Archive for December 2015

Decimal: Living the Life of an Advertising Giant

From movies like “What Women Want”, “Advertising Rules” and “How to get Ahead in Advertising”, to popular series’ like “Mad Men” and “Two and a Half Men”, the advertising industry has earned itself a bad reputation for being an alcohol-consuming, drug-abusing and sexually ambiguous field to work in. And, apparently, it pays well.

Wait… What?! Where do I sign up?

But all is not as it seems in the land of honey and dreams…

The hours are long and taxing. There are always tight deadlines and, more often than not, you’ll be working late hours and on weekends. There are clients that don’t appreciate your creative thinking, and at times you have to bin your brilliant idea to simply give them what it is they asked for. Working with a creative team of artists can be trying too.

Even just entering the advertising industry can be difficult, since you’re competing against a combined percentage of 75% B.A. or B.Com students in South Africa. Just to get an intern position, you have to prove that you are exceptional, passionate and willing to work hard for next to nothing. Even then, you might not make it.

Then, while you’re trying to make a name for yourself by winning a few awards for creative excellence, you also have to keep up to date with creative and social developments. You have to know what is trending and innovative, while also understanding your target market and how they think… In both traditional and online media.

The advertising industry is also highly affected by the state of the economy: advertising budget is usually the first a company cuts down on during difficult times. This can cause a vigorous up-and-down job market for those in advertising.

However, there are many perks too. The office space and culture is stylish and interesting. Agencies tend to keep things casual and comfortable, allowing for a creative thinking space. There are often fun things around, like game consoles and fridges filled with cold drinks.

The dress code is relaxed and casual - you are only expected to dress up for important meetings and when you see clients. Otherwise, whatever inspires you, goes. You have full reign over your creativity, and thinking in a contemporary, out-the-box way is encouraged all the time. There is no such thing as being weird here.

Yes, late hours are expected. But it can often lead to the best work. Most advertising agencies make it a fun, social occasion, leading to some great work as a result. Besides, your clients - yes, the same ones that requested a 3-day project to be done in one evening - often recognises the effort. Get ready for many “Thank You’s” on the phone.

“Regardless of our quirks, we’re all problem solvers motivated by challenges and the opportunity to influence people. We’ll put in countless hours because we want to put in countless hours. We challenge each other to be better at what we love to do,” says Jarred Leslie, Art Director at Decimal Agency.

Speaking of clients, you get to meet great people with different needs and different knowledge basis. In the advertising world, you will never go home without having learned something new. The variety adds excitement to life and the fast-paced environment appeals to many people. It is definitely not a career that the cliche "same old, same old" would apply to.

Leslie agrees with Michael Geneseo, Client Manager at Pulp+Wire in Portland, USA, “The range of clients and industries we work in, and the fact that every client has a different set of challenges that requires fresh thinking and renewed perspective is pretty awesome. It’s very satisfying being able to implement solutions that help people and promote businesses.”

Advertising agencies also tend to recognise their staff’s work more often than in any other industry. They often celebrate their achievements, and they tend to be rather social with their clients, building good relationships and partnerships. Career growth happens rapidly, and if you work hard, you will definitely be rewarded, unlike other fields where you may wait decades before being promoted.

The field of advertising is changing rapidly, with the use of social media, Internet marketing, and other new technologies that come along. You will know and understand the newest technology before most of the world has an inkling of its usefulness. Advertising requires you to be knowledgeable about everything. From understanding how industrial machines work, to knowing what Kim Kardashian named her new son.

I guess the old cliche of “Work Hard, Play Hard” is most true in this industry. What is most definitely not true is saying that advertising is nothing but a way of trying to convince you to buy something you don’t need.

“Advertising and design, at its best, isn’t about lying to the consumer. It’s about cutting through the noise in order to tell a unique story and ultimately letting the consumer make a decision.”

At Decimal Agency, we are passionate about telling your story. Obstacles, long hours and hard work is seen as part of the process of creating work we are proud of. Always. We don’t conceptualise over 3 martini lunches. We do it as a team to get everybody’s expertise and input in there. We don’t believe in smooth talking. We believe that advertising is about a unique blend of art, science, and narrative, which doesn’t exist in any other field.

Oh, and we do have a pretty cool office space…

Thursday, 17 December 2015
Posted by Minimoo

Decimal Celebrates a Future of Alliance through a History of Separation

On the 16th of December we observe the coming together of two of South Africa’s major historical events to celebrate a new, reconciled nation. 

Coming into effect after the 1994 democratic elections, on the 16th of December 1995, The Day of Reconciliation plays a very significant part in South Africa’s history. Tasked with promoting reconciliation and national unity, the new, non-racial democratic government pulled together two historical events from opposing sides to form a public holiday that represented a promise of a  shared future together, regardless of race.

Before the rise of a united South Africa, the 16th of December was celebrated by most Afrikaners as “Day of the Vow”. On this day, in 1838, the Voortrekkers took on the Zulu nation in a fight for land. With the aid of gunpowder, the 470 Voortrekkers faced an army of over 10 000 Zulus and emerged victorious, thus vowing to commemorate the day for generations to come.

In 1961, however, Umkhonto we Sizwe was formed. The “Spear of the Nation”, as it is translated, was known as the military wing of the African National Congress, and was launched to fight the Apartheid government through aggressive resistance. This was decided after the Sharpville Massacre in 1960 in which several peaceful protestors were indiscriminately shot at by police.

This year, the cabinet encourages all South Africans to honour the day as we promote reconciliation, peace and social cohesion, especially in the turmoil the country is facing at the moment. The theme, “Bridging the divide: Building a common South African nationhood towards a national developmental state” will be celebrated in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape this year.

