The Daily Sun journey is filled with optimism, tenacity and innovation. Today, the popular tabloid celebrates its 19th birthday with the announcement of a multi-platform strategy that will enhance their reach into a market that the late founder of the newspaper Deon Du Plessis described as “the real South Africa”.
Media24 GM of Lifestyle and Community News Minette Ferreira, witnessed the launch of the Daily Sun newspaper. She tells of the initial battle to convince advertisers of the size and value of a then largely underserved market. “No-one gave us half a chance, then we cracked the right circulation level and the paper just flew.”
Media24 remains committed to the Daily Sun brand and serving an audience of loyal users whom advertisers can engage with too. A shining example of the brand’s growth is reflected in its Facebook figures – more than two million followers rely on Daily Sun for news, human interest stories, advice and assistance as well as nearly one million monthly unique browsers on Daily Sun’s website.
“It is important for us to sell 360-degree solutions to clients. They are excited to experiment with us as part of the journey and acknowledge Daily Sun’s content positioning. Our editorial teams identify with this growing middle market and produce content critical to South Africa,” said Ferreira.
Unlocking the market with an array of platform choices, yet sticking with the tried and tested Daily Sun content model, is paying dividends. Editor Mapula Nkosi describes their current journey as an evolution that the staff are passionate about being part of.
“Staff participated in our revised payoff line by submitting suggestions. Our Lives. Our Paper has become Our Lives. Our Journey, reflecting Daily Sun’s expansion across media platforms, and their understanding of and reporting on how the lives of their consumers are evolving.”
The original brand positioning describing the typical reader as The Man in the Blue Overall, has also evolved. The reader carries a cellphone in his or her pocket and whether rural or township based, he or she is on the move, we speak their language and champion their voices in a credible way. Their journey becomes part of our journey.’
Following a thorough analysis of the Daily Sun print distribution network, a decision was made last year to focus on areas that traditionally attracted the most readers. The newspaper is currently available across Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
Subsequent to these footprint changes in June 2020, the free weekly Daily Sun On the Go was launched to fill gaps in the distribution network across the country. It is gaining traction with an average of 40 000 targeted drops taking place on Thursdays at main transport nodes. Not only does this edition create a valuable advertising vehicle for both national and smaller direct clients but it means we retain a tangible presence in the lives of our readers nationally on a weekly basis.
Armed with a well-known and trusted brand, targeted print distribution and a growing digital and social media profile, the team at Daily Sun turned their attention to broadcast media opportunities. This led to the launch of Sun’ceda – an advertising funded TV-series broadcasted on Mzansi Wethu and carried on the brand’s digital properties – covering real-life stories in keeping with the popular Daily Sun content formula and allowing further access to their brand. Over 3 million viewers were glued to the first season of Sun’ceda. The second season is due to be aired in September.
Mapula describes the past year as one of massive innovation. She is particularly proud of initiatives aimed at giving back to readers such as SunPower, part of Sunland’s DNA, influencing sub brands including Mr Fix It and now our TV programme, Sun’ceda (a play on the isiXhosa word siyanceda that means we are helping). These elements of the Daily Sun offering exemplify why it became such an integral part of the lives of its readers so quickly and remains one.
She offers an example of how Daily Sun connects with its audiences through daily conversations. “I see social media as the fifth estate, readers dictate at any given hour of the day about what affects their lives. At this time for instance, Covid19 is leading discussions and news, specifically how to survive until the end of the year.”
Ferreira supports the editorial team’s consistency in creating brand safe platforms that are trusted by users and advertisers alike. “Few media brands can speak to South Africans like Daily Sun does. Our brand puts people first, we speak to the hearts of our audience with content they are talking about.”