Fiona Furey - 25 November 2011
Now that the dust has settled, everything is back to a normal pace and the excitement has died down (well, kind of!) it’s time to look back, take stock and thank everyone involved.
Firstly Sabine Lehmann, the CEO of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, recognised the benefits this would have for marketing Cape Town. An official supporters committee of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, Cape Town Tourism and Table Mountain National Park was formed with Sabine as the chairperson. Collette van Aswegen and the Cableway’s marketing department, with the help of Splash PR, got Table Mountain from an initial list of 440 sites in 2008 into the final 28.
In January 2011 they realised that the campaign needed a fulltime manager so they called me up and offered me the job. Thank you, Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, for giving me this incredible opportunity to manage such a fantastic campaign.
Until the City of Cape Town generously came on board seven weeks before the end, we ran the campaign on a very small budget and a tremendous amount of good will and generosity. So many people have contributed and worked tirelessly in the background to help put our mountain in the top seven where she belongs.
We chose ambassadors who believed in the campaign, each with a platform they could promote the campaign on, or a following that they could urge to vote. All of you did a fantastic job on your radio or TV shows and live gigs, as well as using social media platforms to really get the message out there and get your fans voting. Thank you so much to Liezel van der Westhuizen, Julian Naidoo, Carol Thorns, Jan Braai, Conrad Jantjes, Stuart Taylor, Lance Witten, Udo Carelse, Jo-Ann Strauss, Suga, Leanne Manas, Shimmy Isaacs, Siv Ngesi, Bianca Coleman and the Springboks. You all did and incredible job.
A special thanks to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu– thanks for your support and endorsement all the way through the campaign, for agreeing to do the most incredible advert, for meeting Bernard Webber and JP de la Fuenta when they visited and for praying for us in the final week when we’d dropped out of the top 10 with five days to go (I’m convinced that’s what gave us the edge!).
Soli Philander threw himself into the campaign and gave us unlimited airtime on his internet radio station www.thetaxi.co.za as well as getting audiences to vote at all his MC gigs, and of course doing such a fantastic job MCing our final announcement concert. Kia Johnson, as well as using her broadcast and social media platform to promote the campaign, she took time out of her busy schedule to visit schools to talk at assemblies, getting the kids signed up as activists. (I’m told she caused quite a stir at some of the boys’ schools and was offered a few phone numbers).
Thanks to Guy McDonald and the Good Hope FM breakfast team who devoted so much of their show to getting listeners to vote. Seth Rotherham and 2oceansVibe Radio drove a significant amount of web traffic to our website every Thursday and boosted the internet voting. Richie Cloete and the Hamba Khaya show on Radio NFM 98.1 in Springbok who ran an on-air voting drive that lasted three months to the value of R650 000.
Titus Chuene, marketing manager for Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism actively promoted the campaign in the Eastern Cape, and did some serious PR work to try and get as many South Africans behind the initiative as possible. He wrote articles, utilised time on different radio stations, while also using their website and other e-marketing channels like Twitter and Facebook. Freshlyground for the brilliant Vote for Table Mountain Cable Jam video that went viral on the internet and for coming to activations at the V&A Waterfront, urging shoppers to stop and vote.
In the end it was the youth using MXit as a voting platform that got us into the top seven. SABC2’s Hectic Nine 9 presenters Danine, Loyiso, Laurian, Ayandaand Danilo, and Carl Wastie’s The Teen Show on Good Hope FM inspired the youth to vote and make a difference.
With the help of Thandiwe January-McLean, who was then the CEO of South African Tourism, we approached Yvonne Johnston, head of Marketing for SABC about getting the national broadcaster behind the campaign. I was asked to send a proposal document. I must admit what I sent was more of a “wish list”, and I fully expected her to pick out one or two of the things that were doable and ignore the rest. She said yes to most of it. All 18 SABC radio stations and the three TV stations were mandated to back the campaign, they played our adverts for free, gave us blanket news coverage,and encouraged DJs and TV presenters to talk about the campaign on air. The task was then handed over to Mpho Msiza, senior corporate marketing manager and her team, they did everything in their power to accommodate and promote the campaign. This helped us get the nation behind the campaign, rather than just Cape Town. We absolutely could not have done it without you, thank you so much.
A radio station that needs a special mention is Heart 104.9FM. It was the first station to give the campaign its full support well before any budget was available.Vern Adams and Gavin Meiring saw the value of this campaign for Cape Town and threw the station behind it. The DJs were briefed to talk about it on air, the news department was asked to do regular updates and Heart 104.9FM did their own countdown clock leading up to the final announcement.
