Category Archives: Blog

How SBE helped change the Absa brand, in 10 days.

While there’s been much debate about Absa bank’s new logo, the actual task of rolling out the bank’s vision across hundreds of OOH sites had print solutions companies and their partners burning oil day and night. Solethu Brand Engineers (SBE) gives some insights into what it takes to help change a brand in 10 days.

“A project of this magnitude is split over various service providers,” says MD, Robyn Fischer. “Our part was to supply PVC, mesh and other materials for a rollout to a variety of sites in Gauteng and surrounding areas.”

Ink, hours and caffeine

One of the Absa OOH pieces

The story unfolds…

To successfully project manage] the flow of various artworks from agencies to the creation of the final products (ready for installation) one requires significant experience and capabilities – not only in the available type of facility, machinery and materials but, also and most critically, scalability and skill set of people-power to see it through.

“The Absa job required nearly 10 days of round-the-clock work from the SBE team,” says Fischer. “In producing billboards and other iconic OOH sites we used significant volumes of ink, 30 rugby fields of material, over 4 000 production hours and burned through countless cups of coffee – the job required all hands on deck without affecting our other projects . . .

I am thankful to the SBE team and our partners for helping us successfully complete all work over this time.”

Getting things done

With its new logo and brand rollout, Absa is hoping to express a new identity as an entrepreneurial, digitally-led bank with deep knowledge of African markets (with global scalability) . . . with Africanacity their “bespoke” word that “embodies the distinctly African ability to always find a way to get things done.”

“We echo that sentiment,” says Fischer. “From SBEs perspective we’ve always considered ourselves a company that innovates by nature and delivers on-point – whatever (and wherever) it is needed.

Big or small we aim to provide our clients with the same type of service and drive to deliver a fulfilling, superior, customer experience.

It was exciting (and challenging) working on the Absa bank OOH rollout project – certainly we hope our efforts in some way mirrors their message that, ‘while we are a continent with immense challenges, we are also one with tremendous tenacity, soul and a sense of togetherness.’”

SBE is a BBBEE Level 2 company specialising in digital print and branding innovations.

Transit.TV delivers incremental reach to TV campaigns

Shamendran Naidu, Executive: Transit Ads™, shares key research insights into how and why digital television network Transit.TV delivers highly effective, incremental reach when bundled with terrestrial TV campaigns.

As marketers, we know that TV viewing is no longer limited to the living room. Today’s viewers watch what they want, when they want across multiple devices and screens. In this respect there is no doubt that television viewing has become fragmented and this is posing a challenge for brands and agencies. So how do you maintain reach and continue to influence viewers? We conducted a research study with Kantar Millward Brown Media Research™ and the results confirmed what we already knew – reach and influence is incrementally augmented when marketing campaigns include both terrestrial television and Transit.TV™. Because the campaigns reach the right audience at the right time and when they are in the right frame of mind, there is far less wastage and brands receive a much higher level of ROI.

Let’s take a step back and outline the background. Our view is that linear broadcast TV will remain the centre of gravity for the video ecosystem in the foreseeable future, across nearly all audiences. However, we also expect to see viewing diversifying out from this centre as devices, distribution and consumption are enabled by current and emerging technologies that support video.

The most effective video advertising strategies will be those that have a unified and holistic approach to the video ecosystem, as opposed to those that only activate via silo-solutions, and only solve one part of the equation. With fragmented audiences presented with a variety of advertising assimilation options, marketers need to ensure that campaigns strategically engage with audiences in ways that are very effective.

For this reason, Transit Ads™ commissioned Kantar Millward Brown Media Research™ to analyse and showcase how Transit.TV™ video complements heavyweight TV campaigns. As part of the research we worked with key category leading brands to shed light on Transit.TV™s role in complementing TV and driving cost-effective incremental reach.

A variety of campaigns, with a core focus on the LSM B market, across various sectors – FMCG, retailer, financial institution, QSR – with different TV investment strategies were chosen for the study.

The results showed that all the campaigns experienced high levels of incremental reach when Transit.TV™ was used in conjunction with TV.

