Smart Media Technology’s Home Page Pays. Now Smart Media Technology’s YOBSN.

Those who may have heard of Home Page Pays (there are probably not a lot considering that there only around a million people users at this time, which whilst impressive for a start-up brand, is not excessive in global terms) will more than likely not have heard of YOBSN.

So what is YOBSN exactly?

Standing for “Your Own Branded Social Network”, YOBSN is a default internet home page that could in time be the next facebook. Why so? Because it offers so much more. Essentially, YOBSN brings together the best of the internet on one page: multiple search engines (Google and Yahoo included), competitions, free software, free games, free educational videos, the best sites on the internet, social has it all.

But what really differentiates YOBSN is the points it gives users for doing what they normally do on the internet. As these points are given free, people will now be rewarded for their normal internet usage – which is a concept quite revolutionary.

But what to do with these points? Go into the Smart Points store and redeem them for whatever takes your fancy. Need a camera? An ipod? A laptop? They’re all in the smart points store, and yours free, so long as you have enough points.

Cynics would ask how any company could afford to incentive the use of the internet, and this is perfectly understandable. The answer is advertising. A good 70% of all advertising monies on YOBSN will go towards rewarding users.

At this point, most products currently in the smart points store are American but as YOBSN spreads around the world, it’s likely that products from other countries will be included. For example, in South Africa (where YOBSN is starting to show good growth), it’s quite probable that the likes of Vodacom, MTN, 8ta or Cell C will want to have their products and services included – whilst it would also make sense for SANRAL to have its anticipated (and dreaded) toll-fees redeemable for smart points.

Then there’s Eskom. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to redeem your smart points for pre-paid electricity, just for spending time on eg facebook, Youtube or LinkedIn? There are I’m sure many online merchants who would be interested in having their products included.

Whilst I am of course not privy to Smart Media Technology’s intentions, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that at some point discussions would commence with providers such as these. It would certainly make sense to have the smart points store stocking as wide a range of products as possible as there will be countless people joining from countries around the globe redeeming their points and the costs of distributing these products will no doubt become an issue. (Far rather to have the products available in the countries in which there are users).

It’s not a stretch to proclaim YOBSN as the world’s first FREE loyalty program, and it’s a game-breaker. After all, right now, no-one is being rewarded for using the internet. From tomorrow, you can be. Given this, it is expected that millions of people around the world will within the next few months and years be loading YOBSN as their default home page. And through the spread of word of mouth, those millions will grow to tens of millions and quite likely hundreds of millions.

And when you get to those kinds of figures, you start to attract the attention of advertisers (there are a number onboard already).
The fact is, YOBSN – or more correctly, its predecessor Home Page Pays – has shown faster growth than Facebook and it’s likely that many who are currently on facebook will migrate to this new platform – bringing their friends and fans with them – and building their own communities in the process .

After all, if you have a choice between being rewarded for using the internet and not being rewarded for using the internet, and it doesn’t cost you anything, there’s not much of a decision to be made, is there? Especially as YOBSN is a 100% secure online platform and there is no risk of viruses or malware by installing it on your computer. It works with Google Chrome, Internet explorer, Mozilla Firefox and most other systems.

To become a free user of the YOBSN platform, go to



Would You Google “Johannesburg Ad Agency” Or Would You Yahoo “Johannesburg Ad Agency”?

I don’t know about you, but I have never heard of anyone “yahoo-ing” anything. Not “ad agency” not “advertising agency”, not “Johannesburg ad agency”, not “marketing consultant Johannesburg” and not “cat or dog”. Why? Because Google has become synonymous with “search” whilst “Yahoo” and all the other search engines have become after-thoughts. Of course, this is great for Google, which continues to sweep in the money but not so good for Yahoo and other search engines who are forever playing catch-up.

No wonder then that not so long ago the head of Yahoo issued an instruction for Yahoo staff to return to base as it were and resume working from its offices – as opposed to them working from home, their beach houses or the nearest Starbucks. Will it make a difference? Well, it may start to engender more of a close knit community at the company but Yahoo has fallen so far behind that it will take a lot – and a long time – for the company to make up lost ground.

