The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media.
This week’s BIG move: Jabulani Sikhakhane is the new editor at The Conversation Africa
The Conversation Africa starts a new chapter this month with the appointment of Jabulani Sikhakhane as new editor of the online title. Sikhakhane takes over the reins from Caroline Southey, who will assume the role of founding editor, shifting her focus to the site’s future sustainability. She will also deputise for the editor in his absence.
“I am honoured to have been offered the editorship of the Conversation Africa which has grown into a formidable editorial platform since its inception almost six years ago,” Sikhakhane said:
Sikhakhane, a former financial journalist, has also worked for National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank. As deputy editor and editor of economic and business coverage, he has helped establish the site as a respected and trustworthy media player on the continent. He has been particularly instrumental in steering its orientation towards East and West Africa while consolidating its position in Southern Africa.
TC Africa board chair, Dr Rob Moore, said: “The appointment of Jabulani Sikhakhane as the new editor speaks to our confidence in the next stage of The Conversation Africa’s development. As chairman of the board it has been a pleasure to oversee a smooth transition that is testament to the quality, maturity and depth of leadership that’s brought The Conversation Africa this far.”
TC Africa is part of the global Conversation family of eight sites based in Australia, Canada, France, Indonesia, New Zealand, Spain and USA. The Conversation started in Australia with the simple idea of using journalistic skills to make the expertise of academics easily accessible to the public.
The change in leadership comes as TC Africa marks its sixth anniversary on May 7 this year. Since small beginnings – a team of eight based in Johannesburg – it has steadily built a strong team in Nairobi, Lagos, Accra, and Dakar. Julius Maina and Adejuwon Soyinka lead the East and West Africa editorial teams respectively. Maina is a former veteran editor in Kenya
Mo Flava and Fix Moeti spearhead Converse student debt relief campaign, #Kickthedebt
Converse has launched its version of the movement to wiping out student debt called #kickthedebt. The issue of student debt is a prominent issue South African youths face, with an increasing need for the issue to be erased. Converse is pledging R1 million to supporting and assisting students across South Africa, allowing students with interests across any career field the chance to apply.
The campaign is supported by Radio personalities Mo Flava and Fix Moeti. Mo Flava is Metro FM’s breakfast show host. Mo is already known as someone who cares about education. He has a partnership with Boston Media House that provides bursaries for students to study the media industry.
DJ Fix, is not only a radio and TV star. Fix Scholarship – a non-profit organisation that provides educational and business bursary opportunities for Female Entrepreneurs in Africa who want to create social change in their communities.
To combat those barriers, applicants can enter and access the #KicktheDebt nomination form on the Converse e-commerce website, where friends and family will also be able to motivate for funds. At the end of the nomination phase, Skye and/its appointed vetting service provider shall assess each nomination and select the final beneficiaries.
PepsiCo SSA appoints Machine_ as lead digital creative agency for snack portfolio
After delivering a pitch specific to the Nik Naks brand, Machine_ has been appointed as the South African digital creative agency for PepsiCo’s snack brand portfolio including Nik Naks, Simba, Doritos and Lays.
Brandon Mncube, head of digital marketing and media for the snacks division at PepsiCo Sub Saharan Africa, said that through the pitch process they were looking for an agency that showcased a deep strategic understanding of South Africa’s youth market, and how to meaningfully connect with them by telling an engaging story online.
According to Mncube, they found what they were looking for at Machine_. “Through the pitch Machine_ really demonstrated their strategic capability with an insightful understanding of our nuanced audience, while proving their ability to both creatively and effectively use digital and social media platforms to connect and engage with our consumers. Their unique approach to the process also grabbed our attention within the first five minutes of the pitch, so we knew right away that the chemistry and culture fit was there.”
Machine_ has shown consistent growth over the past 12 months starting 2020 with a strong through-the-line appointment on Heineken SA. Most recently the agency added the Absolut Vodka (digital creative agency) to their existing portfolio of Pernod Ricard SA brands in Johannesburg.
The Hardy Boys brings it Home
It’s an exciting union of two well-known Durban-based brands: The Hardy Boys (THB) – a Wunderman Thompson company – and Mr Price Home.
Mr Price Home sought out a strategic/creative partner to support the continued growth and success of its market-leading business. THB was one of three Durban agencies invited to pitch.
THB’s chief creative officer, Geoff Paton, said, “It’s been an absolute pleasure working on the pitch for such a well-loved South African brand. There is a real opportunity to do great work and help this amazing local business grow. I believe our work demonstrated an understanding of the place that the Mr Price Home occupies in the hearts and minds of South Africans and the importance of customer experience. Exciting times ahead.”
