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SPARK Media executes another successful Sports Day

To thank and spoil their clients, SPARK Media has successfully held another annual Sports Day, themed ‘Spring Break’, complete with a variety of games to test the mental and physical ‘availability’ of their guests.

Attendees were spoiled from the moment of their arrival at the Bryanston Country Club right until the generous prize giving which saw each and every guest receiving a memento to take home. SPARK Media’s CEO, Gill Randall says: “We are so grateful to every person that made an effort to attend our annual Sports Day. It’s a small token of thanks from us to our clients and agency partners that was once again so incredibly well received.

Our aim is to continue to build meaningful connections with clients far from the pressures of the office in a completely relaxed environment.”

For golf lovers, prime fairways served as the ideal way to converse with friends, de-stress and, of course, time those drives to perfection. For those less inclined to traverse the greens, the Fun-a-Thon offered plenty amusement and more than just a few challenging tasks.

The mental workout of the afternoon quiz also formed an integral part of the day, and provided guests and SPARK Media staff with the chance to test their general knowledge and show off their intellectual prowess.

SPARK Media’s Director of Sales, Olav Westphal added: “We put a significant amount of effort into the Sports Day, but its success depends entirely on our clients. The day couldn’t work without their enthusiasm and positive mind sets. SPARK Media has a vibrant culture, and much of it is as a result of what clients bring to the table. They play a crucial role in the development of SPARK’s can-do personality, and for this we thank them.”

Although the 2019 edition of the SPARK Media Sports Day has come and gone, next year promises to be an event worth pencilling into calendars as early as possible.

“We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the raffle,” says Gill. “We managed to raise R5 600 for our longstanding charity, Hayani which runs both a much-needed crèche in Alexandra and an orphanage in Orange Grove.

We look forward to seeing you all in 2020.”

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#ROOTS2019 sheds light on buyer behaviour

Why do we need to understand buyer behaviour? As marketers, advertisers and brand growth specialists, we are all in the business of building brands, looking for opportunities to talk to potential buyers or product users by geographic area and potentially influence behaviour. This works best when we understand what makes consumers tick.

CEO of SPARK Media, Gill Randall says: “The latest ROOTS 2019 data that has just been released enables users to analyse and interpret the evidence-based discoveries of modern based marketing. These detail how we can communicate meaningfully to potential consumers that could be in the market for what we are selling, influence their decisions and ultimately their actions.”


According to Professor Andrew Ehrenberg from EBI (Ehrenburg Bass Institute), “YOUR consumers are just someone else’s consumers who occasionally buy from you.”

What the ROOTS data reveals is the detail for each local geographic area of the sharing of shoppers.

Take for example Diepkloof, Pick n Pay is by far the biggest food and grocery retailer in the area at 87%. However, 31% of these Pick n Pay shoppers also shopped at Shoprite, 31% at Cambridge Food and 18% at Checkers in the past month.

Area by area and category by category this non-loyalty discovery holds true. Media platforms are not immune to sharing audiences either. The local newspaper, Boksburg Advertiser, is read by 87% of Purchase Decision Makers (PDMs). Of these PDMs, 7% also read Sunday Times, 5% read Daily Sun and Move magazine. 26% of these same readers go to the movies, 31% access the internet (several times a day) and 26% read news on an online news site.


Professor Ehrenberg says evidence shows that: “Consumer behaviour is random and unpredictable – adjusted for our mood or need at a particular moment in time.”

ROOTS reveals that high incidences of markets are thin, therefore look for high aggregate propensities, clusters or catchment areas. Consumers that are interested in food, cooking or baking can be found in Kimberley, Uitenhage and Jo’burg North whereas consumers in Constantia, Knysna and Milnerton show high instances of buying wine (once a week or more often) while those in Nelspruit are interested in Home and Décor.

Of the 51 000 shoppers in Midrand, 77% bought small electrical appliances in the past 12 months, 3 250 in the past month and 813 in the past week. These hard to find shoppers also have so much choice! Competing for their customers in this category is Game, HiFi Corp, Checkers Hyper, Clicks and Pick n Pay Hyper etc.