After all, after having grown accustomed to using Google to search for things on the internet for quite some time, would you suddenly switch to using Yahoo? I don’t think too many people would. Unless of course, there was some sort of value-add that Yahoo could introduce to entice us.

The real point of this article, though, is to highlight the importance of attaining a dominant position for your brand, such as Google has. There are of course other examples of brand dominance, of which Tippex, Hoover and Xerox are three.

Take Tippex. As I write this, I cannot think of a competing brand – although I’m sure there are a few. What happened to them? If they’re around, they’re certainly not upper-mind. This being the case, should I ever need to “tippex” something, guess which brand I would reach for.

Take Hoover. If you’re an American, you’ll “hoover” your carpets. The brand has over the years become synonymous with “sweep”. This is powerful stuff. How does a competitor even begin to compete?

Then there’s Xerox. Maybe not so much here in South Africa, but in the US, people “Xerox” documents. “Xerox” is the generic name for “copy”. The brand is a dominant brand. Competing brands, of which there are many in this sector, have it all to do.

Another dominant brand is FedEx. In many countries, FedEx is a trusted and household name synonymous with “courier”. The brand’s positioning statement of “When you absolutely positively have it to get it there overnight” resonated with people and today, many people would not even think of calling a competitor when needing to courier a parcel.

So what does it take to become a dominant brand? Essentially consistent marketing, resulting in word of mouth. The process can take years – decades even – and requires an advertising commitment that encompasses all the major advertising mediums ie TV, radio, outdoor, print and online. A commitment to ongoing PR is also required.

To get to a stage of dominance, one would ultimately need to get people:

*noticing your brand
*liking your brand
*buying your brand
*becoming ambassadors for your brand

If you can successfully get people to like your brand and trust your brand, they will likely endorse your brand and in so doing, become brand ambassadors – spreading the word to family and friends. The importance of word of mouth cannot be over-emphasised.

Again, take Google. Way back when it was just another search engine. People started talking about Google. Today, do you know anyone who doesn’t Google?

Nando’s Directional Sign – Street Pole Posters Successful Pointers

Nando’s advertising is well-respected and well-known. Normally for stirring controversy. But between its TV ads, which invariably succeed in getting the brand on the front pages of newspapers, and its radio commercials and newspaper ads are street pole posters which drive traffic to its outlets.

In a discussion I had recently with someone who works on the Nandos advertising account, the street pole posters seem to be working well. Not at all clever or controversial (unusual for this often off-the-wall marketer), they are achieving their objective which is to point motorists to the nearest outlet and to get them to purchase.

From a marketing point of view, they also point to how a brand that is witty and irreverent can have TV, radio and print as its flagship mediums raising laughs and street pole posters doing the business of driving traffic to its stores.

At the end of the day, Nandos is in the business of making money and clearly not in it for the controversy it stirs in the marketplace, or the smiles and sniggers it puts on people’s faces. There is only one place it can make money and that is by getting people into its stores, of which there are now hundreds around South Africa in practically every shopping centre and on every second street corner.

Because they are seen by motorists everywhere, street pole posters are a perfect fit for this marketing-led company. More so because it’s an advertising medium that lends itself to creativity, it’s also one that’s cost-effective. Marketers wanting to get their brand “out there” and who don’t have marketing budgets that make television advertising, radio advertising or magazine possible find that advertising on street pole posters fits the bill in more ways than one.

(Depending on the geographical location, one could advertise on a street pole poster for around R1 200 per month. So a series of three or four posters, run consecutively, would set you back less than R5 000 excluding VAT which is a pittance in advertising terms. (Note that this a rental cost only. You would still need to budget to have the posters conceptualised and designed). Nando’s have street pole posters all over the place however so the costs can start to run away with you if you’re advertising on a national basis.

Just out of interest: a visit to the company’s new website shows an impressive number of countries in which it is now represented, giving proof to the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns. Readers may be surprised to learn that Nandos now has outlets in Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Botswana, Canada, Cyprus, Fiji, India, Ireland, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Swaziland, UAE, UK, USA and Zimbabwe… making it a truly global brand.

As an advertising agency, I’m often asked to produce “nandos-type advertising”. Clearly, it’s the sort of advertising that resonates with a lot of people. So hats off to its marketing department and ad agency Black River FC who has really set the benchmark for this genre of advertising.