Sue Napier, MD of advertising for Wunderman Thompson SA, said the team were delighted with the achievement.
Influence+United aligns with HaveYouHeard to offer access to influencers in Africa
IZEA Worldwide Inc, a charter member of the worldwide influencer marketing alliance offering access to over three-billion global citizens to modern brand marketers, Influence+United, has partnered with Cape Town headquartered agency, HaveYouHeard, to expand its footprint on the African continent.
According to IZEA chairman and CEO, Ted Murphy, Africa is a largely untapped market, but with a population of 780 million, socially-native young adults the opportunity to tap into this growing segment is undeniable.
“Consumers across Africa are looking to their peers and influencers across digital platforms more than ever,” he said. “With this, influencer marketing is a critical component for brands to have success.
“HaveYouHeard has the capabilities to drive brand growth and market penetration throughout the continent. Having access to this rapidly growing, innovative country is central to Influence+United’s mission.”
By combining online and offline influence with a full digital, content production and behavioural economics service, it is ideally equipped to assist IZEA expand the alliance’s presence in African markets, said co-founder and head of strategy at HaveYouHeard, Ryan McFadyen.
CCID launches map on key CBD eateries to encourage people to #ComeBackToTown
Now’s the time to #ComeBackToTown to rediscover the culinary delights of the Cape Town city centre. A vibrant melting pot of award-winning, destination and popular eateries and cultural hot spots await – all highlighted in a new map of the Central City which will be distributed by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) at traffic intersections, in suburban post boxes and in town from this week. This is the latest in its #ComeBackToTown initiative, which aims to reinvigorate the economy of the CBD and support its restaurant stakeholders.
“The map is specific, themed and easy to navigate, providing the consumer with so many choices of places to eat and drink,” said Tasso Evangelinos, CEO of the CCID. “We see it as a way of supporting local businesses and will hopefully help to keep their doors open and prevent any more closures. There is a real need for us all to assist each other during this pandemic.”
While both print and digital copies will be available, Evangelinos sees the printed copy as being something of a drawcard. “With print being so tangible, people will really get to feel the attraction of the city. We want to see people walking around holding the map in their hands. It gives us the opportunity to make a bit of a noise about the diverse offerings in the CBD and explain why it is such a desirable destination.”
An extensive social media campaign will launch alongside the distribution of the map, revolving around fun themes like where to find the best burgers, Cape Town’s coffee culture, top Italian restaurants and, now that alcohol sales have reopened, the best spot for a classy cocktail or a refreshing sundowner. This bespoke content aims to alert consumers to the vast array of eating and drinking experiences on offer in the CBD.
CapeTalk’s Moonstruck is back and online.
Talk radio station CapeTalk has announced that Moonstruck, one of its flagship station events, will happen online as a virtual music experience this year.
“The event has such a rich heritage,” said Tessa van Staden, CapeTalk station manager. “Traditionally it’s the time when families connect over a picnic meal and great music. That hasn’t changed – the event still pays homage to everyone’s favourite hits from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s… the songs everyone in the family can sing along to. The only change is that this year the concert is online for everyone to watch from their garden or lounge.”
The 90 minute music production will be streamed online on Saturday 27 February at 19:00. Music lovers and Moonstruck fans are encourage to register here to receive the link to watch the show.
Moonstruck is once again sponsored by Simply Asia.
Ruptly inks deal with CCTV+ to boost business news coverage of China
Ruptly, the award-winning international news and multimedia agency, has signed an agreement with CCTV Video News Agency (CCTV+) giving its global clients access to the latest business news from across China.
Under the new deal, Ruptly clients will be able to access and download content from the recently launched CCTV+ China Business Video, which covers the most important economic and business news stories from across China and the rest of Asia.
“We have over 170 clients in 120 countries, so we are very excited to be able to offer our international customers access to outstanding business news and video content under this agreement with CCTV+,” said Matt Tabaccos, chief commercial Officer at Ruptly. “Due to the pandemic and continued fragmentation of the media, it’s more important than ever to strengthen cooperation. Agreements such as this diversify our offer to clients and help to improve mutual understanding.”
Local consultancy named Qlik Elite partner in Africa
Qlik, a provider of intuitive platform solutions for self-service data visualisation, guided analytics applications, embedded analytics, and reporting has recently upgraded local company, RIC Consulting, to Elite Partner Status – the highest tier of partnership possible.
