Archive for June 2015

Decimal: To the Highest Standards

"If you’re tired of being taken advantage of, maybe it’s time to try the one cellular network that gives you more," states the new Cell C advert that is causing more waves than a tight perm.

The advert begins in a supermarket, with a man paying for his shopping. A dog then mounts the man’s leg and starts, indiscreetly, “humping” it to the tune of Blondie’s “One Way or Another”. The scene changes from the store to a parking station, garage, clothing shop and the man’s electricity-less apartment, the dog enjoying his leg all the while.

The ad went viral in just a few hours, causing quite the controversy and, by 17 June, 50 people had already filed complaints with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The next day, that number had more than doubled.

What does the ASA have to do with this trouble-causing (yet brilliant) advert? Well, according to

“The Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa, (abbreviated ASA) is an independent entity organised and financed by members of the marketing communications industry of South Africa. Its purpose is to manage South Africa's voluntary, self-regulating system of advertising”.

In other words, the ASA enforces the Code of Advertising Practice, which is the guiding document of the International Code of Advertising Practice, prepared by the International Chamber of Commerce. It’s complicated.

But this basically means that if you don’t follow ASA’s rules, you can kiss your brilliant ad campaign goodbye. And according to half of the South African population, Cell C went beyond breaking the rules.

Stuart Stobbs from FCB ad agency that worked on the ad said that they are standing behind the advert as they do not think it is offensive to anyone.

“We absolutely stand by it, I think we wouldn’t have created the ad if we didn’t believe in it and I think it’s talking to the truth in South Africa,” he said.

“We do feel we are being taken advantage of, that we are being ripped off in many places,” he said.
The ASA has since requested a copy of the ad, but no decision has been made. However, it is not easy to make a ruling when it is difficult just to understand how Cell C crossed the line. Especially since Cell C voiced the general disgruntled feeling of most South Africans.

The ASA guidelines are divided into 9 sections:

1. Medicines
2. Cosmetics
3. Slimming
4. Agricultural Product Standards Act 1
5. Sales and Services Act 25 of 1964
6. Research
7. Independent Broadcast Authority
8. Miscellaneous
9. Acts Affecting Advertising

Under the 9th guideline alone, there are a further 65 points to consider before launching your brilliance, a few of which Cell C is being accused of ignoring. These include airing a commercial during family prime-time that is not suitable to children, airing a commercial that is in bad taste and airing a commercial that hurts South Africa’s fragile political sector.

At Decimal, you can be assured we take these guidelines very seriously. With Decimal, creativity doesn’t mean losing your credibility, and we comply to the highest standards possible. After all, we know the devil is in the detail, and detail is Decimal’s domain.

We have worked with many clients, across the board, and have delivered creative campaigns that have gotten people talking: in a good way, including campaigns for Soviet, Mimmos, Drimac and Newscafe. We push our imaginations to the brink to bring you the best branding campaign that will only build your brand’s reputation.

Some people believe that any publicity is good publicity. At Decimal we believe that good publicity is good publicity. What do you think?

Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Posted by Jared Kisten

Smoothie Time

Decimal Smoothies

Ingredients and Method:
1. 1 banana
2. 1/2 paw paw
3. Some liqui fruit (your choice)
4. Blend until smooth
5. Drink enjoyably

This is all we wrote.
You shall now have a Smoothie.

Monday, 22 June 2015
Posted by Jared Kisten

Cannes: From the Lion’s Mouth

Cannes: From the Lion’s Mouth

There is less than a week to go before the world’s biggest ad festival, and the excitement is palpable. Copywriters, Designers, CEO’s and Ad Geniuses are getting ready for a week’s worth of talks, networking, seminars, and of course, some very coveted awards.

But what is all the hype about?

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is celebrating its 62nd year. Originally inspired by the International Film Festival, SAWA (a group of worldwide cinema screen advertising contractors) felt that the makers of advertising films should be given the same recognition as their peers, and so the International Film Festival was born in Venice, September 1954.

Today, winning a Cannes Lion award is invaluable to both individuals and businesses. The award recognises talent and creativity on a global scale, and with over 40 133 entries this year, it is not an easy award to win. The Lions are a much-needed chance for the industry to recognise and celebrate the last year’s hard work, creativity and innovation in the Advertising and Creative Communications industry, and to toast those who have gone beyond and above their craft. However, it doesn’t hurt that winning a Cannes Lion award can drive business, making the monetary value for an agency very high.

So, who’s leading the creative pride this year? Here are the top 10 entries fro Cannes 2015:

1. Beats by Dre: “The game before the game”
2. United Nations World Food Programme: “805 Million Names”
3. Leica: “100”
4. Ikea: “Experience the BookBook”
5. Always/Procter & Gamble: “#LikeAGirl”
6. Under Armour: “I Will What I: Gisele Bündchen”
7. ZDK Centre for Democratic Culture: “Nazis Against Nazis: Germany’s Most Involuntary Walk”
8. John Lewis: “Monty the Penguin”
9. Optus: “Clever Buoy”
10. Du: “Too Insulting”, “Too Distressing” and “Too Informative”

Here at Decimal, we know a good thing when we see it, just like we know a good campaign when we come up with it. By concentrating on the details, getting the strategy right, and practicing the art of creative communication, we create campaigns that not only win awards; they grow investment too. And so, we wish the Cannes Lions entries for 2015 the best of luck with the awards, and a thrilling, learning experience during the entire festival. We’ll see you there next year!  

Posted by Jared Kisten

Social Media: Decimal Means Business

Social Media: Decimal Means Business

Do you remember the days where socialising involved going down to the local pub and having a drink with your friends, or meeting your clients for dinner to discuss future projects? You know, actual face to face contact with another person?

I don’t remember them either.

