The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media.
This week’s BIG move: Avatar Agency acquires Durban FMCG powerhouse, Espresso
Avatar Agency Group, the largest fully black-owned agency group in South Africa, has grown its geographic footprint with the acquisition of Durban-based integrated independent agency, Espresso DBN. This has boosted its below-the-line and shopper marketing capabilities to address the growing demand for insights-led FMCG and retail marketing.
Espresso sold 51% equity to black empowerment conglomerate M&N Brands, the holding company that owns Avatar. The deal will result in Espresso being renamed Avatar DBN.
Antony Ellis, who co-founded Espresso with Natalie French in 2001, will remain at the helm as managing director. French will remain Avatar DBN’s executive creative director, working closely with Veli Ngubane, Avatar’s chief creative officer. Avatar BUD Ayanda Dlamini will join them in the new operation.
Avatar DBN’s client list currently includes Snowflake, Iwisa No.1, Nyala, BB Bakeries, Blue Ribbon, Toys R Us and Babies R Us, Nivea, Eucerin, Labello, Lil-lets, Universal and Paramount Pictures Africa, Mondi and many more.
“While we see the continued pressure of Covid-19 on media and advertising spend in general, research indicates an upsurge in food brand investment. Espresso’s FMGC expertise, combined with Avatar’s digital pedigree and broad market insight will bring something truly unique for our clients,” said Zibusiso Mkhwanazi, Group CEO of M&N Brands.
Set against the backdrop of the pandemic, Avatar launched a new business practice, Resilience at Avatar, in April to help businesses navigate their way through the uncertainties. “This acquisition is another step for us as we pivot as a business during these difficult times. We believe in finding opportunities in the midst of crisis,” added Mkhwanazi.
Zimkhita Buwa, Tom Fels join Rogerwilco board
Digitally-led marketing agency, Rogerwilco, has strengthened its non-executive advisory board with the appointment of Zimkhita Buwa and Tom Fels.
Buwa leads Dimension Data’s intelligent business applications core practice and is also a director of Silicon Cape. She was previously COO of Britehouse.
Fels, founder of Animarem – a boutique advisory focused on impact projects – was previously group managing director of Publicis Machine and CEO of Nurun, the Publicis-owned technology group.
Welcoming the appointments, Rogerwilco CEO, Charlie Stewart said, “We’re delighted to be able to call on the inputs of Zimkhita and Tom as we strengthen our governance processes to support the next phase of Rogerwilco’s growth. Both have impeccable pedigrees in the digital marketing and business intelligence sectors.
Scaling an agency is challenging at the best of times and will be even more so in a COVID environment. Our advisory team will play a key role in helping us maintain growth in our core South African and European markets.”
Rogerwilco has experienced compound annual growth of 25% in recent years and is set to exceed that figure in its current 2020 financial year.
Insurance industry sees increase in advertising with new commercials
Research by Brand Intelligence firm Ornico shows an increase in new commercials in the insurance industry with a sample of 228 new commercials in July 2020. This is the highest number of new commercials recorded since February 2020, a month before the original Covid-19 hard lockdown was introduced.
While marketing and advertising budgets were greatly reduced during lockdown and many businesses grappled with expenses, an increase in new commercials in the insurance industry is a positive sign.
Television and radio were favourite mediums with the most newcomer insurance commercials (new executions) followed by print, mobile and others. People have been working from home and travelling less due to Covid-19 restrictions. Hence, it is no surprise then to see outdoor advertising being among the lowest mediums with new executions. Motor vehicle insurance and funeral cover saw the most new ads according to research.
Outsurance and Clientele were by far the biggest spenders across television with their advertising taking up 12 664 of the total 29 130 spots. The industry largely focused on corporate ads followed by retail commercials (29%) and live reads across all total advertisement types.
#AVeryBonangYear smashes SA viewership records and hits over a billion impressions
A Very Bonang Year redefined records after the premiere of part one on Saturday, achieving over 1.3 billion hashtag impressions as viewers tuned in to watch Bonang Matheba on her ‘global expansion’ and transformation into an entertainment & entrepreneurial phenomenon.
The extraordinary amount of hashtag impressions – number 1 in South Africa over Saturday & Sunday – emphasised the ‘B Effect’ with even more hashtag impressions than the 1, 1 billion reached during the launch of The House of BNG last year.
