Month: November 2017

Brand safety and fake news – what’s the deal?

The digital era, while providing an exciting and innovative means of communicating and engaging with targeted audiences, has also brought with it a new wave of fear for brands and brand safety.

To mitigate these risks SPARK Media suggests that advertisers work with companies that deal directly with reputable publishers.

“Brands and advertisers are beginning to place more emphasis on the authenticity of the environment where their brands are displayed, the quality of the click, not just the click itself,” says Marc du Plessis, Joint CEO of SPARK Media and Head of the Publisher Council for Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) South Africa. “Brand safety is becoming increasingly important.”

“We have a direct relationship with all publishers of the more than 100 websites that we represent, serving almost 15 million page views and 7 million unique visitors each month. SPARK Media’s Local News Network’s (LNN) websites offer brands a safe environment.  These secured sites are trusted sources of news for local communities and have an established journalistic network of more than 400 people on the ground that are often first to break local news,” he says.

Brands that advertise on LNN through premium inventory are able to talk to a niche audience via location-specific advertising that is highly relevant to them. In addition, SPARK Media is a member of the Press Council and wholeheartedly subscribes to and endorses its code of ethics and conduct.

SPARK Ignition, our programmatic solution, offers hyper-targeting by age, gender, geographic location, language and lifestyle categories. For example, if marketers are looking to engage with golfers that earn in excess of R50 000 per month and live in Pretoria, our publisher’s demographic and interest based data can determine the correct online sites to reach those golfers.”

“We offer a brand safe environment with private, protected, owned inventory. Our technology can turn off adverts that feature next to breaking news that could impact on advertisers brand identity/safety,” says Marc. “As an industry, we need to develop firm criteria for evaluating trusted publishers and educate and drive awareness through members of the IAB, publishing partners and the media.”

Rev up your brand presence with Autodealer

In a highly-competitive automotive industry, Autodealer is your one-stop-shop for ‘all things cars’. It offers an all-encompassing, motoring product offering that covers print, online and social media channels. It’s extensive reach through Caxton’s local newspapers means that there isn’t another motoring supplement that comes close to its localised print footprint.

 Established over a decade ago, the Autodealer print supplement is a weekly staple within the popular and highly influential local Caxton newspapers across the country. With a phenomenal distribution strategy, Autodealer advertisers reach the local papers’ massive readership which make up a large and geographically relevant segment of the population, reaching over 1.4 million homes. Over 700 000 copies of Autodealer are distributed weekly throughout Gauteng alone.

Autodealer clients can rest assured of a totally brand safe environment. Its absolute editorial independence and integrity gives readers content that is authoritative, objective and has their best interests at heart. This well-respected and widely read publication ensures that the right people are exposed to your brand.Autodealer’s offering goes beyond print, providing online and social media services as well. Despite their website being new, Autodealer is placed in the top largest online automotive websites in South Africa. Boasting nearly 400 000 unique browsers and over two-million monthly page views, is positioned to increase its market share in the new and used car listing segment locally.

The platform offers 25 000 new and used vehicles for sale on a platform that facilitates ease of both selling and buying. With over 96 000 Facebook followers, Autodealer also offers effective social media marketing for dealerships as part of a package. Autodealer’s print, online and social media offering gives clients an inclusive motoring solution that provides unrivalled, highly relevant reach.

Creating a respected supplement and a highly anticipated weekly read for the hundreds of thousands of local newspaper readers throughout the Caxton local distribution network, form the basis of what has made Autodealer a success.


Stand a chance of winning $1 Million with Emerald!

Emerald Resort & Casino invites South African players to join competitors from across the world to earn a seat to a prestigious Slots tournament taking place in the USA next year. This latest Millionaire Maker promotion is unique to Caesars International casinos around the world.

“Due to our affiliation with Caesars International, we’re the only casino in South Africa able to offer such a unique prize of this magnitude,” says Tanuja Gangabishun, Marketing Executive at Emerald Resort & Casino. “Over the course of the next two months, all Caesars International casinos across the globe will be running their own local Millionaire Maker casino promotions.”

