Beautiful News South Africa year in review

On 31 October 2017, Beautiful News, a unique content marketing platfrom, will have achieved its altruistic target of sharing 365 uplifting short films in one year about the positive South African experience. The project reached over 500 million across all platforms over the first three quarters alone.

 Beautiful News South Africa is an unprecedented content marketing platform created by Ginkgo Agency, and made possible by Mercedes-Benz South Africa. Dedicated to unearthing inspiring, uplifting and authentic South African stories, the partnership is a natural fit for a brand committed to the best or nothing, as it celebrates a diverse set of unique, inspirational voices that collectively reflect the best in a nation.From its launch on 1 November 2016, it has set out to share one short film every day, telling a positive South African story. At the end of this month, it will have delivered on its promise with 365 stories that celebrate the South African spirit.

Statistics supplied by BMI indicate that Beautiful News achieved total international reach – defined as the total number of opportunities created to engage with the project – of over 500 million across all platforms through the first three quarters alone. In addition, in a market research survey conducted by Publicis Machine on behalf of Mercedes-Benz South Africa, 70% of the sample audience felt hopeful about the future of the country after viewing Beautiful News, compared to just 47% pre-exposure.

Beautiful News was able to achieve this with inspirational short films that break through negative headlines. Content is distributed online on, across social media, as well as through partnerships with independent online, and established print and broadcast platforms.

It has resonated beyond South Africa by reaching over 67 countries, with reach on social media platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter exceeding 57 million after starting from a base of zero. Content was shared with local and international passengers through distribution partnerships with Airport TV, Mango Airlines, African People Mover, and the V&A Waterfront.Adrian Steirn, the founder of Ginkgo Agency and Beautiful News, comments, ““Beautiful News is a purpose-driven, distribution first editorial platform. It provides an editorial bridge for brand to audience that serves both. By delivering daily authentic and meaningful content that is beautifully crafted, we have cut through in an always-on environment and engaged a growing and loyal audience. Beautiful News was made possible by our partnership with Mercedes-Benz South Africa, whose savvy understanding of connecting with audience through content has delivered significant returns in terms of brand reach and engagement.”

Anthony Hinrichsen, Commissioning Editor of Beautiful News, explains, “Beautiful News is a true editorial platform. The integrity of the content creates the opportunity for our partner to align with the nature of the stories and subjects. Beautiful News is a reflection of the positive – who we are as South Africans and the promise of our future.”

Beautiful News is an extension of the 21 Icons Project, a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Ginkgo Agency that celebrated South Africa’s most inspirational men and women through photography and short films.Selvin Govender, Marketing Director at Mercedes-Benz South Africa, concludes, “MBSA has a long-standing contribution toward nation building. Beautiful News embodies the best of South Africa. Partnering with Beautiful News allows MBSA to continue its legacy of supporting South Africa at its best. Beautiful News has afforded us an opportunity to meaningfully engage with our audience beyond the buying cycle.”

Beautiful News will continue to deliver on its promise of releasing one short film at 4.14pm every day. For more information visit and connect on Facebook and Instagram.

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