Social Media is no longer a passing trend meant for hippies and teenagers. It continues to grow the world, with active user accounts now equating to roughly 29% of the world’s population. Social Media is here to stay, and it means business.

South Africans are spending an average of 3.2 hours a day on Social Media, unknowingly spreading news of different products and brands, good or bad. An estimated 68% of people are likely to purchase something after seeing a friend’s post about a product or service. With stats like these, it is no wonder the likes of Facebook and Twitter have launched new “buy” buttons, allowing businesses to sell their products and services to clients, without the client even having to leave the social platform.

And that’s just the start: 38% of businesses are estimated to grow (this year alone) by expanding or trying new forms of marketing. Do you need any more reason to relook your Social Media strategy?

However, if you’re going to harvest all the commercial benefits of Social Media, there are certain “niceties” you need to adhere to, lest you make your brand look like a noob:

  1. First Impressions: Make sure your Social Media profiles are completed, with pictures and regular posts. Take 5 minutes to fill in the “All about You” information - your clients want to know these things
  2. You are what You Tweet: The Internet knows everything, and it remembers everything. Don’t post or share anything that does not represent your brand 100%, but don’t let it stop you either. Not having an opinion on anything is worse than having a few people disagree with your opinion on something
  3. Automation: Social Media is all about building relationships with your clients, but sometimes it is ok to cheat a little bit. For example, HootSuite allows the management of social networks, scheduled messages, engagement with audiences while measuring your ROI right from the dashboard, but it still allows you to post your own news, tweet, share and communicate with the audience on your own terms
  4. Get Direction: Find a direction, and stick to it. People like consistency when it comes to what they are expecting. Pick a theme, and make sure you know everything about it
  5. Grammar Nazi: Avoid poor spelling and grammar. Remember: the devil is in the details, and nothing says unprofessional like poor spelling. This piece of advice also includes posting in ALL CAPS. YOU DON’T NEED TO SHOUT, WE READ YOU!
  6. #Hashtag: Don’t abuse hashtags. Hashtags actually have an important function in Social Media Marketing. This does not mean that you should turn every word into a hashtag
  7. Stop Repeating Yourself: Sharing the same message over and over again is lazy, and sleezy. Also, Social Networks are smart enough to see the repetition, and won’t show your posts as much. There is enough news out there; use it
  8. Explore Your Horizons, and Have Fun: Remember that Social Media is there to engage with your clients, not just to sell your services. Try new things, post different things and keep things conversational. Social Media is the new Face-to-face, afterall

If this sounds too complicated for you, then consider giving Decimal Agency a call. Now.

Not only do they manage your entire Social Media profile, they will put together an effective Social Media strategy that is suited to your brand. They are also experts at keeping to Social Media Etiquette, in order to maximise your ROI.

Decimal Agency uses HootSuite to keep content fresh and up-to-date, while making sure there is new content several times a week. They incorporate your current Marketing strategy, making your Social Media match your brand messages exactly. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - you name it, they do it.

With a dedicated Social Media Team, and an on-board Copywriter, you can be sure your content will be correct, effective, on-point and impressive. Decimal stays on top of the latest trends, news and social gossip, so you’ll never lag behind.

If growth is what you are looking for, then Decimal Agency should make up a major part of your Social Media plan.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Posted by Jared Kisten

Decimal: The Brains Behind Business Branding

Decimal: The Brains Behind Business Branding

Branding is defined as:
“a word, name, symbol, etc., used by a manufacturer or merchant to identify its products distinctively from others of the same type, and is usually dominantly displayed on its good in advertising, etc.”

Doesn’t sound too impressive, does it?

So why is it of imperative importance for South African companies, big and small, Retail, B2B or even Direct Selling, to start branding their businesses?

With the technological advancements of today, especially in communications technology, people are empowered to be more informed, connected, united and interactive. Consumers are demanding accountability and transparency from the companies they support, and are forcing these companies to answer fundamental questions: What business are you in? Why do you exist? Why should I choose you, when there are so many others to choose from?

“Your brand isn’t just a logo and a quick tagline. Your brand is the way customers experience you. A good brand doesn’t just happen; it’s a well thought out strategic plan.” says Raffaele Mc Creadie, Managing Director of Decimal Agency.

A global marketing leadership study, Marketing2020, found that leading brands go beyond the functional product benefits and deliver on a higher order reason for being, thus creating the highest valued growth brands in the world.

“Put simply, the brands that care more about who they are, and what they stand for, do better. The most successful branding is built on a strong feeling, a feeling you and your staff can commit to and can deliver on.” comments Mc Creadie.

Branding promotes the following key indicators for businesses:

1. Branding promotes recognition
2. Your brand helps set you apart from the competition
3. Your brand tells people about your business DNA
4. Your brand provides your staff with motivation
5. A strong brand gets recommended
6. A strong brand tells people exactly what they’re going to get
7. Your brand represents you, and its promise
8. Your brand helps you stay focused and get clarity on your goals
9. Your brand helps you connect emotionally with your brand
10. A strong brand provides your business with value

Defining your brand can be a long road in discovering the core of your business: it takes time, effort and patience.To save yourself the energy, consider employing a branding agency that believes in leading brands, not just managing them.

“Brand leadership is based on the premise that brand building not only creates brand equity, but it is also necessary for institutional success.” notes Idris Mootee, Author of 60 Minute Brand Strategist.

Decimal Agency, a dynamic, sophisticated Branding Agency in Johannesburg, believes in this approach. Not only do they believe in it, they follow this doctrine down to the last detail.

With the expertise and tools to move your brand in the right direction, this agency also takes on branding tasks with passion, energy and creative spark. Their services include: digital, design, promotional, social media, copywriting and online strategies and implementation to help your brand soar.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015
Posted by Jared Kisten

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