Clearly, humorous and topical advertising has its place – and I’m all for it (where appropriate of course). In the meantime, here’s an idea for a street pole poster campaign that Nandos (or indeed one of its competitors) may like to consider.

“You’re warm. You’re warmer. You’re hot. Now you’re hot, hot, hot” with the first poster furthest from a Nandos outlet and the last poster closest to it.

Just an idea, but maybe one worth considering the closer one gets to winter?

Smart Media Technology’s Home Page Pays

Those who are “into” the internet will be interested to know that Smart Media Technologies’ new flagship product Home Page Pays already has in excess of a million free users around the world – and it hasn’t been launched yet.

(Talk has it that the global launch is at best two months away, so it’s literally around the corner).

Whilst a figure of one million users is a drop in the ocean, consider that this has been achieved solely through word-of-mouth..much like how facebook started. In time, this will grow to tens of millions and hundreds of millions. Why? Because people can now get rewarded for doing what they normally do on the internet. At no cost to them.

After attending a recent presentation in Johannesburg by Grant Shuttleworth (brother to Mark) and ex-South African cricketing legend Clive Rice (both highly successful businessmen in their own right), one thing stood out: the potential posed by this innovative and extremely clever product. In Clive’s words, “People in this room have no idea how big this will be” – and that from a person who introduced fax2email to South Africa…

So what exactly is Home Page Pays?

Essentially, it’s a default home page from which a user goes onto the internet via multiple search engines (Google included). The page is a lot more than this though: it has more than two thousand educational videos, free games, free software etc . Essentially, HPP – as it is called – has the best of the internet on one page. But here’s the kicker, and why it has the potential to be one of the biggest things going.

For the first time ever, people will now be rewarded for whatever they normally do on the internet – at absolutely no cost to them. Put simply, surf different websites via HPP and you’ll be rewarded. Go onto facebook via HPP and you’ll be rewarded. Purchase goods on line via HPP and you’ll be rewarded. Play games via HPP and you’ll be rewarded.

Rewards come in the form of smart points which can be redeemed in the HPP smart points store. Have enough points and redeem them for an ipod. ipad. Laptop.Whatever you want. FREE. As more and business partners come onboard (negotiations are in progress), expect to be able to redeem your smart points for airtime, electricity, speeding fines etc.

What HPP is is the world’s first free loyalty program. But it’s a lot more than this. It’s also a marketer’s dream.

By giving the page to a database, a marketer can now brand people’s browsers whenever they go onto the internet – something that up to now has not been possible. If you consider that a person may go onto the internet, twenty, fifty or a hundred times a day, it means that he or she will see a company’s branding, twenty, fifty or a hundred times a day. It’s just subtly there. It doesn’t pop up, it doesn’t annoy, it’s unobtrusive.

Would the free user mind the branding on his or her browser? Unlikely. As he (or she) is being rewarded with smart points for doing what he (or she) normally does on the internet, having a marketing message sitting harmlessly at the bottom left of the computer screen will not be an issue.

At the end of the day, Smart Media’s Home Page Pays ticks the boxes from both the marketer’s and free user’s point of view. That said, it’s surely a matter of time before its current one million users grows to a far larger number. Whilst Home Page Pays is today relatively unknown, in a year or two, it may be as well known as watch this space.

In the meantime, anyone interested in becoming a free user of the Home Page Pays system can go to

(Users should not be afraid of installing HPP as their default home page – the CEO of Smart Media Technologies, David Martin, has a long background in banking security software in the US and there is absolutely zero risk of it infecting your computer with viruses, spam or spyware.

Where Best To Find Them 2013 Advertising Rates

Unless you’re an established marketer and have a full  service advertising agency working on your advertising account, obtaining advertising rates (and making sense of them) can be a time-consuming, frustrating, daunting and often difficult process.

As someone who runs a small advertising agency in Johannesburg, I sense this on a daily basis as I’m often fielding calls or receiving emails from businesses requesting rates to advertise on television, radio, billboards, newspapers and magazines.

Unfortunately, many of these requests for rates are not easy to see to, for the simple reason that there are so many variables at play. With combination rates on offer and discounted advertising packages for first time advertisers, it’s no simple matter providing the information required in a way that would be understood by someone new to, or unfamiliar with, marketing.

