Briefly…A Joule of a world scoop for CAR; Ogilvy sparkles at Prisms; Commuters get mega TV upgrade; Billads soaks up the sun with Tropitone; Graffiti acquires Impact Media; and Domino elevates Chrysler Jeep’s social standing
A Joule of a world scoop
The April issue of CAR features that most elusive of cover headlines – “world exclusive”. The magazine’s editorial team recently had the opportunity not only to view the controversial South African electric car, the Joule, in the metal, but also to drive five prototype vehicles under varying conditions.
CAR was selected as the first publication in the world to be granted such access to the high-interest vehicle, following approaches from media as far afield as Germany.
The Joule project has been in the works for six years and has been the subject of much debate, seeing as it has, thus far, been government funded. During the early phases of the Joule’s development there was also still considerable debate about whether electric cars were really a viable future mobility solution.
“The world agrees that the era of the electric is now, truly upon us,” says CAR’s editor, Hannes Oosthuizen. “Not only has Nissan’s Leaf gone on sale worldwide, it is also proving popular. Furthermore, BMW recently announced its new “i” brand, the outcome of which will be a product line-up featuring many electrically powered vehicles.”
Optimal Energy, the Cape Town-based company behind the Joule, has thus far used R250 million in government funding to develop the Joule to the point where industrialisation – the process to get the car rolling off factory lines – can start. What is now needed is government commitment for the remaining R7 billion, an international partner or a couple of extremely wealthy individuals with a shared vision to make the dream become a reality.
But the Joule project is about more than just an electric car – it is about job creation, export earnings, the environment and science and technology, all fields that are of high importance to the South African government… or should be.
As it stands, the Joule project has resulted in a vehicle that, in prototype form at least, surprised the CAR team with its comfort, performance and practicality. “People are often extremely negative about electric cars,” Oosthuizen says, “and to be honest until now we haven’t had a reason not to be, because they’ve been extremely impractical. However, as a usable city car, the Joule appears to be right on the money.”
Ogilvy sparkles at PRISM awards
Ogilvy Public Relations group scooped a total of 13 awards at the Prism Awards for excellence in public relations. Three gold, five silver and five bronze awards were received by the agency across the Cape Town and Johannesburg offices. The Cape Town office, which has seen its staff complement almost double in size as it expanded to accommodate a wealth of new clients in 2010, stood out with an impressive number of wins.
These included Gold awards for the Stellenbosch University Water Institute, an integrated campaign which used both traditional and social media PR to infiltrate local and international press; the re-launch of the Weylandts’ monthly newsletter, which was successfully used to entrench Weylandt’s position as a leader in the design and lifestyle arena and, the Sodastream environmental campaign which used a full spectrum of PR channels to position the cool-drink brand as innovative and environmentally conscious. Silver and Bronze trophies also went to Cape Town clients Stellenbosch University, Sodastream, Sunday Times, LexisNexis and Percy Bartley House.
“It is through the tremendous hard work and close partnerships with every client that allow Ogilvy PR to execute outstanding campaigns across our portfolio,” said Sandy Dobrin, executive director of the Cape Town office. “Being part of a larger communications agency has also contributed to our success as our clients feel the effects of a multi-disciplinary, brand centric approach.”
Commuters get mega TV upgrade
In keeping with the incredible advances in technology, ComutaNet has started a nationwide upgrade of all 14 of their Rank TV large format LED screens. The process started with the largest train station in Africa: Park Station sees in excess of 645 000 train, bus and taxi commuters passing through daily to all parts of rural and urban South Africa and neighbouring states.
The state-of-the-art technology, provided by local and international suppliers, is expected to enhance the visual and audio capabilities of the televised billboard, offering advertising clients further amplification of their brand messaging to the ComutaNet audiences.
“Rank TV is a hugely powerful OOH communication tool within the commuter network. Seeing the new screen up at Park Station is electrifying as I have no doubt in my mind that the upgrade will take the potency of marketing through this medium to a new level. I look forward to the reaction from both the audience and advertisers,” states Karen van Wyk, ComutaNet’s General Manager: Audio Visual & Marketing.
Billads soaks up the sun with Tropitone
Mediology included Nine Mile Media’s Billads Bill Folders into its strategic plan for Tropitone’s recent advertising campaign. The campaign targeted the summer fever and focused on coastal sites in Durban and Cape Town. The creative featured a goddess in a bikini, being adored by members of the opposite sex, and was geared to capture consumer attention inside coffee shops and restaurants where relaxing consumers would be open to absorbing the advertising message when paying their bill.
Research conducted by Interact RDT questioned 120 respondents on site at nine different restaurant sites around Cape Town and Durban. It then conducted further research with 65 of these respondents one week later via telephone. One in three of all respondents said that they noticed the advertising inside the bill folder, whilst 79% of onsite respondents could recall the brand or product being advertised and 71% found the advert eye-catching.