SuperSport and Ster-Kinekor
Frans Stroebel, non-executve chairman at GivenGain, approached SuperSport and Ster-Kinekor, both very generously agreed to play our adverts at no cost. Ster-Kinekor played our 30-second advert of The Arch before the screening of movies while SuperSport played it and the ads featuring the Springboks during the World Cup. A huge thank you to both for your support and commitment.
Back to Thandiwe January-McLean, while still CEO of SA Tourism she contacted SABC on our behalf to get them to officially back the campaign and gave budget towards a radio campaign on 5FM and Good Hope FM. Thanks again for all your help and encouragement.
The two newspapers that have stood out in their commitment to covering the campaign and encouraging readers to vote are The Argus and Die Burger, both giving a fantastic amount of positive editorial coverage. Thank you Gasant Abarder and Yunus Kemp from The Argus and Bun Booyens from Die Burger.
The billboards in and around Cape Town and Johannesburg, as well as the messaging on the electronic screens and bulkheads at the airports were kindly donated to us. The total value of this exposure over the months added up to R1.4 million. A huge thank you to Brent at Independent Outdoor Media, John Basson at Maxad, everyone at Continental Outdoor Media, Zelda Gottardo-Allen from Cape Town International Airport, and Gavin Lewis and Newlands for playing our advert on the big screen at Newlands during the Super 14 rugby matches.
Roger and Benny at Oryx Media produced the incredible TV ads of The Arch that inspired not only South Africans, but people voting on the New7Wonders website to Vote for Table Mountain. They also edited the clips of the Springboks and shot the ads with our ambassadors. Thanks for the awesome work.
There were also two clips that went viral. One was a totally impromptu clip of me, caught off guard in a snowstorm on top of the mountain. Simon Wall and his team at TaxiJam put it onto the internet there and then, it had 20 000 hits by the end of the weekend! The second was a well planned and beautifully shot video of our ambassadors Freshlyground in a cable car, singing and encouraging fans to vote. Thanks Simon for these beautiful videos.
Rlabs did the most incredible job going out to the township schools with mobile computer labs, getting kids online and voting. Many children could not vote online because they had no internet access, basic computer skills or email addresses, but through our outreach programme almost 10 000 learners now have basic computer literacy skills and email addresses.
Rlabs was also responsible for getting the campaign trending on Twitter many Thursdays when we were pushing Vote Thursdays. You guys are the rock stars of this campaign. Thanks for everything.
The City of Cape Town
As I mentioned at the top of the blog, with seven weeks to go until the end of the campaign, the City of Cape Town came on board with the budget we so desperately needed. Thanks to the new mayor, Patricia de Lille, City of Cape Town Director of Communication Pieter Cronjé and Colleen Knowles Project Manager: Communication at City of Cape Town, R1.7 million was made available to launch a final massive media drive spearheaded by John Lloyd. A portion of this budget also went to our outreach programme so that Rlabs could visit four township schools per week over the last two months, teaching computer literacy and enabling the learners to vote.
John, you are GREAT! In the last few weeks of the campaign we had a phenomenal amount of exposure. John took the City’s budget and MAXIMISED,OPTIMISED and LEVERAGED. Our adverts were in all major newspapers countrywide. We were also able to revisit Cape Town’s radio stations, with budget this time, and get some great campaigns running. John managed to get six times the value for the entire budget that the City had allocated; this gave the campaign an incredible boost in the final weeks.
The V&A Waterfront
The waterfront was incredibly accommodating, from giving us the Barrow Court for activations, putting up our posters and collateral to hosting our final announcement event at the Amphitheater at absolutely no cost. Nothing was too much trouble for the events team. Thanks for all your endless help and support.
MXit absolutely saved the day! By providing a voting platform that was inexpensive and easy to use, advertising directly to the MXit users with splash screens and in the last few weeks subsidising the voting, MXit were instrumental in Table Mountain making it into the top seven. Thanks MXit.
There was (as in any campaign) a group of people who worked tirelessly in the background. Kerry Seymour and Christine Pearson (and earlier in the campaign, Emma McAdam) at Splash PR who did such a fantastic job. We managed to get nearly R40 million’s worth of publicity and PR for the campaign. Flow Communications and particularly Leanne Pohlmann who worked endless hours managing our website and Colin Habberton and Carla Ferreira from GivenGain who got the schools’ activist programme running.
Everyone who voted
We always said this was a popularity contest, a bit like Nature’s Idols, and in the end it all came down to votes. So lastly and most importantly, THANK YOU so much to everyone who voted, YOU are the people who made this happen. We used the slogan Your Mountain – Your Vote, well I think we can now change it to Your Mountain – Your Wonder of Nature.
Fiona Furey, campaign manager