Generalist requests for “the cost to advertise on television” or “the cost to advertise on radio for a six month period” are akin to asking “the price of a car”. What type of car? A new car? A second hand car? What model? Clearly the price of a 2013 Mercedes Benz would be different to that of a 2007 Toyota Corolla.

And so it is with advertising. There are just so many variables at play and so many considerations to take into account.

Take TV or radio advertising, where a fifteen second commercial on Soweto TV would cost far less to flight at six in the morning than a thirty second commercial would cost to flight on MNet during evening prime time, and a radio spot aired during morning or afternoon drive time on Highveld will be more expensive than one aired mid-morning or mid-afternoon on Kaya FM.

In newspaper or magazine advertising, a quarter page black and white advertisement hidden on page 23 in a Caxton newspaper will be much cheaper to flight than a full page full colour ad with a product sachet affixed to it in a glossy magazine like FHM.

And in outdoor advertising, where a small billboard in the back of beyond would cost a fraction of the price of a large billboard occupying pride of place on Johannesburg’s M1 motorway.

I’m stating the obvious of course but the point is that advertising rates vary enormously and that potential advertisers should be cognisant of this. What’s also important is to be as clear as possible in one’s request for information. A request for “Rates to advertise during etv’s 19h00 news bulletin on a Tuesday or Thursday evening” would be much easier to provide than “rates to advertise on TV”.

But who should you approach for advertising rates? Whilst there is nothing wrong with approaching a media owner directly (be it SABC, MNet, DSTV, etv, Soweto TV, Primedia, You or Huisgenoot magazines, Clear Channel, Highveld, 702, 5FM, Jacaranda, Metro FM or Kaya FM as examples) you will likely only be sent a rate card or a number of rate cards for you to make sense of. And unless you’re a seasoned marketer, you may find it difficult deciding which advertising package, radio station or TV time slot will be best to take advantage of so as to deliver the most bang for your buck.

Also, the media owner wants your advertising business so any notion of objectivity goes out the window. My advice to anyone interested in advertising a product or service would be to ask your marketing consultant (if you have one) to put you in touch with an experienced media buying and planning agency.

Because these agencies are independent and work with pretty much every media owner in the country, they’re objective and besides providing you with rates to advertise, can advise as to which advertising mediums will work best for you within the parameters of your marketing budget.

And because they earn their commissions irrespective of the advertising media booked, they will do their best for your brand regardless of whether TV advertising, radio advertising, outdoor advertising, cinema advertising, print advertising, online advertising – or any other form of advertising is put to you on a media schedule.

Best of all is that so long as they get to place your advertising, their services and expertise typically come to you at no cost.

The Costs Of Not Advertising.

Having written before on the costs of advertising, here’s a write-up on the costs of not advertising – although these are self-explanatory and should be obvious to most. In no particular order, the costs of not advertising one’s business are:

* stagnating sales
* the potential downsizing of your business
* laying off of personnel
* paying of retrenchment packagesd
* the possible closing of your doors

There are others, but suffice to say that they make gloomy reading. The reality is that in a recession (or economic slowdown as it’s often called) all businesses need to be advertising in some form or another. Unless you can survive by way of monthly cash injections by some kind benefactor, assistance from outside investors, help from understanding bankers or people spreading awareness of your company through word of mouth, advertising your products and services has become as important as paying your monthly rental or electricity bills.

With tough economic conditions prevailing and with no real end in sight, small businesses are battling. (Medium sized and large businesses too but they likely have more ability to survive).

The sad reality is that smaller businesses are caught between a rock and a hard place : Advertise, and put even more pressure on already-strained cashflows – or don’t advertise, and face a long and uphill battle ahead. It’s a difficult one but I honestly don’t believe business owners have a choice.

Whilst advertising is expensive, it’s imperative. One just has to work within one’s means and cut out the frills. Mandatory is a website. (It never ceases to amaze me how many companies out there still don’t have a web presence and justify this with the assertion that, in their particular industry, people don’t look at websites…..what also amazes me is the number of sub-standard websites out there).

