Omnicom Media Group launches Fuse content division

Omnicom Media Group South Africa (OMG), the media agencies holding company of Omnicom Group Inc., has announced the launch of Fuse, a new division that will help marketers to create branded content and consumer engagement through use of traditional media and social media platforms.

Fuse will be headed up by senior channel strategist, Shireen Jaftha, who has already garnered several major awards for her pioneering work in this area. These include a gold award for the best integrated campaign in the finance category from the Advertising and Media Association of South Africa (AMASA) for the fledgling division’s work on Standard Bank’s 2014 AccessBanking campaign.

“The launch of Fuse is a continuation of our strategy to exploit new media environments”, says Josh Dovey, CEO of Omnicom Media Group Africa. “Traditionally, advertising has meant that consumers have had to accept what is shown to them by advertisers. It was a one-sided relationship. The internet and smartphones have brought us into an entirely new era of choice, and consumers can now actively select the commercial messages they wish to consume and when and if they even want to at all. The traditional boundaries are no longer there and media channel choice is increasing exponentially, with the internet as the portal through which all media will eventually be consumed.”

“Given this, we have to be innovative in finding new ways to engage and part of this is the creation of interesting and relevant content that people will want to see. Consumers have to invite you into their space, and have to like what you’re saying if you are to interact with them further,” says Dovey.

“The skill set of Fuse lies in seeking out the right environments in which to communicate directly with consumers outside of traditional platforms and the response to these communications will be factored into the way in which brands interact with them going forward. This, of course will be leveraged off the rapid developments in the ICT environment”, says Dovey.

“We are confident that we are launching a company with product that speaks to the market,” says the new unit head, Jaftha. “We have also proven that the concept is tangible and clients can derive value from it through the work that we have done with Standard Bank. What Fuse will do is create links between traditional, online and social media platforms that will not only strengthen recall and likeability, but which would enable brands to create meaningful relationships with their customers.”

By adding branded and interactive media to the mix, Fuse is developing a managed way in which to engage customers in creating a story around the brand.

“OMG’s Standard Bank Access Banking case study proves the enormous potential inherent in branded and interactive content. The campaign, which made use of all media platforms, introduced a new level of customer engagement by adding broadcasting and client-generated content to the mix.”

The broadcasting component included the inspired ‘auction’ of a wedding dress featured on popular soapie, Muvhango. This resulted in 46 000 respondents sharing their dreams in order to stand a chance to win the dress, the purchase of which was sponsored by the bank.

Strategically aligned to Standard Bank’s ‘Moving Forward’ brand promise, the auction created a high level of awareness and likeability in key target audiences. It also gave the bank vital insight into the aspirations and needs of both clients and potential clients, enabling it to suggest products to fulfil these needs on supporting platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The campaign also included a series of five-minute radio dramas and a related competition, which prompted 30 000 responses a week.

“Measurement of this kind is a very important component of the Fuse offering,” says Jaftha. “It demonstrates the immediate value of engaging with customers in a direct and creative way. It also demonstrates the potential to use customer feedback in order to build information-rich databases for future marketing purposes.”

“And this is just the beginning. The possibilities for meaningful synergies in the media space are endless.”


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