Shelf Life: New digital media network for forecourt stores

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

Graffiti gives forecourt screen advertising a go;Amarula has a full harvest for Spring; the bygone era of the ‘gentleman’s club’ revitalised by the new McCullagh & Bothwell designs; and Huggies gets a dose of reality.

TREND. report: The PR evolution

Public relations agencies and communication strategists need to reengineer themselves as social businesses to meet client communication needs.

This is a key finding to emerge from a report on the evolution of the public relations industry by trendwatching site, TREND. at, called ‘Social Communications’.

The public relations industry has reengineered itself in recent years to focus on acquiring digital skills to compete with digital agencies in the social media realm, as well as repositioned as reputation management specialists – a core skill needed by communication firms today.

In South Africa, steps to “professionalise” the industry are seen as hugely positive in setting professional standards for PR in the country. A green paper is ready to go before parliament.

“This is the most significant time to be a communication practitioner in South Africa,” says Louise Marsland, Publishing Editor of TREND. and the author of the PR report.

The 2nd internet revolution

by Louise Marsland (@trendlives) This year, the number of mobile devices in circulation will reach 7 billion – more than the total number of humans on this planet. It is our “mobile moment” as a generation.

Mobile has also become as big a disruptor to the way we communicate, as the dawning of the internet age. With mobile devices as powerful as desktop computers, itis being called the dawn of the second internet revolution.

And for many on this planet, the mobile device has become their ‘first screen’.

Design Indaba 2013: God, war and the future at Design Indaba

by Louise Marsland’s (@Louise_Marsland) I’ve been attending Design Indaba conferences for eight years and while the speakers and the disciplines differ every year, there are always a couple of speakers that completely blow you away, either in their wonderful delivery, content or total inspiration.

The one thing I always take away with me is hope for the future. For my children, for our industry, for our planet and our very humanity.

The speakers at Design Indaba are carefully chosen to challenge conventional thinking, to push boundaries, to inspire.

I always tell people going for their first Indaba not to judge too quickly, to listen to speakers in fields that are not their own, to keep an open mind, not to make too many meetings at or outside the Indaba, but to immerse themselves in the experience. It will change the way you think about your own business and industry.

These are my best Design Indaba moments of 2013, the speakers who challenged me and inspired me…

Louise Marsland & MarkLives launches TREND.

MarkLives and well respected marketing and media commentator and editor Louise Marsland have teamed up to launch an exciting new market intelligence resource to the advertising, media and marketing communications industry in Southern Africa.

TREND. brings together the research savvy of Marsland with MarkLives’ cool and sexy take on the modern advertising world. TREND. launched this morning at and will focus on trend forecasting, in-depth reports, insight and analysis relevant to the broader marketing industry.

The site will serve as a central curated resource for local and international marketing and media research as well as create its own unique in-depth reports that sources and charts influential modern trends marketers and their agencies need to note.

As with MarkLives, TREND. will will offer its content free of charge, and will be supported by site and report sponsors. Ornico, Quirk, Machine Agency, 60layersofcake Cape Town and John Brown Media are the founding landing page sponsors for the site.

The first in-depth Dissect report to be published on TREND. focuses on socialising the enterprise. Compiled by Marsland and sponsored by Quirk, the report, which runs to over 11 000 words, sets forth the effects of a socialised consumer base on the modern enterprise. Content is broken in readily digestible pieces for the busy executive.

Social media is not about a suite of social networks and tools writes Marsland. “It is now about the social enterprise, the brand that integrates social across all platforms of engagement. It is about living social.”

Are you a Loerie Fash Ho?

by Louise Marsland (@louise_marsland) One of the things about the creative industry is the fact that if you say ‘black tie’ on an invitation, the only people who will pitch in full evening dress are the clients.

Everyone else will try out do each other in subverting the dress code and making a creative fashion statement.

People attend Loeries for the work, the awards, the parties and also to be seen rocking a statement outfit or being as ‘anti-establishment’ as possible by going against the grain.

I remember the first time The Loerie Awards, which had become a six-hour ordeal interspersed with M-Net continuity announcers, went to two awards evenings the first time at Sun City to try get the length of the evening down by splitting the awards into two nights.

In protest, one top creative, can’t remember who, went shirtless the first night, only wearing trousers and shoes and socks, and the next night pitched in his underpants with a shirt, tie and jacket on.

The Martha Stewart Twitslap (in tweets)

by MarkLives. There’s been fairly extensive coverage of the substantial delegate walk-out and subsequent ‘twitslap’ Martha Stewart inspired at her Design Indaba conference presentation. While two or three relevant tweets have been circulating in the mainstream media, this aims to capture some of the tweets flying through the main auditorium.

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