afaqs!

Encyclomedia Networks enters South Africa with Mediamorphis

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In OOH News | November 10, 2010
Mediamorphis will act as a marketing and sales unit, while Encyclomedia will provide the strategy, design and production of the campaigns.

Mumbai based creative agency Encyclomedia Networks, which specialises in outdoor creatives, recently increased its spread. The agency, which has established an international reach by establishing joint ventures with agencies in countries such as Australia, Argentina, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia and Guatemala, has now tied up with a new South African agency, Mediamorphis.

Mediamorphis, founded by Dean Kopelowitz and Kirsty Goldstein, has, in fact, been formed to handle local clients and brands, taking on work only for Encyclomedia Networks.

Mediamorphis' main role will involve marketing and sales, while Encyclomedia will provide the strategy, design and production of the campaigns.

Discussing how the development took place, Mukesh Manik, man-in-charge, Encyclomedia Networks, tells afaqs! that about three years ago, Encyclomedia Networks was looking to associate with Shaun Rosen and June Rosen of South Africa based digital agency Mobiclicks.

"While that didn't work out, they put us in touch with Dean Kopelowitz and Kirsty Goldstein. This new agency, Metamorphis, has been formed to handle local clients and brands and will only take on work for Encyclomedia Networks. This arrangement is different from our other tie ups as this is not under the Encyclomedia banner," he says.

Discussing the South African outdoor market, Kirsty Goldstein, co-founder, Mediamorphis, says, "We have seen that clients are getting frustrated with the current OOH solutions being provided as they are ineffective and unimaginative. We at Mediamorphis hope to change the media landscape as well as change the negative attitude towards OOH advertising by introducing fresh, innovative and highly impactful ideas and solutions."

She adds that the South African market is starved for new ideas; billboards are now being installed upside down just to get some kind of response from the viewer!

She further adds, "Mediamorphis works very closely with Encyclomedia in solving the problems experienced by brands. We provide Encyclomedia with the necessary knowledge of the client and its role in the local market, as well as provide them with information regarding the South African culture. Encyclomedia then presents us OOH solutions that help our clients solve any and all of their problems.

"With 11 official languages and a whole rainbow nation, we have no doubt that together, Mediamorphis and Encyclomedia can provide the best solutions to any problems presented our way."

Mediamorphis aims to reinvent the way OOH advertising is seen and show South African brands how effective and impactful OOH advertising can be.

Manik compares, "The South African outdoor market is much more mature as compared to the Indian one. There is standardisation. For example, if I'm given a media plan in India for 10 cities, I'll be given 50 different hoarding sizes, while in SA, there will be a maximum of 10 different sizes. There's also not much fragmentation - as is the case with Indian outdoor."

He shares that a number of new media formats are being looked at in South Africa. For example, a company called Primedia is exploring washroom door advertising, offering brands more than 3000 washroom doors across cities such as Johannesburg.

About the expansion of the agency, Dean Kopelowitz, co-founder, Mediamorphis, says, "At the moment, we are concentrating on the South African market but in the near future, we will consider opportunities in the other African countries."

For now, Mediamorphis handles clients such as Brenner Mills, a leading food brand in SA and DStv, a television guide network; it plans to bring on more brands soon.

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