Besides a paid for trip to the USA and entry into the $1 million Slots event, the Resort will be also be giving R800 000 in cash and prizes. Entry into the Millionaire Maker promotion is simple. For every 50 points earned when playing both slots and tables, guests receive one draw ticket for the draw. Points have been accumulating since 16 October 2017.

“There is a total of six draws over the promotional period on Wednesday evenings, with the final draw on 2 December 2017 – where one lucky player will earn the right to compete against other global winners for $1 million,” explains Tanuja. “Patrons may enter the draws as many times as they want with the opportunity of winning multiple prizes in the weekly draws..”

Tickets will be issued from Monday through Wednesday each week. The promotion is open to Emerald Rewards cardholders only. Sign up to the Rewards programme is free.  For more information contact 016 982 8189/90 or visit the Emerald Resort & Casino Rewards Desk.

“Are you ready to compete for your chance at $1 million? That’s life changing!” concludes Tanuja.

Emerald Resort & Casino is a licensed gambling venue. Winners know when to stop. Only persons over 18 are permitted to gamble. National Problem Gambling Counselling Toll Free Helpline 0800 006 008.

Emerald Resort & Casino.

Tel:                              016 982 8000





Movember and the Rise of the Metro Male

 Movember is so much more than just ‘the only time it’s socially acceptable for men to sport sleazy upper-lip hair’. It’s about raising awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s suicide. Interestingly enough, SPARK Media’s research has found that South African men are indeed becoming increasingly focused on their health and, more so, their appearance.

 Gone are the days when the ‘macho man’ merely swished some mouthwash, splashed his face with water and ran a hand through his hair before barrelling out the door. Women are going to find themselves fighting for mirror space and hiding their eye creams because according to Euromonitor, men’s grooming recorded a 13% growth in value sales in 2016. South Africa’s men have become increasingly interested in products specially developed for their needs, and are increasingly likely to shop for their own personal care products.

In fact, SPARK’s 2016 ROOTS research found that 98% of men bought personal hygiene products in the past month. The proportion of men using hand and body cream has increased from 77.2% in 2010 to 82.5% in 2015, more so with black males, of whom 85.9% used hand or body cream in the past 7 days (AMPS 2010 vs 2015).Smelling good is clearly as important to men as looking good. Premium men’s fragrances grew by 16% in 2016 (Euromonitor). AMPS research has shown that perfume and cologne use has increased among men long-term, with 53.3% of men being regular users. A high-quality fragrance is associated with career and social success, and has become an increasingly popular gift for men.

According to Euromonitor, South African brands, such as Sorbet, have jumped onto this trend. Sorbet Man offers exclusive men’s grooming treatments, and the chain has a Sorbet-branded men’s grooming range of skin and hair care products.

Although men are health conscious when it comes to their physique (54% of frequent gymmers, going at least once a week, being men), an extremely concerning statistic to come out of our ROOTS 2016 research, is that 92% of urban males in LSM 4-7 are currently not on a medical aid scheme, and surprisingly almost half (47%) of LSM 8-10 aren’t either. This opens a huge opportunity for healthcare providers to educate and build product awareness in this market.The metro male isn’t going anywhere. Men’s grooming is forecast to maintain strong sales growth. A ramp of new male grooming product development is expected in 2018 and 2019. With a strong opportunity to tap into this male market, SPARK Media’s print and digital platforms offer direct audience solutions, delivering relevant, customised, interest-based audiences.

To find out more on how to effectively connect with this target group, contact SPARK Media on 010 492 8390, visit, follow us on Twitter – or connect with ‘SPARK Media’ (sparkmediasa) on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

The distribution process: taking the local paper from printer to postbox

Ever wonder how your local paper ends up in your hands every week? It takes much more than the misperception of a paperboy haphazardly tossing papers on pavements. We spoke to Jaco Koekemoer, Managing Director of Caxton Local Media and Coldset Printing at Caxton Group, about the complex distribution process that gets local papers from printer to every household, business and institution’s postbox, each and every week.

