Caxton has officially launched its latest offering, Caxton TV. At an event at its offices in Randburg the media group unveiled more details about its new venture. Michael Bratt attended the event and spoke to the role-players.
Before the announcement Anton Botes, general manager of Caxton Magazines, said, “Caxton is very bullish about its magazines and brand.” He also revealed the three pillars which underpin the media group’s business: client facing, solutions and, at the top of the agenda, innovation.
Explaining how the idea for Caxton TV came about Clive Vanderwagen, head of client strategy at Caxton Magazines, said, “We looked at how magazines still matter. They are an emotional buy. But we wanted to put our money where our mouth is and expand our great content further through the creation of Caxton Television.” He went on to say that when Caxton says television, it is not only on the big screen but also through videos for the internet and mobile phones.
The first programme created under the Caxton TV banner aired in the last week of April. It was called Bona Mo, a creation that was associated with Bona Magazine. This particular magazine was chosen as a tie in because it was the easiest to roll out as it is uniquely South African. Bona Mo, which was paid for by Unilever, has already seen positive results with Unilever seeing a massive increase in entrants into the competition which it promoted through the programme. As with the Bona Mo campaign, going forward HB Pictures is partnering with Caxton to produce the video content.
Vanderwagen explained that a partnership with HB Pictures was important because venturing into video content is expensive, but it is necessary. When asked why HB Pictures was chosen as a partner, Vandervagen said they came in with the most competitive price when requests were put out for quotes.
For the Bona Mo campaign, Debbie McIntyre, head of insights at Caxton Magazines, said the idea was to run content across multiple platforms including Bona Magazine, social media, Caxton’s website and TV. Future campaigns may also run using this approach. However she added that, “to run every single campaign across every single platform is expensive so most of the time we will tailor content for the most suitable platform”. However the production of video by Caxton is not completely new. The media group had previously created videos for Clover and Knorr.
Vanderwagen explained why Caxton’s new offering will appeal to its clients. “We will create bespoke content for television and online using our brands to speak about your brands. There is credibility associated with our brands.” During the launch Caxton used the tagline, “It’s not our history that sets us apart, it’s our future.” Vanderwagen concluded the launch by saying that Caxton was not launching television because it likes television but because it loves its magazine brands. He said the group believes it will enhance its magazine content, which is its primary focus, by offering it across multiple platforms.
Aside from its new TV offering, Caxton has three of the top five most read magazines in South Africa under its stable, including the only publication that is written in four different languages, Bona magazine. The media house also recently created an Insights Department to improve the client facing pillar and to deliver solutions. McIntyre, who runs the new division, says it is running effectively because, “We have a great balance between experience and youth.” She also emphasised multiple times that the department has a lot of resources, which are drawn on, to ensure that the needs of clients are fully met and exceeded.