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THE MEDIA SEP 2018 e-book

“He has done a lot of work around education in terms of advertisements in the digital space. In our agency he’s done a lot around educating people on viewability – lots of people think a view is just a view – but Mike evangelised that, and third party verification systems...” The two ended up working together in washroom advertising at TLC for about five years, followed different trajectories, and have again, for the past year, been working together at AdColony, a subsidiary of Nfinity. An enthusiastic disposition Varejes is effusive in his description of this award-winning young media owner. “Mike has an incredible personality, and the ability to make anyone feel good; he brightens up the environment when he walks through the door, and easily disarms people with his enthusiastic disposition.” Van Tonder, he adds, is not only a vibey, jovial, all-round good guy, he is also incredibly dedicated, with a strong work ethic. “He’s a hardworking individual, always on the go and consistently involved in the industry. He puts in enormous hours building client relationships, and attending industry events and functions.” It’s a sentiment echoed by fellow judge Chris Hitchings, sales and marketing director of JCDecaux South Africa, who reckons Van Tonder easily meets the criteria for the Rising Star Award, making the judging process in the category a bit of a no-brainer. “Michael has a very high profile and is a very good guy. People were ready to vote without much discussion,” says Hitchings. A keen sportsman, former first team rugby player and rugby coach, Van Tonder’s background as an English, and Technology teacher no doubt influences his approach to his profession – and his deep respect for research. “He ensures that he understands everything about the realm he’s working in, does extensive research on all its attributes and benefits, researches the opposition, and then has the ability to talk with conviction,” explains Varejes. Van Tonder takes it a step further by ensuring others share that understanding, says judge Deborah Schepers, chief strategy officer at PHD. “He has done a lot of work around education in terms of advertisements in the digital space. In our agency he’s done a lot around educating people on viewability – lots of people think a view is just a view – but Mike evangelised that, and third party verification systems… It always comes as a bit of surprise for those who aren’t digital experts to realise how little of the ad spend we invest is viewed by people,” explains Schepers. “He’s an incredibly enthusiastic individual and whenever he presents, he evangelised it to my clients as well, not just the agencies – it’s obviously something he delves deeply into, and which is a passion point for him,” she adds. Van Tonder attests to his passion for the digital landscape in his CV: “Launching AdColony within the South African landscape has reinforced my desire to learn and adapt, as it has highlighted the potential for disruptive thinking as well as the need for innovative and effective media platforms. I believe that these sorts of learnings are vital in order to stay relevant within the digital landscape. Only now are we starting to get a sense of the scale of opportunity within mobile and digital video, which makes being part of this journey even more exciting.” With that mindset and approach, it’s clear why Mike van Tonder is indeed media’s rising star! • MEDIA OWNER RISING STAR Work history • 2007 – 2013: Primedia Unlimited National – sales manager. • 2013 – 2015: Mxit – sales executive. • 2015 – 2017: Opera Media Works – sales. • 2017 – Present: AdColony – sales manager. P 42 The Media | wagthedog.co.za


THE MEDIA SEP 2018 e-book
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