Over 240 people converged on Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre on 28 October to hear about the latest trends in on-air marketing from high profile speakers from the USA, UK, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, at the annual PromaxBDA Africa Conference.
Keynote speaker Michaela Angela Davis of the USA’s Black Entertainment Television (BET) network described herself as an ‘image activist’ who works to support the authentic image of people of colour.
“BET serves 98 million black people around the world. Our tagline is ‘BET: We are you’. For centuries black people have felt invisible and have been forced to know the lives of whites. Invisibility is a certain kind of pain. Every human being needs to be visible and one way to do this is to tell your own stories.”
Davis presented two sessions on the re-birth of the BET brand. An in-depth report of what Davis had to say will appear in the January 2012 issue of Screen Africa.
In opening PromaxBDA Africa earlier in the day, the SABC’s head of Marketing Yvonne Johnston said that the event had been long awaited at the SABC. “Our corridors have been tingling with a tangible feeling of excitement about PromaxBDA Africa. If you walk away from today’s conference having learnt just one thing, it will have been a worthwhile experience.
“PromaxBDA Africa celebrates creativity, talent and showcases the best in promos and channel branding. The event falls in line with the SABC’s mandate – to educate, entertain and inform. I would add the word ‘inspire’ to the list.”
Johnston noted that South Africa is moving into a very exciting era with the launch of digital terrestrial television (DTT) on the horizon. “We’re not sure when that horizon will be but it should be within the next two years. DTT will see a proliferation of new channels – the SABC will add at least 10 channels to its line-up. We will also put our radio stations on DTT so they will no longer be geo-blocked. DTT will help us deliver on our onerous language mandate.”
Other sessions at PromaxBDA Africa included topics such as dealing with low budgets, short deadlines and difficult clients; how to direct talent to get the read you want; designing for Brazil and the world; significant recent television re-brands; using the unique signature of content to your advantage; and 10 ways to make marketing resources work hard.
Reports on these sessions will appear in the November / December issue as well as the January 2012 issue of Screen Africa.