Advertising agencies and marketers who do not recognize that advertising is changing, irrevocably, are going to become the dinosaurs of the industry THERE are so many new opportunities for getting one’s message across to the right target market, faster and cheaper than the so-called “traditional’ media. Of course, the print media, TV and radio will still play a big role in the future, but to ignore alternative opportunities is short-sighted – the digital age is here. Computer architect, Bill Joy, writing in a recent issue of Fortune magazine, said: “We are digitalising all forms of media and even our commercial interactions, and unbottling information from its conventional containers.” An example of a “new media ‘company is Johannesburg-based TBM Communications -a media owner delivering audiences in an innovative way. According to CEO, Pierre van der Hoven, his company uses technology to create virtual TV networks fed by satellite. TBM has a private DVD-based network in South Africa (with plans for going international) and has installed plasma screens in selected locations – such as golf courses, airports and shopping malls. “We aim to roll out some 3 000 screens in South Africa in the next 12 months,” says Van der Hoven. “This makes the media far more accessible through extremely cost effective advertising rates and low production costs with excellent DVD quality.” ” Six 10-second advertising spots per hour per screen per month cost only R1000, which lowers the entry barrier to smaller advertisers. This means that if a screen is 100% ‘sold’ in a 10-hour day site (such as a shopping center), 1800 10-second commercials would be flighted at a cost of 55c per slot The flexibility of the technology allows advertisers the ability to target information in selected geographical sites within the footprint. Programming is downloaded to each individually controlled plasma screen and charges are activated instantaneously. Van der Hoven says that by utilizing TBM’s cost effective plasma screens, both above- and below-the line strategies can be brought together. Plasma screens are aesthetically pleasing display mechanisms – slimline TV sets in fact, with a 160-degree viewing angle and 16.9 million colours. TBM Communications undertake the actual production of the commercials using state-of-the-art equipment that includes animation. While the DVD quality is excellent, the price is a fraction of conventional TV commercials. Established last year, TBM Communications is owned by Hosken Consolidated Investments, Limitless Financial Solutions and management. What does the name ‘TBM’ mean? It stands for ‘Three Blind Mice’ – three for the number of founding partners, blind for the virtual aspect, and mice – well, you know, those little computer critters.

Source: Market Place – Heather Holt