 Decision Making

Daniel Kahneman author of Thinking Fast and Slow, states: “We think much less than we think we think.”

ROOTS reveals just how competitive markets are across categories at a local level and that customers are spoilt for choice. ROOTS measures mindshare or mental availability of brands in the category.

While spoilt for choice, changing consumer needs over the years results in different shopping patterns emerging area by area.  We know the need for convenience has changed behaviour and area by area we see market share changes where possibly newer entrants like retailers at garage forecourts have had an effect.

The real battle for market share is at local level. The Pick n Pay Hyper in Krugersdorp has over the last two ROOTS surveys increased from 3% to 20%, in the large electrical appliance category.

Local Imperative

The principle is to understand your shoppers and users at a local level. Geo-segmentation is the priority segmentation tool. ROOTS reveals and identifies high incidence areas for users and stores, based on people with likelihood to purchase a specific category.

The average time that consumers are willing to travel differs by category and area. On average, shoppers are only willing to travel 13 minutes for food and groceries. However, the real value for helping make strategic decisions is again realised at the local area. In Dobsonville, consumers travel for 20 minutes while in Amanzimtoti it is only 7 minutes.

“While buyer behaviour will adapt to changing market realities, our brains don’t physically change and are hard wired to respond in certain ways. ROOTS helps markets unpack many of these buyer behaviour traits and assists us to understand what makes consumers tick,” concludes Randall.

“To grow a brand, although difficult (and sometimes expensive), attract the attention of light and non-users. Be mentally available, making it easy to be thought of by as many people as possible and be physically available, through distribution, location, accessibility and ease of purchase.”

For more detail on these evidence-based discoveries and what ROOTS reveals visit our website or follow us on social media @sparkmediasa.


Established in 2015, SPARK Media, a division of CTP Ltd, are experts in retail and location based marketing solutions. The company owns and represents an arsenal of print products that deliver locally relevant, effective audiences for advertising clients. SPARK Media are Strategic Partners in Audience Research and Knowledge and offer ‘Insights that Ignite’.

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SA publishers collaborate to launch a new and inventory-rich Video Private Marketplace

In an exciting first for South African digital advertising, industry leading publishers Caxton, Media24, TisoBlackStar, The Daily Maverick and TheSouthAfrican have collectively established a partnership with Australian video company, Oovvuu, and have now launched a new and inventory-rich Video Private Marketplace.

Digital consumers continue to show a strong preference for accessible and engaging online video content, affording brands the opportunity to reach target markets through compelling video advertising.

Oovvuu sources quality video content from premier international publishers, distributing it to South African consumers through trusted local publishers.

Displayed within the body of news and entertainment articles, Oovvuu collated videos will be thematically linked to each article’s respective subject matter.

Although suggested videos will be sourced via machine learning and AI, editorial approval is still required to guarantee quality to both advertisers and readers at all times.

To streamline booking processes for Oovvuu clients, a convenient and centralised platform called Connect has been built. Through Connect, agencies can purchase from all publishers at once.

This multi-publisher partnership with Oovvuu means that agencies can now offer clients substantial exposure on credible, brand safe websites outside of the Facebook and YouTube environments.

Unlike Facebook and YouTube, pre-roll ads on Oovvuu content cannot be skipped, leading to longer engagement times and an increased opportunity for meaningful brand engagement.

Video ads on Oovvuu have already displayed high viewability, completion and click-through rates.

Moreover, given the recent avalanche of disinformation campaigns on Facebook and YouTube, advertisers are exposed to a significant risk of finding digital assets on exceptionally brand un-safe content.

Oovvuu solves this problem.

Oovvuu CEO, Ricky Sutton, notes: “When we originally met with South African media agencies, there were three primary requirements – brand safety, engagement and cost effective scalability.

“Agencies want the ability to buy volume with one click, therefore Connect was created, allowing agencies to buy from all publishers at one time.

“We’ve simply given agencies what they’ve been asking for.”

