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Howzit Case Study



The Test the Nation campaign was tailor-made to meet Flora's objectives of highlighting the month of September as "Heart Month" and it being a good month to get tested. East Coast Radio assisted in creating an awareness of how "knowing your number" can prevent you from becoming a statistic.

Campaign mechanics:

30 Second Pre-Promotional Commercials, Live Crossings, Web Popup, Run Of Site Button and Dedicated Web Page. Leveraging Kagiso Media's radio and digital platforms the campaign presented a complete, converged advertising solution. During the run-in pre-recorded 30 second radio spots were used to build interest. In addition Peter G from East Coast Radio's Big Breakfast performed two 1 minute live crossings to the on-air studio on 26 September 2009. These created excitement and hype on what activities were happening on the day whilst encouraging the listeners to get down to a Pick n Pay Pharmacy or selected Pick n Pay stores and participate in the testing day. A 530x330 animated homepage popup was used on the East Coast Radio website to promote Flora's free cholesterol tests. The popup clicked through to Flora's www.loveyourheart.co.za website. This was backed by a 120x90 animated run of site button. A further graphic was used in the footer of the www.ecr.co.za homepage that clicked through to a client page hosted in the East Coast Radio website. The button lead visitors to a page hosted in the East Coast Radio website giving listeners an opportunity to find more information on Flora, "Heart Month" and other information related to the on-air campaign. This page then clicked through to Flora’s www.loveyourheart.co.za website.

Campaign Success:

The Flora Test the Nation campaign received a blended click-through rate of 0.87% to Flora’s website between the popup, button and web page. The average click-through rate for online ads currently sits at 0.32%. This campaign highlights how radio can be leveraged to enhance digital campaigns.As General Manager of Operations , Attila Bernariusz oversees the incubation of new digital and media convergence opportunities for the Kagiso Group. With 14 years of experience in the media and online spaces, Attila has a strong understanding of digital operations, technology and consumers.



Jacaranda FM and Dating Buzz partnered on-air and online to play match-maker for Jacaranda FM singles. The resulting portal called liefie.co.za, was designed through Kagiso Media’s partnership with Dating Buzz.

Campaign Mechanics:

The communication strategy used a number of incremental steps to identify the greatest drivers for on-line interaction. For the first month, an on-line only campaign was undertaken, providing run of site coverage using below the fold banners. With around 451 000 impressions from 72 000 unique visitors, a clickthrough rate of roughly 2.6% was reached. From the total visitors, 234 active subscribers signed up. The second month saw the addition of radio advertising to the web banners. Initially advertised in the Love Zone between 9 and 11 PM week days, this showed a limited growth to 331 active subscribers within 9 days. The final marketing step was to utilise 8 Afrikaans live read spots per day, five days a week.

Campaign Success:

A phenomenal growth in active subscribers, reaching 1111 within 9 days, and 2558 active subscribers after another 21 days.


Howzit MSN is one of the first publishers in the country to launch the new Rising Stars formats from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB). These six powerful formats offer higher engagement rates for advertisers and a better experience for the end-user.

Howzit MSN, one of South Africa’s largest Web portals and local partner to Microsoft’s MSN portal, is making it easy for advertisers to launch richer, more creative digital campaigns at scale by embracing these formats.

“Rising Stars have proven themselves to be as friendly to the user as they are effective for brand advertisers. These new ad formats give brands great opportunities and efficiencies in advertising, providing them with the creative canvas to tell their brand stories and engage their audiences,” says Howzit MSN general manager, Marcus Stephens.

The IAB is the global trade association for digital advertising. The IAB Rising Star ad formats – chosen through proposals submitted in an IAB competition for the digital industry – offer the industry six creative canvases which can be run across multiple publishers.

MSN – operated in South Africa by Kagiso Media under the Howzit MSN brand – was among the first to adopt these ad standards and implement them globally. Two of the new IAB formats were created by Microsoft Advertising – the Filmstrip and the Sidekick.

Research by the IAB and IPG Media Lab into the effectiveness of Rising Stars ads found that users perceived these formats to be better designed, more engaging, and more enjoyable than most ads online.

The survey, which used eye-tracking and facial coding technology to measure interaction levels, found that users are two-and-a-half times more likely to interact with a Rising Stars advert. The formats also showed double the dwell time and brand recall of up to four times higher.  User clickthroughs were achieved twice as quickly with a Rising Stars ad.

The six new formats are:

– The IAB Filmstrip is a powerful new canvas that combines five ads in one 300×600 unit.  It gives consumers a content-rich interactive experience that doesn’t interrupt their viewing.

– The IAB Sidekick, covering two thirds of the page when the user interacts with it, provides advertisers with a large canvas similar to the ones that are used in TV and print.

– The IAB Billboard is a huge 970×250 creative canvas that offers advertisers full rich media interactivity. Advertisers can choose how to use the billboard’s vast space for optimal interaction.

– The IAB Pushdown canvas expands to 970×415 upon user interaction. When a predetermined time passes or the user closes the expanded Pushdown, the ad resolves into a 970×90 Leave Behind ad. The IAB Pushdown is perfect for high-definition content such as videos, photos, animations, and applications.

– The IAB Slider is an overlay unit on the bottom of a page which expands to reveal a full-page canvas for branded content. It never falls below the fold and never covers editorial content.

– The IAB Portrait’s 300×1050 canvas allows for lots of content and interaction right next to the editorial. It offers complete plug and play functionality.


Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebookpage. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to glenda@wagthedog.co.za or michael@wagthedog.co.za

Tags: HowzitMSNInternet Advertising BureauMarcus StephensRising Star ad formats

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