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Emerald surprises over 200 orphans in the Vaal!

This past week Emerald Resort & Casino hosted over 200 youngsters from orphanages across the Vaal and surprised them with a Christmas party at Aquadome while also taking the opportunity to donate a new pair of school shoes to each child.

“This year in particular has affected us all deeply in some way or another, but there are those that have been impacted even more harshly, none more so than orphaned Vaal children,” says Gloria Mokoana, Learning & Development Manager at Emerald Resort & Casino. “Not only do these kids deserve to get spoiled every so often, but it is important to ensure that they do not feel left out when returning to school next year!”

To make their year just that little bit more bearable, Emerald Resort & Casino hosted a Christmas party for over 200 of these underprivileged kids from local orphanages based in Vanderbijlpark, Bophelong, Sebokeng and Sharpville at the Resort’s popular indoor waterpark – the Aquadome. Orphanages included Lochvaal Emfuleni, Relebohile Children’s Home, Bophelong Children’s home, Haemona Childrens Home, Matwala Children’s Home, Childline, Good Hope Care Centre and VGSA.

Which child does not love to swim and play in the pool? At Aquadome, no matter their ability, the kids were spoilt for choice, water slides past an old ship wreck, a long slow drift in the lazy river and the shallow pools. At the party, and looked after by some amazing lifeguards and the Emerald team, the kids were spoiled with lunch, swimming and time on the jumping castles before each child was presented with a brand-new pair of school shoes.

“It was a special time to see their faces light up and really enjoying themselves at Aquadome,” concludes Gloria. “Many people take the small necessities, like shoes, and just being able to play in a safe environment for granted and we were pleased to able to bring some Christmas cheer to the kids.”

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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Twitter Fleets, is Twitter giving us EVERYTHING except the edit button?

Reflwe Mangweta, Digital Campaign Manager at The MediaShop

Twitter has recently launched its version of Facebook and Instagram Stories called Fleets. As with all Stories, these disappear after a 24-hour exposure period so Twitter isn’t offering anything different on that front.


As someone who engages a lot on social media platforms, I noticed how my own patterns of consuming social media changed before lockdown – Instagram was my number one go-to! Then everyone was locked in their houses and, let’s be honest, there’s only so many pictures you can show of your house and selfies you can post so Instagram content became a bit dry. I switched and became more active on Twitter for the quick updates about everything news, reactions to world events, and to amuse myself in the shady streets of black Twitter. If I heard a rumour or something interesting my go to to verify this information is on Twitter first.

With the introduction of Fleets, many Twitter users feel that the platform is trying to conform to every other social media offering. Fleets is also on the back of Twitter having launched its audio feature allowing people to tweet in their voice, which could be argued as similar to WhatsApp’s voice note function. For brands, Twitter has also launched Carousels to help marketers reach new audiences and drive people to their website or app through multiple images or videos. This allows marketers to share a brand story, show off different products or highlight specific features – all within a single ad.


The reactions to Fleets have been true to Twitter form with people complaining that the platform isn’t unique anymore. Users are also consistently mentioning how Twitter continues to give us everything except the edit button! If you’re an active Twitter user, you understand the frustration of not being able to go back and change that dreaded spelling mistake on your tweet after you have published it. Others who, like me, enjoy Instagram are asking if they should keep Instagram seeing as though Twitter is offering them all that they have on Instagram and then some. Twitter is a very conversational platform and now with the addition of the imagery and audio function I think that many people may revert to an either-or situation.


So, what does this mean for brands?


Twitter may have also seen consumer behaviour changes during this pandemic and is now catering to a broader market, particularly when it comes to brands. The combination of Carousels and Fleets means that brands run some really cool campaigns, and that Fleets paired with great imagery and short-form video content can result in great brand awareness and engagement. The Fleets can be used nicely to launch new products by running teasers and then later a big reveal. They can also be great for a brand that is rebranding. In a nutshell, the Twitter space for brands is opening up nicely and challenging marketing teams to come up with some really great and innovative content to reach the wide audience Twitter has available.

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More drama as another local soapie gets canned!

Isabel Smit, Implementation Planner at The MediaShop

We all love a good drama.  Following our favourite characters, seeing them grow, falling in love and witnessing the newly created love triangles.  Discussing or more accurately, arguing with your friends and fellow soap lovers on how the latest plot will end.

