media update’s Adam Wakefield spoke to Shamy Naidu, executive at Transit Ads™, about how the recent rebranding sought to establish Transit Ads™ as its own brand and highlight specialisation within the Provantage Media Group.

When was the last time Transit AdsTM did a rebrand and what was the primary reason for this year’s rebrand?

Transit Ads™ previously rebranded in August 2013. The focus was the relaunch of TRANSIT.TV™ and showcasing our newly acquired transit platforms. TRANSIT.TV™ also expanded its footprint from only being in taxis, to installing a digital platform within PRASA stations and taxi and bus ranks. The model was based on a multi-screen placement of LED screens at high dwell time locations within these transport nodes.

The rebrand also incorporated map pins, new logos, and stationery, which symbolised each of the transport variants, among other features.

The primary reasons for this year’s rebrand was based on the following:
  • Transit Ads™ and TRANSIT.TV™ have been trademarked and are unique to Provantage Media Group; 
  • Transit Ads™ has never been a brand on its own and has been overshadowed in the past by the Provantage Media brand. To create the individuality and specialisation of the products and services offered by the brand, we felt it necessary to rebrand so that we could create its own unique identity, distinguishable to our clients, with a view to create a relationship and an affinity to the products and services offered by the brand; and 
  • Specialisation, the key activity of the brand, as within the Provantage Media Group. There is an array of products and services offered. Each of the products and services is managed by a specialised business unit within Provantage Media Group. These are: Airport Ads®, ProActive™, Golf Ads™, Mall Ads™, Outdoor Network, and Street Network.
What were the outcomes of doing the rebrand?

There are a few misconceptions around rebranding. Some believe the logo is the brand and vice versa. While our logo is the most recognisable device, it is a very small part of what has gone into our entire rebrand strategy. There are many other touchpoints that we have also revamped, in terms of the rebrand.

Firstly, it was about bringing new energy into the entire team within Transit Ads™ – from client services, operations, marketing, and new business development. We have had intensive workshops with staff to upskill all personnel with regards to the products and services we offer.

Secondly, we have interrogated each of the disciplines within the business to optimise efficiencies and processes. On our new business development and innovations, we have identified new opportunities and innovations.

In terms of sales, we have undertaken a total makeover of our product presentation and rate cards.

All in all, we have undertaken a total business revamp and not just a logo change.

What are the risks a brand faces when doing a rebrand?

The difficulty of rebranding is that it involves a lot of change, and all that change happens at once. As many are aware, change is never easy and, if not managed properly, things sometimes do not go as planned. Also, change can sometimes be scary and daunting when no one knows what the outcome might be.

So, to ensure that we mitigated against such risks, a lot of planning and consultation has gone into the changes we have made. We sought reaffirmation from staff, stakeholders, and clients, prior to the changes.

We were also concerned about the loss of identity from the parent brand, PMG, and what it represents in the market place. However, by ensuring that we include the PMG logo in our communications, and adhering to the norms and practices that have for so long ensured success, we have guaranteed alignment to the parent brand and best practice.

Infrastructure, cost, and availability of TV space for TRANSIT.TV™ appears to be an issue you contend with. Is this true and how can you assist transport partners in this respect?

Yes, the channel has costs in order to run, but advertisers make great use of the channel because they see the value. Unlike traditional TV, TRANSIT.TV™ cannot be switched off, the channel can’t be changed, and viewers are in a captive environment with high dwell times. The content is also geared towards engaging and entertaining the commuter. For advertisers, there is very low wastage and very high impact.

Advertising within the transit environment is quite unique and, unlike some of the other out-of-home media platforms, the stakeholder engagement is quite diverse – ranging from parastatals and municipalities to taxi associations and private entities.

We rely heavily on our partners in the transport industry to assist in the management, monitoring, and safeguarding of our infrastructure and, in turn, we offer not just monetary reward but ancillary value to their transport infrastructure.

How do you measure the effectiveness and impact of your advertising?

We believe that research is key to any advertising platform and, without credible research or case studies, it is very difficult to justify the effectiveness of such products or services. Every year, Transit Ads™ invests extensively into our in-house research unit, Transit Track. In collaboration with Kantar Millward Brown, we conduct bi-annual effectiveness studies on TRANSIT.TV™ and the commuter environment.

Kantar Millward Brown has been a long-standing partner who has researched the efficacy of TRANSIT.TV™ for advertisers and as provide key insights and data relevant to the passenger base since 2007. The research provided is accurate and independent. The majority of brands that have flighted consistently on TRANSIT.TV™ have grown awareness and recall of advertising, while new brands that enter the TRANSIT.TV™ space with strong, creative impact performed well above the TRANSIT.TV™ norm.

We have also conducted numerous commuter focus groups and panels through Upinion. This research was conducted to understand commuter behaviour patterns with regards to affinity to brands and how purchase decisions are made.

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Mall Ads™, like Transit Ads™, seeks to find customers where they travel most. Read more in our article, Mall Ads: Going straight to source.