Regardless of the length of the TV campaign, or the Rate Card TV investment, or the TV planning strategy; Transit.TV™ was able to deliver incremental reach above TV in every case. The incremental reach ranged from 8% to a staggering 50%, proving that Transit.TV™ offers media planners a way to connect with audiences who cannot be reached on TV alone. Campaigns which achieved a TV reach of 70%+ and included Transit.TV™, all benefitted from double (or triple) campaign frequency, due to high overlaps in exposure.

Furthermore, GRP delivery for Transit.TV™ channels was impressive, given the level of investment. Brands that wish to target core LSM B commuters, can expect GRP delivery anywhere from 900 to 2000 GRPS (depending on the packages and timeframe chosen).

The power of out of home advertising is to constantly remind consumers of a brand message. With Transit.TV™, an array of opportunities exists for advertisers wanting to penetrate a highly sought-after, economically active market segment.


Tractor Outdoor sponsors Project Dignity for their Subz Pads Initiative

Tractor Outdoor have recently partnered with NGO Project Dignity to assist with their Subz Pads Initiative (washable sanitary pads and panties for underprivileged girls) by contributing advertising space on Tractor’s digital network to promote the campaign.

“We give hope to young girls and empower them; giving them an opportunity to feel free, to participate in daily activities and not to feel ashamed or embarrassed. Close to four million girls aged between 10-19 years in South Africa miss a week of school every month and it’s affecting their education. The aim of Project Dignity is to reduce absenteeism and dropout rates in schools and increase opportunities for girls to complete their education by providing them with Subz Pads,” says Sue Barnes, Director at Project Dignity.

The Subz Pads are manufactured by Subz (Pty) and are distributed through Project Dignity. They have been producing these packs and distributing them to schoolgirls all over South Africa. “We feel very honoured in being part of such an uplifting initiative that gives back to the underprivileged. Sue and her team are doing an amazing job by changing these girls’ lives for the better, and one cannot forget that these girls play a vital role in the future of our economy and are the future of our country. The donation of just one pack could last a girl her entire high school career and allow her to not be embarrassed or worried so that she can attend school,” says Ben Harris, Rights and Development Director at Tractor Outdoor.

Subz Pads are sustainable and could last a girl between three to five years. They also do not contain any gels or chemicals and are therefore allergy-free and eco-friendly.

For more information about Subz Pads and how you can make a difference, contact Sue Barnes at Project Dignity by emailing or visit

Diesel Jeans partners with TLC Media

Diesel Jeans (Diesel) has briefed TLC Media (TLC) with the task to run a one month campaign, in various environments, for the launch of the brand’s new jeans – ‘JoggJeans’.

“The campaign communicates the many ways one can escape a bad date in relevant environments, reinforcing the Diesel collection of jeans that are ‘so comfortable you’ll forget you’re wearing them’, even at top speed,” says Greg Bruwer, TLC’s managing director.

‘Bad Date Survival Tips’ were placed as decals on change room mirrors in selected Edgars stores and the washrooms of selected shopping malls. The tips offered advice on ways to escape from an ‘awkward’ date.

In order to target a wide range of people, the campaign was extended into spaces beyond the Diesel stores and selected shopping malls.

TLC presented Diesel’s ‘Bad Date Survival Tips’ to people in spaces where dates happen, like in restaurants and bars through mirror decals and backlit mirror frames.

Twenty Planet Fitness Gyms provided additional outlets to the campaign through the use of A4 frames. Gym-goers were presented with a either a ‘Survival Tip’ or the ‘or just run in Diesel JoggJeans’ call to action line.

“This was a fun and well-executed campaign for Diesel ‘JoggJeans’,” concludes Bruwer. “It just confirms that washroom advertising can be fashionable and entertaining at the same time.”