For enquiries and assistance in buying premium video inventory, get in touch with Chris Borain from OneRepublic on

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#ROOTS2019 mapping the more economically active South Africa

Set in motion with in-field interviews in March 2018, South Africa’s largest quantitative community survey #ROOTS2019 is ready to be launched in June across South Africa. The all new ROOTS 2019 will unveil new and insightful stories coming out of local geographic areas.

“The ROOTS survey has been conducted every three years since 2001 and a large portion of the question set has remained the same, with necessary additions to remain relevant,” says Debbie McIntyre, Marketing and Research Director at SPARK Media. “This year, the survey boasts some different areas and communities, and more insights that ever before”.

A partnership with Ads24 means the inclusion of 16 new areas to gain insights from. This enables the building bricks of the survey to be a total of 112 surveyed areas.

ROOTS’ quantitative research explores shopping behaviours and decisions, and can be used to create an in-depth analysis on areas where the economically active population lives. Want to know how many homes are owned or rented in your suburb? Overall, 37% of homes are owned and bond-free. Most bond-free homes can be found in Umzinto (64%), as well as Sedibeng and George (58%). 24% of homes are rented, with the highest percentage found in Burgersfort, Berea (Durban) and Kensington (Johannesburg).

36% of households have dogs, however only 5% of pet owners have pet insurance even though 57% took their pet to the vet in the past year.

The research methodology model provides a national snapshot that is designed to enable detailed analysis and decision making at a local level. 77% of Randburg residents purchase take-aways at least once a month. Seapoint has the highest percentage of people that travel (41%). Social media usage ranks highest in Bellville.

“Every local area is different in terms of structure and shopping behaviours, and the data continuously proves this, showing us changes and new trends”, says Debbie. “Shoppers are not willing to travel too far to buy food and groceries; 61% of consumers will only travel a maximum of 15 minutes to shop.”

“The best read and used papers across the ROOTS sample areas are still, by far, local papers, with 65% of shoppers having read them. The gap has widened significantly in this category, with only 17% of shoppers having read weekly or weekend newspapers”, Debbie adds.

“For these and other exceptional insights about people and their preferences, we encourage the industry to join us at the launch of ROOTS 2019,” concludes Debbie. “The countdown is on. We can’t wait!”

ROOTS launches in Durban on the 4th of June, Johannesburg on the 6th of June and Cape Town on the 11th of June. For more information or to book your seat, visit or contact

For more on SPARK Media, visit their website and follow them on social media @sparkmediasa.


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Hive Digital Media announces management structure

Newly formed specialist digital media agency, Hive Digital Media, formerly the digital sales unit of SPARK Media, has announced the appointments of its Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) Parmeshan Moodliar, Chief Operations Officer (COO) Kristin Louw and Group Programmatic and Data Manager Ashleigh Footit.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce changes in the management structure of Hive Digital Media effective 1 July of this year,” said Marc du Plessis, Group Executive: Digital Investments at Caxton. “In his role as Chief Revenue Officer, Parmeshan will oversee the sales, PR, Brand Management, Trade Marketing and

Finance units, as well as work with Ashleigh on the Programmatic and Data divisions, while Kristin as Chief Operations Officer will manage the Channel, Marketing Services, Traffic, Adops, Story Studio (content production) and HR functions of the business.

Both Parmeshan and Kristin have been with the group for several years now, are well respected by their teams and are backed by an established client base,” says Marc.

According to du Plessis, the business has taken the strategic decision to split their digital sales unit from SPARK Media in order for each business unit to concentrate on the platforms they know and can best represent, giving their clients the best service & value possible.

 The executive committee of Hive Digital Media will begin working immediately in planning for the new fiscal and embedding the new structure, while focusing their energy and B2B messaging on  their offerings such as LNN (Local News Network), All4Women, Health Spas, Guzzle and Ignition (programmatic offering).  SPARK Media will once again focus solely on being the strategic sales arm for Caxton Local Newspapers.

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Big, bigger, biggest #ROOTS2019

Constructed, layer by layer, brick by brick, the all new ROOTS 2019 will be unveiled to the marketing, advertising and media industries this coming June. In the meantime, some influential media personalities have provided their thoughts and expectations of #ROOTS2019.

