At the top end of the scale the luxury market remains buoyant, regardless of economic conditions, and South Africans are showing a marked increase in their appetite for luxury goods and lifestyle.
Wanted, a glossy colour supplement, is a Times Media flagship brand which has been around for the last twelve years and is distributed monthly to Business Day subscribers.
“In these difficult times where there is great concern for print media, the joy of colour supplements is that it is one of the more robust media, that is doing well all over the world,” said Aspassia Karras, publisher of Times Media’s magazine supplements.
Their new digital platform Wanted Online, has just launched and is aimed at “the affluent and educated reader”.
According to Times Media, Wanted Online is the only online luxury destination in South Africa to cover arts, entertainment, society, travel, food, style, fashion, watches, jewellery, beauty, technology, business and motoring on one website.
Esteemed editor Jacquie Myburgh Chemaly has recently taken over the helm, and is excited about the potential of reaching new audiences through the website. “We have an amazing media landscape in South Africa, with many international brands and titles, but Wanted is a true South African brand and now with Wanted Online we can extend our reach and enlarge our audience.
For a lot of our readers, Wanted has been almost like an exclusive club up to now, a best-kept secret for Business Day subscribers only. Now, we’ve opened up that content to everyone and made it social and engaging,” she said.
The site has been highly optimised to be light in download speed and data usage without compromising the high-quality look and feel of the content.
“It’s fantastic to have a website that is so incredibly responsive and also beautiful, because those two concepts don’t often exist together on the same platform,” said Myburgh Chemaly. “It has enormous visual appeal, it’s easy to navigate and it moves fast, giving our readers an easy, wonderful experience.”
According to Lisa MacLeod, head of digital at Times Media, Wanted Online is a proof of concept site using brand new technology that has not been used at Times Media before. “It’s an all-encompassing, high-end luxury site and the only one of its kind in South Africa,” she said.
“With print, no matter how hard you try, it’s only seen by the people it goes to. The wonderful thing about a website is that it can be accessed by everyone, anywhere in the world.At Times Media, we’re working very hard to integrate print and digital into a 360° offering to our clients and our readers, as much as possible,” said MacLeod.
The site was built by a dev team in Cape Town and makes use of all the latest technology, including experimenting with VR (Virtual Reality). “This is the way the future is going. VR is set to be a $80 billion dollar industry by 2020,” said MacLeod.
The site also been designed to make it as user friendly as possible on the back-end to enable staff to upload content as and when required. “We have a customised back-end to make it as simple as possible for our staff to use. The lower the barrier to entry with tech, the easier it gets for everybody to utilise,” she said.
Most of the world’s top luxury brands are represented in South Africa and Wanted Online has positioned itself to become “the primary online destination for luxury advertisers across Africa”. Mercedes Benz and Estée Lauder have already signed on as launch partners on the website.
“With the strong engagement that advertisers already enjoy in reaching their target consumers through our platforms catering to the business sector, Wanted Online creates a compelling advertising platform for marketers,” said Trevor Ormerod, GM of sales and marketing at Times Media.
“It is a site with strong visual appeal through which we can offer bespoke advertising opportunities and rich media inserts that do justice to the marketing of luxury brands. It is also the perfect vehicle for high-end native campaigns,” he said.
Pictures provided by Times Media Group.
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