This announcement indicates Qlik’s recognition of RIC’s dedication to quality, commitment to Qlik solutions, and devotion to enhanced customer experiences. As one of only four Qlik Elite Partners in South Africa, RIC’s team of experts will enjoy a much closer working relationship with Qlik International. This will ensure it continues to drive customer satisfaction across the region, with more comprehensive access to high-quality information, resources, support, and services.
Exclusive Teacha! Education Report gives a voice to SA teachers
As teachers return to schools and begin to welcome students back amid South Africa’s second wave, Snapplify’s online teacher hub Teacha! has released a new edition of Teacha! Magazine. The publication, which has been published quarterly since 2018, is well-known in the education community for providing empowering advice and inspirational ideas for teachers.
‘Supporting teachers is the driving force behind everything we do at Teacha!. Towards the end of 2020, we decided to hold our first-ever survey because we knew how beneficial this data would be to teachers and the wider education community,’ said Teacha! Founder, Jean Vermeulen.
The Teacha! 2020 Education Report breaks down the current status of South African education and gives insight to what it is like teaching in the country.
Zapper eliminates need for QR code on PIN entry device for leading retailer
QR codes have been a huge hit with smaller traders, especially in the hospitality industry, weekend markets and owner-run businesses. Zapper’s continued success at Dis-Chem, however, is proving that the technology is possible at even the largest of retailers – without the expense of new pin entry devices (PEDs) with complex interfaces or costly customer facing screens.
“This challenge of producing a dynamic QR code that was both paperless and didn’t require the store generating it on a digital screen seemed insurmountable,” adds White.
However, by keeping it simple for both customer and cashier, Zapper came up with a now patented innovation that has all the data benefits of a dynamic QR code, and all the visual call-to-action benefits of a static QR code, without all the fuss and at a 97% cost saving of the aforementioned options.
Innovative advertising medium boosts South Africa’s gig economy
Established two years ago, MotionAds has been addressing a critical gap in the local market by leveraging the ubiquity of food delivery bikes for corporate advertising, and through this supplementing the income of food delivery drivers, a booming segment of the gig economy in this country.
A portion of the advertising campaign spend goes directly to the drivers who are essentially micro-enterprises. The benefits for corporates include locally targeted advertising specific to the suburbs and streets where they want to grow their brands. From the boxes on the back of the bikes through to the helmets the drivers are wearing, there are a variety of cost-effective advertising spots to choose from that deliver a compelling value proposition.
“With MotionAds pioneering a new form of media, our advertising campaigns focus on a shared-value business model that sees corporates able to get a return on investment while empowering entrepreneurs. It is as much about creating brand awareness as it is supporting and empowering the food delivery drivers. As gig workers, these drivers are on their own operating model. But as MotionAds is the innovator in providing advertising space on these delivery bikes, we provide the drivers with a way to earn additional income when carrying our advertising campaigns,” said Jonathan Berkowitz, Director at MotionAds.
MotionAds has built up an impressive client list including Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Sorbet Man, Baldwin Properties, Yoco, Atlas Finance and more.
A look back at the world’s busiest websites in 2020 just fyi
The average modern human spends a huge amount of time online, but which websites keep us coming back time and time again? An updated report by Fasthosts.co.uk reveals the busiest websites in 2020; from search engines to social media platforms, news sites to entertainment and everything in between.
The 2020’s top 20 busiest websites are:
The Witness celebrates 175 years of continuous news publishing
The Witness celebrates 175 years of continuous news publishing on the 27 February 2021, securing its place as the oldest daily news platform in South Africa. In the media world, such a milestone is not achieved without clarity of purpose and a well-developed ability to adapt to a changing ecosystem.
Since 1846 The Witness has been committed to delivering ‘The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth’ to its readers. It is a well trusted brand. Witness Editor Stephanie Saville explained, “Our audience relies on the fact that we know KwaZulu-Natal well and they know that the news we produce will be relevant and important.” Readers see The Witness as a champion of day-to-day issues of local and provincial importance; Saville affirms, “We take our watchdog role very seriously and regularly investigate and expose issues where government and local government have failed their people or where active corruption has taken place.”
On 01 October 2020, The Witness launched its new digital presence delivering impressive results: in a mere three months both its average daily Unique Browsers and Page Views quadrupled according to Narratiive data. Across mobile, desk-top and social media platforms, it achieved a digital footprint of 1 741 095. This figure continues to grow.
This growth continues as the publication promotes its content across the social media sites of a host of Media24 local newspapers across the province, drawing in audiences from around KZN. By December 2020, The Witness had drawn more than double the number of Unique Browsers than the nearest competitive local news and radio brands in KZN.
