Refusing to compromise the speed, agility and commitment to quality on which it has built its reputation, MetropolitanRepublic has delivered five inspiring and empathetic television commercials for South African Tourism (SA Tourism) in as many weeks, all of them under lockdown.
The campaign has been lauded by many industry commentators as well as the domestic and international tourism industry, including those tourism associations who compete with SA Tourism for a share of the global travel market.
Importantly, though, it demonstrated the agency’s ability to quickly respond to a brief without sacrificing quality, and under extreme circumstances.
Obviously, the biggest challenge was finding new ways of bringing the concept to life. The agency delved into stock footage libraries, but some of the imagery was shot on smartphones in employee homes and voice-overs were recorded over WhatsApp and Skype. Precise communication and co-ordination, given everyone was working from home, was vital and deadlines, too, also a challenge.
“But the agency has been built around problem-solving when the pressure is on,” said MetropolitanRepublic’s Chief Creative Officer Paul Warner. “It’s not for nothing our web site proudly states that we deal in reality. Businesses cannot succeed in the modern world if they are not agile and responsive. A business – or a brand – needs to be a living, breathing, thinking organism, constantly responding accurately to real-time conditions.
“It stands to reason then, that clients are looking for speed and agility. The agency that cannot deliver that, that is slow and cumbersome, will stumble at the first hurdle. MetropolitanRepublic embraces agile, real-time marketing that delivers …our performance on this campaign proves our ability to do just that.”
Crafted with an unreserved honesty and compassion for the hardships people and businesses are facing, four of the ads responded to the country’s emotional needs while the fifth communicated details of the Tourism Relief Fund.
The 90-second spots – with art direction by the agency’s Chief Creative Officer Paul Warner and Art Director Mbuso Ndlovu, and copywriting by Executive Creative Director Kamogelo Sesing and Copywriter Chiedza Quinchette – can be viewed here:
Life & Soul:
Brands: South African Tourism, Nelson Mandela Foundation
Ad agency: MetropolitanRepublic
Chief creative strategist: Paul Warner
Executive creative director & copywriter: Kamogelo Sesing
https://metropolitanrepublic.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/film-production.jpg512910MetropolitanRepublichttps://metropolitanrepublic.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/MetropolotanRepublicLogo.svgMetropolitanRepublic2020-05-29 09:37:542020-06-05 17:45:34Marketing Communication News - MetropolitanRepublic lives up to its reputation, produces industry acclaimed campaign for SA Tourism under lockdown
Our Modern Marketing Digital TrendCamp video features Ciaran Mckivergan, CEO and founding partner of 8909 Digital (a Metropolitan Republic company), whose video focuses on how companies can use existing data to connect with their audience, including determining their brands through social media data.
The video is live on our YouTube channel – don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more videos on advertising/branding/marketing trends and topics.
https://metropolitanrepublic.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/social-media-data.jpg640960MetropolitanRepublichttps://metropolitanrepublic.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/MetropolotanRepublicLogo.svgMetropolitanRepublic2020-05-29 09:15:512020-06-05 17:49:31Modern Marketing - Digital TrendCamp: Determining Your Brand Through Social Media Data
by Kyle de Waal & Morgan Botha. Here’s our latest choice of South African ads that’ve connected and engaged with us during lockdown — Vodacom (Ogilvy Joburg), South African Tourism (MetropolitanRepublic), Spur (99c) and Dunlop (FCB Durban) — plus two honourable mentions, Toyota South Africa (FCB Joburg) and Willowton Group (Ogilvy Durban).
This marvellous ad starts us off on the right note this month— it was put together using the bedrooms, gardens, garages, and bathrooms of creatives, and no one left their house during production.
It starts by showing what looks like a normal day in a South African home (alarms going off and coffee being made) but then we see that the people are working from home, having work meetings via video-conferencing and studying online. But we’ve not just learnt how to work; we’ve learnt how to share our lives with the people we care about while staying apart. Vodacom provides a platform on which we can all connect and this ad shows the many ways we’ve figured out to stay connected, no matter what keeps us apart: have game nights with our friends, video-chat with our grandparents, and sharing photos and videos of it all from the comfort and safety of our homes.
“Our brand is at its best when it helps South Africans tell their own stories,” says Abey Mokgwatsane, Vodacom managing executive: brand & comms. “This is a story of hope and connection and I thank South Africans for inspiring each other…”
Ad agency: Ogilvy Johannesburg
TV producer: Helen D’Hotman
Creative director: Matthew Berge
Copywriter: Clint Bechus
Art director: Anke Grater
Production company: The Star Film Co
Executive producers: Adam Thal, Ksenija Strydom-Micic
Freedom Day takes place on 27 April each year, and is usually the day we celebrate the fights won for us so we may all enjoy work, travel, and the unbiased human interactions of friendship and love. This year, however, things have been different and celebrating our freedom has seemed strange while required by law to stay indoors during lockdown
This ad, however, from South African Tourism, in collaboration with The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Videovision Entertainment, reminds us that we’ve sacrificed these freedoms because we understand that, without the people of South Africa, we’ll lose what makes us a truly great country. Being part of the nationwide effort to slow the spread of a life-threatening pandemic to prevent our medical systems being overwhelmed doesn’t include braais, parties and hugs, but it does make us a stronger nation.
