» PIXELLATION AT LONGTAIL
TWO FAST-GROWING young online ad agencies – Bryce Hancock’s Pixel8 and Ingrid Rubin’s Longtail – have merged. And, say the partners, it’s a perfect marriage because each brings a different skills base to the party. A third shareholder is Matthew Jenkelson, founder of Ventureweb, of which Pixel8 was part.
Longtail was originally set up under the Lowe Bull umbrella, but that link is now severed, says Rubin. “The association was a limitation, because we weren’t free to work with other agencies. Now we have the scope to grow even faster.” Longtail’s strengths lie in e-marketing, strategy and search engine optimisation.
Pixel8, formerly the digital arm of DSTV HAS PRODUCED some of the best promotional videos and self-advertising in the country, for which they’ve won numerous international awards. The promos tend to be vignettes from the channel’s programming set to appropriate music to create dramatic, exciting or amusing pieces of on-air entertainment.
Currently, there’s also an hilarious advertising campaign by Ogilvy being flighted in those empty moments between repeats (sorry, programmes) that jokes about over-exposure to their programming. In one, a hard-hatted construction worker lays out his lunch on a slab of concrete as if he’s a gourmet chef while a bemused fellow-worker looks on. “Been watching the food channel?” asks the voice-over.
In another, a girl at a school prizegiving gives an amusing speech modelled on the over-the-top thank-you speeches of Oscar award winners. Too much exposure to motion picture awards ceremonies, of course.
Those promotional efforts can be watched repeatedly because they’re entertaining and have depth. They are, in fact, somewhat better than DStv’s programming. Yes, there are good programmes on the pay-TV service but those are repeated endlessly. New shows are few and far between.
And if DStv can’t fill those unforgiving moments it’s no wonder Telkom Media and the other winners of pay-TV licences more than a year ago are still nowhere close to getting on air. They probably can’t find the programming.
And there’s something that happens to you when you watch a programme for the fourth time. You find yourself tempted to read a book! Be warned, DStv. Ventureweb Interactive, specialises in creative conceptualisation, design development of websites and anything in the multimedia environment.
“To become a full service digital agency, it’s vital to have what Longtail offers,” says Hancock. “Pixel8 has been trading under the radar. Now we’ll operate under the Longtail brand.”
The merged operation employs 12 people.