The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media. Our last column for 2020.
This week’s BIG move: VMLY&R successfully combines tech and data-led creativity
In-house production is nothing new to the agency world, however VAULT, the South African office’s new through-the-line in house production wing, comes future fit for the times.
VAULT may be a new addition to the South African office, but globally forms part of the greater VMLY&R VAULT family, which has seen proven success since launching in 2004 in Kansas City.
“Many agencies say they are part of a global network, but they have very little interaction and collaboration. We are fortunate at VMLY&R in that we really do have close relationships in all our departments and get to leverage the global hivemind, global talent from across the network and provide more specialized creative skills and production methods,” said Jarred Cinman, CEO VMLY&R South Africa.
Covid-19 has shifted the consumer toward prioritising digital communication channels due to social distancing and being constrained during lockdowns all over the world.
“The local development of VAULT recognised this trend, but also realised our offering shouldn’t be a pandemic flash in the pan. It certainly is a priority given our digital roots and clients shifting to a digital first approach. VAULT is digitally lead, but also has the capabilities of being able to execute film, photographic shoots, audio and voice over productions in a responsible manner prioritising the safety of our clients and crew, while achieving high quality creative,” explained Adam Whitehouse, head of design at VMLY&R.
Ziyanda Mngomezulu promoted to managing director of Rapid Blue in 2021
Rapid Blue, the multi-award-winning production house, has promoted Ziyanda Mngomezulu to become its new managing director in 2021.Mngomezulu, currently executive producer and business director at the production powerhouse, will officially take up her new role from April 2021 reporting into Duncan Irvine, CEO. She replaces Kee-Leen Irvine, who will step down as MD after almost a 30-year tenure that has cemented her as one of South Africa’s most cherished and celebrated television executives.
Mngomezulu joined Rapid Blue in May this year. With over 20 years’ experience in the television industry, Mngomezulu’s previous roles at eMedia Investments and SABC have seen her, in her roles as Group Content Services General Manager and Programme Manager respectively, bring to screen hit shows such as SA’s Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing SA. Since joining Rapid Blue, her role has covered projects including The Alibaba Foundation’s Africa’s Business Heroes Entrepreneurship competition and shaping new project ideas for both television channels and OTT platforms.
“I am hugely excited to take on the role of managing director of such a formidable and highly respected production company both here in Africa and internationally,” she said. “I hold great respect for Duncan and Kee-Leen from working closely with them both over the years, as we share the same ethos, values and creative ambition. I am drawn to their professionalism and ability to produce world class television.
Rapid Blue starts 2021 with an exciting collection of upcoming shows including The Bachelorette SA and Love Island SA for M-Net and new Come Dine With Me South Africa for BBC Lifestyle.
Qingqile ‘WingWing’ Mdlulwa joins Wunderman Thompson SA as Group CCO
Qingqile Mdlulwa’s appointment as group chief creative officer to Wunderman Thompson South Africa is a proud milestone for one of the country’s largest marketing services agencies. This heavyweight recruitment serves as the marker of intent for the agency to firmly position creativity as a key driver of the business moving into a new decade.
Affectionately known as ‘WingWing’, Mdlulwa has garnered much respect from the industry throughout his career. Over the past 25 years, he’s gained experience at FCB (Lindsay-Smithers FCB), Twist/AfricaExtraBold, Network BBDO, Leo Burnett and Ireland/Davenport.
CEO of Wunderman Thompson SA, Miles Murphy, said, “He’s the best candidate we could wish to lead our creative team. He has a keen sense of humour, his personality is naturally warm, and his patient disposition is ideal for helping to mentor and grow the agency’s creative talent. We’re expecting great things from him.”
Describing himself as a servant of creativity, Mdlulwa is excited about joining the multinational WPP agency to make a positive impact. “I look forward to supporting and nurturing the young talent in Wunderman Thompson SA while delivering on our ambitious creative agenda, and remain committed to issues of transformation and inclusivity in the industry,” he said.
ViacomCBS appoints Raffaele Annecchino president and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International
Raffaele Annecchino has been appointed president and CEO of ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), effective immediately. He succeeds David Lynn, who is stepping down and will depart the company following a transition period.
In his new role, Annecchino will oversee all of ViacomCBS’s media networks and related businesses outside the U.S. As part of this, he will be responsible for a portfolio of pay-TV entertainment brands and broadcast networks across six continents – including Channel 5 in the UK, Telefe in Argentina, Network 10 in Australia and Colors in India through a joint venture with Viacom18 – and work closely with ViacomCBS’s global streaming organization to help guide the continued international rollout of Pluto TV and the launch of Paramount+ in 2021. He will report to Bob Bakish, President and CEO, ViacomCBS.
