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Shelf Life: new frozen yogurt chain in SA

Louise Marsland’s (@Louise_Marsland) pick of new product, packaging and design launches.

A ‘true’ brand relaunch for FleishmanHillard; new yummy yogurt Yogoorus; Carat’s mystery win; and Durex tries out a different marketing position.

The Switch: What is the currency of aspiration?

by Alistair Mokoena (@AlistairMokoena) The love of money is problematic. Many of the problems we face today can be linked to a desire to possess more. This is an important debate for us advertisers, as almost every client brief we receive asks for aspirational communication.

Digital growth for the Mail & Guardian

A short while back Mail & Guardian editor Nic Dawes told Grubstreet that the paper’s website was doing very well – with its traffic up by about 40% over the past year.

“We’re rolling out new products,” Dawes said in February this year. “We’re spending money on growing a digital business and our online traffic was up 40% last year. We sell something like 1500 iPad editions and approaching 3000 Kindle. So we’re growing and things are happening.”

That’s great news from the tough little paper that has gone from strength to strength in recent years. It is, in fact, one of the few in SA to have stable or rising circulation so it’s heart warming to hear that M&G online is also growing – especially in a market dominated by the giant News24. Grubstreet tracked down M&G online editor Chris Roper to find out more the website’s fortunes.

News24′s leap into Kenya and Nigeria

by Gill Moodie (@GrubstreetSA) Type in www.news24.co.ke to your browser or www.news24.com.ng and you get a site that looks familiar to the South African eye: it has the colour palette and lay-out of our biggest news portal, News24, but look a bit closer and you see the content is different: about Kenya and Nigeria respectively.

These two sites are, in fact, News24’s great big leap into Africa although they have started modestly and without much fanfare so that they can learn about the two markets that are so different to South Africa’s.

You might also have noticed an isiZulu News24 (that you can go to from the English-language portal) and you get the picture: News24 – which so dominates the breaking-news scene in SA – is on the march, which is interesting considering that Iqbal Surve, Independent Newspaper’s proprietor-in-waiting, has also mentioned Africa and the vernacular markets as key growth areas.

Grubstreet spoke to News24 editor-in-chief Jannie Momberg, who is overseeing the move.

Green Sky Thinking: A nudge in the right direction

by Colwyn Elder (@colwynelder) The school of Behavioural Economics, or Nudge theory as it has popularly become known, has enjoyed increasing attention from our industry over recent years. It was pushed through the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) by advocate Rory Sutherland, during his year as chairman and has been growing in popularity ever since.

Media Future: The coming to SA of the Big 4 flagship phones

Four major new phones are about to be released in South Africa. Arthur Goldstuck (@art2gee) highlights the key differentiators in the devices from Samsung, Sony, HTC and BlackBerry.

By the end of this month, South Africans will have the most dazzling choice of high-end flagship phones yet seen in this country. The launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 on April 25 will be the most high-profile, but it won’t be the only game in town.

And there will be very few surprises. The phones in question have all been officially announced, and their features trumpeted at length.

The big new contendors, along with the S4, are the Sony Xperia Z, the HTC One and the BlackBerry Q10. Time spent with prototypes or release versions of each of these does not, unfortunately, translate into being spoilt for choice; rather, it raises the bar on the confusion factor.

Analysis of 2012 Amps readership figures: what lurks beneath for SA newspapers?

by Gill Moodie (@GrubstreetSA) The ABC circulation figures tell us that South African newspaper sales with the exception of the vernacular press are in a sustained decline but the Amps readership numbers – the full-year 2012 Amps were released last week – say that most newspaper titles have maintained their readership.

What gives here?

As we puzzle over the numbers, we know that newspapers have been hammered in developed markets – particularly in the US – and as online and cellphone usage spreads and deepens in SA, we all wonder if the downward move of print circulation will accelerate to match the trends overseas.

On the other hand, there is also the view that because we are an emerging market, print still has legs in this country – particularly in the vernacular press led by the fantastic success story of the isiZulu-language Isolezwe.

What actually is the state of the health of our newspapers?

I suspect that the truth lies somewhere in between the ABC and Amps pictures but, first, let’s look at the main trends in the recently released 2012 Amps figures from the South African Audience Research Foundation.

Mixed reviews for online launch of news brand eNCA

by Herman Manson (@marklives) eNCA, the South African based satellite news channel, recently launched a beta version of their website promising “an immersive experience for users”.

eNCA should be a much bigger news brand in the South African media market than it is. Its reach is limited to subscribers to MultiChoice’s DStv platform (and more recently the SKY digital satellite platform in the United Kingdom) although it also syndicates news content to free-to-air channel e.tv. The rebranding from eNews to eNCA in late 2012 means the brand is also still new to consumers.

While it dominates satellite news and its viewership figures is nothing to sneeze at, as a news brand it can and should be much stronger. A multi-channel approach is required to build any media brand today, and with revenue under pressure, the stakes for this business could not be higher.

Remgro, which owns a substantial stake in the eNCA holding company, Sabido, said in its unaudited results for the six months ended 31 December 2012 that advertising sales on e.tv and eNCA were “under pressure during the period under review but programming and operating costs remained stable.”

To address this, Remgro announced in a SENS statement that “the focus of the group for the forthcoming months is the ongoing development of a multi-channel strategy to enhance its competitiveness across a multiplicity of platforms and provide opportunities for new revenue streams. This includes the launch of e.tv Online and eNCA Online in the first half of 2013.”

There is obviously a lot at stake for the larger eNCA brand in pulling off the successful launch of eNCA.com

But reviews thus far have been mixed, at best. “Creating a new online home for eNews Channel Africa could have presented the news brand with a great opportunity to differentiate itself from the public broadcaster, but unfortunately an outdated look and cluttered execution just makes it look like more of the same,” says journalist and media commentator Mandy de Waal. “Fonts aside, the SABC and ENCA news sites are much of a muchness.”

Ad of the Week with Oresti Patricios – when anything is possible

Humour is often used to great effect in advertising. The youth market is particularly open to a good laugh, and six years ago Opel raised eyebrows by making a series of wacky, crudely animated ads that focussed on the ‘fun’ aspects of owning a car. In fact, many of them didn’t even talk about the car – they were just silly, funny or weird.

The CorsaLite ads featured the ridiculous, absurd and wonderfully funny Raj Brothers, and the commercials that were produced over a decade ago still live on in our memories and YouTube because they were so distinctive and hilarious.

In the stuffy old days of advertising, car commercials were largely targeted at adults, and focussed strongly on benefits – like safety, fuel efficiency, power… the stuff that interests ‘Dad’. Fortunately advertisers came to their senses, and part of the big changes in automobile advertising was the idea that humour could feature in a car ad. Ten years ago the Raj Bros TV spots for CorsaLite were some of the most talked about ads of the time, because they were so unusual, and because they worked.

VW’s entry-level product, the Polo Vivo, is definitely aimed at the youth market, and although its sticker price is not the lowest on the market, it has the VW brand and sleek looks that set it apart from its peers. And then there’s the commercial campaign. The idea central to this clever and comedic campaign: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if the unlikely and improbable could come true? Well if Volkswagen can make Polo Vivos available for such a crazy price, then who knows what other crazy things might happen…”

This ad takes place in the world of students: university. A dreamy looking young man is falling asleep in a class – which looks a lot like Advanced Calculus, given the cryptic scrawling on the board. The professor announces that this is an unsolvable equation. Our hero is woken by the prof, and blurts out what is clearly a guess: “Eleven”.

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