How does one attract a broad audience to a new local product? Charles Hale provides his expertise.
Packaged rice may not seem like an exciting product to market but it has real potential in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), home to the highest concentration of Indians in the country and a predominantly black population.
The product I selected is pre-packed rice during a four-month launch phase in the province.
There are two points motivating my interest in packaged rice. Firstly, while the country’s market leader is Tastic Rice, in KZN the dominant brand by a meaningful mile is Aunt Caroline Rice.
Secondly, recent reports in the fast moving consumer goods sector reveal that black consumers in the province, spearheaded by an emerging middle class, are turning away from the traditional staple of maize in favour of rice.
The total population of KZN is 7.075 million. The black sector dominates with 85%, followed by Indian (8%), white (5%) and coloured (2%). Allowing that Indian consumers are historically major purchasers of rice and that there is a shift to rice as a staple within the black market, these two sectors are the prime targets. (All Media and Products Survey 2013 Main Branded Jan-Dec 2013).
An overview of KZN media reveals:
There are 143 publications with a total distribution of 4.75 million copies in an issue period. Of these, 19 are exclusively Zulu.
There are 14 radio stations, 10 of which are primarily vernacular.
Out of home (OOH) media has a strong presence in all formats.
THE BLACK MARKET
SABC 1 delivers the most effective reach in KZN, but it is a national carrier and even with negotiated rates for a parochial campaign, the cost per reach remains too high to be efficient.
Ukhozi Radio, also national and with an almost identical reach as SABC 1, offers a much lower wastage factor and is ideally suited to reach the KZN black market.
Print support for Radio Ukhozi would be the responsibility of the Zulu newspapers, Isolezwe and Ilanga, with month-end forays into selected Eyethu community weeklies.
OOH will target taxi ranks and bus stations.
THE INDIAN MARKET
This sector has always been the dominant purchaser of packaged rice in KZN, with the highest volumes centred in the greater Durban metro.
East Coast Radio (ECR) is the radio station of choice, followed by Lotus FM and community channel Hindvani.
Print centres on newspapers, specifically the POST and The Herald, an Indian community section of the weekend Sunday Tribune. Supporting these titles is the Rising Sun stable, offering strong community links with a concentration of Indians in key suburbs and towns such as Phoenix, Overport, Tongaat and Verulam.
A factor that must be taken into account when scheduling for this sector is the long-established loyalty KZN Indians have to media that offer local and cultural information and support (see story on page 38).
OOH is a powerful medium in the Indian market and will figure prominently in the final schedule.
SABC 3 and e.tv make strong representation for inclusion, but our budget is tight. Unfortunately, data on ZEE TV is unstable but the DStv North Indian bouquet requires consideration.
THE LAUNCH SCHEDULE
The black market
The launch will focus on Radio Ukhozi (Amps 2013 yesterday 3 514 000 KZN) using a weekly feature highlighting the benefits of the brand through cooking tips and celebrity personalities, with high frequency support from 30-second hard-sell brand spots during the daytime daily soap broadcasts.
The marketing theme will be carried through in the weekend editions of Ilanga (circulation 55 224) and Isolezwe (circulation 93 268) and weekly Eyethu titles in nine regions (distribution 243 000).
OOH will focus on taxi ranks, bus stations and selected retail outlets.
The Indian market
The launch will focus on Radio Lotus (Amps 2013 yesterday 146 000 KZN), with features highlighting Indian cooking with celebrity personalities, supported by 30-second hard-sell brand spots on ECR (Amps 2013 yesterday
285 000 KZN).
Print media will be centred on the Sunday Tribune Herald (circulation 68 668), combining product placement with celebrity guest chefs. Spin-off advertisements will run in Durban suburban and satellite town titles in the Rising Sun stable.
OOH will concentrate on street poles at intersections and along busy roads.
ZEE TV will be phased in for celebrity chef involvement should favourable contracts be negotiated.
WHO DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT?
Predictably, with a new product in a provincial launch, national media has to work particularly hard if it is to offer cost efficiency in a high frequency schedule. Had it been national, my rice campaign would have been a doddle to schedule, but once you look closer at the column of wasted viewers, readers and listeners, the bottom line becomes blurred. The same can be said for the province’s metropolitan dailies and weeklies.
My schedule is focused on above-the-line media. Electronic communication and social media channels could be introduced once the brand has achieved an identity.
Charles Hale is managing director of The MediaShop Durban.
This story was first published in the September 2014 issue of The Media magazine.
IMAGE: Wikimedia Creative Commons
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