Adam Gerhart named Mindshare Global CEO
GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, has announced that Adam Gerhart has been named Mindshare Global CEO, effective January 2021. He brings to the role global experience with multinational brands, including a deep expertise in building innovative partnership models and new ways of leveraging media to solve business challenges. Gerhart, who will serve on GroupM’s Global Leadership Team (GLT), also maintains his Mindshare U.S. CEO role until a successor is named.
As global CEO, Gerhart’s remit includes the strategy and operations of the award-winning global agency network that spans across 86 countries, and the professional development of the agency’s nearly 10,000 colleagues. With a strong belief in media as a business driver for brands, Gerhart’s vision elevates the strategic role media can play in creating purpose and growth. That vision also encompasses data and insights that influence broader brand opportunities like product development, sales and marketing, among others.
“Adam has an unrelenting commitment to clients and to team Mindshare,” said Christian Juhl, GroupM Global CEO. “He brings a strategic business sense combined with a commitment to clients and culture. Adam has always played a pivotal role in Mindshare and our clients’ success around the world, which makes him the perfect fit to now lead the agency into a new era globally.”
Africa’s first Strategic Communication Management Professional (SCMP®) named
The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Africa has announced that André Oberholzer, group head corporate affairs at Sappi Limited, has become the first communication professional in Africa to achieve SCMP® Certification.
The certification, by the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC), is an initiative of the IABC.
The SCMP® accreditation is aimed at highly skilled business communicators who provide strategic communication advice and counselling to an organisation’s leadership.
“It is important that communication leaders remain in touch with new developments to help guide and provide up-to-date counsel to their management teams or clients. The structure and challenge provided by the SCMP ensured that I caught up on topics that I would otherwise not have “had the time” to refresh,” said Oberholzer.
Press Council needs press ombudsman and deputy ombudsman
The Press Ombud’s task is to adjudicate complaints lodged against newspapers, magazines and online publications that subscribe to the Press Code, work closely with the Executive Director to ensure the smooth functioning and efficiency of the adjudication process; co-ordinate the adjudication process and liaise regularly with the deputy ombuds; contribute to monthly, quarterly and annual reports to the Press Council; and participate in information programmes and workshops with the media and the public when required.
The Deputy Ombuds will be required to adjudicate complaints lodged against newspapers, magazines and online publications that subscribe to the Press Code; work closely with the Press Ombud to ensure the smooth functioning and efficiency of the Press Council’s adjudication process; report and be accountable to the Press Ombud; and contribute to monthly, quarterly and annual reports of the Press Council.
Email: email@example.com at the Press Council before the 15 January 2021 to apply.
Old Mutual appoints Avatar and Mortimer Harvey
Following an intensive pitch process, Old Mutual has appointed Mortimer Harvey (MH) and Avatar to provide below-the-line services for the insurer.
Together, the agencies are tasked with the design and production of creative collateral in support of marketing and internal communication campaigns (digital and print). They will also conceptualise and produce Direct Marketing campaigns (email and SMS) and short-form videos.
Andisa Ntsubane, acting CMO at Old Mutual, said, “We are excited about these appointments and look forward to doing great things together. Both agencies are well regarded across the industry for their award-winning creative work and will contribute towards our goal of delivering cutting edge campaigns that elevate our brand.”
Brand-new ‘positive ageing’ magazine hits shelves
In the current economic climate, there aren’t many people brave enough to start a new business venture – let alone launch a magazine – but media industry stalwart Terena le Roux has never been one to back away from a challenge.
“My idea for Joernaal/Journal was born during the height of lockdown, when a large part of the South African magazine industry imploded,” she says. “As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better time than now to launch a magazine, given the void that was created virtually overnight.”
Expanding her current position as editor-owner of Idees and Ideas magazines – titles that she has notably published independently since 2017, when Media24 decided to close the publications – Le Roux will now also edit and publish Joernaal/Journal, in both Afrikaans and English, herself. And, in another bold move, the magazine will be geared towards a 40+ readership, a market she believes is woefully under catered for, given the buying power of this demographic.
Ultimately, Joernaal/Journal offers readers a well-balanced combination of long-form, thought-provoking reads, practical how-to’s for stimulating creativity and meditation, puzzles to keep those neurons firing rapidly, décor and food ideas, book reviews and, of course, some much-needed humour.