The 2018 state of OOH

An outlook on the state of OOH, digital OOH development and trends in 2018.
By Donald Mokgale  Issued by Dentsu Aegis Network
Based on Outdoor Auditor’s latest audit report of the outdoor landscape, we are seeing some of the highest number of outdoor sites in the country, with a total of 12.9k billboards across all nine provinces which equates to a 1.5% increase in inventory vs August 2017 and this growth has happened mostly in Gauteng (which accounts for 50% of all billboards in SA) and KZN, with the other provinces declining slightly and getting very negligible increases in inventory. It is not illogical to question why there are more sites being put in the ground year on year in a struggling economy; in an article titled Sign of the times written by Kristina Monllos, she notes that digital brands are flocking to OOH as awareness level marketing has increasingly become more important, so while the media landscape continues to fragment and consumers become increasingly more difficult to reach, out-of-home remains one of the guardians of awareness level marketing.

New bylaws to be promulgated end of May by City of Joburg:

What will the new bylaws mean for the out-of-home landscape of Joburg? Well, first of all, it is important to note that, traditionally, it was media owners who would identify the spots where they would like to place billboards and apply to the council for approval but since the corridors of freedom project, a spatial plan based on corridor transit-oriented development, the city has taken a more proactive approach to city planning and urbanisation with its investments in infrastructure in the form of Gautrain, Rapid Bus Transit and so forth and with this lens they see out-of-home as a medium that ought to be contributing to the overall development of the city. This means that there will be a massive declutter that is coming. Ceteris paribus, this will also open up bigger opportunities for media owners to create advertising opportunities that will combine spatial planning and awareness level marketing to the next level.

Trends in OOH:

Digital OOH is fast becoming as ubiquitous as static formats, especially in the most traffic-congested parts of Gauteng; with close to 16,500 panels nationwide and counting, it is no longer the next big thing, it already is. What we are starting to see is a more intelligent use of DOOH networks and no longer a copy-and-paste job of a TVC; we are seeing creative being tailored to each environment which research shows us increases noting and recall.

Size does matter! Yep, we are seeing bigger and more impactful formats than ever, but more than that, we are seeing more experiential as well. With brands wanting more ROI, they are also requesting for talk-ability around their campaigns which is opening doors to more experientially driven OOH campaigns.

Last but certainly not least is MOOH (mobile out-of-home) underpinned by location strategies. As Posterscope globally we have been talking about location as the heart of marketing and therefore we have built tools that make sense of digital consumer data in the real physical world. The inclusion of the mobile device in the out-of-home space will continue to be the most critical tool in driving results vis-à-vis awareness, engagement and measurability. Successful brands are ones that integrate moohbile underpinned by location and creative messaging tailored for the consumer journey from the time they leave home, to the time they are at point of purchase.

Zee World bus shelter campaign creates industry hype

Digital satellite television channel Zee World, which offers mainstream viewers in Africa the best in award-winning Bollywood movies and series, a variety of food, kids’ and talent shows and lifestyle programmes, elected to use Street Network bus shelters in order to extend the reach of its latest It’s Happening campaign.

Street Network’s bus shelter offering provided Zee World with the ability to effectively target consumers within a geographically selected region and create talkability through its impactful and creative campaign execution. With a combined reach for the campaign of over 550,000 people monthly at an exposure frequency of 7 (ROAD 2016/17C), Street Network provided a solution that maximised the campaign reach while engaging a highly sought-after audience.

“We had no hesitation in selecting bus shelters for among other reasons the creative canvass that they present to consumers making use of all forms of transport, whether public or private. We chose sites across the greater Johannesburg area with a view to reaching consumers across the entire LSM spectrum that represent the overall viewers of the channel,” comments Shaun Kennedy, OMD South Africa.

In order to reach this diverse audience, Street Network provided a range of geographically targeted bus shelters situated along key high-traffic routes across Johannesburg’s central and northern suburbs. An ideal solution for Zee World since small-format out-of-home is one of the most effective media platforms driving consumer recall and engagement.

According to Outsmart, out-of-home is a key medium for entertainment and media brands, with over 61% of adults recalling advertising by these brands when seen on out-of-home platforms. The report further shows that 59% of those surveyed ‘talked to many people’ about television, with 56% noting that they are very likely to convince others about TV. When combined with the 2017 Nielsen Poster Advertising Report which reflects ‘recall of out-of-home messages seen’ at 89%, it is evident that integrating out-of-home and Street Network’s bus shelters in particular into the marketing campaign was an effective and strategically well-planned media buy for Zee World.