“ROOTS is one of South Africa’s largest and longest running consumer behaviour surveys and in June we’re excited to be bringing the latest research to life,” says Debbie McIntyre, Marketing Services and Research Director SPARK Media. “We enjoy receiving feedback and hearing what the people that make use of the data have to say and what their expectations of ROOTS 2019 are.”

Managing Director at Vizeum (Johannesburg), Byron John, comments: “We’ve used the previous ROOTS survey extensively across the Dentsu Aegis Network for a lot of strategic input and insights and I am excited to see how the key data touchpoints have changed, grown or developed over the last few years.

The ROOTS data has given us great insight into the suburban make-up of our diverse South African consumer(s). Putting any media strategy together should start at the what, where and how consumers access brands or products and everything else should flow from there. We’ve used it often as a geo-location ‘proxy’ (at suburb level) to inform where consumers live to establish the foundation of where the consumer narrative plays out. From a category perspective there’s a lot of data available which allows us to profile each consumer category in detail which is very valuable.

I’m looking forward to unpacking this data with the new release of ROOTS.”

Wayne Bishop, Managing Director (Johannesburg) at PHD South Africa remarks, “ROOTS has always been an insightful survey that injects significant marketing, branding and retail data into the industry. Since its inception in 1980, the survey has not only proved to highlight changes in the composition of geographical micro-economies, but has also been a constant reflection in the changes to the South African market as a whole.

Anyone interested in business growth should be a constant interrogator of the facts and data points from ROOTS. If you are not, you are missing one of the most valuable vaults of information that comes from an in-depth look into 27 000 lives and what drives their purchase habits.”

Rika Nell, Group Talent Director at Joe Public says: “I’ve been using ROOTS for more than ten years and find it invaluable at understanding community groups. Adding it to my data analysis mix not only improves my strategic decisions, but makes it easy to convince clients too.

This year I’m looking forward to a deeper dive regarding the use of Social Media and digital growth areas.”

For the June launch, SPARK Media will partner with LEGO to showcase ROOTS 2019.

“Just as LEGO encourages imagination and inspiration with their building bricks, so do we encourage that same curiosity and enthusiasm in the thorough and in-depth interrogation of the ROOTS 2019 data, providing the building bricks for marketing strategies and insightful media plans,” concludes Debbie. “We can’t wait to launch!”

ROOTS launches in Durban on the 4th of June, Johannesburg on the 6th of June and Cape Town on the 11th of June.  For more information and to book space visit or contact

For more on SPARK Media, visit our website and follow us on social media @sparkmediasa.


Established in 2015, SPARK Media, a division of CTP Ltd, are experts in retail and location based marketing solutions. The company owns and represents an arsenal of print products that deliver locally relevant, effective audiences for advertising clients. SPARK Media are Strategic Partners in Audience Research and Knowledge and offer ‘Insights that Ignite’.

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#ROOTS2019 – Building Insights with LEGO

ROOTS, with a random sample size of more than 27 000 respondents, is South Africa’s largest and longest running consumer shopping behaviour survey, and SPARK Media launches ROOTS 2019 in June.

 This year SPARK Media are excited to partner with LEGO to showcase the ROOTS 2019 launch.

“We will be BUILDING insights out of the new, extensive data and reveal these through ROOTS LEGO SCENES at each city’s launch event,” says Gill Randall, CEO of SPARK Media. “Like LEGO bricks, the data by itself is pretty useless until you start building and analysing and finding patterns and designs. These findings will be used as tools that help assist our marketing and media professionals to make better decisions about their strategies.”

The ROOTS LEGO SCENES aim to take some of the immense amount of data and translate it into practical, visual and fun scenarios of what our South African buyers and shoppers look like and do. ROOTS gives marketers a better understanding of their customers by geographic area.

“The South African shopping and buying landscape is constantly changing in response to both macro-economic factors like politics and economics, and geographically more local factors like new shops, shopping centres, online shopping options and the effect of digital media on reading habits. ROOTS helps us interpret and understand these changes community by community.

