Tag Archives: Rory Viljoen

Cape Town Tourism celebrates 10th anniversary with colourful, fun, and festive AGM!

CapeTownTourism AGM Cake Whale CottageLast night Cape Town Tourism held what many say is the best AGM ever, with a dynamic and funny keynote speaker Vusi Thembekwayo, and a very entertaining Anton Groenewald from the City of Cape Town  Tourism, Events, and Marketing Directorate, being the highlight of the event held at the Tsogo Sun Cape Sun, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of Cape Town Tourism since its re-invention in 2004.

I arrived late, returning from Franschhoek, as Groenewald was speaking.  He kindly gave me his notes, for use for writing this blogpost.  His Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing, Councillor Garreth Bloor, was present, and many a joke was at his expense.  Groenewald started his talk by reflecting on the past three years in which he has headed up theCapeTownTourism AGM Anton Groenewald Whale Cottage Tourism Directorate of the City, and has spent R1,5 billion.  He confirmed the three-year agreement signed with Cape Town Tourism, which came with a promise of R120 million over the next three years.   Reflecting on the successes of the past year, Groenewald presented its highlights as being World Travel Market Africa, a collaboration with Thebe Reed, which attracted 4500 trade visitors and 220 media, and for which the city has signed for another two Continue reading →

City of Cape Town spends millions of Rands on dreadful new logo!

City of Cape Town logo newThe City of Cape Town has commissioned a new logo, which has been shot down in flames by locals on Social Media.  The backlash was so severe that Mayor Patricia de Lille had to announce on radio that she will make a statement about it on Monday.

Radio station Kfm showed the old and new logos on its Facebook page, and the vote unanimously was for the existing logo, which depicts Table Mountain as the icon for the city.  The new logo has a vaguely recognisable Table Mountain too, but the meaning of the various colours in it is unclear, looking like a police badge, or a cog, reminding me of the uncomfortable table tops at Truth on Buitenkant Street.  A large part of the criticism is the money that the design would cost, and to what better use it could have been put!

The City of Cape Town also announced via a Kfm news broadcast that the logo that had gone viral was not the final choice, and had merely been presented for comment!

The City of Cape Town’s Tourism, Events and Marketing Directorate will have been responsible Continue reading →

Wesgro Chief Marketing Officer Judy Lain a breath of fresh air for Tourism!

Wesgro Judy Lain Whale Cottage PortfolioI was recently told that Wesgro had finally appointed a Marketing head after looking since April 2012.  I called Judy Lain, its new Chief Marketing Officer, and was able to set up an appointment to meet her after her trip to South America.  We agreed to meet last Friday at Café Paradiso, on Judy’s recommendation.

All I knew about Judy was that she was better known as Judy During, and had run an advertising agency called 34 Woman, focusing on generating information about women’s purchasing behaviour, being responsible for not only FMCG but also big ticket brand decisions in their households.  Prior to that she worked at Inviseo Media, at Bester Burke Underground, and at draftfcb, therefore having a practical marketing and advertising background.   Our telephonic interaction in setting up the meeting was very different to the bureaucracy I experienced when I arranged to meet with Wesgro CEO Nils Flaatten.  Judy answered the phone herself, sounded friendly and bubbly, and decided that we should meet over lunch.

We had forgotten to describe one another over the phone, but we both Continue reading →

City of Cape Town Marketing Department shows its poor marketing skills in ‘Hello Festive Season’!

The free magazine ‘Hello Festive Season 2012/2013‘, dropped into our post box, attracted my attention for the endless pages sponsored by the City of Cape Town, in what is intended as a publication to help one decide where to celebrate Christmas and New Year, and where to spend time during the summer holidays in Cape Town, bearing the subtitle ‘the ultimate lifestyle guide‘! It is the worst possible boring representation of Cape Town, the sponsor pages having been compiled by the City of Cape Town’s new Marketing department, and is not a ‘lifestyle guide’ at all!.

Rory Viljoen, Director of the City of Cape Town Place Marketing, as he likes to call his department, comes from Distell and Coca Cola, so it is hard to imagine that he could be responsible for such nonsense information to be presented in a publication that is unlikely to reach every Cape Town ratepayer or services payer, only 16500 copies having been printed, I was told by Hello Cape Town Magazine Marketing Consultant Jessica Nosworthy.  She also told me that it is the third year that the City of Cape Town has advertised in the publication.

The first of the twenty eight City of Cape Town pages in the seventy page magazine covers ‘Investing in Cape Town’, with a sub-heading of ‘Investment Opportunities‘ and markets Wesgro, but the content does not list any investment opportunities, being solely focused on listing the services that Wesgro can offer investors, hardly of interest to Capetonians. This is followed under the same heading by a feature on Cape Town Activa, described as a ‘world-class ecosystem for entrepreneurs and job-seekers that will transform Cape Town into a city that is open for business and attractive to outside investors‘, but it does not explain what exactly it does, other than it being a lobby platform for small business owners.   It clearly was extracted from a media statement, referring to ‘yesterday’ in announcing the launch of Cape Town Activa, but not edited for the publication!  Descriptions are provided for the CIty’s plans to develop Cape Town until 2040;  to redevelop the Athlone power station; to upgrade the Company Gardens, The Durbanville Rose Garden, the Westridge Gardens in Mitchell’s Plain, and Maynardville in Wynberg; the completion of the Green Point Athletic Stadium; Cape Town’s appointment as World Design Capital 2014; a newly introduced Travel SMART program to encourage local residents to share driving to work, to cycle, to walk, to use the MyCiti Bus, and find any other way to save fuel, and thereby keep vehicles off the roads; a new Smart Living handbook, which is available for residents to reduce their impact on the environment through their usage of electricity and water, handling of their garbage, by planting indigenous gardens, reducing the size or removing their lawns, by installing solar water  heating, etc; and the Solid Waste Management Department encourages residents to reduce their waste, to recycle or re-use their waste.  Most of these descriptions are technical and not written in a citizen-friendly style.  Conspicuous by its absence is the City’s R38 million annual funding of tourism via Cape Town Tourism.

At an official cost of R18000 per full page full colour advertisement, the sponsorship could have cost the City of Cape Town, and thus its ratepayers, more than R 500000, a complete waste of marketing money.

I had requested more information about the distribution areas for the magazine from Jessica, as she was the only person in the company answering her phone, and she promised to send more details. Five minutes later her boss Ari Spinner called back, demanding a meeting to hand over the details, sounding paranoid about the information falling into the hands of a ‘nasty competitor’, should I be interested in advertising in the magazine.  He refused to e-mail any details, and rudely told me that my English was not understandable when I had to repeat my postal address a number of times for him to post copies of his publication, when his heavy Greek accent makes it hard to understand him.

If this is the calibre of Viljoen’s marketing skills for Cape Town, the tourism industry should be severely concerned about the City of Cape Town having taken the role of Destination Marketing from Cape Town Tourism, and having set itself up to do the marketing for our beautiful city! Instead of communicating with its public as intended, the City of Cape Town has demonstrated its lack of marketing skills, and its ability to waste R½ million of ratepayers’ monies! The publisher has misled his readers, as there is barely any ‘lifestyle‘ information in the ‘guide’, other than a listing of clubs and bars!

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage