmatic buying, is becoming a prominent advertising platform, globally and here in South Africa.

We continue to strive for the highest quality ROAD research, giving our members, media agencies and clients the most realistic audiences and data possible in order to effectively and efficiently plan OOH,” says Trish.

The full recorded presentation will be available online soon at for those who missed the online launch.

About the Outdoor Measurement Council

The OMC (Out of Home Measurement Council) is a non-profit Joint Industry Committee that has been incorporated to provide buyers of Out of Home Media with a currency and survey that allows for efficient and accurate OOH planning.  It produces consolidated, inclusive and representative research covering the key OOH formats, commencing with Static Roadside panels in South Africa including the panels from all Out of Home participating Media Owners.  The JIC aims to market and grow the OOH advertising industry within South Africa.

Issued on behalf of the Outdoor Measurement Council

For further information, please contact Trish Guilford

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Coronavirus: Complacency Is South Africa’s Biggest Challenge

The second wave of Coronavirus will arrive soon if South Africans become complacent and no longer take precautions. This was the warning from Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, who notes that as of the middle of October 2020, the number of new infections that have been remaining steady at around 10 000 a week, are starting to increase. “It’s still vitally important to remember that the virus is still here, and everyone should take steps to protect themselves and others from the infectious disease,” the minister explained. His warning came just days before he and his wife tested positive for the virus.

Until a safe, effective and widely available coronavirus vaccine is developed, there will continue to be a risk of infection, even as people get back to work, school and a more normal life. Nearly 8 months of wearing masks, sanitising and washing hands constantly are taking its toll and many are tired of the restrictive hygiene protocols. “Complacency is the biggest threat we face,” noted a WHO spokesman. Blood studies done around the world suggest that fewer than 1 in 10 people has had the coronavirus so far, leaving the potential for new waves of infection to spread.

“As business owners, employers and community leaders, we have a responsibility to protect those in our care from contracting the coronavirus”, says Prevan Naidoo, Director Hygiene Zone. “Proactive solutions are now available in South Africa to protect everyone, especially in high traffic areas.”  Naidoo is referring to the launch of an anti-microbial film developed by the Hexis Group in France. In a written statement the HEXIS Group announced that their patented technology, developed and marketed since 2013, is active in combating the viral load of coronaviruses. The characteristics of the antimicrobial protective films reduce coronavirus viraemia by 95% after contact of 15 minutes, and nearly 99.9% after contact of one hour (compared to an untreated membrane).

Internationally businesses like restaurants, gyms and retail outlets are offering customers increased protection by wrapping high touch zones like door handles, fitness equipment and food preparation areas with the specialised antimicrobial film. “It’s a good visual reminder, “says the owner of a restaurant in California, “It reminds customers that we are still in the midst of a pandemic while offering protection from silent spreaders – asymptomatic people who carry the virus but show no symptoms”. The transparent film has also become a common sight across South Korea, covering lift buttons, shopping trolley handles, touch screens and public toilet seats. “It’s an efficient way to offer protection to our customers,” says a retail owner, “Ensuring public spaces offer maximum protection is good for business and it’s our way of proving to customers that we take their safety seriously.”

All communal environments contain many different types of bacteria and microbes, and whilst not all are dangerous, some are. A case study carried out in two medium-sized primary schools in the UK measured the difference between an anti-microbial film protected school and a school where no film was applied. The schools were chosen for their similarities in use, location and demographics. The anti-microbial film was applied to computer desks, chairs, door handles, light switches, liquid soap dispensers, bookcases and storage units at the test school. A weekly collection of swab samples was collected before and after the school day and processed in a microbiology laboratory to isolate, count and identify the bacteria recovered. A comparison of the average number of bacteria recovered from the surfaces protected by the anti-microbial film revealed almost 96% less bacterial contamination than in the unprotected school.

“We trust that the public environments we go to every day are hygienically cleaned, “says Naidoo. “Anti-microbial films add a layer of protection and peace of mind. The film doesn’t miss spots or hard to reach places and it’s working 24/7.”  As complacency becomes the biggest factor in deciding whether South Africa is hit by a second Coronavirus wave, anti-microbial films may just be the proactive solution needed to help keep that threat at bay.

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Brent Lindeque and Mark Sham team up to bring even more good news!

Suits and Sneakers Founder Mark Sham has teamed up with South Africa’s Good Things Guy Brent Lindeque to bring bigger and better vodcasts that share good news about ordinary South Africans doing extraordinary things.