ROOTS 2019 has incorporated new technology to both improve sampling and speed up in-field data collection, but has also rigorously retained proven and validated readership research questions for accuracy and trending purposes. We have also included some new areas in our efforts to build a true reflection of the South African shopper and buyer at the geographic community level,” Gill concludes.

ROOTS will be launching in Durban on the 4th of June, Johannesburg on the 6th of June and Cape Town on the 11th of June.  For more information and to book your space visit or contact

For more on SPARK Media, visit our website and follow us on social media @sparkmediasa.


Established in 2015, SPARK Media, a division of CTP Ltd, are experts in retail and location based marketing solutions. The company owns and represents an arsenal of print products that deliver locally relevant, effective audiences for advertising clients. SPARK Media are Strategic Partners in Audience Research and Knowledge and offer ‘Insights that Ignite’.

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Caxton CTP makes sustainability a priority in its business

With almost 50 years in the industry, Caxton CTP has taken steps to ensure that all elements of their print production do not negatively affect the environment.

There is a global shift towards going paperless in an effort to save the environment, and a number of companies have been quick to join the bandwagon. However, there is a lack of statistical information and research that shows that going paperless is in fact better for the environment. And while cellphones and laptops might reduce paper waste, they’re not quite green enough to plant and fertilise our soil.

Caxton ensures that their customers and clients enjoy premium paper, news and entertainment quality through their magazines, newspapers and packaging arms. By partnering with international and local suppliers that are globally compliant, Caxton stands firm in their assertion that they have the environment’s best interests in mind.

Controlled supply of paper material

Caxton’s network of paper product suppliers are certified practitioners who source their paper from plantations and controlled environments. This ensures that the proper procedures have been followed in procuring the materials, but also in handling and managing by products and wastage.

Sappi, one of Caxton’s local suppliers, prides itself on certification of their products.

“Forest certification gives our customers the assurance that the trees used in our pulp and papermaking processes originate from plantations that are managed according to the standards and requirements of sustainable forest management,” Sappi Sustainability Report, 2017.

By-products and wastage

There are systems in place to handle the by-products and water usage involved in the entire process from plantation to print.

Through Caxton’s deliberate and strategic partnerships with their suppliers, by-products are re-used and invested in other industries. For example, boiler ash is used as raw materials, and pith is used as soil enhancer by farmers.


In addition to users recycling paper materials in their homes, such as newspapers and boxes, Caxton’s paper suppliers have put in efforts to make sure that what they take out is put back through reforestation and replanting.

“The demand for paper in turn creates a demand for forests, which have both environmental and economical benefits,” says Jaco Koekemoer, MD of Local Media & Coldset Printing.

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#ROOTS2019 is coming!

The building blocks of #ROOTS2019 are all coming together! The individual pieces are being expertly constructed to deliver South Africa’s largest urban community quantitative survey. Set for release in June this year, some industry heavyweights have shared their expectations.

“The ROOTS survey is one of South Africa’s largest and longest running consumer behaviour surveys. Conducted every 3 years, in over 120 communities across the country” says Debbie McIntyre, Marketing Services and Research Director SPARK Media. “We asked a few influential people in the media industry what their thoughts are of ROOTS 2019 and what they are looking forward to.”

Here’s what they had to say.

Chris Botha, Group Managing Director at Park Advertising says: “One of the most critical aspects of any media campaign is knowing your target market. We know and understand that people are different everywhere but these differences are even more pronounced in local communities across South Africa. It’s this granular detail that I always look forward to in all the ROOTS surveys. Besides the additional areas and categories covered, I’m pleased with the inclusion of new metrics like SEMs and I’m looking forward to insights like how many consumers are using Uber (and where) amongst others.

We look forward to incorporating this new data into our media plans to reach our consumers even more effectively!”

Merissa Himraj, Chief Strategy Officer at Wavemaker says, “I am looking forward to ROOTS 2019, and am curious to see whether the consumption of media through digital channels has impacted reading habits of community papers, in which segment/audience this is happening and where the consumption growth is coming from! We now have a lot of data that can provide a snapshot of 20 years, showing that as people’s life stages change from single to young families so do their media consumption habits.”