Having a decent and correctly-built  website is critically important, this is just the beginning however. It then needs to be optimised for search engines and marketed online with the objective of attracting traffic. An unvisited site is about as useful as no site at all. Driving traffic to one’s website is achieved through the likes of  Google Adwords, blogging and social media and these tools are invaluable in this day and age. Social media in particular has become hugely important. It’s no longer a nice-to-have and a case of setting up Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles. There needs to be an on-line strategy in place and there are some very good people out there who can help you in this regard.

Of course, before embarking on-line, a corporate identity must be developed – but this can be kept to the basics if money is tight. A decent logo, business card, email signature, letterhead and perhaps a corporate profile and you’re done.

Advertising on street pole posters and billboards, advertising on radio, cinema advertising, TV advertising and advertising in newspapers and magazines can be pencilled in as a “phase 2” and wait  until business has either stabilised or grown to a point where they become affordable.

Advertising is costly and as much as you’d like to have your target market exposed to your brand at every turn, the struggling business needs to work within its means. A professionally-optimised website marketed correctly on-line and through social media, and all else can follow.

Advertising Is Much Like Fishing, Here’s Why


Having just returned from a fishing expedition where whilst good to be away from the advertising industry for a while couldn’t quite get out of work mode, I was struck by  the similarities between advertising and fishing as pursuits. There are three areas in which this is so:

The more you cast, the more you’re in the game.

If your  hook is not in the water, you have zero chance of yielding results. So if you’re going to fish, fish. It’s all about being out there, being active and being consistent. Too many advertisers today (especially smaller advertisers) are reluctant to commit to marketing and prefer to rather experiment by putting their toe in the water to see if their efforts yield bites. Invariably they are disappointed, advertising is not a short-term thing. If you want results, advertise consistently and commit to the long-term. Get your hook in the water and leave it there.

Equip yourself with the right tools.

Don’t use a lure where a fly would work better, suss out the landscape and see what’s working and what’s not. If you’ve advertised on billboards for years and the phones are not ringing, try another tack. Try advertising in magazines or advertise on TV if your budget allows. Maybe advertise on street pole posters, as with fishing, circumstances change. It is imperative that you keep your pulse on what’s happening out in the market. As a marketer, you need to keep trying new angles. The angler will attest to this. What might work one day may not work another day. Nothing should be cast in stone, be innovative and open to new ideas and technologies.

Fish where the fish are.

This is an old adage, but it’s a truism. Why fish in waters where are no fish? It’s all about positioning yourself correctly. Be in the right place and research the consumption habits of your target markets. If your research shows that they listen to the radio, advertise on radio. If they’re rural, get your brand onto billboards, on taxis and maybe buses. If they use the internet, market your brand online. Whilst advertising is not an exact science, there are tools than can steer you in the right direction. Gut feel is also important. Fish where the fish are, not where you’d like them to be.

At the end of the day, an effective marketer needs to be like a seasoned fisherman – committed, patient, persistent and open to trying new things. If you use the right tools, have your hook in the water and fish where the fish are, you will have a much better chance of moving product and getting your brand awareness to where you’d like it to be.

Advertising Costs And Budgets

I don’t know what it is, but as a Johannesburg advertising agency, it seems that every second enquiry  I  receive these days is from companies with advertising budgets exceeding no more than R40 000 or   R50 000 per month. Maybe this is due to my positioning of this country’s smallest ad agency where  I’m perceived to focus on smallish marketing budgets: I don’t actually – a number of my clients have much larger marketing budgets to work with.

Whilst a marketing budget of R40 000 or R50 000 per month is not to be sneezed at, it certainly makes us advertising-types don our thinking caps as these are fairly restrictive marketing budgets given the cost of advertising in South Africa these days.

Typically, the questions I’m asked are: Will an advertising budget of R40 000 per month allow me to advertise on TV? (The answer is no – not effectively). Will an advertising budget of R40 000 per month allow me to advertise nationally? (The answer is no). Will an advertising budget of R40 000 per month be sufficient to advertise on radio? (The answer is, maybe, possibly). And will an advertising budget of R40 000 per month allow me to advertise on billboards around Johannesburg? (The answer is, not in a way that would make sense).

