Design Annotator: Cloudy with a Chance of Pixels

by Uno de Waal (@Unodewaal) The inaugural Cloudy with a Chance of Pixels creative symposium was held in Johannesburg on Thursday, 10 April. Touching on everything from the ‘third industrial revolution’ to a timeline of design’s influence on nation building; 12 dynamic speakers shared their stories, insights, lessons and observations throughout the course of the day.

Ad of the Week: Bewitching MWEB radio ad brews up trouble

by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) Everything your average person knows about witches (or warlocks) comes from plays such as Macbeth, or from fables and stereotypes that are perpetuated by society. Which is why it was fun to stumble across the new MWEB radio ad by M&C Saatchi Abel, in which traditional Xhosa occultists are the protagonists of the commercial.

Brand Journeys: MWeb – not quite ‘just like that’

For many people MWEB is still the big black box, which it launched in 1997, the same year the business was established by MIH Limited (a Naspers company). The big black box, in case you don’t get it, was a box, and black, and offered wary South Africans everything they needed to connect to the Internet via dial-up modem, with the payoff line “Just like that” (I still hear the finger snap in the background).

The commercial Internet was new, exciting, and big business was getting in on the act. The first dot com bubble had yet to burst and MWEB was spending large swathes of money buying up rival ISPs before its 1998 listing on the JSE.

Today it is a friendly consumer brand wholly owned by Naspers. Its pay-off line has changed to Connect & You Can to reflect the growing acceptance and integration of the Internet into daily lives. It serves a user base of over 300 000 subscribers (which is not that much higher than figures available for 2005 – although it has had success in converting many of those to ADSL) of whom more than 200 000 sits on ADSL. They consume 4.5 petabytes (4,500,000,000,000,000 bytes) of bandwidth per month.

Tiger in the ecommerce henhouse

by Herman Manson. Kim Reid, diplomatically perhaps, doesn’t care what the competition of his online retail venture,, is up to. The ecommerce market in South Africa is so nascent that it makes more sense to focus on successfully implementing your own strategy and building your own business, rather than fretting about what other players are doing, he says.

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