The Media Online’s weekly round up of people, account and business moves in media.
This week’s BIG move: Disney+ sets 18 May 2022 as launch date for South Africa
Disney+, the streaming service from The Walt Disney Company, has confirmed the streaming service will launch in South Africa on 18 May 2022. South African pricing has also been announced at R119.00 per month, or R1 190.00 for an annual subscription.
With exclusive original content and thousands of episodes and movies from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and general entertainment from Star, Disney+ is the streaming home for some of the world’s most beloved stories.
Subscribers will have access to Star Wars’ The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian from executive producer and writer Jon Favreau. In addition, the Marvel Studios’ series Moon Knight starring Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant, which sees a mild-mannered gift-shop employee becoming plagued with blackouts and memories of another life as well as Academy Award®-nominated “Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings” starring Simu Liu and Awkwafina, will also be available at launch.
In general entertainment, subscribers will also be able to watch titles including The Simpsons, Queens and The Kardashians. From National Geographic, fans will have access to both seasons of The World According To Jeff Goldblum that sees Jeff take us on an entertaining, insightful and playful ride. In each episode of these 12-part series, he pulls on the thread of a deceptively familiar object to unravel a world of astonishing connections and fascinating science and history.
Disney+ offers access to high-quality viewing up to four concurrent streams, unlimited downloads on up to ten devices, and the ability to set up to seven different profiles, including the ability for parents to set Kids Profiles that have an easy-to-navigate, child-friendly interface to access age-appropriate content.
Tshepo Mahloele, co-founder and group executive director of Harith, is the new Patron in Africa for the Global Citizen movement. The announcement was made at launch events for the 2022 Global Citizen campaign in Johannesburg, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria.
The Global Citizen is an international advocacy group that brings together world leaders, celebrities, philanthropists from around the world to lead campaigns that address socio-economic challenges in the developing world.
This year the focus will be on fighting extreme poverty. The End Extreme Poverty NOW – Our Future Can’t Wait campaign — will feature a calendar of major global events focusing on three critical issues:
- Empowering adolescent girls across the world;
- Breaking systemic barriers that keep people trapped in poverty; and
- Taking climate action now.
Harith, a leading Pan African infrastructure investor that Mahloele co-founded 16 years ago, is ideally positioned to partner with the Global Citizen movement having unlocked billions of dollars’ worth of investments for investments in signature infrastructure assets such as Lake Turkana Wind Farm in Kenya, the largest wind farm in Africa; the Henri Konan Bridge in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, among others.
Those that have already thrown their weight behind the movement include the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina Mohammed, President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Zambia Hakainde Hichilema, Foreign Minister of Nigeria Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Environment of Rwanda Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Former Executive Director of UN Women Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and many other presidents of nations around the world.
OFM alumni Nick Efstathiou makes strides in Central South Afric.
Central Media Group chief executive officer, Nick Efstathiou, has been appointed to the board of the Free State Goldfields Chamber of Business. This well-known member of the Free State business fraternity has spent many years at the helm of Central South Africa’s leading commercial radio station, OFM, a subsidiary of CMG.
Efstathiou is also renowned as a meticulous media professional specialising in executive radio station management, brand management, and development, strategic marketing, sponsorship management, radio programming, media sales, and events.
“CMG invested into the Goldfields with a radio studio for OFM at the popular Goldfields Mall. The home of OFM in Welkom is at the center of the radio station’s business dealings in the heart of the Free State. OFM aims to leverage this positioning and the relationships with good businesses in the area,” said Efstathiou.
Under Efstathiou’s leadership, the station has gone from strength to strength. His uncompromising strive for excellence has resulted in numerous SA Radio Award nominations and wins, including the coveted Bright Star Award, internal accolades, and even a rare Grand Prix Loerie.
McDowell takes on triple non-exec board opportunities
With a very clear idea of what she brings and what she expects to take from non-executive board appointments, Johanna McDowell, CEO of the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS) and SCOPEN Africa managing partner, has signed up to new board commitments “with purpose”.
The position that excites McDowell immensely is her place on the Regenesys MBA Creative Industry Advisory Board. Be The Business, a UK-based free and impartial resource that offers targeted support and guidance for UK business leaders looking to improve, asked McDowell to participate as a non exec director and fits well with her schedule as her mentorship is online.
“This is an advisory board role, where I will be mentoring SMEs in various sectors of industry. Obviously it makes sense for Be The Business to have me mentor in those sectors that I have more knowledge in, but I also look forward to bringing some of my knowledge from South Africa to the UK and vice versa. Having grown up and been educated in the UK as well as working there for a number of years before coming to South Africa, it will be interesting to compare and contrast my experiences in both countries.”
