Shelf Life: SA mayo campaign wins international award & an app for Elephants

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

How to look like Brad Pitt with V05, Tequila wins something, sponsorship goes large with Sunfoil and Amarula does something really cool with elephants.

Media Future: You can’t bank on it

Absa and Investec both finally launched banking apps in the last two weeks – and both have taken a narrow view of the market, writes Arthur Goldstuck (@art2gee).

Two major banks have finally come out of labour and given birth to mobile apps to complete the South African family of financial apps. Both Absa and Investec showed off their long-awaited apps to the world in the last twe weeks, joining FNB, Standard Bank and Nedbank in the nursery of 21st century banking technology.

The proudest parents this week were the members of the Absa team who had climbed into bed with their, err, parent company, Barclays, to produce an app with clear African credentials.

E-retail: Local brand activity marks a shift in how clothes are sold online

by Arthur Goldstuck (@art2gee). The arrival of a Mr Price shopping cart on both Web and mobile sites, and new initiatives by Edcon and eBucks, mark a shift in how clothes are sold online.

For much of the past decade, online clothing retail in South Africa has seemed like the toddler party that the big kids avoided. Start-ups, newcomers and unknowns dominated, while the established brands either stayed away or made only a grudging appearance.

Edgars had a web site with a shopping cart, but it was more of an apology than a serious online store. The likes of Stuttafords, Truworths, Jet, Foschini and Mr Price were entirely absent from e-commerce.

Recently, in one week, three major brands have come to the party, and getting dressed will never be the same again.

The biggest splash was made by the chain that is increasingly positioning itself as cool and go-ahead: Mr Price. Even their new web site address reflects that image: It claims 18 000 items in its catalogue, and allows customers to choose by size, colour, brand and … trend. Delivery choice is wide, from home to Post Office to nearest store.

Payment option is even wider, including credit card, COD, gift vouchers and account. More important, returns are allowed within 30 days, via store, Post Office or courier.

Probably the single most important option in all of the MrP bouquet, however, is it’s mobile site. It uses a web development standard called HTML 5, which allows the site to look the same on any phone browser, regardless of model. But the real killer app, so to speak, is not the mere fact that it can be used on a phone: it is that it looks great on a phone. It appears inviting, and that is the first step in convincing potential customers to become paying customers.

New generic top level domains hold dangers for brands, democratisation of Internet

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body responsible for the Internet’s naming system, is working its way through nearly two thousand applications for New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) names.

Awards Candy – SA app start-up signing global award shows

Wallace Seggie, a South African creative director, has developed an app that brings together in one place award winning work from a number of the worlds’ largest advertising festivals.

Pasting for BOZZA

Shani Judes, a Cape Town based art agent/curator has recently been slipping through borders. Traversing the entire country, pasting portraits all over Azania’s most renowned townships. If Shani were a street artist, I reckon she’d be king. But the nationwide campaign wasn’t a quest to get her name up. It was a guerrilla ad campaign for a new creative platform called BOZZA, a cellphone app that enables artists to create a profile, showcase their work and network with other creatives.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire pricing the big differentiator as tablet market hots up

Amazon last week stunned the market with its announcement that the 7” Kindle Fire tablet will sell for $199.99 – well under half the price of the cheapest iPad. And it will release a $79 Kindle e-reader.

New business focus, units build a braver RamsayMedia

RamsayMedia has been undergoing a strategic transformation over the last three years under the management team lead by MD Stuart Lowe.

Alan Knott-Craig Jnr builds an app business

Have you ever seen a Parrot AR.Drone? Alan Knott-Craig Jnr has one and he is happy to show it off, having it lift off as soon as we step into the still-deserted offices (one of three in Stellenbosch) of World of Avatar, his new mobile and media business venture. The Parrot AR.Drone is a toy quadricopter controlled via an iPhone, thanks to its on-board Wi-Fi system.

What makes it cool, in geek terms, other than the fact that you are flying something via an iPhone, is the live video feed from the quadricopter broadcasting to your screen. I joke about bosses flying these things through those vast open air offices checking up on employees. He has a laugh and relaxes a little.

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