Gisèle Wertheim Aymés has worked in the media industry in South Africa for over two decades. She is a director of a medical company, owner and publishing editor of Longevity Media (www.longevitymag.co.za) and a shareholder in Stuff Group SA, publishers of Stuff (www.Stuff.co.za) - the world's best-selling gadget magazine. Email her at and follow her on Twitter at @giselewaymes.
Gisèle's media career spans a broad range of experience, from editorial, marketing, publishing, finance and advertising sales to media innovation and strategy.
Her career highlights include recognition as the leading Media Personality of the Year in 1992 and winner of the International Press Distribution Awards for best International magazine launch for Elle, as well as over 30 local awards for magazine publishing excellence. She was elected chairperson of the Magazine Publisher's Association of South Africa between 2003-2005.
During her media career, she has launched and relaunched more than 10 magazine titles and was responsible for several new newspaper projects, as GM advertising strategy and sales and then GM innovation, at Avusa, including being a member of the strategic planning team for The Times, the Sunday Times' first daily digital interactive newspaper.
In 2008, she joined First National Bank as head of media and led a team which developed social media properties such as www.howcanwehelpyou.co.za and on Twitter. Gisèle left FNB in 2010 to participate in her family's business interests, where she holds board positions. She purchased Longevity Magazine (www.longevitymagazine.co.za) from Avusa in 2010 and in 2012 became a shareholder in Stuff Group SA, publishers of Stuff (www.Stuff.co.za) - the world's best-selling gadget magazine.
I was sad to leave Cannes yesterday, Thursday, 25 June 2009, because each year for a few days in my hectic life schedule I get to sit and listen and marvel at the amazing innovation that is shaping our advertising, media and communications.
This year was no exception. I was exposed to many campaigns that honoured integration and took real consumer insights and applied them in inspiring ways. www.thegreatschlep.com showed how a simple consumer insight could influence a presidential race; a brilliant campaign for the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef will change tourism communication forever; Gillette's Campaign for men showed there are no-holds barred online in demonstrating (pretty tastefully I have to say) how men should trim their pubic hair. And the campaign for Distracted Drivers/Road Safety got everyone talking.
I sat through fascinating insights on how 20 million consumers around the world interact with Xbox games each month and even Unilever use Microsoft's Free Interactive Games to sell margarine. The Sagami Original campaign for the world's thinnest condom was a beautifully crafted and thought-out story that won a Grand Prix in PR. The work on the Deadliest Catch was riveting with very smart media integration and I just have to see that show!!!
We were told that men go online for fantasy and women for reality - sound familiar?
I learned about Microsoft Surface, Bing, the Long Nose, The Natal Project, the Eyeblaster Project to end traditional advertising, Skimmer, MagCloud and a whole lot of other really fascinating stuff - so much so that I was told I was becoming a technology slave one night at dinner by a techie (talk about calling the kettle black) who was watching me Tweet away.
Slave or not, I cannot emphasis enough to communicators, marketers, advertisers and media specialists to get closer to the technical innovations that are changing our world. Find ways to bring the understanding into your business - collaborate with others, particularly technology partners, create campaigns that engage and most important become part of the conversation.
I started Tweeting from the time I arrived in Cannes and just this involvement and engagement shifted my absorption of information and clarity of thought and interaction with others. I warn you though; it is addictive (that's the technology monk in me speaking).
I say this because, for the past few days, CNN has been a Twitter with the coverage of the riots in Iran and Twitter has been a key feeder to this (see #iranelection). Twitter is becoming the news agency of the world and people are finding a voice that would otherwise be censored. All it takes is a mobile device and you can find your voice. Where major news corporations cannot be present or report the repressive tactics of governments, Twitter will make their voices heard.
It's unstoppable and profound and I count myself lucky to live in this age where the individual can participate in this global conversation.
Cannes Lions stories on Bizcommunity.com (which hyperlink to relevant Cannes Lions content):
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