The premiere of Bonang’s special also pulled in a record number of television viewers. “We are excited to announce that A Very Bonang Year reached a record-breaking 1.86 million viewership in its first episode of broadcast. This is unheard of for any broadcast platform in South Africa for a celebrity-driven reality show genre and at a time when SA viewers have more reality TV content to choose from. As a channel we had intentionally stayed away from celeb reality and for our first attempt at this format, we are proud of this achievement as it further confirms a great decision the channel took in acquiring and partnering with the show” said Zandile Nkonyeni, Head of PR: SABC TV Channels.
“Theresponse to A Very Bonang Year has been truly remarkable, where once again a new benchmark has been set in the entertainment industry. The series is testament that when you put your mind to something, nothing is unachievable,” says Davin Phillips, Executive Director, Celebrity Services Africa (C.S.A.), Bonang’s management team.
Educational family channel Da Vinci will continue to be available to DStv viewers in South Africa
DStv has now added educational kids and family channel, Da Vinci, to its Premium, Compact Plus, Compact, Family and Access Packages in South Africa. Da Vinci was originally made available to South African viewers as a pop-up channel in March of this year and has now become a full-time channel.
This partnership highlights Da Vinci’s growing distribution across Africa since 2014 and has now been available in more than 20 million households.
“We are thrilled to continue our exposure in Africa through an extension of our partnership with DStv. Our core values are aligned to ensure that inspiring, educational content is promoted to local communities across the continent,” Da Vinci Media’s CEO, Douglas Lloyd said.
TNT bucks downward trend in movie market recording stellar June performance
Despite an 11% decline in June’s movie market ratings, TNT, the home of Hollywood blockbusters, ranked #1 ahead of all movie channels in South Africa. Regardless of the overall decreasing trend, TNT saw a notable 22% increase in viewership during weekend daytime programming driven by the two best-performing movies on the channel for the month, Karate Kid and 3 Ninjas.
TNT recently launched its long-form slate of TNT Original Movies, which kicked off with Escape from Pretoria on the 4th of July during prime time.
Historically a male-skewed channel, TNT has seen a growing appeal to women with 51% tuning in versus 49% of male viewers and strong appeal amongst the 15 to 49-year-old segment (which accounts for 60% of the total audience).
Think Bigger – PSG adds bold collection of speakers to its webinar series
Following on the success of the first round of Think Bigwebinars, PSGhas added several new speakers to the series line-up.
“We’ve added to our collection of bigger picture thinkers to explore more topics, including the future of social governance, medical regulation and enforcement, and local and global financial markets, to name a few,” said Tracy Hirst, PSG’s chief marketing officer. Hirst will be hosting a later discussion in the series on the future of media, featuring award-winning journalist and filmmaker, Richard Poplak.
The host of the Think Big webinar series is Bruce Whitfield, who continues to generate fascinating discussions with featured experts. “I feel so privileged to be tapping into some of the country’s sharpest minds and look forward to sharing those conversations with you,” he said.
Prof. Thuli Madonsela, Graeme Smith and Prof. Glenda Gray are among the first of the new speakers added to the Think Big webinar series line-up.
To book your free, virtual seat for PSG’s Think Big sessions, please sign up here: //www.psg.co.za/support/webinars/think-big-with-psg
Future of Work Virtual Conference a ‘must-attend’ event for business in Africa
Businesses on the African continent are at a crossroads, with Covid-19 exacerbating existing cracks in the system, creating an urgent need to adopt innovative technologies for future success. CNBC Africa, in partnership with Forbes Africa and prominent sponsors, is hosting a free virtual summit to outline technological opportunities – hosted on Hopin, an online events platform that allows attendees to engage in interactive virtual networking sessions and expo booths, on Thursday, 20 August 2020 from 9am to 4pm CAT. To benefit fully from The Future of Work Virtual Conference’s uniquely interactive platform, on-day attendance is a must.
“The Future of Work Virtual Conference has a comprehensive speaker panel addressing a diverse range of challenges and opportunities relevant to the current business climate,” explained Roberta Naicker, Managing Director of the ABN Group. “This holistic conference effectively provides business stakeholders – from SMMEs to top-suite executives – with the technical knowledge and tools to navigate the vastly different economy we’re entering. On-day attendance will ensure maximum value for those wanting to, not only survive, but actually thrive using these new technologies.”
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