Decimal Agency wishes you a peaceful Reconciliation Day filled with joy and love on 16 December 2015.

Monday, 14 December 2015
Posted by Minimoo

Facebook Advertising Goes Round-and-Round

With Facebook’s release of Carousel Advertising, Decimal looks at how you can use this function to get the most from your ad-spend.

Have you noticed something funny about Facebook Ads lately? No, it’s not your imagination; it’s Facebook getting clever by optimising space and making most of advertising opportunities.

In June 2015, the folks at Facebook announced the launch of new multi-product ads, especially for direct response advertisers. These “Carousel Ads”, as Facebook calls it, enables advertisers to feature 3-5 images within a single ad unit. Each image has its own description and click-through URL.

Native to mobile advertising, the mobile view allow users to swipe from left to right to their hearts’ content, while Facebook has also introduced a desktop version that encourages users to move between images by clicking on the left or right arrows.

But what are the benefits of investing in Facebook’s Carousel Ads for advertisers? Carousel Ads allow advertisers to offer more products, giving the viewer more options and information, and driving 10 times more traffic to their websites. The ads also generate 20-30% lower CPC (Cost per Click), compared to the standard link ads with a single image. The average 5.75% CTR (Click Through Rate) from a Carousel Ad is also a great incentive. The increase in placement cost is easily justified by scale and cost efficiencies.

“Carousels are a major push for Facebook,” said Don Mathis, CEO of Kinetic Social, a Social Marketing Tech Firm. “The pricing is competitive and the performances are stellar.” 

Facebook lists the benefits as follows:

-Increased web traffic
-Improved conversion rates
-Stronger marketing results
-Cost per acquisition efficiencies

But, like any other Social Media strategy, to get these benefits you need a detailed plan. Carousel Ads are best used when you want to showcase multiple items/topics in a single post. Your grouped images should motivate a single action from your target market. Chad Martin from VML, a problem-solving organisation with expertise in marketing communications, interactive advertising, and design, notes that a lot of clients find success by placing a single ad on Instagram and then a Carousel Ad on Facebook. This ensures that the consumers clicking through on Facebook have already shown an interest in your product, and are now looking for more information before making their purchasing decision online.

Carousel Ads can be used in the following ways:

Showcasing Multiple Tools:

Displaying Different Features of a Service:

Displaying Multiple Offers:

Showcasing Multiple Images/Parts of a Product:

Communicating Several Benefits of a Product or Service:

Gabi Barbosa, writer for, notes: “Everyone has been talking a lot about multi-product ads being great for ecommerce, but most other types of businesses can also get fantastic results from them.”

As a new Advertising function, this might all seem a little overwhelming. Also, the feature is only available through Facebook API application. So, if you want to get into the new trend, contact Decimal’s Social Media experts, and we can get you a VIP ticket into the fair, for a blood-pumping ride on the Carousel.

Friday, 4 December 2015
Posted by Minimoo

Living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa

1 December 2015 - Today, along with the rest of the world affected by the impartial disease, we commemorate and show support for all those people living with HIV/AIDS, and those who have already died from the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

HIV (the virus that causes AIDS - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is transmitted primarily via unprotected sexual intercourse (including anal and oral sex), contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy. However, there are many social factors that contribute to the spread of HIV, including poverty, inequality and social instability, high levels of sexually transmitted infections, sexual violence and limited access to quality medical care.

South Africa has come a long way since HIV/AIDS was first recognised by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in 1981. Since then, the nation’s fight against the virus has been unyielding in its goal to minimise the atrocious effects it has on those who have contracted the disease.

In 2010, South Africa increased the efficiency of its Antiretroviral Treatment Programmes, with further expansions implemented in January 2015 to bring South Africa up to date with World Health Organisation treatment guidelines.

Although the amount of people with HIV/AIDS has risen from 4.02 million in 2002 to 6.19 million (11.2% of the population) in 2015, the infection rate is declining, especially for those people between the age of 15 and 49.

In 2015, Stats SA estimated that 162 445 people had died from AIDS-related diseases. This translates to 30.5% of the total number of deaths, compared to a staggering 44.6% in 2002. The
life expectancy for people with the disease is also increasing to an average of 62.5 years, an increase of 9.1 years since 2004.

But, more than their health being affected, people with HIV/AIDS have to live with the stigma and denial related to the infection. Fear and despair often causes a delay in testing, causing the virus to spread even further. Many people are abandoned by their families or partners when diagnosed, job and property loss occur, school expulsion and denial of medical services.

Former President Nelson Mandela said: “Many people suffering from AIDS and not killed by the disease itself are killed by the stigma surrounding everybody who has HIV and AIDS.”

World AIDS Day is an opportunity for us to remind people of the seriousness of the disease, and to increase awareness. On this day South Africa aims to educate and inform the general public of HIV/AIDS in order to fight prejudice and discrimination towards those infected.

We support this programme, and in order to show our support, we bring you 5 important facts about HIV/AIDS that you should be aware of:

- HIV infects the immune system, decreasing the body’s ability to fight off infections and other diseases.
- HIV can be transmitted through unprotected sex, transmission of infected blood, sharing infected needles or other sharp instruments, and from a mother to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
- The best ways to prevent contraction of the virus is through safe sexual activity (using condoms during sex), getting tested for HIV and other STI’s regularly, avoiding sharing needles and syringes and ensuring any blood products you may need is tested for HIV.
- More than 35 million people live with HIV worldwide.
- Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) prevents the HIV virus from multiplying in the body, giving the body’s immune cells the ability to live longer and provide the body with protection from infections.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015
Posted by Minimoo

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