I saw a Gumtree South Africa TV ad during tonight’s ETV News for the first time. What drew my attention to the ad was not the captivating message or the rather poor quality of production, but the fact that this “free” online local classified ads service – with roots in London and now a footprint across 76 cities and 11 countries – is using old media in its communications mix.
With Gumtree’s claim that they are the largest local classifieds site in South Africa, one would think that they do not need to spend on advertising in the most expensive communication medium, and pick a primetime slot, nogal (Afrikaans word loosely translated as “to top it all off”)!
Gumtree South Africa’s current media campaign started in late 2011 , if their YouTube channel is anything to go by.
Without knowing the company’s objectives for this media campaign, except that logic tells me the ultimate aim is to drive traffic of advertisers and buyers to their business site, their appreciation of the power of media integration is noticeable. Simply put, Gumtree recognizes that growth of their business cannot rely on online media advertising alone. Their pick of TV could be informed by stats that show it has the second highest audience penetration (90.3%) after radio (91.9%) in South Africa. Also see this extracted report on TV audience measure for June 2010-June 2011.
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES ARE NOT ABOUT EITHER OR. THEY ARE ABOUT BOTH AND. Understanding of market landscape will determine which online and offline media platforms to choose, and Gumtree provide a good example with their current media campaign.