Francois Groepe, Media24 CEO... “Media24’s sponsorship of Pendoring confirms our investment in Afrikaans as a language and culture to promote originality and innovative language use in Afrikaans advertising.”
Although Media24 is a comprehensive and leading media company serving all language and cultural groups with its newspapers, magazines, online publications and books, many of its flagship publications are Afrikaans, contributing significantly to the group's turnover.
remains South Africa's most popular and biggest family magazine, Sarie
leads the way among the women's interest magazines and Weg!
is market leader in the travel and leisure category, it stands to reason that Media24 would support Pendoring. “Afrikaans advertising worth millions appears in Media24's Afrikaans publications annually, creating a circulation turnover of a similar volume, precisely because many South Africans prefer readings these titles,” stresses Groepe.
He firmly believes that without Afrikaans, the South African advertising industry would have been much poorer; that typical spark and humour that characterises it today, would be lacking.
“Pendoring not only celebrates Afrikaans advertising, the awards celebrate South Africa's people. It celebrates their language and culture - particularly their creativity, passion, sense of humour and heartbeat. Media24 considers its participation in and support of Pendoring both as an investment in the preservation of all of these qualities and as a celebration of our rich cultural diversity,” says Groepe.
In addition, Afrikaans has an extremely important task to uplift all the people who use the language as their most important and even only communication medium so that they can follow a career and enrich themselves educationally. “As one of the three most spoken languages in South Africa, Afrikaans therefore plays a very important role in educating the previously disadvantaged. Likewise, as a responsible corporate citizen, Media24 also plays an important role in this regard,” says Groepe.
Moreover, as informed and active consumers, Afrikaans-speaking South Africans make a significant contribution to the economy - in many instances they lead the way in terms of choices and buying power. In this regard, language and culture often play a determining role - of which marketers can once again take cognisance. On top of that, Afrikaans speakers are also extremely loyal consumers: they don't beat about the bush and once you have proven that you satisfy their needs and expectations, they will continue supporting you, stresses Groepe.
He fully agrees with a comment by former President Nelson Mandela: “If you speak to a man in the language he understands, you speak to his head. But if you talk to him in his own language, you speak to his heart.”
“It has been proven time and time again that mother-tongue communication is the most effective way to reach your target market. This applies to each and every language in the world. The message that Afrikaans publishers would like to bring across on behalf of their consumers, is that advertising works best when it speaks to the heart and mind of the consumer.”
According to Groepe it is good to see how Afrikaans has been blossoming lately, and in this regard Afrikaans media, and in particular Media24, play a significant role - from its involvement in national arts festivals, to its focus on the promotion of books and writers. “It is indeed wonderful to experience all the positive energy in, around and for Afrikaans, whether we write poetry, make music, create advertisements or publish books, newspapers or magazines.
“Media24's sponsorship of Pendoring confirms our investment in Afrikaans as a language and culture to promote originality and innovative language use in Afrikaans advertising,” says Groepe.
Pieter Bruwer, chairman of the 2009 Pendoring working committee, says Media24 succeeds in communicating constructively with all readers' markets in the country, irrespective of their language. “And despite the fact that the group plays a huge role in ensuring reconciliation, it is not shy to wear its Afrikaans hat as part of its Proudly South African gear. Enjoying the support of a group like Media24 is of immense value to Pendoring,” Bruwer stresses.