McDowell adds that working globally with SCOPEN and the AAR Group has also enabled her to stay in touch with market trends in countries other than South Africa.
Carla van Pletzen joins Grey … for the second time
It’s official. Carla van Pletzen has re-joined the Grey team on a permanent basis as PR director of the Grey PR and influencer marketing unit. Van Pletzen is no stranger to Grey. She was previously PR head of department, and after a brief stint in the wilderness, has returned “home”.
Van Pletzem commented about her return: “This team really has the best and the nicest people to work with”
She has been in the industry from when fax was still a thing. She has worked across most industries in the FMCG industry, food – fast food, frozen veggies, fresh veggies, bread, yoghurt, crisps, personal care, lots of alcohol, coffee, tea, make-up, trucks, cars, babies, the works! Carla has seen it all when it comes to crisis and disaster. Dealing with PR, influencers, and celebrities every day, she permanently circles the hot place.
Carla enjoys writing, coming up with ideas, working with people, mentoring, dealing with the media (even the most difficult ones) and still gets a kick out of every published article – it really never gets old.
Meet G&G Digital’s new GM, Samantha Fletcher
Samantha Fletcher stepped into her new hybrid role as client service director and general manager (GM) of G&G Digital, the award-winning digital marketing agency based in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
While Fletcher has worked with the dynamic team at G&G Digital for the past decade, her full-time return as a business partner and Client Service Director in 2019 led to this new and exciting opportunity. And she’s eager to take the agency to the next level as they expand their digital marketing solutions into regulated industries.
“I’m very excited about the future of our business and the smart, value-adding solutions we offer our clients to help them achieve their business goals,” said Fletcher. “The past two years haven’t been easy, but our team worked incredibly hard and remained passionate to positively impact our clients by delivering smart and breakthrough communication strategies that engaged our clients’ target audiences and delivered results,” she added.
Provantage Media Group buys 51% stake in retail specialist H&A
The Provantage Media Group has acquired a controlling interest in end-to-end retail specialist business H&A in what CEO and founder Jacques du Preez said is a move to be the leading marketing services company in Africa.
“Our intention is to capitalise on both companies’ continued growth trajectories and expand our market reach, whilst simultaneously leveraging our unique capabilities to enhance our client offerings. Our companies are aligned in our mission to be the leading marketing services company on the African continent and we are excited to harness the PMG footprint to geographically expand H&A offerings and continue to provide best-in-class services to clients,” Du Preez said in a press release.
Chairman of the PMG board, Tshegofatso Sefolo, added that, “the opportunity to expand on our investment and achieving sustained value creation on both sides was a decisive factor in the acquisition, as it allows for portfolio diversification, accelerated growth and profitability returns, now and in future”.
The two companies operate within the same sector, but at different ends of the same value chain. The merger will give rise to multiple synergies, making it a solid strategic alliance. Du Preez noted that H&A brought several critical skillsets to PMG’s widening scope of services and innovation. Most notably their in-store product design expertise, which will add to PMG’s offering in several areas from concept, design and infrastructure integration of innovative out of home structures.
AGENCY SCOPE data platform enables more efficient and effective new business success
Subscribers to AGENCY SCOPE have another treat in store with the development by SCOPEN of a digital platform that enables users to access the precise type of data they need, and drill down for more detail.
César Vacchiano, president and CEO of SCOPEN, said the data platform enables log-in, look and learn efficiency in finding client specifics.
“Our latest innovation will be very useful for subscribers to better understand how different profiles of types of companies – by category or city – think and make decisions about their agencies.”
Johanna McDowell, SCOPEN AFRICA partner and CEO of the Independent Agency Search & Selection Company (IAS), said the launch of the digital platform enhances the way agencies can access data that will assist with refining their strategic direction
“The data reveals whether an agency’s rating in strategy, digital capabilities or diversity and gender breakdown is important to a particular industry. The agency can overlay their scores with a potential client in a certain industry’s needs for a good fit upfront making the new business process that much easier and faster.”
Innovocean on track to begin OOH roll-out at the V&A in April
At the end of 2021, Innovocean — a joint venture between Tractor Outdoor and Reveel — was awarded the exclusive advertising rights for the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront, encompassing all of the out-of-home (OOH) and digital out-of-home (DOOH) signage applications.
At the time the contract was awarded, the company announced its intention to create new digital opportunities, which included the use of current as well as futuristic technology, paired with brand new infrastructure and aesthetically-stellar inventory design.
Innovocean will officially begin structural installation from 1 April 2022, with all new OOH sites installed by early May.
“We have a number of very impactful sites that will be implemented at a later stage. Compliance with the advertising and signage bylaws is a non-negotiable for us in all of our installations, and we are currently awaiting approval from the City of Cape Town’s signage department on these newly-identified sites. Once secured, we will commence roll-out, and are extremely excited about the possibilities that these new sites will unlock,” said Ben Harris, managing director at Tractor.