“With a local mail system that’s not trusted and expensive courier services, some retailers may make use of knock and drop companies to deliver leaflets to households. But with the cost of printing, it makes better sense to trust a quality, audited distribution method, like Caxton’s, where consumers expect to find your leaflet inside their local newspaper,” says Koekemoer.

Caxton’s 144 local newspapers are printed at 10 printing plants located country wide. Our Johannesburg printing facility prints over 1.5 million copies for distribution weekly and handles between 50- and 80-million inserts monthly. The Johannesburg local papers include an average of 35 vehicles, each distributing between four and seven tonnes of papers over three delivery days in the week, with each driver making approximately 9 000 drops. In big insert weeks, where loads could easily double, they make use of feeder trucks to continuously feed their main distribution vehicles. A considerable load like this calls for a highly specialised distribution method, particularly to ensure that each reader gets their local paper and each advertiser gets their reach, without any wastage.

With a team of nearly 400 personnel, Caxton Distribution has invested over 2.5 million Rand in the workforce and technology behind its distribution process. A state of the art AfriGIS Mapping Solution was specially developed to accurately determine the number of houses, gated communities, institutions and businesses that exist in a specified region. These figures are used to determine Caxton’s footprint boundaries and driver areas for a highly efficient and controlled paper distribution.

Peter Scully, the GM of Caxton JHB Distribution, says, “In my 29 years’ experience in retail distribution, the Caxton distribution systems and process are the best I’ve ever worked with in the industry. Our distribution process has many measures in place to ensure efficient delivery. Drivers receive a drop sheet of all bulk delivery points and signatures are required as proof of delivery. We’ve developed strong relationships with the gatekeepers in gated communities and complexes to gain seamless access.”

“Our telephonic team randomly calls clients and readers within the footprint to ensure receival of the paper. To avoid any wastage, we have a supervisor at every branch, our distribution footprints are constantly updated and every copy of the paper is geocoded. We also have a highly proficient complaints system that promptly investigates and rectifies any distribution issues,” he adds.

“Unlike most knock and drop companies, Caxton Distribution strictly abides by the rules of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC/VFD), with audits done every six months. This means that we are able to distribute to businesses, institutions and complexes, where knock and drops can’t. It’s what makes advertisers trust Caxton as a quality distributer,” he adds.

As an all-in-one printer and publisher, Caxton offers more affordable, discounted insert rates when a customer prints with one of their plants, as they are able to optimise logistics to ensure lower transport costs. This has placed them as a top print, publishing and distribution solution.

For more information on Caxton Local Media and what it offers visit

Black Friday is coming! Get your brands front and centre

Retailers are gearing up for what is arguably the biggest retail sales day of the year, Black Friday, on the 24th November. What can brands do to win their share of mind amongst consumers? Marc du Plessis, Joint CEO of SPARK Media advises.

 Traditionally an American shopping holiday, Black Friday has grown in popularity amongst South African shoppers over the past few years. 2017 is forecast to be as frenzied as ever, with retailers slashing prices by 50% to 80% off usual prices. With the current state of our economy, we’re anticipating that this year participation in Black Friday shopping will be even bigger than 2016 as shoppers gear up to buy as many products as possible at the lowest prices.

Consumers will be on the look-out for the best deals ahead of Black Friday, scouring the internet and media in the weeks preceding this massive sales day. It’s imperative that your brand is front and centre amongst the consideration set. Last year, SPARK Media’s Retail Advertising Network (which comprises a variety of high traffic websites used to showcase catalogues online, including Guzzle and over 70 Caxton-Owned Local News Websites) achieved 580 000 page views two days before Black Friday, 870 000 the day before and over 1.3 million page views on the day.

Evidence-based marketing principles from EBI (Ehrenberg Bass Institute) state that as consumers, we buy brands that we ‘know of’ and ‘think well of’. Brands that occupy a large ‘share’ of our minds are easily thought of in buying situations, and are the most likely to be bought. Marketing efforts need to build this ‘mental availability’ through mass reach advertising and communication.