Well, in line with the 2020 plot, here’s another surprise!  On the 16th of July 2021, one of the most popular and highest ranking TV shows’ plot will come to an end.  After 13 seasons, with the first episode that aired on the 9th of July 2007, Rhythm City’s last episode will be aired on

Not the plot twist we saw coming, or did we?

With the TV channels fighting to keep the audience’s attention, creative storytelling and new ideas are more important than ever.  We all know the phrase local is lekker and over the past few years, local TV productions have performed really well.  Not only do they fulfil language requirements but they also have to inspire and entertain jaded audiences.  Customers are more demanding and diversity of choice is reshaping the local drama and soapie categories. According to Futurefact 2019, 86% of South African adults agree that they “like to watch TV programmes where our social and cultural issues are part of the story”.  This is evident in the Top 20 programmes where 90% are locally produced shows.

It is important that producers and channels get local content and mandates right.  The SABC for example, have to serve both a public broadcasting service and a public commercial service mandate.  ICASA sets local content quotas of 55% for the public broadcast channels (SABC1 and 2) and 35% for the public commercial service (SABC3).  The SABC Annual Report of 2019 shows that all three channels exceeded the local content requirements.

Quality content is key, shows need to be able to continuously inspire and connect with the viewer. Audience ratings is probably the most basic test to a programme’s success.  Good ratings in turn draws advertising revenue.

Take Uzalo for example;  the most popular drama on SABC 1 with a viewership of 11.4 million people in April down to 8.8 million in October.  The producers of this show were told to come up with a more creative story line or stand the risk of being canned after it was criticized for being “boring”.  This seems like a Generations 2.0 scenario.

What started off as a three-month contract, Rhythm City has accumulated millions of viewers over the past 13 years and peaked at almost six million viewers in 2020.  As a local production, no doubt the impact will be felt on your TV plans, with one spot accounting for over 9% reach against an All Adults audience. It is consistently ranked in the Top 10 most-watched prime time soap operas in the country.

The show has taken us from a four roomed home, following the Generos and the Ndlovu empires in the entertainment space. Moving between the townships and the suburbs, filled with industry conflicts, backstabbing, love and pain, good and evil to winning the Best TV Soap award at the 2020’s Saftas. has given no specific reason for the cancellation, other than “part of a business strategy”.  Audience numbers were expected to increase over the lockdown period, but the numbers have gradually reduced back to almost 4mil.  This opens up the speculation as to why the show is being cancelled. Their managing director, Marlon Davids, said in a statement that “ continues to look forward to fulfilling its mandate of producing exceptional and relevant local content”.

What we do know is that it will be replaced with another locally produced show. Given the revenue that has gained for Rhythm City in advertising spend in October alone (over R35mill), we can expect that it must be something that they believe will drive not only viewership but also increased revenue. We will watch this space…

E-Commerce is experiencing an accelerated process of change

Jarred Mailer-Lyons, Head of Digital at The MediaShop says that the future of e-commerce has arrived earlier than expected thanks to COVID-19 and that while this is good for brands that have an online presence, there is still a vast disconnect between brands and consumers throughout the marketing funnel.

As we begin to slowly transition from managing the pandemic to the recovery of the economy, it’s clear that the period of lockdown and a pandemic of this scale and magnitude is bound to have a significant impact on our lives. Of course, we will return to some sort of normality in the coming months, but there’s no doubt that much will change… possibly forever. Covid-19 has altered the way we think, behave and act in more ways than one.

These emerging changes can be seen across all spheres of life – from how we work through to the ways we shop. These shifts are having significant implications for brands and retailers alike.

I’ve always had a keen interest in spotting a fad that has potentially become a longer-term trend over time and when it comes to specific categories and verticals, we know very well that trends and fads tend to come and go. While trends tend to gain widespread momentum, fads appear in contained bursts sometimes only affecting or appealing to a smaller group. A trend is really just the staying power that’s brought upon through the change in behaviour.

We definitely can’t associate the current pandemic to a trend but the significance of life span is quite relatable. With the changes in behaviours that have been created as a by-product of COVID-19, many of the longer-term changes in consumer behaviour are still being formed, giving companies an opportunity to evolve and help shape the ‘next normal’.