Today, advertising budgets are unquestionably under strain. Gone are the days when as an ad agency, you had the latitude to be experimental. Now, the marketing budget needs to perform the best it can within the parameters set. And this puts enormous pressure on advertising and communications agencies as well as marketers of brands.

We now need to critically analyse all media types and negotiate harder with media owners. We now need to be more imaginative – and think out-the-box where we can. But clients need to be realistic too.

If the SABC charges R140 000 excluding VAT for one thirty second flighting of a TV commercial on a program like Generations, then a R40 000 monthly advertising budget is simply not going to allow for advertising on Generations – as much as the client’s daughter might think it the best program ever and insist that her dad has his ad aired during it.

Advertising is costly and being so, advertising agencies have a responsibility to advise their clients correctly. Personally, I hate to see clients wasting money. Just yesterday, I met with a prospective new client who wanted to “test the waters” by running a small ad-once-off – in a newspaper or magazine. I’ve talked them out of it because I honestly do not think it’s the right thing to do.

My advice to clients is: either commit yourself to marketing over the medium or long-term, and invest the necessary funds required, or don’t advertise. “Testing the waters” by placing a small ad here or there in the hope that it will get the phone to ring will in all likelihood not work.

And to clients who cannot afford to spend more than R40 000 or R50 000 per month on advertising, I say: First, invest in a decent website and get it professionally optimised by search engines. The emphasis being on “professionally” because search engine optimisation is an art in itself and should be given to someone who specialises in the field, not to someone who “thinks” he can do SEO. Once the website is built correctly (I recommend WordPress) populated with the right content, and the right amount of content, and made live, a Goggle Adwords campaign should be set up – and managed on a monthly basis. The next step is to blog – and blog regularly.

Of course, social media is also important. But it’s of little use just setting up Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. You need to assign someone to manage them and get them to work for you. There are some very good people out there who would be happy to take on this role.

Then there’s YouTube: get a professional to shoot a video and upload it for you.

Once your website is live and optimised for search engines, your Google Adwords campaigns are being managed, your social media strategy is in place, you’re blogging frequently and you can be found on Youtube, give thought as to what to do with your remaining marketing budget. Depending on the nature of the business, the nature of the product, and who it is aimed at, as a client you may want to look at advertising on street pole posters or on radio or on cinema. You may want to advertise strategically in trade publications or advertise by way of advertorials. A decent advertising agency should advise you in this regard.

But on a limited budget, your priority must be to have a good and professional online presence.
This is the most cost-effective way to advertise and your website has to work for you and deliver results.

Could Smart Media’s Home Page Pays Be The Next Facebook?

Home Page Pays might not mean much to many people yet, but the way it’s gaining momentum – not just in South Africa, but around the world – it will soon. Especially when its Version 2 launches globally in the next few months.

So what exactly is Home Page Pays? A product of Smart Media in the US, it’s essentially a website home page on which you’ll find practically every search engine and everything you could ever wish to find on the internet.

But what makes it different is that, as a user, you can earn points for every single thing you do on the internet – points that can be accumulated towards buying something you’ve always wanted – be it a laptop, ipod, camera or ipad.

And “every single thing” means just that, everything. From surfing the internet to studying on the internet to purchasing on the internet to playing games on the internet to banking on the internet.

So a loyalty program of some sort? Yes. But, again with a difference. With your normal loyalty program, you have to buy something to earn points. Not here. You get rewarded for whatever it is that you normally do on the internet without it costing a cent extra.

All people have to do is make Home Page Pays their home page. Right now, they may have Google, Yahoo or Moneyweb as their home page. Whichever it is, there’s no incentive to having it. With Home Page Pays, there is.

And once you’ve made it your home page, you’ll tell their friends,who will tell their friends, who will tell their friends – with the result that Home Page Pays will go viral around the world. Especially with the launch of Version 2 which will dramatically advance the features of the current version. After having already invested more than US25 million into the system, the CEO of Smart Media will clearly not stop at Version 2. Much like Facebook, version 2 will make way for versions 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Now, from a marketing point of view, what’s on offer is potentially exciting. You’ll now be able to brand your home page – and then give away countless Home Page Pays for free, taking your brand and any specials you may want to promote to free users around the world. Each time they go onto the internet, your ad will be on their browser. So a regular user of the internet may see your ad ten, twenty or thirty times a day, powerful stuff.