EBI also supports the principle that mass reach is far better than niched reach, a principle that we wholeheartedly agree with. Through our local community newspapers, reaching 3.4 million households per week, coupled with our collection of digital platforms visited by millions more, we’re in a fortunate position to offer advertisers mass reach into hyper local markets,  delivering advertising and lifestyle communication that is highly relevant to our readers.

So, how can retailers effectively tap into the Black Friday buying frenzy and get the edge against competing brands? Quite simply, by adopting a marketing strategy that makes them the most visible to the most people.

Emerald Resort & Casino says Have a Drink on Us!

As an exclusive offer to its Green Emerald Rewards cardholders, Emerald Resort & Casino has launched its ‘Drinks on Us’ promotion, only available in the casino.

To enhance its Rewards programme, the Resort is constantly innovating, updating and adding additional benefits to its loyalty programme. Card carrying members rack up points every time they play at the Casino.

Tanuja Gangabishun, Marketing Executive at the Resort explains: “For every 50 points earned by our patrons over a one week period on Slots, and as a thank you we have introduced the offer of either a free Amstel Draught or Klipdrift and Coke. We haven’t forgotten about our teetotallers, all Emeralds Rewards cardholders can still enjoy free coffee, tea and water whilst playing.

This is a great initiative by our team and has been extremely well received by our guests.”Once a guest earns 50 points after playing Slots, they’ll receive a message on the machine telling them they’ve earned a free drink. “Guests then simply take their Green Rewards cards to the self-service kiosk and print out their Drinks on Us! voucher. These can be redeemed at any of the bars on the casino floor,” says Tanuja.

Joining Emerald Rewards is absolutely free and is open to persons from 18 years of age and older, with three tiers of cards, namely Green, Gold and Diamond. Tier progression is based on points earned on slots and tables.

Emerald Resort & Casino is a licensed gambling venue. Winners know when to stop. Only persons over 18 are permitted to gamble. National Problem Gambling Counselling Toll Free Helpline 0800 006 008.

Emerald Resort & Casino.

Tel:                              016 982 8000





Lira returns to Emerald Resort & Casino!

Spend #OneNightWith Lira! After a sold out show in 2016 and back by popular demand, South African multi-platinum, award-winning singer, songwriter, model and actress , Lira, will be making a return to Emerald Resort & Casino on 15 December 2017.

“With a career spanning over 14 years that includes multiple albums, DVDs, appearing in adverts and judging the popular TV series “The Voice”, Lira is a household name in South Africa and requires little to no introduction,” says Leolize Naidoo, Emerald Resort & Casino’s Events & Entertainment Manager.

One Night With is Emerald Resort & Casino’s premier event brand that brings the best of South African music and performers to the Vaal. Past #OneNightWith performances have included Thandiswa Mazwai, The Soil, Nathi Mankayi, Vusi Nova and Zonke to mention a few.

“Having personally witnessed Lira’s live performances more than once, I can bear witness to her amazing stage presence and that she always delivers a sterling evening of entertainment for her fans. I’m sure that anyone that has seen her live will agree!” says Leolize.

“Ticket sales are already open and if last year is anything to go by, tickets will sell out rather quickly. To avoid disappointment, we encourage all fans to “get in” early to secure their tickets,” concludes Leolize. “Take advantage of the next day, 16 December, Day of Reconciliation, being a public holiday and explore everything that the Resort has to offer.”

Standard tickets are R250 per person while Golden Circle is R500, includes a Lira CD and an autograph session with Lira in the casino after the concert.. Available from Computicket –

One Night with Lira at Emerald Resort & Casino:

Venue:             Emerald Arena

Date:               15 December 2017

Time:               19h00

For up to date information on these events and more, visitors to the Resort are encouraged to stay close to their Facebook and Twitter pages, or guests can visit for more information on any of the events mentioned here.

Emerald Resort & Casino.

Tel:                              016 982 8000



Twitter:                        @emerald_resort