The video interviews will be recorded in the Suits & Sneakers studios and will feature guests Mark Sham, Mandy Weiner, Joe Black, Catherine Constantinides, Proverb and more.

“Mark Sham and I have a long and innovative history but more importantly, we have shared values of spreading happiness which makes this partnership all the more special,” says Brent.

The Good Things Guy vodcasts will be shared weekly on all GTG digital platforms and the team is also open to hearing about other inspiring candidates to interview. “We’re looking to feature South Africans who are doing truly good things that have the potential to change not only their immediate community but our country,” says Brent. “Good news is honestly all around us, if you just know where to look.”

Mark, who has recently launched a series of Happiness workshops adds: “I’ve always wanted to help people and believe that informal learning can change the world. It’s been a great journey so far but like Brent I’m very purpose driven and my goal is to be as happy as possible. I also truly believe that 2020 is the year to spread happiness. We’re very excited to watch this interview series evolve and grow.”

The first episode can be viewed here: or

The Good Things Guy can be found at, on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

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I say Sponsorship and you say?

Mention the word ‘sponsorship’ in a media agency or client briefing and the eye rolls may start faster than most budgets can be spent. The fact is that Sponsorship as a function is no longer as relevant as it once was. It has a purpose, says Marketing and Integration agency G2 Connection, but that purpose has changed. Enter the world of 360˚ brand integration!

“Nothing is ever going to be the same again! We as an industry have to start thinking differently,” says Virginia Hollis, Co-Founder of G2 Connection. “For real brand integration to be possible, a solution that offers concrete ROI for agencies and brands has to be one that is sustainable and offers real returns no matter the medium.”

G2 Connection is an agency co-founded by Virginia and Gail Hoffman Parrish in 2019, both with extensive media and agency experience within the South African market. G2 Connection effectively integrates brands into multiple touchpoints. “We receive calls on a daily basis from production agencies, and that’s where we come in, offering brands from every industry a way to fully integrate their products into exceptionally popular shows,” adds Gail.

“For example, integrating a brand into a project like Family Feud South Africa hosted by Steve Harvey may begin as a TV production but from there it can evolve into radio, digital, print, mobile, social and outdoor, providing that the brand, the message and the medium all fit. Sponsorship is no longer a matter of depositing your cash into a TV production or event and stepping back. There has to be managed continuity for the chosen brand within a quality environment.”

Steve Harvey said of the team: We have really enjoyed working with the G2 team. They have a unique ability to connect the right people, clients, brands and sponsors together across Africa.”

“KFC came on board as the headline brand for Family Feud South Africa, and we were honestly blown away by the resulting value their brand received within the show’s airing, but also from the supplemental media touchpoints that gave the brand longevity throughout the series and beyond,” says Virginia. “The show averaged over 2.1 million viewers per week among audiences over the age of 15 – a perfect target audience for KFC as more than half the audience were between the ages of 25 and 49.

Additionally, the show itself influenced a change in viewership patterns over the timeslot it ran on, increasing the audience by one million people over the first broadcast.”

Suhayl Limbada, Marketing Director at KFC said that during lockdown, most people were looking forward to entertainment for the whole family and Family Feud delivered on exactly that. “We are delighted that we have been able to not only partner with such a popular gameshow, but to bring the best family entertainment to African shores for the first time hosted by none other than comedian Steve Harvey. KFC is renowned for bringing families together over buckets of chicken and this partnership was a natural extension of that – after all what’s better than great food coupled with great entertainment.”

“YouTube enabled the audience to grow exponentially, with well over 44 million views – that’s unheard of in South Africa – and Family Feud SA regularly trended in the top three on Twitter since the commencement of flighting,” adds Gail. “The show’s social media following grew with each episode as did the value for KFC. Even when the show wasn’t on air, the social media posts continued, growing affinity for the show.”

Due to its phenomenal success, Family Feud South Africa has launched on Netflix South Africa – a completely unexpected but a wonderful acknowledgement to the success of the SA show which has provided even more opportunity for KFC to shine.

“This is just one example of how great brand integration can elevate a brand within a natural, seamless and relevant environment,” says Virginia. “Local production invariably delivers higher audiences than international shows, and in SA we have extremely talented production companies that have great formats open to integration on many levels. We can connect the right brands with the right content, and deliver great results for all parties.”

G2 Connection DNA

We connect brands to strategic, aligned communication opportunities to amplify and reinforce the creative brand message. G2 partners with leading production companies whose track record is well established in executing both quality international formats and local content for all broadcasters, including Africa. We complete our solutions offering through partnerships with highly respected PR agencies, specialist digital and mobile companies as well as all ATL media.