Adcheck: 50 and flourishing
Advertising monitoring and insights business, Adcheck, celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Considered one of the country’s leading advertising monitoring services, in 2020 the company detected more than 38 billion impressions on digital display and video advertising, across Facebook, YouTube and more than 500 IAB publishers.
The company was founded in 1971 as Adcheck to provide a vouching service for print media bookings and tear sheets for advertising agencies. After various owners the business was sold by entrepreneur Trevor Ahier to Primedia where it formed part of the marketing division. Adcheck was then sold back to Ahier who established a new division called Retail Monitor, which tracked broadsheet promotional activity. In 2008 the Retail Monitor division merged with BMi Foodpack which later became known as BMi Research. Adcheck is currently co-owned by BMi Research and Adcheck director, Angela
OFM turns 35
Central South Africa’s number one radio station, OFM, celebrates its 35th birthday this year.
From its humble beginnings in 1985 as an SABC evening broadcast of Radio Highveld in Bloemfontein for the central South African region, to the Northern Cape and Free State eventually having their own station, Radio Oranje in 1986, to adopting its current name and format in 2002, OFM has had an remarkable journey thus far.
In 1996, Radio Oranje became the very first SABC radio station to be privatised. Sold for R11-million to a consortium of investors, it would pay back its purchase price within 18 months.
The station underwent a radical presenter line-up shift in 2002. This signalled the end of the Radio Oranje sound (and name – though this started gradually from as early as the late 1990s). According to former OFM CEO Gary Stroebel, “The audience initially reacted with derision, but audience numbers started to swell, and the station never looked back as the new sound reflected modern trends, not only in broadcasting, but also music”.
The station has been involved in major events, including the annual OFM Classic Cycle Race in Bloemfontein, the Image Plus roadshow, and the annual Radio Oranje Song Talent Competition (similar to the Idols concept, but preceding it by many years).
OFM has also won its fair share of awards – at the Artes, Loeries, Pendoring, South Africa’s radio industry awards, and many others. The station’s various departments, including news and advertising, have shown that they can compete with the best in the business… and win.
Meta Media turns two!
Happy second birthday, Meta Media! This “curious” cultured, #SoWhat driven, full-service media agency opened their Johannesburg office doors in January 2019 and Cape Town in February 2019 and have flourished ever since.
“Over the past two years we have continuously proved that we are the “so what” agency, consistently looking for the insights behind the data and the story behind the story,” said Kagiso Musi, group managing director at Meta Media. “The agency has gone through an incredible journey over the past two years, including that year that shall not be named.”
In the very first year of operation and quite remarkably beating out many other large agencies that have been in business for decades, Meta Media placed top three at the 2019 MOST Awards in not one but two categories, namely Full-Service Media Agency of the Year 2019 and Overall Media Agency of the Year 2019. In 2020, yet more awards when two Assegai Awards were received for integrated marketing campaigns that delivered exceptional results.
Quanita Salie, Cape Town Media Director says,” Happy birthday to us! It’s been a great two years working with a fantastic team, clients and media partners. I look forward to many more successful years with everyone.”
Google announces Africa Online Safety Fund winners
In recognition of Safer Internet Day today, Google has announced the winners of grant funding from the Africa Online Safety Fund, launched by Google.org in 2020.
The Africa Online Safety Fund was created to support innovative ideas around privacy, trust and safety for families online across sub-Saharan Africa. It is administered by Impact Amplifier, on behalf of Google.org.
The finalists cohort includes 26 organisations across the region working on a range of projects that focus on online safety for children, their families and schools as well small-to-medium businesses, anti-terrorism intiatives focused on young people and combatting mis- and disinformation.
The South African grant awardees and their projects are:
Transformative ($100 000 each)
- Dream Factory Foundation – Combining online educational programmes through edutainment and train-the-trainer workshops with telehealth counselling services for young people, teachers and parents.
- The Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change – Developing and disseminating content that counters mis/disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic; and exposes manipulation networks that promote hate.
Catalytic, receiving $10 000 each:
- Endcode – Creating a framework and guidelines for defining age-appropriate online services.
- Fundanii – Training teachers and students, and integrating online safety into the digital literacy curriculum of a primary school district.
- Global Leading Light Initiatives – Facilitating student-driven and culturally inclusive internet safety education and awareness activities to empower young people, teachers and parents.
