Connect with us

Snapshots

Alive Advertising: Itz & Ari Arenstein

Family business breathes new life into outdoor advertising with innovative new medium

Juliet Pitman

Published

on

Itz & Ari Arenstein of Alive Advertising

A new type of billboard has not only changed the urban landscape but the entire outdoor advertising industry as well. Drive through some of Johannesburg’s major intersections and you can’t help but notice the television-type screens that advertise anything from newspaper headlines to supermarket specials. The company behind it all is Alive Advertising, run by uncle-and-nephew team, Itz and Ari Arenstein.

Itz relates how the idea for the business first came about: “I saw one of these screens at a show at Nasrec and realised there was money in it. I wondered if we could turn it into an advertising medium, which it wasn’t being used for at that time.” The idea niggled and grew and one day, sitting at a friend’s radio fitment centre watching the traffic pass by, it became clear how the business could make money.

“It could work just like an ordinary billboard at high-traffic intersections, but with many added benefits,” he explains. The first stumbling block was cost. “A local manufacturer was making the screens but they were expensive,” he says, “So we went out and designed a sales package and sold the space on the first screen before we invested money in buying it.”

Without a product to show sales prospects and considering they were pioneering a new medium, it must have been quite a sales pitch. “We ended up with six clients and on the strength of those orders, purchased our first screen and put it up in Braamfontein,” recalls Itz.

This meant that the business covered its costs from day one. It’s a model they have maintained since the beginning; selling advertising space before making a capital investment in the screens.

“As the concept started to work, we looked around for new spots,” he continues, and therein lay one of the company’s biggest challenges. Alive Advertising pays a landlord for the space to erect the screen but it also needs permission from the local council to erect the screen in a particular location.

“And that is not easy, let me tell you,” says Itz, relating how it has taken seven years to get the necessary approval to erect the first screen in Pretoria. However, perseverance has paid off and today the company has 22 screens in centres around the country.

These screens are seen by 2,4 million people a day and here’s where Alive Advertising has a unique selling point. “Unlike a traditional billboard which is static, our billboards change all the time. One of our billboards has 17 spots, not just one, and the advert comes up 480 times a day,” says Itz.

So although the screens are expensive, the number of spots the company can sell on one particular screen has enabled them to keep the costs of advertising down. Clients pay approximately R10 500 per month for a spot on a screen, which has opened up the outdoor advertising market to small and medium businesses in a way that was previously impossible.

“In addition, they are guaranteed 480 slots a day every day for an entire month,” says Itz. He adds that production costs are also very low. Whereas a television advert production carries a hefty sum, Alive

Advertising will design an advert for a client at R2 000. “An advertising agency won’t even look at you for that price,” says Itz. A sophisticated technological back-end, designed in-house by the company, provides the flexibility to change an advert in the space of two hours.
This gives the ads an immediacy that is simply not possible in other outdoor media. “It’s opened the doors for companies to advertise in such a way that is a call to immediate action. They can advertise specials that they’re running or a newspaper can display new daily headlines,” he says, adding that flexibility is the name of the game.
“We have customised everything in order to offer clients what they need, when they need it.” It’s real-time, real value and real innovation. Enter the age of the advert that lives.

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.

Advertisement
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Snapshots

Ian Fuhr Explains Why He Likes To Launch Businesses In Unfamiliar Industries And How He Made Sorbet A Success

Ian Fuhr, a serial entrepreneur is not scared of opening businesses in industries he knows nothing about.

CEOwise

Published

on

By

ceowise-entrepreneur-magazine-thumbnail-designs-ian-fuhr

We interview entrepreneur Ian Fuhr, who founded the Sorbet Group in 2005 which has now grown to over 200 stores in South Africa with stores in the UK. Ian is a serial entrepreneur who has launched many successful companies in industries he knew very little about.

Continue Reading

Snapshots

How Pepe Marais Went From Bankruptcy To Founding Joe Public And Becoming An Entrepreneurial Success

After being bankrupt in 2009 Pepe, along with his partners, turned their business around to being one of the best advertising agencies in South Africa.

CEOwise

Published

on

By

ceowise-entrepreneur-magazine-thumbnail-design-pepe-marais

We interview entrepreneur Pepe Marais, who co-founded Joe Public, one of the biggest independently owned advertising agencies in South Africa. After being bankrupt in 2009 Pepe found his life’s purpose and not only turned his business around, but his entire life. It’s all documented in his booked titled Growing Greatness, which is a must read.

Continue Reading

Snapshots

Eustace Mashimbye Shares His Insights On Exporting Your Goods

Nadine Todd

Published

on

eustace-mashimbye

What sectors are best for South Africans exporting to other markets?

Almost any sector can compete in international markets, certainly on quality and often in technical innovation, but it’s always important for companies to do their homework first on prevailing conditions, competitive products, prices, import duties and so on in the country they have identified for export before they rush in.

How do local manufacturers benefit from exporting their goods?

An international profile is always a good thing for any company and for the country. We love seeing Made in SA products on shelves and in industrial applications overseas. Obviously, the opportunity to earn in hard currency — exchange fluctuations notwithstanding, is another benefit. The more diversified your markets, the better placed any company is if any one market should take a dip, so spreading the markets in which you are operating and selling is another.

Related: How To Leverage Partnerships, Industry Associations & Endorsements

What are the potential dangers business owners should be aware of if they’re interested in exporting their goods?

There is always the danger that without proper ground work, it can be an expensive exercise if the export project fails. Local agents, distributors and third parties can also prove difficult and expensive, so it’s important to source reliable local representation, if you need it. Translation of all packaging to the local language can be expensive and adherence to different local norms and standards must always be adhered to, and could push up the price of your product if you pass these costs on to the customer. Sales and after-sales service is something that also needs to be managed well.

What government-funded programmes are available to assist entrepreneurs access new markets?

There are a number of programmes of the dti, including Trade & Investment South Africa and the Export Marketing & Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA). South African embassies around the world have trade attachés who are there to help and are a critical point of contact for any exporter.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending