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Branding 'history' on Bloed Street

ComutaNet is said to be the first media owner in South Africa to brand a fully integrated shopping mall and taxi rank, doing so on behalf of leading mobile operator Cell C.
Realising the positive impact which a centralised transport and retail node has on commuter behaviour and spending patterns, the media solutions company acquired the advertising rights to brand the taxi rank in the basement of the Bloed Street Mall in Pretoria's highly valued CBD.

“Shopping malls have become more than just a place to make purchases - they are now lifestyle oriented destinations offering entertainment and leisure facilities in secure environments. Commuters can safely make their purchases on their way home without having to lug heavy bags to their transport,” says Dr Gwen Ramakgopa, Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality.

The previous taxi rank, also contracted to the commuter advertising brand, has been transformed into a R200-million, world-class, Bloed Street Mall and taxi rank. “The integration of shopping malls and taxi ranks, brings marketers and traders into the living environment of the commuter. At Bloed Street Mall, ComutaNet's media platforms have created a brand conscious environment in which commuters can make informed decisions about the products they buy,” says Kevin Kirby, ComutaNet's GM: Strategy & Marketing.

On the brand wagon

Demonstrating its confidence in the venture, Cell C signed a one-year contract with ComutaNet to brand the mall taxi rank, commencing January 2009.

“The unique marketing opportunity inherent in this location enables commuters traversing through the mall, nearly all being employed household decision makers with the propensity to spend, to view and engage with the advertisers. Historically, few business owners realised the potential of black mass market buying power. The current integration of shopping malls and taxi ranks is testament that retailers are embracing the importance of these consumers,” says Kirby.

Shopping and transport mecca

Collectively the Bloed Street Shopping Mall and taxi rank are home to 135 shops of which 78 are major retailers and service providers including Super Spar, Standard Bank, Truworths, Identity, Total Sports and Steers. The large variety of retail outlets, state-of-the-art taxi facilities, and easy taxi access is set to increase the time commuters spend at the Bloed Street Mall and taxi rank.

The mall and taxi rank is a joint initiative between the City of Tshwane and Isibonelo Property Services and Heriot Properties.

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