The ROOTS data provides marketers with vital demographic and behavioural information at a local, regional and national level, but it’s the ability to deep-dive and access granular local data that provides the biggest marketing advantages.

“The local community newspaper amplifies the heartbeat of any community. People are creatures of habit and also have a need to stay close to home especially in the current political environment, with crime, load shedding and many other issues that plague the ever-burdened consumer,” says Tish Ronge, Head of Media Buying at Mediacom Johannesburg “Geographically each area also has its own unique socio-economic need.  No matter how affluent. In my opinion, it is only the local community newspaper that is tailored to fit this part of the media mix, especially for retailers.”

The survey will provide the marketing, media and advertising industry a national snapshot, at a local level. With new categories, added areas and an in-depth questionnaire that includes digital, this year’s ROOTS is one of biggest and most robust. Take for example the question, do consumers take care of themselves? To find the answer, the survey, amongst exploring multiple other categories, finds out about medical aid membership, changes in weight, physical activity and consumption and store preference for vitamins and supplements.

“It is exciting to see all the components being put together and what will be revealed about the local consumer in their local environments,” concludes Debbie.

“Watch this space, #ROOTS2019 is coming!”

For more on SPARK Media, visit our website and follow us on social media @sparkmediasa.

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Caxton Excellence Awards acknowledges its local talent

Celebrating its 30th year in existence, Caxton’s annual Excellence Awards has acknowledged the contributions of its sales and editorial staff and management of its local free and sold newspapers. At this year’s awards, R275 000 was distributed in prize money with George Herald being named the Best Sold Newspaper; The Randburg Sun as Best Free Newspaper and the Polokwane Review Bonus as the Best Emerging Market paper.

 Karen Geurtse, General Manager for Caxton Local Media Regionals said: “Even though the awards are in their 30th year, we are constantly overwhelmed with the hundreds of entries we receive each year from our teams. The Caxton Excellence Awards celebrate and acknowledge those individuals and local printed products that excel in their market.”

Other winners this year included Lizette da Silva (George Herald) for Best Front Page; Leah Shone editor of Get It Balito/Umhlanga was named the Best Get It magazine while Tereasa Dias (Lowvelder) was acknowledged as the Group’s Best Multimedia Journalist.

The Most Promising Newspaper Journalist of the year was awarded to Arisa Janse van Rensburg (Lowvelder), with the Best Headline Writing accolade going to Kristy Kolberg   (George Herald).

On the photography front, Ettienne van Rensburg from Vaal Weekblad was named overall Photographer of the Year. He also claimed the Best Human Interest Photograph category.  Hugo Redelinghuys (George Herald) won Best Sports Photograph while Wayne van der Walt (Standerton Advertiser) won Best Hard News Photograph.

Ad Designer of the Year went to Geraldine Reyneke (Lowvelder). Field Sales Consultant of the Year went to Tamsin McMaster (Joburg South) and the Best Community Involvement went to Norman Dawe, Daniella Potter Geshika Vorster and Aiden Eksteen from Fourways Review for their feature on the Ark Animal Centre.

“These awards shouldn’t be underestimated as they hold our teams accountable every day to ensure that the best local print products are consistently delivered to our readers and advertisers,” says CEO of SPARK Media, Gill Randall. “Our editorial and sales people live and breathe their community every day, which is why they have such an exceptional understanding of their areas. These awards demonstrate this, and the value that each and every one of these ‘Caxtonites’ bring, not only to the local community, but to the advertisers looking to reach our valuable consumers.

We congratulate all the winners and applaud the quality of entries from each individual and all our teams.”

To contact SPARK Media: call +27 10 492 8391 or email


Established in 2015, SPARK Media, a division of CTP Ltd, are experts in retail and location based marketing solutions. The company owns and represents a myriad of print and digital products that deliver locally relevant, effective audiences for advertising clients. SPARK Media are Strategic Partners in Audience Research and Knowledge and offer ‘Insights that Ignite’.

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