kykNET supports recognition of all vernaculors

“From the outset kykNET has been working towards awareness of the benefits for advertisers of marketing in Afrikaans,” says Karen Meiring, head of Afrikaans channels at M-Net. With its continued gold sponsorship of the Pendoring Advertising Awards the pay channel in the DStv stable is once again substantiating this long commitment and investment, she says.

With the sponsorship the channel is confirming the value of Afrikaans advertising, namely that it finds much more favour with the Afrikaans viewer. By speaking to viewers in their mother tongue the advertiser is showing respect to viewers, says Meiring, and that is why it is to the benefit of both viewer and advertiser.

The larger number of Afrikaans commercials kykNET has been receiving and broadcasting of late is testament to this interdependence.

Meiring reckons the fact that the target market of each of kykNET’s Afrikaans channels is so focused contributes to an advertiser’s value for money.

These channels include the new kykNET & Kie, which is a leaner offer than the full premium package, and kykNET Musiek. The 800 000 subscribers to the premium package hail mainly from the higher income groups, but kykNET & Kie and kykNET Musiek are both far more affordable and a wider audience, including pensioners and students, subscribe to them.

According to Meiring adding news and actuality has made a huge difference as now kykNET “is much more than a mere entertainment channel, it offers the full spectrum and is far more relevant”.

“We believe the excellent content we give to a wide variety of viewers will attract still more viewers and advertisers,” says Meiring regarding the 24 per cent growth in viewer numbers during the past year.

Social media is another way of attracting more viewers to a channel. “To ‘share’ is very hot at the moment and has an amazing cumulative effect,” says Meiring. That is why viewers should keep their eyes open for MK’s new plans for the web.

She believes sponsorships such as Pendoring also build viewer goodwill. Besides support for arts festivals and Afrikaans films, more efforts in the same vein include the Fiëstas Awards for Afrikaans theatre and the Ghoema Awards for Afrikaans music. “We hope to thereby give greater exposure to the industries and to discover and cultivate new talent as well. All these initiatives stimulate the Afrikaans market,” says Meiring.

She adds that kykNET has incredibly loyal viewers who love communicating with the channel. For instance, they regularly express their joy at the very popular cooking programme Kokkedoor and soaps such as Villa Rosa and Binneland. And even if golden oldies such as Fiela se kind or a Leon Schuster movie is broadcast yet again, they phone or e-mail or tweet their delight.

She believes Afrikaans television is growing from strength to strength regarding cultural-specific content, but the landscape is changing quickly. Other local languages need to be recognised in the same way, just like Pendoring is embracing a wider audience with the Umpetha Award.

Franette Klerck, general manager of Pendoring, says South Africa is proud to have some of the best creative talent in the world: “And with the support of our sponsors we will continue to create and promote awareness of the impact of mother tongue advertising.”

Entries for the Pendoring Advertising Awards have opened already and the closing date is July 15, 2013. Keep an eye on as entries are done via the web page. The awards ceremony will be at the CTICC in Cape Town on Friday, 20 September.

“Speaking to your target audience in their mother tongue is a sign of respect”, says Karen Meiring of kykNET