Brands: South African Tourism, Nelson Mandela Foundation & Videovision Entertainment
Ad agency: MetropolitanRepublic
Chief creative officer & art director: Paul Warner
Executive creative director & copywriter: Kamo Sesing
Group account director: Terry Unser
Account director: Linda Oompie
TV producer: Aileen Kennaugh
Post-production company: Tessa Ford Post
Editor: Heema Daya
Producer: Tarryn Reddy
Animation: Sphere Animation Studio
Motion graphic designer: Nico Janse van Rensburg
Audio engineer: Rob Mitchley
#AdChamp: Spur — Happy birthday
As two childless millennials, we weren’t much affected by schools closing, other than reading the tales of woe on Facebook. When we saw this promotion, however, we realised that kids are having a hard time, too. No school, no friends, and no family except those in your home. Spur has taken it upon itself to do something that reminds us all of our normal routine: going to Spur for birthdays — the best (or most embarrassing) part, of course, being when all the waiters get together and sing for you.
For these personalised videos to every member of the Spur Kids Clubs, some of the wonderful Spur employees have put on their uniforms to sing happy birthday for every child who’s been missing out on their Spur party due to lockdown (we’re definitely having flashbacks to our own eighth birthday parties). This idea is so incredibly sweet and shows that there’s a genuine love and consideration for the children during this tough time.
Ad agency & production company: 99c
TV producer: Collette Cruywagen
Creative directors: Marius van Rensburg, Dane Alexander
Copywriters: Andre de Wet, Eliot Powell
Art director: Tarryn O’Brien, Amri de Villiers
Executive producer: Melissa Curtis
#AdChamp: Dunlop — Don’t take the road
On a more-sombre yet beautiful note, we have Dunlop with an almost bittersweet reminder that we should be staying away from our favourite places, for now, so we can visit them again. This ad speaks to the aching heart of many South Africans, saying, “We know you miss your friends, we understand you miss your family, and all the hangouts you could be having, but this is bigger than you.”
Since 1888, Dunlop has been telling us all to enjoy the road, to travel and experience but now it’s asking us to stay home, avoid the road, and remember that we hold the power to slow down the infection rate simply by staying indoors. This ad speaks to both consumers and other businesses, and sets an example of a company dedicated to moving people and goods around that still puts the country first.
https://metropolitanrepublic.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/MarkLives-AdChamps-collage-May-2020-with-SA-covid-19-stats-10-May-2020-Media-Hack-Collective.jpg350770MetropolitanRepublichttps://metropolitanrepublic.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/MetropolotanRepublicLogo.svgMetropolitanRepublic2020-05-15 14:40:472020-06-05 17:58:05MarkLives - #AdChamps of the Month May 2020
Sometimes local travel, isn’t about travelling at all.
When it comes to destination brands, especially in relation to tourism, the everyday normal is to make the link with the role they play in attracting foreign visitors. While this is certainly a key objective of South African Tourism, this Challenger company also stimulates local travel and the economic ecosystems that surround it.
From the outset, encouraging people to explore their own country required South African Toursim to take a fresh angle. In their case, instead of focussing on the destination – with its postcard views and activities – South African Tourism concentrates on the humanity of the people of South Africa. The truth of the insight is that it is the energy and inspiration of the people that gives life to the country’s local destinations. The brand is known for its depth of human presence and celebration of the local community in its marketing.
March 2020, enter the Covid-19 lockdown and the subsequent closure of all ports of entry into South Africa with potential travellers hit with the #stayhome mandate. So how would the company then promote itself when faced with such a challenge, while staying true to its appetite for local culture and character?
South African Tourism found a way and, in communicating loud and proud during the lockdown period, further strengthened its connection to locals, local culture and local relevency.
Through an injection of energy, the company disrupted the sombre emotions of South African would-be travellers by imagining the future. A future where travel opportunities await for those who, in the present, stay at home and stay safe.
“Do not be alarmed. We need to take a stand by taking a step back.
We will make it through this. Don’t travel now, so you can travel later.”
South African Tourism launched three different, but related, communication pieces in March and April 2020 to speak to its local audiences. Developed by MetropolitanRepublic, one is aimed at individual travellers, the other at businesses and the third to all South Africans, or “Team South Africa”. The communications demonstrate an emotive understanding of local sentiment and, overlayed with a directness of messaging, instilled hope and confidence in the role of South African Tourism in supporting communities from a truly local standpoint.