Issued on behalf of:                   G2 Connection

Virginia Hollis

Gail Parrish


Facebook: G2 Connection

LinkedIn: G2 Connection


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The Outdoor Measurement Council (OMC) releases latest ROAD data

The Outdoor Measurement Council (OMC) has announced the release of the fourth data set of its ROAD audience data which will take place virtually on the 20th October. ROAD is one of the largest sets of research in the market boasting a rolling sample of a massive 45,000 respondents.

Entitled ‘Navigating the Future’ the launch features international guest speaker, Kym Frank, President of GEOpath, the Out of Home measurement, joint industry council equivalent from the United States of America. Kym will provide an update on OOH measurement procedures from around the globe, the impact of Covid-19 on the industry, an update on DOOH (digital OOH) in different markets and much more.

Lauren Shapiro, Managing Partner of Kuper Research, Lélanie Butler, Acting Sales and Marketing at JCDecaux and an OMC board member and Trish Guilford, OMC’s General Manager complete the line-up.

“Lauren will be presenting our new data and highlighting the changes and other interesting information found in our new data as our technical overseer,” says Trish, “while Lélanie will be presenting an update on South Africa’s DOOH (digital OOH) measurement processes.”

Trish will provide an update on OMC’s accomplishments over the past few months and explain the processes followed to get the latest ROAD data released. “We encourage our current and potential members of the OMC, as well as our media agency and media owner partners and clients to take full advantage of this webinar. It provides a great opportunity to hear from Kym, Lauren and Lélanie and to get first hand updates of the efficacy of the Out of Home platform from around the globe.

The OMC is South Africa’s premier Out of Home industry research body and we pride ourselves on sharing the most up to date metrics and data sets to our members to ensure accurate planning with detailed audience insights,” she says.

To register for the webinar simply visit

For more information on the OMC follow @SouthAfricaOMC on Twitter or find OMC Out of Home Measurement Council on Facebook.

Issued on behalf of:                The Outdoor Measurement Council (OMC)

Trish Guilford

General Manager

T: 083 325 0404

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Trick or treat at Emerald this Halloween!

This Halloween Emerald Resort & Casino is hosting their Halloween themed night walk at Animal World on Friday 30 October. It’s trick or treat time at the zoo!

“Ever experienced Animal World after hours?“ asks Tanuja Gangabishun, Marketing Executive at Emerald Resort & Casino. “It’s going to be the spookiest destination in the Vaal this Halloween.”

Experience a Spook-tacular Halloween themed night walk on Friday, 30 October. Get the kids dressed up in their scariest costumes and bring a goodie basket to find snacks from creepy critters and ghostly ghouls. There will be free treats, kids’ entertainment, food stalls and so much more! Adults are R45 per person and it’s just R25 per kid!

“Don’t be a lazy bones! We’re creeping it real, giving you pumpkin to talk about and, of course, we’re dying to see you at Animal World,” concludes Tanuja. “It’s going to be a great Halloween – I can feel it in my bones!”

Animal World is open Wednesday to Sundays between 09h00 and 16h00. Bookings are not required! Larger group visits can be arranged by calling 016 – 982 8257 or email

View all of the Health and Safety regulations* on the Emerald Resort & Casino website at

For all other up to date information 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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What is the soundtrack to 2020?

Maggie Pronto, (Business Unit Manager) at The MediaShop takes us down the biggest moments of 2020 so far, with an accompanying soundtrack.

Yes, 2020 is a cassette! And no-one in the world has the right pencil to wheel this one back in!

I am not here for another “How Covid-19 has impacted us” discussion – we all know. We are in it and we are feeling it. Every. Single. Day

I thought that we could put a spin on C19 (see what I did there?) and look at a few stories that made the 2020 playlist – with all the feels!So here goes…

Prince Harry and Meghan step back from senior roles as royals
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced that they intend to step back from their roles in the royal family. The couple shared the news on their official Instagram handle, announcing that they wish to be “financially independent”. Apparently they have already paid off their renovations
M People – Moving on Up

 WHO declares coronavirus a global health emergency
This is probably one story that everyone wished was fake! First identified in Wuhan, China, the breakout was declared a global emergency. I don’t believe that anyone was prepared for this.
R.E.M. – It’s The End Of The World

 UK formally withdraws from EU
Members of the European Parliament (MEP) approved the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, marking the UK’s formal withdrawal from the European Union (EU). This has had a major impact on UK residents working in the EU.
Albert Hammond – The Peacemaker

