Bakwena, the concessionaire for the N1and N4 toll roads, has won an international road safety award for its marketing campaign in conjunction with Wheel Well, a non-profit organisation that aims to reduce child fatalities caused by car accidents. The UK-based Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards are presented to companies or organisations around the world in recognition of their contribution to improving road safety. The also recognise marketing achievement and innovation in the field. Peggie Mars, founder of Wheel Well, and Charmaine van Wyk, Public Relations Manager for Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire, received the award at a ceremony held at The Savoy, one of London’s most prestigious hotels, on 13 December. The ‘Car Seats for Kids’ campaign encourages parents to donate their used car seats to Wheel Well, which then restores them and verifies that they still meet safety standards. Thereafter, they are provided to less fortunate families for a nominal donation. Wheel Well is the only non-profit organisation to focus exclusively on road safety for children in South Africa. Its objective is to raise awareness, educate and affect changes, and promote the enforcement of legislation pertaining to the safety of children in and around vehicles. “This award will do wonders for the efforts of Wheel Well to raise awareness for child road safety,” says Mars. “The judges assessed the programme to be a significant contributor to child safety and one which could be replicated elsewhere. The award is a rare privilege for a South African road safety initiative,” adds Van Wyk, who explains that Bakwena’s support for the campaign arose from concern over the high rate of infant deaths from road accidents. According to the most recent Medical Research Council study, released in 2013, road accidents cause around one-third of non-natural, or injury-related deaths, among under-fives in South Africa.
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Marketers must re-balance their mobile campaigns to place equal focus on the strategy, media and creative aspects. This is one of the key findings of Global Mobile Trends Report 2016, which was released this week by the international Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and specialist research firm Kantar Millward Brown. To reach its conclusions, the report analyses the past year’s award-winning mobile campaigns, including those from the Cannes Lions awards in France and the MMA’s own international awards known as the Smarties. “Our analysis indicates that brands are evolving their strategy and media. But, in many cases, have an uneven focus on creative,” says MMA executive Sheryl Daija. She adds that this year’s Smarties awards saw a clear shift in focus towards strategy, versus last year’s emphasis on creativity. Many of the winning mobile campaigns in 2016 ensured they tied in to the broader strategy of the business and cited improved brand relevance as a primary objective. Driving emotional connections and solving problems was a key element of the successful campaigns. “Those campaigns that either solved a problem or provided an experience were far more engaging and effective. This shows how brands continue to align with issues that their audiences care about, and debunks the myth that emotional connection is not possible in mobile,” notes the report. Looking to the future of mobile marketing campaigns, the researchers suggest that innovative tools such as augmented reality and virtual reality need to be used more frequently. “While augmented reality and virtual reality are exciting innovations in mobile technology this year, [they are not] being implemented at scale, nor have they reached their potential effectiveness,” the report says.
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A controversial billboard campaign by the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) that appeared to promote dog fighting has been honoured at the Assagai Integrated Marketing Awards for its effectiveness in attracting public attention and highlighting the scourge of dog fighting in South Africa. The awards are presented annually by the Direct Marketing Association of South Africa and recognise effectiveness, return on investment, and creativity in the direct marketing sphere. NSPCA’s campaign, which was conceived by ad agency Grey Africa and received two Gold awards, created a media storm in June by promoting a fake dog fight on a mobile billboard which was seen on various major traffic routes around Johannesburg. Initially, the billboard advertised a fight between dogs named ‘Thor’ and ‘Nitro’, with the ominous promise: “There can only be one winner.” Grey Africa says the public was outraged. “The website and the phone line advertised on the billboard were inundated with complaints and [expressions of] disgust. The outcry was carefully monitored and at its peak the mobile billboard went out again, this time telling everyone that the dog fight was a fake – but that real dog fights just like it happen all the time in the most outwardly respectable neighbourhoods,” the agency explains. Simultaneously, the NSCPA put out a press release announcing that they were behind the stunt and appealing to people to turn their outrage into action and join the battle against dog fighting. The campaign generated tens of thousands of website hits from around the world, mainstream media coverage valued at R250 000, R35 000 in donations to the NSPCA and produced public to-offs that led to 45 dogs being rescued from dog fighting syndicates. The Assagai awards were presented last week. Insurer Old Mutual was named Brand of the Year and Gorilla named Agency of the Year.
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How do you grab the public’s attention and, in a simple but graphic way, illustrate the serious consequences of global warming on their everyday lives? A little humour and a lot of innovation can go a long way towards creating a memorable campaign that drives home the point. Offsetters, a Canadian organisation that advises companies and individuals on how to offset carbon emissions, used this approach to good effect a few years ago when it came up with a way to show people in the ocean-side city of Vancouver what their community would look like if global warming goes unchecked and sea levels rise dramatically. Together with local ad agency Rethink Communications, Offsetters decided to suspend lifeboats from the side of an office tower as a way to show the public how high water levels in Vancouver could rise. To ensure pedestrians below got the message, the undersides of the lifeboats were emblazoned with the slogan ‘Stop Global Warming’. The campaign didn’t end there. Lifeguards and their lifeguard chairs were placed in nearby city parks with the message ‘Lifeguard on Duty – Stop Global Warming’, while park benches had lifejackets strapped underneath them and were adorned with the message: ‘Life Jackets Under Seat – Stop Global Warming’. Local media called it “a dose of global warming reality”. Allbusiness, a small business website, commented: “The execution didn’t cost much, but created high shock value that got the attention of local and national media. And the idea was completely tied into the mission of the organisation.”
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Athletic shoe brand Reebok recently came up with a headline-grabbing campaign that offered pedestrians in the Swedish city of Stockholm a free pair of sports shoes if they could run fast enough past one of its advertisements. The pop-up outdoor ad – located in the heart of the busy downtown area – came equipped with a built-in speed camera and tracking technology to measure how fast people could run. Anyone who took up the challenge and clocked up a speed of 17km/h or more, found that a glass display case with the new Reebok ZPump 2.0 running shoe would automatically unlock and they could help themselves to a free pair, valued at around US$100 each. The promotion, held last weekend, proved to be a show-stopper as people watched the action, cheered on friends, or participated themselves. “We really like the idea of taking a classic billboard and turning it into something disruptive and unique,” said Markus Schramm of local ad agency Animal, which devised the stunt. “This gives customers an instant experience and, as a brand, we're able to provide something of real value.” Said Filip Lagerbäck, PR and Social Manager at Reebok Nordic: “For us, it's important to do things for real and to actually activate the target group. We want to inspire people to run and push their limits, even when they’re not at the gym. That's what our tagline 'Be More Human' is all about.”
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Who says print media is dead? Certainly not fast-food giant Burger King, which spent a large but undisclosed portion of its marketing budget recently to take over the front pages of several major newspapers in cities such as New York, Washington, Houston and San Francisco. Consumers in those and other cities woke to find their papers carrying a full page colour wraparound featuring a photo of a king (the Burger King brand mascot), with the slightly suggestive headline: ‘The King’s Got A Whopper…and we’re not talking about burgers’. The high-profile campaign, which had huge PR spinoff through news coverage in other media, was to promote the hamburger giant’s decision to add flame-grilled hot dogs to its US menu – which the company is calling ‘the Whopper of hot dogs’ in fun reference to its own burgers, which are called ‘Whoppers’. This was Burger King’s biggest marketing campaign in five years and the decision to go with a big-spending print campaign in the era of digital and electronic media raised some eyebrows. “This is the first time in recent memory the chain has run a major print push,” noted the marketing industry publication ‘Advertising Age’. It also joined in the fun by headlining its article: ‘The newspaper industry has gone to the dogs. The hot dogs’.
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Given the long hours that people work in South Korea, as well as the lengthy and crowded daily commutes they face in major cities such as Seoul, napping on the train while going to work is commonplace. So too is sometimes missing your rail stop because you're fast asleep.