Tanner Rock, commercial director at Reveel, said several unique and innovative new elements will be integrated into key sites, and references the V&A’s iconic Amphitheatre and Centre Court sites. “We have significantly increased the size of these screens ensuring a far greater impact for our advertisers. These screens will also lend themselves very well to the increasingly popular anamorphic effect, and we cannot wait to see what our clients, along with some of South Africa’s best creative agencies, have planned for this incredible space.”
Harris adds that every single DOOH screen will be fitted with a camera and state-of-the art facial recognition technology, whilst adhering to all data privacy laws.
Innovocean also plans to integrate other cutting-edge technologies, which will allow marketers to serve adverts to consumers based on the shops they have visited, via their mobile devices — a location settings opt-in. “For example, if we identify a visitor frequenting a female fashion store, our algorithms can use this as a trigger to showcase a competing brand when the consumer passes a screen.
Machine_ celebrates another Pepsico SSA pitch win
In September 2020, creative solutions agency Machine_ was awarded the PepsiCo Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) snack brand portfolio, after beating out other digital agencies with a successful NikNaks pitch. The PepsiCo snack portfolio included NikNaks, Simba, Doritos and Lay’s.
Fast forward to 2022 and Machine_ is back with another PepsiCo SSA pitch win, following the corporation’s large-scale pitching drive, across all disciplines, which came as a result of its acquisition of Pioneer Foods. Retaining their Simba and Lay’s digital portfolios, Machine_ has now added White Star, Sasko, Liqui-Fruit, Weet-Bix and Spekko to their growing arsenal of top brands.
“Another invitation to pitch on the digital portfolio at PepsiCo was a great confidence boost for us,” said Lindsey Rayner, managing director of Machine_ in Johannesburg, “and I believe the win is a true testament to our agency’s ability to understand the consumer’s digital mindset, plan strategically, problem solve and maximise our clients’ investments.”
Martin Neethling, chief marketing officer at PepsiCo SSA, said: “Our goal for 2022 and beyond is to build and grow PepsiCo SSA’s digital agenda,” says. “We want to continue breaking new ground, creating firsts and driving unequalled awareness for our brands in the digital space.”
FAME Week Africa partners with Hotel Sky
South Africa’s newest and most cutting-edge hotel group, Hotel Sky, has teamed up with FAME Week Africa as the official hotel partner for the much-anticipated second annual event in the host city of Cape Town. Taking place from 24 to 26 August 2022, FAME Week Africa brings the film and television, arts, animation, music, media, and entertainment sectors together.
Hotel Sky Cape Town is a 28-storey high rise located directly across the road from the Cape Town ICC’s main entrance and is the perfect accommodation position for all industry specialists, speakers and guests who will be attending this significant B2B event.
FAME Week Africa event director, Judy Goddard, said, “We are incredibly excited to have partnered with Hotel Sky. It is only fitting to collaborate with the Hotel Sky Group especially as we launched FAME Week Africa at the event space. Situated on the 27th floor, Sky on Long offers breathtaking, unparalleled 270-degree views of the Mother City. We look forward to hosting another iconic event at this landmark hotel”.
Stratitude rolls out Africa campaign for Nelson Mandela University to drive tertiary education across the continent
Nelson Mandela University’s internationalisation strategy has placed Africa at the centre of many of its initiatives, with the commitment to develop adaptable, highly skilled, responsible graduates who are ready to meet the demands of the global labour market.
To do this, the university recently embarked on a campaign to create awareness of Nelson Mandela University, amongst students from Africa, and they appointed integrated agency Stratitude to help them do it. The current tertiary enrolment rate across the continent is just over 12%, which is well below the global average of 32%.
“Enrolling more African students into tertiary institutions should be a priority,” said Chantal Janneker, senior cirector: communication and marketing at Nelson Mandela University. “We recognise the potential in Africa and believe that our university is an engine for transformation, with our graduates driving economic growth and development across the continent.”
Stratitude was a natural choice, continues Janneker. Having worked with them on undergraduate and postgraduate recruitment campaigns, the agency understands our value proposition, our brand and our processes, she said.
The DCF celebrates birthday after going from the brink of closing to doubling gross revenue
Many businesses have had to reassess their business strategies as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many companies were forced to retrench, shut down, or operate virtually as a result of the hard lockdown regulations.
As a small business, The Dynaste Communication Firm (The DCF) faced similar external challenges that most small South African businesses were facing.