 Everyone supports the front line
Citizens all around South Africa stood together and applauded those on the front line. There was most definitely a new respect for those risking their lives to assist others. Here’s a re-worked classic
Michael Jackson – Heal the World (2020)

 Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala died

I think the song speaks for itself
Ladysmith Black Mambazo – Knocking on Heavens Door

 SA lockdown
We thought it was going to be just three weeks – six months later we are finally at Level One Lockdown. We were the only country with a focus on essential products which got some fellow South Africans a bit rowdy. Here’s a few songs to highlight what are now distant memories and how we as a people pulled through!
Max Hurrell – ZOL (Unofficial Music Video by The Kiffness)
Black Lace – Agadoo

And then there was this – everyone including the President joined in on releasing some tension.
Mission Impossible Theme 

Trump is acquitted on articles of impeachment
U.S. President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate on two articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, bringing an end to the trials.
George Michael – Freedom! ’90 

Deaf community faces social barriers
The implementation of physical distancing and the wearing of face masks posed new challenges for individuals reliant on lip reading in order to communicate, but someone made a plan!
Ed Sheeran – You Need Me, I Don’t Need You

 Luxembourg becomes first to make public transport free
In order to tackle pollution and traffic congestion, Luxembourg abolished fares for trains, trams and buses, becoming the first country to do so. The government also said the move aimed to support “people with low incomes or the minimum wage.” We could surely use a page from this book!
Black Coffee & David Guetta – Drive feat. Delilah Montagu 

Summer Olympics is cancelled
Owing to the pandemic, 2020 Tokyo Olympics was postponed. Several other major sporting events were postponed to 2021, including Wimbledon, UEFA Euro and the US Open. This has also had a massive impact on sponsorships as well as broadcast.
Vangelis – Chariots Of Fire 

Oil prices hits record lows
For the first time in recorded history, the U.S. oil market dipped to negative prices. Due to lockdowns and restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, North American oil producers faced an unmatched oversupply of crude oil and not enough space to store them, leading to the crisis.
Midnight Oil – 1 – Beds Are Burning – Diesel And Dust 

NASA-SpaceX’s ‘Launch America’ takes off
We had the time – we were at home and glued to our screens like we were watching Dallas in the 80’s. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken took off for the International Space Station (ISS) in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifting off on a Falcon 9 rocket. This was the first time in nine years that humans left U.S. soil in a U.S. rocket to reach low-Earth orbit.
Elton John – Rocket Man 

Black Panther loses his battle
Chadwick Boseman’s death came as a shock to many. He will always be remembered – Wakanda Forever!
R.I.P. King / WAKANDA Theme

 Loadshedding Level 2
Because 2020 was not challenging enough already…
The Sound of Silence Original Version from 1964

‘ Legendary’: Prominent human rights lawyer George Bizos dies
Tributes poured in for veteran lawyer who defended Nelson Mandela and other anti-apartheid activists. He died at 92. President Cyril Ramaphosa described him as a” legal eagle in our country”.
Beyoncé – I Was Here (United Nations World Humanitarian Day Performance Video) 

Tremor felt in Cape Town
And just because 2020 has not been enough – a 6.2-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Southern Africa had some Cape Town residents worried. With its epicentre at a depth of 10 kilometres, there were no tsunami warnings or reports of damage.
Martika – I Feel The Earth Move


Not even Master KG was ready! The way the world has embraced this gives us great hope
Master KG – Jerusalema [Feat. Nomcebo]

If the past few months are anything to go by, no doubt there will be many more events that will be brought to life by song. There have also been events that have not been included due to their sensitivity and the fact that it may be perceived as a lack thereof.

We need all the support we can get as we go through the last few months of this year. On that note here’s the rest of the Soundtrack – some other feel good tunes to see you through when you’re having a not so great day. I’m positive that these will help

Ben E. King — Stand By Me
Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry Be Happy
Louis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
OneRepublic – Good Life
Imagine Dragons – On Top Of The World
Justin Bieber – Life Is Worth Living

Meghan Trainor – Better When I’m Dancin’
Pharrell Williams – Happy
Survivor Eye of the Tiger
Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
U2 – Beautiful Day
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Have You Ever Seen the Rain
Michael Bublé – It’s A Beautiful Day
Bob Marley – Jammin
Mango Groove – Special Star
Matthew Mole – Take Yours, I’ll Take Mine
Miriam Makeba – Qongqothwane (The Click Song)
Vulindlela – Brenda Fassie
Scatterlings Of Africa – Johnny Clegg & Juluka
Asimbonanga – Johnny Clegg & Savuka

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