One week later, 86% of telephonic respondents could recall the brand or product being advertised, 90% provided descriptive words, 40% could still recall an advert main message and 57% of these recalled ‘Be a Sun God’. “Overall, 69% said that the campaign increased their awareness of Tropitone. The results speak for themselves,” says Craig Segal, the Managing Director of Nine Mile Media. Onsite, 47% said that they would consider buying Tropitone and 41% said that they would tell their friends and family about the brand. “One week later, 28% had already purchased the product and 48% had told their family and friends about it,” adds Segal.
Graffiti cquires Impact Media
Vehicle branding specialist Graffiti has recently purchased a controlling stake in out-of-home advertising company, Impact Outdoor Media. The new company will be known as Graffiti Impact Media (Pty) Ltd. and will headed up by current Impact Media managing director, Richard Wilkinson.
“We are excited to welcome Impact Media into the Graffiti stable as we believe they will bring with them a wealth of creativity and innovation. Their outdoor spectaculars are unrivalled in their both their distinctive nature and their world-class executions and we are proud to add their out-of-home offering to our media portfolio,” said John Rice, managing director of Graffiti.
Best known for its large-scale outdoor spectaculars such as the iconic 8400sqm Nike building wrap on downtown Johannesburg’s Life Centre and the First National Bank 2010 World Cup Makarapa, Impact Media is a well-respected player in the out-of-home industry with clients including Coca-Cola, Telkom, Hollard Insurance, SAB Miller, Brandhouse, Unilever, Ford, Sasol, I-Burst and HTC.
Graffiti Impact Media Managing Director, Richard Wilkinson adds, “Graffiti is a well-established and highly-regarded player in the transit- and out-of-home media arenas. We will benefit greatly from their business expertise as well as from their world-class in-house printing facilities and their extensive client base. With the incorporation of Impact Media into the fold, Graffiti now offers clients every possible out-of-home advertising solution from our building wraps and other outdoor spectaculars to aerial balloons, airport bridges and buses to taxis, trucks and other vehicles and even retail store-fronts. There’s now literally nothing we cannot brand!”
Domino elevates Chrysler Jeep’s social standing
Chrysler South Africa contracted Domino, the social media specialists, to execute a social media campaign which would increase awareness and social advocacy for the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as promote test bookings, and conduct market research on what car colours their consumers preferred.
Domino conceptualised a campaign with a combination of customised interactive Facebook TAB’s and advertising in order to achieve the client objectives. The ‘Which colour works for you?’ TAB was inserted onto the Chrysler Jeep South Africa’s (Jeep SA) Facebook Profile page, and later the “Book a test drive” TAB was incorporated. This was supported by Facebook advertising (Event, Poll and Video ads) and engaging Content (wall posts) which was engineered to elicit a response from the fans.
“Car brands have relatively large and passionate fan bases which are ideal for a social media campaign. Consumers want to be part of a brand they love, they want to know who runs the company and they want to be able to engage with that team. Domino has assisted Jeep SA not only in building awareness of their new Jeep Grand Cherokee, they have also bought together a large database of consumers who are willing to engage, learn and ultimately share information about Jeep SA,” said Alice Jakins, client account director at Domino
The result of the campaign was a resounding success, not only did the brand’s Facebook fan base grow by an impressive 2800% in the short space of three months, activity on the page amplified too – wall post views increased from 319 posts/month (April to Dec 2010) to 113,168/month (Dec 2010 to Feb 2011).
Capitec campaign tackles hidden terms and conditions
South Africa’s youngest bank, Capitec Bank has launched an assertive advertising campaign that tackles one of the most common consumer grudges: hidden terms and conditions. Part of the bank’s plans to make its offering even more transparent in the wake of the imminent Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s recent call for “absolute transparency in banking institutions”, the campaign highlights consumers’ ubiquitous frustration with banks’ confusing fee structures and red tape.
“We understand consumers are frustrated by banks’ small print as it prevents them from staying in control of their own money. As such, we are striving to improve our already simplified service to ensure all communication, fee structures and pricing is easy to understand, in plain language and has no strings attached,” said Charl Nel, head of Strategic Communications.
And the advertising’s claim is being backed up: the bank recently introduced monthly SMS updates to clients who have high bank fees to inform them of their past two months’ costs and explain how they can save by transacting differently next month in addition to announcing plans to tweak existing collateral like contracts.
Network BBDO’s Sandra da Silva is behind the campaign’s conception and says. “It’s one thing for the big print to sell the product and all its perks, but it’s quite another for the small print to place extensive restrictions or clauses on it. As such, we’ve created a TV ad that takes consumers on a typical banking experience where they find themselves navigating through nasty terms and conditions, only to find that with Capitec Bank what it says it offers it actually does.”