Team South Africa – Call Up
Directly, South African Tourism challenges the idea of a destination brand to communicate during a global travel ban – and still, ultimately, putting local culture, heritage and community at the heart of its message. By doing so it negates the preconceived notion of tourism as being reliant on external visitors, rather than thriving on local people, being locally appreciated.
Consider how this language reflects an appetite for localism: “We’ll do it all. We’ll invest in our country, right from our own pockets. Making bookings here and reservations there. Stay home, stay safe, knowing that it will be South Africa again soon.” Or these words: “We will tap into our greatness. We will not be defeated. Because this is not something that’s just in some of us, it is in all of us.”
The real power in the Challenger thinking of South African Tourism is how they are appealing to people’s sense of local contribution by flipping the obvious. While its naturally assumed that confinement limits individual freedom, a new question arises – what if confinement could teach us how to give more freely to others? At its core, this brand belief ultimately fuels the very reason South Africa is such a magnificent destination – our people.
This is especially powerful in the context of a world that has over the past while become more greedy, more insular and more selfish. Harsh terms, but true when one reviews global trends. Yet in South Africa, in the DNA of South Africans, is an inimitable humanity.
South African Tourism authentically appeals to the idealist in each of us, asking us to open our minds and know that to be free, is to travel wherever our humanity takes us. Even when it takes us home, for now.
https://metropolitanrepublic.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/travel.jpg483800MetropolitanRepublichttps://metropolitanrepublic.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/MetropolotanRepublicLogo.svgMetropolitanRepublic2020-05-15 11:20:252020-06-05 17:59:14Bizcommunity - Challenger Type - The Local Hero
There’s nothing like a good crisis to bring out the best in brands … and a number of our household name companies stepped up this week to throw their weight behind President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plea for people to stay at home.
Most of the good ads I’ve seen stick to the message and only subtly push their brands in the background.
However, SA Tourism – which kicked off a major campaign recently to boost local tourism by locals, just as the coronavirus hit – went a bit further to actually tell people that, when it’s all over (and it will be) then people should get back to travelling around this wonderful country.
Even though it is more product-orientated than some of the others, it deserves an Orchid for that long-term, look-beyond-the-current gloom optimism. And, I reckon plenty of South Africans will be wanting to get away from it all later … if they haven’t been totally knocked on their backsides financially, that is.
Another ad looking to the time when the doors open again is, not surprisingly, Nando’s. Founder Robbie Brozin voiced a poignant message about the temporary closure of shops. He said the Nando’s flame would have, for the time being anyway, remain with us, not with them.
He also quoted from the old Bob Dylan song Forever Young:
May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others and let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung’
And may you stay forever young…
Vintage Nando’s. Another Orchid for them.
Toyota South Africa and its agency, FCB Joburg, also put together a quick “stay at home” message by compiling a montage of impressive footage of their vehicles being driven, followed by scenes of car keys being put on tables. And, of course, you’ll be back to driving sooner than you think – and in a Toyota.
Not much more is necessary. Another Toyota Orchid.
Finally, for this first round of Covid-19 Orchids is Pick n Pay, whose agency King James Group Africa, put together, in record time, a group of well-known South African singers to do a piece urging people not to panic buy and “don’t be that guy”… All the musicians were recorded on video chat on Skype, emphasizing the need for isolation.
In a rare show of commercial solidarity, the social media team at Woolworths acknowledged the brilliance of the idea.
Let’s hope that this spirit of unity in the face of a common enemy and the messages of national solidarity live on once the country emerges from the shadow of coronavirus. While the impact of Covid-19 may be immense, the damage which will be done to our already struggling economy means most of these giant brands may very well have to adjust their products and business models to a radically different business and consumer landscape in the next 12 months.
by Kyle de Waal & Morgan Botha. Things are tough right now, with South Africa under covid-19 lockdown, so here’s our choice of brilliant ads that connect and inspire: Chicken Licken (social distancing), Pick n Pay (reminding us not to panic buy), Nando’s (inspiring us all), South African Tourism (reminding that we’ll be able to travel again), and our president, Cyril Ramaphosa (ably guiding our country).
We’re all stuck at home, looking out the windows wishing we could just go back to when things were “normal” but, since life isn’t going to be normal for a while, we might as well embrace it and enjoy the effort that brands and agencies put into making incredible ads. Finally, please follow the laws and keep your fellow South Africans in mind during these uncertain and scary times. Stay inside, wash your hands, only buy what you absolutely need and help each other out. We will get through this together and we hope to be out and about again soon.