Comments Jonathan Everest, Head of Sales at Street Network: “The five-month extended campaign was designed with highly impactful creative and copy to ensure that consumers exposed to the bus shelters would take note of and recall the messaging. So much so that it resulted in high recall, evidenced by great talkability amongst other brands and media agencies to name a few.

“Rising above the clutter in this manner is highly desired by brands, and bundled with effective ROI, is precisely what out-of-home and specifically street furniture advertising is able to deliver,” concludes Everest.

Top OOH names to speak at FEPE Congress

Out of Home world’s top managers and personalities to share their knowledge at FEPE International Sorrento Congress

Many of the top names in Out of Home worldwide are speaking at the forthcoming FEPE International Congress in Sorrento to be held on June 6-8.

Posterscope’s outgoing global CEO Annie Rickard will deliver a keynote on the evolution of the Out of Home specialist agency while Ocean Outdoor CEO Tim Bleakley will host a three handed presentation to describe how an important London landmark, the iconic Piccadilly Lights, has been reborn through the application of digital technology.

Brendon Cook, CEO of Australia’s oOh! Media will outline some of the challenges posed by the online world and will call to the OOH industry not to devalue the medium by following an “impression only” approach.

Primesight CEO Naren Patel and Justin Cochrane from Clear Channel UK will join a panel to discuss how OOH can support its value proposition and Ströer Group Co-CEO Christian Schmalzl will discuss the live issue of automation in the OOH industry with Talon Outdoor founder and CEO Eric Newnham, moderated by journalist and industry commentator Dominic Mills.

Delegates to the Congress will also be given an overview of the Italian marketplace by Fabrizio Du Chene de Vere, Direttore Operativo presso IGPDecaux, a 37-year veteran of the Italian Out of Home industry.

Further speakers and a full Congress programme will be announced shortly.

FEPE Executive director Bob Wootton says:“FEPE Congresses look at the big issues impacting the global OOH industry and also offer delegates valuable insights into the business of navigating such a rapidly-changing world. With some of the industry’s most capable operators sharing their knowledge and the secrets of their success, Sorrento should educate and inform as well as inspire.”

For further information: contact Richard Saturley

Golf Ads™ implements campaign for Garmin Approach S60

Golf Ads™ recently implemented a campaign for the launch of the new Garmin golf watch – the Approach S60 – making innovative use of the traditional clocks on the golf course. The creative was adapted to include the golf clock face into the design and engaged with golfers in a non-intrusive fashion every time they approached the medium. 
Taking frequency of play and high dwell-time into account, the campaign targeted an affluent market directly interested in golf accessories and wearable technology. Creatively, it illustrated the virtue of tailoring creative to fit seamlessly and relevantly with a consumer touchpoint; driving engagement and recall, and creating desire for the product.  
Johan Scholtz, spokesperson for Golf Ads™ says: “The golf course offers an environment that is free of advertising clutter, making it ideal for brands that want to launch a new product without having to compete for attention. Furthermore, brands are not restricted in terms of which formats to use, in fact the environment is ideal for multiplatform campaigns that reach both golfers and non-golfers alike.”

