Riverbed Agency’s Ad Crashers Campaign Elevates SMEs

As the South African economy reopens steadily, and with small to medium business picking up the pieces following the multilevel lockdowns, a diverse group of nine black-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been named as the recipients of high-end marketing support valued at over R3 million through Riverbed’s Ad Crashers campaign. 

Riverbed launched Ad Crashers in May this year in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the aim of helping small businesses affected by the pandemic get back on their feet through free media, marketing and advertising services. The campaign offers entrepreneurs much-needed marketing support to recover as the economy reopens.

Interested SMEs were invited to apply for support, and the nine businesses that were chosen and whose marketing campaigns will be launched:

  • Thusi Holdings, a financial literacy, debt counselling and business consultancy with offices in Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg and Umtata.
  • Ebukhosini Properties, a manufacturer in Johannesburg that has developed the mo-Wash mobile hand-washer, designed for outdoor events that delivers amazing water savings while maintaining hygiene.
  • Mgabhazi Investments operates Studio353 hair salon based in Johannesburg, which specialises in ethno-African hair for women and men.
  • L&S Shuttle Service, which provides shuttle tours in the Western Cape.
  • Thumela Express, a KwaZulu-Natal delivery service that offers, groceries, food, medication and other errand delivery services.
  • Get Law, a digital start-up online legal services platform from Cape Town that seeks to simplify law and enables anyone to access registered attorneys on-demand at a fraction of traditional legal costs.
  • Bolwa Security Services, Johannesburg-based security and guarding services company that provides trained and accredited officers to both the public and private sectors.
  • The Transformation Legacy, an enterprise development company in Midrand that specialises in developing and supporting entrepreneurs by propelling them to grow their small businesses into sustainable enterprises.
  • House of Mack Nail Bar, a nail care salon located in Meyersdal that also runs Christmas feeding drives for the needy in the area.

Monalisa Zwambila, Riverbed CEO said, ’After receiving a considerable number of applications from SMEs around the country, it became immediately clear that the lockdown had a devastating impact on business owners. The stories from each of our applicants was a stark reminder of the seriousness of the pandemic and its impact on small businesses. Each of the chosen entrepreneurs demonstrated that they would be able to effectively leverage Ad Crashers to not only elevate their own businesses but create sustainable jobs beyond the crisis.’

Riverbed developed through-the-line advertising campaigns for these SMEs, giving them the same level of national and regional media exposure as big brands. Global media agency Mindshare supported the campaign as the strategic media partner and secured free media inventory commitments amounting to R3 million from media owners. These include JC Decaux, and Provantage Media Group, along with Kaya FM. Additionally, Ad Crashers welcomes Vodacom as a major partner, contributing valuable digital media space, which will have a major impact on building much-needed exposure for these entrepreneurs. 

The Talk with Rams Live streaming platform dedicated an on-air commitment, while the Black Umbrellas incubation programme has committed to enrol the selected businesses. ‘Drawing from our own 13 years’ experience as an independent agency, we understand the struggles of entrepreneurship, and with this initiative being so close to our hearts, it was inspiring to meet authentic businesses that are deeply motivated and focused on making a real difference in the economy and people’s lives, including those of their employees and clients,’ Zwambila added.