- Media Monitoring Africa – Creating and distributing educational online comic strips as a means to teach children how to critically decipher information and discern between credible news and disinformation.
The full list of awardees is on the Google blog here.
SPORTSCENE shines a light on TFG’s digital transformation
There is plenty of talk about digital innovation and disruption in the retail sector but TFG’s Sportscene brand walks the talk. The brand’s app includes a media channel attracting up to a million views a month and a livestream radio station offering a selection of SA music which is reaching over 180 000 listeners a month.
“Sportscene is seeing significant growth in brand loyalty from SA youth through its app,” said TFG group director Donald Gedye. “Weekend Turn Up, a show on the Sportscene Studio media channel, can reach over a million views per episode while its livestream radio station has hundreds of thousands of listeners with an average listenership of 25 minutes.”
Gedye says digital tansformation is a key business objective for TFG which has invested substantially in this area, and Sportscene is at the forefront of this transformation.
“The most important communication channel for our youth audience is mobile and their purchase decisions begin there,” said Gedye. “Our Sportscene customers are spending an average of three hours on their phones and two hours streaming music each day. So, Sportscene built a channel that is not simply a platform to shop but connects with SA youth in an emotive way through music and content.”
Dis-Chem Brain of 702 and CapeTalk take general knowledge competition to the next level
Popular general knowledge quiz Dis-Chem Brain of 702 and CapeTalk is back on the airwaves of popular regional talk radio stations 702 and CapeTalk.
The iconic quiz has been running for 10 years. The latest reiteration boasts even more prize money and an additional Junior Brain element.
“This year we decided to shake it up a bit and add even more prize money. We also know our younger audience to be a smart bunch, so we added a daily Junior Brain execution on both stations,” said Thabisile Mbete, 702 Station Manager.
Adults can also register to compete on the links above to win their share of R220 000.
Previously, the finals of the competition were held in shopping malls across Cape Town and Gauteng. This year, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the weekly finals will be hosted on radio and streamed live on social media.
Dis-Chem Brain and Junior Brain of 702 and CapeTalk happen on-air daily until 26 February 2021.
Africa Podfest – Celebrating the pride of Africa’s growing podcasting footprint
The 2021 #AfricaPodcastDay by Africa Podfest aims to celebrate and appreciate the talent within the continent’s podcasting industry. Directed by Josephine Karianjahi and Melissa Mbugua, Africa Podfest was created as a space for the region’s podcasting pioneers to gather, share knowledge and connect with African and international partners.
From listeners, to podcasters and the greater audio community, #AfricaPodcastDay was started in recognition of the growth of podcasting on the continent, which is historically a strong audio continent, with radio being the most widely-consumed media.
#AfricaPodcastDay will be held on Friday, 12 February 2021. The day’s proceedings will commence with community events at 6am WAT/ 7am CAT/ 8am EAT. This will be followed by the official opening of Africa Podfest which will commemorate the day through a four-hour virtual gathering which starts at 10am WAT/ 11 am CAT/ 12pm EAT.
14th Talents Durban 2021 Call For Entries
The Durban FilmMart Institute (DFMI) has opened the call for projects submissions for the 14th edition of Talents Durban.
The DFMI in cooperation with Berlinale Talents, an initiative of the Berlin International Film Festival, is proud to open the call for projects for the 14th edition of Talents Durban. Talents Durban, a project of the DFMI, will run alongside Africa’s premier co-production market and finance forum, the Durban FilmMart.
“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 GM of the Durban FilmMart Institute. “We intend to build on the success of the 2020 virtual edition to drive African cinema forward.”
Talents Durban opens entries to African screenwriters and directors with fiction, documentary, animation, and hybrid projects in development. Filmmakers are directed to complete the online application form.
Applications are now open on: //www.berlinale-talents.de/bt/durban/ap/info/index
HOMEMAKERS Joburg postponed
Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the 2021 Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Fair, set to take place at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and Convention Centre from 26 to 28 March has been postponed.
Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the 2021 Johannesburg HOMEMAKERS Fair, set to take place at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and Convention Centre from 26 to 28 March has been postponed. An alternative date for the event will be communicated as soon as possible.
“With South Africa still in the midst of the second wave of infection and continued restrictions on large scale events, it is not feasible to hold HOMEMAKERS Fair safely at this point,” said Hestelle Robinson, COO of HOMEMAKERS Media Holdings.
The HOMEMAKERS Fair team are using this extra time to ensure the event is a fun day out for the whole family, with newly introduced categories, activities and pop-up events that reflect all the new ways South Africans use their homes.
An alternative date will be announced soon.