JZA – Your Jewellery Magazine, SA Jewellery News and London-based CoNNect Agency establish brand alliance
JZA – Your Jewellery Magazine, SA Jewellery News and CoNNect Agency – a London-based brand development agency – are thrilled to officially announce their triad jewellery industry alliance and working partnership.
Jason Aarons, JZA editor-in-chief and publishing director of Isikhova Media said: “Both JZA, SA Jewellery News and CoNNEct Agency have a deep passion for our respective local and global jewellery brands and the extremely talented and innovative designers behind them. We all made proactive and sound strategic decisions in March to transform aspects of our businesses into fully functional online experiences and meet the changing and challenging landscape of COVID-19 head on.
“Our collaboration will embrace editorial opportunities, brand introductions, marketing and promotions, connecting retail-consumers and trade (manufacturers and wholesalers) to jewellery storyboards worldwide, mentorship and an ongoing ideas exchange.”
Vicinity Media drives support for local businesses this festive season
South African location-based ad technology leader Vicinity Media has created a ‘Near Me’ microapp to assist in locating nearby products and services easily during this busy festive season. The app is integrated with an existing mobile site or app, serving as a mini local search engine.
Showing confidence in the benefits of the Near Me microapp, prominent television news broadcaster eNCA has recently been added to Vicinity Media’s growing list of Near Me publishers along with The Careers Portal, Slikouronlife, Jobs Portal, Maroela Media, Lockdown Bozza and The Skills Portal among others.
The Near Me microapp’s integrated local search functionality on existing publisher sites or apps means that users never have to exit publisher platforms to access a dedicated “near me” search engine. Functionality also includes clickable shortcuts, each representing a product/service category such as ‘restaurant’, ‘coffee shop’ or ‘fashion’ or ‘Zomato trending restaurants’ for example, using globally recognisable icons. In addition to seamless search the microapp also offers localised weather down to suburb level.
United Way South Africa appoints Tribeca Public Relations
United Way South Africa (UWSA), the non-profit organisation that unites all sectors of society to produce healthy, well established and financially stable communities, has appointed Tribeca Public Relations (Tribeca) as its PR agency.
With experience of working with goodwill, charitable and entrepreneurial NPOs and a team of passionate consultants, Tribeca will help support UWSA with all communication and media relations as it embarks on its expansion journey across South Africa, empowering and enriching the country’s most vulnerable communities.
“UWSA creates meaningful change in communities and we are going to help tell their story that by living united, we can create a nation where all citizens have access to equal rights and economic opportunities. In South Africa, where the national agenda of social development takes centre-stage, we believe it is important that marketing and communications promotes this agenda in a responsible, yet creative manner,” said Nicola Tarr, business unit director at Tribeca PR.
Afreximbank and CNNIC partner for a unique multi-year initiative that puts African scale-up companies in the spotlight
CNN International Commercial (CNNIC) and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) are collaborating on a new long-term initiative to showcase, empower and tell the stories of emerging and expanding businesses – known as scale-up companies – across Africa.
In the first partnership of its kind, CNNIC has combined a rich suite of branded content and sponsorship solutions across multiple platforms with Evolve, a brand-new commercial offering to engage CNN’s audiences around the world in a new way about African business and innovation.
In this inaugural Evolve initiative, CNNIC will work together with experts in finance, innovation and investment from Afreximbank, the pan-African multilateral export-import bank, to offer an industry- first scheme that connects Africa’s best scale-ups with investors and customers as well as encouraging intra-African trade.
Starting with a shortlist of 100 high-growth African scale-ups, a final 10 will be selected to take part in the Evolve scheme, with Afreximbank advising and supporting the finalists by offering its expertise acrossarangeofsectorsincludingFinTechandAgriTech. The10successfulcompanieswillparticipate in a project designed to establish impactful partnerships and pilots between the companies and a top- tier corporate and investor network taking place across a series of events and meetings over 12 months.
Coca-Cola launches global media and creative agency review
This is the BIG one for the new year. The massive global beverage brand said it wanted to “dramatically improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its marketing investments” as just a cost-cutting measure is misguided.
“We believe we can unlock considerable value through a redesign of our model and consolidation of third-party agencies, and while this effort is expected to generate cost savings, this is not the sole objective of this exercise,” Coca-Cola global CMO Manuel Arroyo stated in an internal memo shared with Ad Age. Ad Age broke the story here.
