Digital advertising in SA is about to get 'switched on' 04 July , 2013

New on the South African ad-serving scene is a holistic adserver called Switch. Already serving 50 billion ad impressions per month, Switch is a fast growing platform that enables digital publishers to drive revenue within the real-time market for online advertising. With its highly evolved real-time bidding tool, Switch brings advertisers into contact with targeted inventory, resulting in more effective ad spend and increased ROI.

Introducing the Switch platform in South Africa is a newly formed company called AddSwitch, which has secured the exclusive rights to market the Switch technology platform throughout Africa. AddSwitch is headed up by veteran of the digital advertising landscape in SA, Chris Wilson. Formerly the MD of Trafica and sales director of Thumbtribe, Chris Wilson has over 20 years of experience across a multitude of business sectors including financial, telecommunication and media and advertising industries.

“With digital advertising spend in South Africa already growing at a rapid pace, the ecosystem is ripe for a holistic adserving solution that effectively matches demand and supply – in real time,” says Chris Wilson, who sees the challenge as lying in effective targeting and achieving the best return on investment. “Publishers want the best price for their inventory whilst advertisers need a more effective means of targeting their ad spend. With the advent of real-time bidding (RTB) exchanges, of which Switch is one of the most advanced, advertisers can bid for when, where and by whom their message is seen, and publishers can effectively control their floor price,” explains Chris Wilson.

Having built up advertising teams for a number of organisations across South Africa, Wilson understands the importance of providing clients and partners with ‘added value’, a precept he sees as being crucial for AddSwitch, too. “As the exclusive marketing and implementation agent for the Switch platform in Africa, AddSwitch provides South African and African publishers with a direct local contact and support centre – quite literally, ‘adding value’ in a variety of ways.” The AddSwitch team accompanies publishers through the process of implementing the Switch platform and offers campaign management services as required. For example, the Switch platform has been implemented by Manchester United Football Club on their digital properties and AddSwitch manages the ad inventory globally, serving 200 million impressions for Man U per month.

As one of the world’s first holistic RTB (real-time bidding) adservers, Switch provides a comprehensive suite of solutions to digital publishers that fundamentally focuses on increasing publisher revenues by making more inventory available, at more competitive rates, and exposing this to the right audiences. Microsoft Media Network in the UK have worked with Switch for two years and confirmed that throughout this time their level of inventory visibility has never dipped below 99% despite industry average running closer to 85%. According to David Watchus, Publisher of, Switch is much more than a supply side platform, but rather a real-time trading desk that gives them full visibility of their site’s performance and a better understanding of their users.

Although only officially launching in South Africa this month, AddSwitch is already in advanced discussions with a major publisher seeking to implement the Switch platform as its holistic adserving solution, and has plugged its RTB solution into one of the region’s largest online classified ad sites. AddSwitch is a subsidiary of Ole! Media Holdings. Says Desere’ Orrill, CMO of the group and responsible for the AddSwitch take-to-market strategy: “It’s an easy product to market, because it has such a compelling value proposition that it actually sells itself.” The newly launched website can be viewed at

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