Great news for Nfinity as Innovocean wins bid for V&A Waterfront outdoor media

Innovocean, a joint venture between two of South Africa’s leading OOH media owners Tractor Media Holdings and Reveel (a subsidiary of the Nfinity Group of Companies), has been awarded the exclusive advertising rights for the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa.

This win sees the newly-established company take on all of the internal and external out-of-home (OOH) and digital OOH retail advertising for South Africa’s largest and most popular ocean-side shopping and entertainment destination, which sees an annual foot count of over 26 million people (pre-COVID).

The Innovocean roll-out will commence on 1 April 2022, and was born from a conversation between Nfinity CEO Ken Varejes and Tractor CEO Simon Wallin 2019, when both realised that the synergies between their respective companies and their collective experience would make for a powerful collaboration in offering clients an unsurpassed product, skillset and service.

Explains Wall and Varejes, “We realised that by joining forces, we would be able to expand our sales presence, marketing manpower and other resources. Innovocean will offer our clients the ability to tap into two experienced, expert teams with one overarching vision.

“In terms of the V&A, there will be a number of brand new digital opportunities that we will be developing, which will include current as well as futuristic inventory design and technology, married with progressive thinking, creative execution and a seamless roll-out.”

Wall adds, “A key component of our vision for this project was to make access to the V&A’s network of inventory more democratic, and as we start to see a recovery in tourism and footfall return to the V&A, we’re extremely excited about the opportunities Innovocean’s network will facilitate.”

Reveel is known for its emphasis on architecturally and aesthetically-pleasing DOOH solutions, and Ken Varejes says that the V&A project will incorporate this approach into its roll-out. “While state-of-the-art digital screens will naturally play a significant role, we will also integrate architectural design that reflects the heritage of the V&A in a contemporary way.”

Ken goes on to explain that while Tractor and Reveel remain completely independent entities, Innovocean will likely tackle other projects in future, but that he and Wall are “firmly focussed on this project until our vision has materialised.”

“Massive congratulations to Tanner Rock / Tyron Martin from Reveel, and Simon Wall / Ben Harris from Tractor Outdoor for the hard work , passion and commitment to win all internal and external advertising rights for the V & A WATERFRONT. So proud to be associated with you great people,” Varejes says.

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The Evolution of Influence

Google trends show how, over the past 5 years, the term “influencer marketing” has steadily been used more and more by curious web surfers. Fortunately, a deeper understanding by marketers of the topic has also grown alongside this trend line as it was not that long ago that most marketers had a very singular – and incorrect – idea of what influencer marketing was. Influencer marketing was seen by most in its celebrity form only. In other words, it was mislabeled as that channel that exploited the popularity of famous people for the benefit of brands. To be fair, that description is not necessarily incorrect, but rather it is merely one facet of what is now a thriving and well-accepted part of marketing strategy.

Let’s go back a bit and start by asking what influencer marketing is, and where it came from? Well simply put, and to answer the first part of the question, it is a form of collaboration of a brand with an individual where that individual uses their personal sway to endorse or promote the products or services of that brand. It, therefore, has a foundation on the oldest and most valuable tenant of marketing – word of mouth. My standard quip on word of mouth is that it is as old as Eve convincing Adam to bite into the forbidden fruit. That aside I don’t think there would be too many people that would argue that it remains the most effective form of marketing.  

Photo by Tom Swinnen from Pexels

So, the second part of the question is answered by understanding the impact that social media has had on word of mouth and that is to create the space for word of mouth to happen at scale. Word of mouth and its Siamese twin, influence, are no longer limited by having to be in the physical proximity of others to be effective, and that – i.e. the addition of the internet and social media – is what accounts for the rapid adoption of influencer marketing into the marketing mix.

The budgets being spent by marketers on influencer marketing are almost incredible, but not surprising. This is partly due to the realisation that digital touchpoints are fast becoming dominant aspects of all media plans, but it is more aligned to understanding that people are less and less enamoured by brands attempting to seduce them by talking at them, and more and more reliant on each other when it comes to making purchasing decisions. Indeed, it is the perceived lack of pure motive of the brands that make the trust and authenticity of others (=influence) so appealing.

But, the impetus behind influencer marketing’s rocketing adoption, is also premised on the increased understanding by marketers of the multiple options available within the singular term. Notable amongst these is the rise of micro and nano influencers as a powerful option available to marketers, and the utilisation of this subset to allow smaller budgets to effectively get in on the action. And, the ever-increasing utilisation of employee influencers as part of the communication set (see theIntern-ship.co.za) highlights how fast influencer marketing in all its multiple permutations is being adopted by marketers.

Take a look at this graphic, produced by theSALT on what is correctly and cleverly titled the democratisation of influence.

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Not only does it highlight the exponential growth in spending in recent times, but it also neatly outlines how influencer marketing has become accessible by all kinds of budget sizes, from huge to small, and how individuals that have small yet highly influential networks, have been able to be involved on the influencer side of the equation.

The bottom line is that influencer marketing has grown up and has firmly earned its permanent seat at the marketing table, and whilst social media channels may ebb and flow in their relevance over time and with certain target markets, it is here to stay as an effective and essential consideration for marketers.

Christopher Africa joins Nfinity

Christopher Africa joins Nfinity Group

With a wide portfolio of growing media properties, Nfinity, under the leadership of Ken Varejes and his team, has acquired the a stake in Christopher Africa,  which is an  exciting move for the Group. 

As one of Africa’s leading Artificial Intelligence companies, Christopher Africa with its flagship  product Christopher AI, a sophisticated real-time data profiling platform with the ability to profile target audiences into various segments by enriching the data, and analysing the information. It enables brands/organizations to serve accurate, hyper-personalized ads/messages to relevant consumers when it is relevant to them by engaging in relevant conversations in real-time. This works across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

By joining forces with Nfinity Group, Christopher Africa will be part of an ecosystem that’s engineered to help entrepreneurs grow and better their businesses. “ For us this a big game changer as we look to scale up and grow our customer footprint” said Tokologo Phetla the founder and CEO of Christopher Africa.

An enthusiastic Christopher  Africa  team will be based at Nfinity’s offices in Sandton under the leadership of Tokologo Phetla, together with Thabo Ledimo, the Chief Technology Officer. The two will work hand-in-hand to ensure that Christopher continues to add value to various brands and their consumers.

These are really exciting times for Nfinity Group considering the shift to digital and AI driven marketing functions and there’s no doubt that the arrival of Christopher Africa will add value to the group.

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