Behavioural changes

Let’s put it into perspective – I am sure many can attest to making and breaking a New Year’s resolution. I’m the first to admit that New Year’s resolutions just don’t stick – for me at least! Putting your mind to something is simple enough to construct in your head but actually adapting to this new way of life is one of the most difficult learned behavioural changes – sometimes it’s even more difficult to break certain behaviours than to teach new ones.

Anyone who has ever made and broken a resolution can appreciate the difficulty of behaviour change. Making a lasting alteration in behaviour is rarely a simple process. We’re human beings and we crave a sense of comfort and are often unwilling, or resistant to change especially in the early stages of making such a commitment. It’s been well over eight months now since we went into our first lockdown and we can definitely start seeing the effects of a pandemic and how humans have naturally adapted. As the months pass on by and we continue adapting to the ‘new normal’, more behaviours are bound to emerge. However, in this short space of time we have definitely started seeing some of these subtle changes.

COVID-19 has certainly accelerated digital in what was predicted to take years to achieve and research is saying that consumers globally, have shifted their spending from in-store into the ecommerce space, some are calling it ‘compressing 10 years of anticipated digital growth into a matter of weeks’. Local channels and ecommerce sites are seeing significant lifts in audiences, browsing time on site, online purchasing spikes and bigger basket sizes. The future has definitely came early as consumer activities and preferences have somewhat shifted due to the shutdown of the economy but fear of catching the virus and spreading it onto those more vulnerable has really altered the way that consumers at least in the short term, transitioned from making purchases in-store to being forced into and becoming familiar and comfortable within the ecommerce eco-system.

But this type of behaviour change is not as linear as we think – let’s not forget about the New Year’s resolution example I spoke about earlier because the stickiness of this behaviour change or trend if you like, will really depend on the satisfaction of the consumer throughout their ‘new’ experience and that’s why it’s vital for ecommerce players to adapt and build their user journeys to cater to all users in that they’re simple and seamless – making that transition easier and enjoyable for the consumer in order to make sure that the ‘stickiness’ sticks!

Regaining trust in e-commerce

I’m sure like many, I’ve also had my fair share of online purchase and delivery fails but COVID-19 has re-ignited my trust in the ecommerce space. For me the fear of catching the virus when it was at its peak really spoke to the fundamental need for safety (Maslow’s law) which translated into me moving my regular daily shop in-store to a weekly online transaction regardless of the fair share of negative experiences I had in the past. The sense of fear diluted those previously constructed notions I had around the online purchase journey and what I noticed throughout this process of personal change is that brands, channels and retailers have come a long way in transforming this eco-system from click right the way through to live tracking and timeous delivery. For me, that fear led to an immediate short-term adjustment which has now become an instilled behaviour change thanks to the benefits and convenience of online purchasing.

Of course, I am a sample of one but I have no doubt that others are certainly experiencing the same outcomes and these changing consumer behaviours require brands, if they haven’t already, to start thinking about how they change their business behaviours because the future is now and if you decide not to adapt then you could very well become a case study of the past – much like Kodak did when digital photography took off and Kodak just wasn’t ready for it.

Digital is indeed revolutionizing how consumers learn about and engage with brands and how companies learn about and engage with consumers. If we look at the traditional shopping model – its inherently a social experience and with evolving technology, shopping is changing and becoming more social by placing commerce at the heart of where people socialise online.

I recently attended a Facebook short course facilitated through GIBS which really turned the intent-based purchase behaviour that we know on its head, in that with the growth in time spent browsing social channels, Facebook noticed a significant shift with their audiences globally from intent based purchases to a new world of discovery commerce – where products find people. With consumers today being constantly connected, browsing products on the go and comparing prices, it has most certainly become a place where FMCG brands need to look to position themselves and tap into this discovery phase.

