Digital branding taken more seriously in SA

Johannesburg - Digital entries for the annual Loerie Awards are at a record high and entries from Africa and the Middle East have also increased.

The Loerie Awards and accompanying creative week will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in September.

It has become an annual creative hub where over 4 000 members of the brand communication industry meet and network.

Entries are also up for the Ubuntu Award for Sustainable Marketing and the award for Integrated Communication.

The numbers show that digital is finally being taken seriously in the South African media mix, although traditional media like radio, TV and print, are still the mainstay of brand communication.
Digital entries now comprise just over 10% of the total number of Loeries entries and the trend is clearly towards integrated and digital communication, according to Andrew Human, CEO of the Loeries.

The total number of entries is 3 000, down slightly from 3 182 in 2012.

"It's clear from general indications that that the use of digital media is increasing, said Human.

"Specifically in South Africa, the lack of access to true broadband at affordable prices has been a major restriction to increased usage as a brand communication tool."

The use of data capping is still a major limitation and this needs to be addressed before there could be much greater usage, he said.

"Brands are realising the power of truly integrated communications. It's not a question of whether television or mobile or a live event is better, but rather how all the media can work together to continually talk to consumers, continuously," said Human.

"We are working hard to increase awareness of the Loeries outside of South Africa and, coupled with the growth in the economic power of the region, this growth is expected to continue going forward."

It is also clear from the entries that the industry is still impacted by a relatively flat economy.

"Until the world economy starts to grow again, all marketing expenditure remains under pressure. Perhaps an upside to this is that brands are using innovation and ideas to get more from their budgets," said Human.

- Fin24

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