Bearing these factors in mind, fast-food giant Burger King and a local brand activation company were recently able to come up with an innovative marketing promotion that boosted morning sales at participating stores by nearly 19% and, at the same time, provided a useful service to tired rail commuters who travel for an average of two hours every day in Seoul, a city of around 10-million people.

According to the industry publication 'Ad Age', early-morning travellers at five subway stations were given sleep masks with a message written across them that asked fellow commuters to wake them at the appropriate stop. Inside the masks were two coupons for a free Burger King coffee – one for the sleepy traveller and the other for the kind-hearted person who woke them up.

The promotion was developed by Cheil Worldwide, a Seoul-based marketing and activations company, as part of a wider strategy to boost Burger King's morning sales and counter the dominance of McDonald's in the breakfast fast-food market in South Korea. "Burger King was better known for burgers, so they wanted to promote coffee this time," a Cheil spokesperson is quoted as saying by Ad Age'. "Agencies and marketers usually want to make connections between their consumers and the brand. For this one, the campaign also connected consumers to consumers – when subway passengers woke each other up and when they shared the coupons. It was also just a way to make people laugh during the boring, tiring morning commute."

Apart from the increase in sales during the promotion, which ran from late February to mid-April, social media chatter around the Burger King brand increased by nearly 45%. The campaign is now being run in South Korea's second biggest city, Busan.

Seoul's time-stressed commuters have also proved fertile ground for other clever marketing initiatives – although this time of a more permanent nature. In 2011, British-based supermarket chain Tesco launched a 'virtual supermarket' at subway stations that enables consumers to browse through the same merchandise offered at its actual stores in Seoul.

All commuters have to do is scan the QR (quick response) codes of the items they wish to order and then click the 'send' button on a smartphone app. The order is then delivered to the person shortly after they have arrived home.

Soon after the introduction of the concept, online sales increased by 130% and site registrations grew by 76%. The idea has since been mimicked by several other retail chains: Peapod (US), Cold-Storage (Singapore), Woolworths (Australia) and Yihoudian (China).

Part of the reason that the virtual supermarket idea took off so rapidly in Seoul is South Koreans' love of technology. Among 18-24-year-olds, smartphone penetration is close to 100%, while around 80% of the entire population uses smartphones. Internet penetration is about 85% and credit card usage is amongst the highest in the world.

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Multinational snacks and confectionary giant Mondelēz – which includes brands such as Cadbury, Toblerone, Oreo, Chiclets and Halls in its portfolio – is set to roll out emerging market campaigns using basic feature phones rather than more sophisticated smartphones.

This follows successful trials conducted with Facebook in Indonesia and the Philippines. Both countries have a strong social media culture, but the vast majority of consumers do not have access to smartphones and instead use feature phones that have limitations such as low resolution, limited data access and no video-viewing capability.

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014 22:00

A tale of three marketing approaches

One of the things that set successful marketers apart is their ability to reach local consumers as they navigate their daily lives. What works as a means of influencing tech-savvy developed-world consumers might not achieve the same reach in a developing country like Botswana, for example. The secret is to know which avenue to use to achieve the appropriate brand penetration.

An example of how this plays out in practice was recently highlighted by international underwear and sleepwear manufacturer Jockey, which adopted different marketing approaches in some of the developed and developing markets in which it operates.

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