The marketing funnel

The problem is that there is a complete disconnect between the top and bottom of the funnel. The top being that which the brands invests in media to drive a marketing objective and bottom of the funnel where transaction takes place on a partner’s retail ecommerce site. Because the brand and ecommerce site don’t necessarily talk to each other, there is a complete lack of data being transferred between the two which is like gold to the FMCG brand and therefore these brands are sometimes at the mercy of their ecommerce counterparts. Trying to understand sales funnel, drop off, loyalty and repeat purchase cycles are data points that FMCG brands may never come to know unless they take the plunge and build an ecommerce site

While there is sometimes opportunity in creating a category specialist ecommerce platform that caters to all brands hosted under a single stable, most shoppers see FMCG products as part of a wider shop, meaning they want the convenience of finding everything under one roof and not the hassle of having to visit a host of websites to buy each item. Which then makes FMCG brands question whether the ecommerce platforms they are partnered with are offering their customers value and benefit which of course also ties into the latest trends we’re seeing as an outcome of COVID-19.

While there are many predictions out there in terms of ecommerce trends that will stick beyond the post-COVID-19 world, we do know that if ecommerce growth especially in the FMCG space is set to continue at an accelerated pace then convenience, personalisation, seamless ordering and delivery need to become the key pillars in which to adapt to this changing market.

So while you may be an FMCG brand trying to understand what the future holds or just an ecommerce retail site that facilitates the transaction and delivery between the brand and the consumer – these are some key FMCG ecommerce category trends and insights to look like out for in the coming months and so you can have the right conversations, adapt to the times and ensure overall business success.

1.It’s about interrogating and understanding the individual shopper journeys and buying habits… because they have changed – through the refinement of this data, it will allow you to create personalised recommendations and even inform the creation of products which will in turn drive loyalty.

  1. By doing this we can also hopefully find ways to alleviate the issue that most ecommerce stores have with regards to online basket abandonment and find simpler and shorter paths to purchase.
  1. With economic uncertainty and the consumer’s looking to brands for value during a recession, targeted and instant redeemable rewards will help strengthen the brands quest to drive loyalty and win share of wallet regardless of whether this is done through the ecommerce channel or the brand.
  1. Let’s not forget that we’re a mobile first market and geo-targeting will play an even larger role pull in consumers in on the go or at least encourage impulse spend online.
  1. It’s about versatility, speed and convenience all round – from the consumer clicking to make a purchase right the way through to the delivery experience.
  1. Lastly, think beyond your traditionally digital owned channels. Social commerce is growing at a rapid rate and consumers are adapting their buying behaviours to new technology outputs like Voice Commerce, Conversational Commerce and Bots.

Thankfully as a country we’re adaptable and one of the most susceptible nations to change – I’ve seen and heard many local businesses owners changing their business model and adapting their product to the changing needs brought upon by COVID-19, and for FMCG brands to continue their growth trajectory, they need to remain engaged, agile and productive to sustain business growth in the long term.1It’s no longer the big beating the small, but rather the fast beating the slow.

–               Eric Pearson, CIO, International Hotel Group.

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The MediaShop: Most awarded at this year’s Assegais

On the back of being named Network Media Agency of the Year at the AdFocus Awards, The MediaShop has claimed victory again at the Assegai Awards, entering and winning five awards, making it the most awarded media agency on the night.

Originating in 1998, the Assegai Awards acknowledge and award Integrated Marketing campaigns that deliver exceptional results. According to its website, since inception, the DMSA (Direct Marketing Association of South Africa) Assegai Awards have striven to benchmark the South African Direct Marketing industry, to highlight best-in-class examples and encourage all players in the industry to work towards achieving greatness in their campaigns.

 Chris Botha, Group Managing Director at Park Advertising says that the team at The MediaShop can be exceptionally proud. “The team should be, and are, bursting with pride today. Winning awards on the back of solid, innovative campaigns that provide a real return on investment for our clients is extremely rewarding and confirms that the agency is consistently making a difference to our client’s bottom lines – by thnking differently.”

The MediaShop received four Leader Awards for clients Debonairs, Fishaways, DSTV and SA Tourism and one Silver Award for DSTV.

“Congratulations to the teams involved in these campaigns and a big thank you to our clients that continue to work with, and encourage us, to produce award winning and tangible results.”

For more on The MediaShop visit, like them on Facebook: The MediaShop, follow them on Twitter @MediaShopZA or LinkedIn.

The MediaShop:

The MediaShop is South Africa’s most established, most awarded, most transformed media agency, and member of the Nahana Communications Group of specialist agencies, each with their own independent structures, cultures and management teams, and a desire to work together where synergy exists.

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