The Western Cape has always seemed to march to the beat of a different drum. It has its own unique politics, societal make-up, work ethic, attitude, economy and people. The myth about the Republic of Hout Bay may even be more fact than fiction.
We witness this even in brand consumption. Western Cape consumers are loyal to local brands like Jive fizzy drinks, Bokomo breakfast cereals and Saldana Pilchards. Hells bells, doesn’t every wine drinker know of some obscure estate that produces only the best wines at a fraction of what the big labels charge?
I’m proudly coloured. And even in terms of language, us Western Cape coloureds have our own dialect unique to only the ‘Cape coloured’. Consider our population mix – it too is peculiar only to us. Unlike other provinces, the population here is not predominantly black. There are also almost no LSM 1-3s, giving the area greater literacy and disposable income.
You can sense that the Western Cape is a diverse market and therefore one size could never fit all.
All of this creates a media scenario full of local idiosyncrasies. Let’s look at what sets us aside in media terms from the rest of South Africa.
The Western Cape has many stations appealing to different consumers. It is therefore challenging to increase reach above 50% to 60%. Some people have also cited ‘the mountain’ as a cause of poor signal in certain areas.
Regional commercial stations like Kfm, Good Hope FM and Heart 104.9 FM appeal largely to the coloured audience. Kfm has an 87% coloured listenership with 54% in LSM 8-10, while Good Hope has a 70% coloured audience with 49% of these consumers classified in the LSM 8-10 bracket. Heart has an 84% coloured audience with 56% in the LSM 8-10 bracket. The average age of these listeners are 35-40 years with a monthly income of between R12 500 and R15 000.
I would hasten to add that one should not discount LSM 4-7 in the mix of Western Cape spending power, as these consumers form the ‘aspirational’ segment who are migrating towards LSM 8-10.
AMPS 2012b / RAMS Radio Diary: Oct 12/Mar 13
Smile 90.4FM is a newly launched station appealing to the Afrikaans bilingual listener and we eagerly await its first results.
CapeTalk in the Primedia stable is the only talk station with 136 000 white listeners in the Western Cape, at an average age of 48, and an average monthly household income of R20 731. And of course we have a few strong community stations like Radio Tygerberg, CFM (Cape Community FM) and Radio Helderberg who hold their own in this area.
Print media largely dominates in the Western Cape. We have a 99% literacy level and we are colourfully descriptive. We have extreme cold winters that are likely to keep us indoors and encourage us to snuggle up with a good read, and long hot summers for ‘on the beach consumption’. Of our citizens, 64% read any newspaper (national average 49%) and 67% read any magazine (national average 47%).
Having said that, and with daily newspapers fighting declining circulations, it’s safe to say that our Daily Voice and Son tabloids are soundly niched in the lower LSMs. The Sunday press still is relatively stable with Son op Sondag peaking at 92% readership by the coloured community with a monthly household income of R8 000 per month, while Rapport readers have a 45% white readership, 54% of whom are in the LSM 8-10 bracket with a monthly income of R12 000.
Outdoor media is extremely under-represented in the Western Cape. This is mostly due to the Western Cape municipality’s strict by-laws and application processes. And yes, on the other side of the scale, I believe many Capetonians agree that we don’t want our beautiful mountain views obscured.
This does, however, impact greatly on the effectiveness of outdoor as a medium in the province overall. For instance, just 29.7% of Capetonian residents saw a billboard yesterday (Amps 2012), compared to other metropolitan cities like Durban at 36.1%, Pretoria 49.8%, greater Johannesburg 70.7% and East London at a lofty 79.3%.
But it’s not just in billboards that the Mother City trails: almost every type of outdoor medium is under-represented. But I for one wouldn’t want to see the proliferation of dustbins, street poles, branded cars, branded street signs, overhanging gantries, branded ship containers and abandoned trailers trying to sell anything from life insurance to plumbing services.
It is also the type or quality of outdoor that is permissible in the Cape that drives down effectiveness. Boards are invariably far away from the road, or cut into strange shapes to fit a building’s pitched roof or hidden by a tree, that would have otherwise been chopped down in another province, and yet they’re still charged at a premium.
TV viewing is also different in our neck of the woods. While SABC1 leads in most of South Africa with audience share at 78% nationally over the past seven days, SABC2 takes the lead in the Western Cape with 88% of our population watching this channel in the past seven days. This is influenced by 59% of people living in the Western Cape having Afrikaans as a home language.
In conclusion, the Western Cape is a melting pot of culture, sights, sounds and behaviours. So marketers need to do their research into this area. The rules are different. The people are different. So is the media.
Bonita Bachmann is the managing director of The MediaShop Cape Town.
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