People who are green with envy don’t have to be #TravelHaters

It started with a douchebag. Be cool, it really did!
Allow me to explain. I’m talking about the recent Don’t be a #TravelHater campaign for by McCann Johannesburg. It started with a generic travel billboard, advertising the affordable fares of with the caption, “Durban’s calling”, which was later vandalised by graffiti reading, quite simply, “you a douchebag”.’s response was equally as simple but informed by a far greater insight. The response was a tag-back on the same billboard which instructed, “Don’t be a Travel Hater”, and pointed to the affordable holidays, flights, hotels and car rentals provides. The message was clear, you don’t have to be an angry #TravelHater, Chill Winstan, has it sorted… and so a campaign was born.
The clever billboard interaction was followed up by a spree of successful online content videos, further billboards, radio and print advertisements. These showed a variety of relatable travel hating scenarios; a #TravelHater peeing in the plants his travelling buddy has asked him to water, a co-worker cutting out the ‘err’ slice of Derrick’s name cake so that it reads, ‘Welcome back, Dick’, a #TravelHater aiming a champagne cork at the throat of a bragging buddy. In short, it was a bunch of scenarios we may each have fantasised over in our darkest travel-hating moments. And people loved them. They loved the brazen display of travel envy – an emotion, it turns out, to which we average Joes strongly relate. Who knew?! Well, but more on that insight later. These ads touched on different scenarios making light of our travel envy, making the ‘oke’ at the office, the ‘oke’ housesitting for his buddy, the ‘oke’ listening to travel braggers each relate to the shenanigans, and finally provide, quite literally, the ticket out of travel envy.
The roll-out of this campaign is self-evident, but the question is, where did it begin and what is the great insight that led us here? When chatting to creatives on the campaign, creative directors John Withers and Theo Egbers, they explained the core of the idea: the social media phenomenon. We live in a world hugely influenced by what everyone else is doing, brought to us directly through social media. We publish our ideal lives on Instagram, carefully constructing only the happiest, best looking, and most exciting home page. By the same token, we also feel left out and experience proper ‘FOMO’ when we are constantly bombarded with everyone else’s exciting lives. This is not a revolutionary discovery – there has been extensive discussion into the societal impact of social media. Usually published in articles urging one to “Look up!” shared furiously across Facebook and Twitter (yes people we must laugh at ourselves).

What is new is appealing to the insight learnt from this. Because the truth is, we are all #TravelHaters! Admit it! We are all envious of our friends, family and colleagues, who seem to always be on one great adventure after another. And that is the point. Using this insight, the campaign has been cleverly designed to recognise the travel envy within us all and, whilst providing the opportunity for a self-deprecating laugh as we recognise our own travel envy, provide the solution.

It is no surprise then that this campaign has taken off (sorry, had to be done) the way it has. It has further enhanced a quirkiness with which has become synonymous and has produced the best performing content videos has ever created – a number of them reaching over 1,000,000 views. The campaign deliberately did not produce a TVC specifically, but rather briefed a content production house – Hammerhead TV – to produce a number of hilarious content videos to be shared widely on, wait for it, social media. And it went very well. Ultimately, the #TravelHater campaign exceeded delivery expectations achieving over 61 million impressions, 230 thousand website link clicks and over 9.4 million video views so far. As John Withers explains, “What a lot of brands experience when they share content on social media is a fair amount of mixed reviews. Whereas got an overwhelmingly positive response with an almost 95% response that was positive and engaging.”

Well, no wonder. It’s an idea that speaks to (and speaks up for) us average Joes (and Jospehines)!
As for where the campaign is headed from here? Onwards and upwards, of cours


Regulating Billboards: Two Cases in the US

U.S. Courts are currently considering challenges to the longstanding laws that have protected communities — potentially to the detriment of communities and the Out of Home (OOH) advertising industry.

It all stems from a case that went before the Supreme Court in 2015, Reed v. Town of Gilbert, in which the Supreme Court tossed out the sign ordinance from the Town of Gilbert, Arizona, that restricted the right of a local pastor to post religious signs. The court said that the Town of Gilbert’s sign code was constitutionally flawed, because it treated the pastor’s church signs differently than other temporary signs based on content.

The Reed case spawned a wide range of free speech challenges, including lawsuits against billboard controls. Some local ordinances have been challenged by sign companies.

One such recent case is taking place in Tennessee. Citing the Reed decision, a federal judge in Memphis invalidated Tennessee’s billboard-control law, which mirrors the federal Highway Beautification Act of 1965 — regulating size, lighting, and spacing. And now this case, Thomas v. Schroer, is headed to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, a four-state jurisdiction based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Because of the importance of this case, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) filed an amicus brief in the Tennessee case to support the state, in conjunction with state-level outdoor advertising associations in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee (states comprising the U.S. Sixth Circuit).

For years, the OOH industry has supported communities using its media to communicate public service messages that help improve lives. Sometimes this has meant donating inventory like billboards on highways and busy city intersections and posters at bus stations to provide valuable information to municipalities; promoting an important local cause; or using our latest technological innovations like digital technology to quickly deliver emergency messages via smart billboards.