“The hard lockdown restrictions could have effectively shut us down as a company, but we persevered and emerged victorious. My colleagues have been supportive of the company, understanding and persevering through the challenges we encountered. We were all frustrated, yet they worked hard despite the difficulties faced at the time,” said MD Mkhuseli Vangile.
Some of the challenges The DCF faced included losing 75% of its client base, which meant losing close to 80% of its gross revenue from March 2020 to March 2021. Losing so much income led to more challenges such as difficulties in paying salaries, gaining debts and not being able to pay suppliers on time.
Despite all of these obstacles, the DCF did not have any retrenchments or suffer any losses. In addition, The DCF has more than doubled its earnings in the current financial year (March2021-March2022). This indicates that as a company, we are fully recovering from the Covid-19 effects as a business.
DJ Zinhle and Cici team up with Pampers over a R1 million ECD boost
Pampers South Africa has teamed up with celebrity moms DJ Zinhle and Busisiwe ‘Cici’ Thwala to donate 1 000 scholarships to SmartStart to support early childhood learning in South Africa.
The celebrity partnership with Pampers was launched last year through #MamaUyindlovu campaign, which celebrated single moms in South Africa and the role that all parents played in their children’s lives during the lockdowns, especially single moms who had to do it all alone. Pampers created a special video where Cici shared how she created special moments and brought the world home to her son during lockdown.
Pampers hopes that through their partnership with SmartStart they can provide learning opportunities to more children to provide support to families, especially single mom-headed families and help little ones unlock their potential in our post lockdown world through access to quality learning programmes.
SmartStart’s franchised programme is delivered through playgroups, day mothers and Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres that all seek to improve children’s readiness for learning, school performance, and overall life success.
Bull Brand launches The State of the Strong podcast series
One of SA’s most iconic food brands, Bull Brand, has launched an audio-visual podcast series to show inspiring stories of South Africa as told through the voices of strength from South Africa’s vibrant youth.
The series recently launched and features 10 bi-weekly episodes, hosted by YouTube superstar Sibu Mpanza and Nickelodeon’s face of Africa presenter, Lerai Rakoditsoe, available via streaming platforms YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music.
Built off the brand’s proposition of ‘Stand Strong, Stand Proud,’ the series will feature an array of guests who will each share their unique story of strength, which will serve to inspire fellow South Africans to discover the potential of their inner strength. From the builders of bold ambitions to writers of their own history, designers of their own destinies, pioneers pursuing their passions and dreamers who dare to do more.
“South Africa has no shortage of inspiring stories of youth overcoming adversity to achieve their dreams. The aim of this podcast series is to give SA’s vibrant youth a platform to tell their stories as well as for the listeners to be inspired by them,” said Wendy Roman, brand manager at RFG Foods.
VIS Social Impact launches Writers’ Room, ‘Beyond The Binary: Fluid Voices’
VIS Social Impact, the cause-driven production division of Paramount’s international studio, VIS, has announced the launch of its inaugural writers’ room; Beyond the Binary: Fluid Voices, led by actor, writer and director Thishiwe Ziqubu.
A stellar line-up of seven African writers with different levels of experience have been selected for the opportunity to create content that focuses on the themes of climate change, equity and global health. The room is made up of those who identify as queer, genderqueer, non-binary, gender non-conforming, genderfluid and transgender, from five countries across sub-Saharan Africa.
The talented writers who are participating include:
- Makgano Mamabolo, a show runner, producer, scriptwriter and director who has twenty years of experience with notable roles in Zulu Wedding and Diamond City on Netflix, based in South Africa
- Tatenda Mbudzi is a writer, actor, director, comedian and visual artist from Zimbabwe, based in Los Angeles, he has consulted for Triggerfish Animation and Disney and his feature Zim High has won numerous awards
- Mia Arderne is writer with bylines in prominent African publications such as Mail & Guardian, VISI magazine and more, also based in South Africa
- Nyembezi, an up-and-coming writer and director from Malawi, joins having just released a short film, On Isibindi Street last year
- Ado Aminu is a content writer for RED media, based in Nigeria, joins to explore intersectional identities in writing
- Sonia Audi, is a published author, creative, activist and community organizer, they have been involved in a number of collaborative projects such as Rainbow Childhoods by the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya
- Change agent, model, and influencer, Glow Makatsi is a South African aspiring writer, eager to explore the realms of gender equality, social justice, and representation politics
“We are thrilled to kick-off VIS Social Impact’s first-writers’ room with a group of incredibly talented creatives. The candidates have all demonstrated a passion for social impact and will bring their unique lived experiences, interests and points of view to the room, which we are confident will result in powerful content creation and further the mission of Paramount’s global Content for Change initiative,” said Georgia Arnold, Head of VIS Social Impact and Senior Vice President of International Social Responsibility at Paramount.
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