And the more free users you give the system to, and they give to their friends, the more people will see your advertising every time they use the internet. There’s just one caveat ; only those who register as representatives of Home Page Pays are allowed to advertise (Packages range from around R1000 to R3200, which are once-off costs). This is small change though when you consider what’s on offer.

The proof of this is that many people around the world have already signed up as representatives, and after attending a workshop hosted by Mark Shuttleworth’s brother, Grant, in Johannesburg a few weeks ago, I’m one of them. Besides allowing me to market my advertising agency through a system that will go viral, I’m now able to share in the advertising expenditure on the internet – and there’s tons of it, it’s exciting stuff. After all, when was the last time Google or Yahoo paid you to surf the internet? And when was the last time you were rewarded on Facebook?

Down the line, Smart Media’s Home Page Pays will be known around the world. And whilst it might take years to rival Facebook, (the system will have its own smartchat and smartchirp functionality with version 2), advertisers will be following its path with interest. See for more.

Nandos Xenophobic TV Ad Hits The Newspapers

Nandos and its advertising agency, Black River FC, have always been quick off the mark, looking for ways to capitalise on matters making the news and getting the brand talked about, and with their latest Bio-diversity TV commercial, have done it again. Not being happy having their ad banned from the airwaves by the SABC, MNet, DSTV and eTV for being too xenophobic, they decided to gain publicity by “airing” the offending ad in the newspaper. Clever.

The full page full colour ad in this week’s Sunday Times entitled “The pro-diversity ad broadcasters don’t want you to see” with the TV script “You know what’s wrong with South Africa? All you foreigners. You must all go back to where you came from. You Cameroonians, Congolese, Pakistanis, Somalis, Ghanaians and Kenyans. And of course you Nigerians and you Europeans. Let’s not forget all you Indians and Chinese. Even you Afrikaners. And it’s back to Swaziland for you Swatis, Lesotho for you Sothos, Tswanas, Vendas, Zulus, everybody…” has certainly had people sitting up and taking notice.

The commercial ends with the voice over saying “Real South Africans love diversity. That’s why we’ve introduced two more items to our menu: delicious peri-crusted wings for R19.90..and mouthwatering Trichado and chips for R24.90”

[youtube_sc url=”” title=”Nando%27s%20Xenophobic%20Ad”]

And just in case you haven’t been following the issue, the copy at the bottom of the newspaper ad explains that “SABC, M-Net and etv have banned this ad. They’ve made the decision for you. That’s why we’re giving you the option of seeing it here. Unlike our broadcasters, we’re giving you the right to choose”

Earlier this month, TV stations SABC, DSTV, MNet and eTV chose not to flight the ad, arguing that it promoted xenophobia, had xenophobic connotations and could incite attacks on foreigners. Commenting further, a spokesperson for the SABC said “Nando’s may say that it is trying to promote diversity but what we are concerned about is that the public might interpret it differently”

The print ad also had a YouTube address, showing where the commercial could be viewed. (Which, at the time of writing, had been viewed nearly four hundred thousand times. Bet your bottom dollar that it will be viewed by a heck of a lot more than this as word spreads)

Whilst I think the ad is great, my only question is why no mention of Zimbabweans? With an estimated three to four million Zimbabweans living in South Africa (and with the TV ad showing some of them coming through the fence on the Beitbridge border), one would have thought that our northern brethren would have been the focus – but maybe a bit too close to home, I suggest? And maybe because Nandos were stung by the reaction of Mugabe’s Zanu PF and threats against Nandos Zimbabwe by Mugabe’s Chipangano militia when its “dictator” commercial flighted a few months back?

I shudder (and laugh) to think what the SABC and other TV stations must feel when advised of a new Nandos commercial? With the company’s reputation for producing edgy and provocative work, they must quake in their boots…

But hats off to Nandos for their courageous advertising. With this latest commercial, they have certainly caught the attention. It can’t be easy for TV stations to turn away advertising, especially in this economy. Although I see their point. Running the risk of promoting xenophobia in South Africa is something far more serious and important than allowing a franchise to sell fast food.