Castle Lite uses AI to reach consumers
UPDATE: Castle Lite has put the campaign on hold as it has “now become more imperative than before, to be responsible this festive season and heed the advice of government and health practitioners”. Taking into account the rise in cases and what is expected from all of us to act responsibly, we have decided to put our campaign on hold. “This includes the Hot as Hell temperature mechanic as well as our twitter activity aimed at rewarding consumers with 6packs. Even though our terms and conditions were always set up to be responsible, with only 2 6packs per person given away over a 3month period, we still believe that we need to stand in solidarity and act responsibly together,” said Castle Lite brand director, Silke Bucker.
When they were faced with how to bring refreshment to South Africans this summer, Castle Lite dug deep into their reservoir of innovative thinking to come up with the #UnlockSummer campaign which relies on artificial intelligence (AI) to alert the brand when South Africans are in need of refreshment, triggering a thirst-quenching release of refreshment for all.
But, in order to achieve their goal of refreshing as many people as possible, Castle Lite took things a step further and relied on the powerful technology of AI. In simple terms, Castle Lite built a machine called the RefresherRhythm, whose job it is to pay attention to what consumers are saying on social media and find people who are missing out on living their best summer lives because they can’t maximize a specific summer moment for whatever reason.
To do this, they turned to Christopher, an AI social media advertising platform that specializes in data analysis as well as real-time engagement and insights, all key components of #UnlockSummer.
Record royalty distributions after SAMRO cost-cutting measures
The Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), has announced that it has distributed record royalties to its more than 16 000 members and increased their funeral benefit pay-out by 25%.
Speaking at the annual general meeting SAMRO board chairman, Nicholas Maweni, revealed the record royalties distribution and improved benefits for members came after the organisation implemented cost-cutting measures.
He said in the last financial year SAMRO distributed R408.9 million or 37.6 percent more in royalties, a significant jump from the previous year’s allocation of R297.2 million.
Maweni said the change in SAMRO’s fortunes was directly linked to “tightening of the belt” inside the organisation and growing revenue from traditional and emerging digital platforms.
Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival extends ticket sales for online events
Ticket sales for select events at the Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival have been extended so that fans can enjoy the best online elements of the festival.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Wavescape was able to forge ahead with a revised lineup of events, including an historic collaboration with the Galileo Open Air Cinema that saw 400 people enjoy an outdoor evening of films at Kirstenbosch.
The flagship Slide Night of talks by ocean gurus will be available for streaming until 31 December, including speakers from around the world who zoomed in for a recorded iteration of the informative and entertaining evening, while the Spike Swell Course (a digital glimpse at wave dynamics and surf forecasting by founder of Wavescape.co.za Steve Pike); and the last selection of short to medium surf and ocean films will also be viewable.
The films are Doll Riot (ballet crosstepping incredible longboarder Karina Rozunko); Rise from the Cape Flats (Saffa journey of ocean awakening); Miles from Anywhere (big wave charger Michelle Des Bouillons surfs West Oz with Imogen Caldwell); Out on Parole (Breaking out of Lockdown up the Weskus!); Ebb and Flow (all-female Irish surf movie!); The Armstrongs (profile of homegrown soul surfing family); Roam (Female Lebanese snowboarders and surfers break down convention); and Flow State (Insane, incredible Russell Bierke arm wrestles Shipstern’s Bluff … and wins).
Speakers at Slide Night included Australian longboard legend Belinda Baggs, top Californian filmmaker Chris Burkard and Mexican ocean conservation pioneer Cristina Mittermeier.
Durban FilmMart Institute – 2021 Project Submissions Call Out
The Durban FilmMart Institute has opened the call for project submissions for the 2021 Durban FilmMart (DFM).
“Our vision is to stimulate the growth of the African film industry through the development of film projects, and to network African filmmakers within the continent, and the rest of the world,” said Magdalene Reddy, acting general manager of the Durban FilmMart Institute.
“The success of the DFM over the years can be seen in the many independent film projects that have reached festivals as well as big and small screens, and the connections and relationships that have been developed and forged over the years.”
The DFMI independent adjudication committee will select ten feature-length documentaries and ten feature-length fiction film projects from the submissions. These projects will undergo a two-day packaging and mentorship programme during the DFM, followed by one-on-one meetings with a panel of film financiers, buyers, and distributors from across the globe.
For more about the Durban FilmMart Institute, project submission criteria, and how to submit your project, click here.
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