» PIXEL­LA­TION AT LONG­TAIL

Finweek English Edition - - Advertising & Marketing -

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.

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