When a company and agency make content this good, it’s very difficult to stop talking about them. Joe Public has, once again, blown us away. The use of humour in this mockumentary is absolutely incredible, the amount of effort put in leaves us (almost) speechless, and this has been our comic relief since it arrived in our inbox. It’s also one of the best examples of toeing the line of South African advertising law we’ve ever seen. Nothing’s said outright but the implication is oh so clear, and it’s glorious.
We’ve watched this ad about 50 times now and we still laugh out loud every time; we’d happily pay full movie-price tickets to see a feature-length film version of this ad, where the good people of Kentucky rise up and demand Chicken Licken — “I don’t know why they would do that” is the probably the funniest thing we’ve seen or heard since we went into self-isolation. That look of pure disappointment will never get old.
This genuine, warm, and hilarious ad is the perfect pick-me-up for when you’re sitting at home, feeling anxious and scared. We might not be able to get any Chicken Licken right now but, the second we’re allowed out of quarantine, that’s the first restaurant we’re heading to!
Brand: Chicken Licken
Client: Chantal Sombonos van Tonder
Agency: Joe Public United
Group chief creative officer: Pepe Marais
Chief creative officer: Xolisa Dyeshana
Creative director: Assaf Levy
Art director: Zamani Ngubane
Copywriter: Caroline Bergh
Strategy: Leigh Tayler
Account management: Amber Mackeurtan, Asbo Ofori-Amanfo
Agency TV producer: Wendy Botha
Production company: Burley Boys
Director: Katlego Baaitse
Be kind; think of others when shopping
#AdChamp: Pick n Pay’s Don’t Panic Buy — Shop Thoughtfully
This ad arrived just when it was needed the most — you’ve probably already heard about, or seen in person, how some people who can afford to have been manically hoarding resources when it’s unnecessary — factories are still functioning and trucks are still delivering produce. Anyway, the day before the nationwide lockdown officially started, Pick n Pay uploaded this song to Twitter and shared a positive message in a novel, imaginative way.
This ad also shows how it’s possible for people to stay at home and still produce amazing content. None of these South African celebrities was even in the same room and yet they managed to make a song together. It’s also really catchy. This might just be your quarantine earworm.
Brand: Pick n Pay
Ad agency: King James Group CT
Music: Bellville Studios
Copywriter: Drew Murphy
Art director: Gregory Booysen
Executive creative directors: Devin Kennedy, Matt Ross
Chief creative officer: Alistair King
Editor: Anthony Lee-Martin
Music: Theo Crous, Ard Matthews
Client: John Bradshaw, Michelle van Schalkwyk-Haley
Agency producer: Kathy Jones
Client service director: Melanie Whitfield
Nando’s takes this seriously
#AdChamp: Nando’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” message to Nandocas from Robbie Brozin
Among the many things we’d never thought we’d be doing, we never thought we’d get emotional watching a video by a restaurant but here we are. At this time, it’s important to listen to positive words and Nando’s, as usual, has pulled through for us.
By taking a stand and closing down all its restaurants, Nando’s has shown many businesses that now isn’t the time to be selfish — now is the time to think of the people who work for you, to think of their families, to flatten the curve and keep people safe through “social togetherness”. And not to do it with sadness but do it “with pride, with courage, with passion” as “because, for the first time, our flame must leave our home and go to yours, and stay there. For now.”
MarkLives will publish a credits list once we receive one from the creative agency. At the time of publication, the list wasn’t yet available.
We will travel again
#AdChamp: South African Tourism’s Don’t Travel Now So You Can Travel Later
South Africans are coming together in a way that none could have predicted. For the most part, in urban areas, people are working together, staying indoors, and following the rules for the greater good. But it’s hard to do so when you’re used to going to the gym, walking your dog, visiting the beach for your daily dose of sunshine, and spending time with your friends.
These first ads in a new brand campaign from a brand-new set of ad agencies are doing an incredible job of reminding us why it’s important to stay at home because, if we all do what we know is right, things will go back to (new) normal and we will travel again. They are produced so beautifully, narrated by two locals with incredibly soothing voices, and showcase many proudly South African scenes [including 2017’s “Bheki the Mbhaco Maker” — ed-at-large] that we all miss dearly. Yet we see something to look forward to — a hope to carry us through the dark times.
This campaign has been created not to make money, not to sell a product, but to bring the country together while staying apart. We feel proud to be part of this rainbow nation that has taken such decisive action in a time of trouble.
Ad agency: Metropolitan Republic:
Creative partner: Paul Warner
Executive creative director: Kamogelo Sesing
Copywriter: Chiedza Quinchette
Art director: Mbuso Ndlovu
Production company: The Rudeboy Collective
Creative director: Monde Like the World
Executive producer: Sabelo Mahlangu
Post-production: Postmodern Production
Audio: Earworm Studios
Our president steps up
#AdChamp: President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa
For our final Ad Champ, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the incredible work done by our own president, Cyril Ramaphosa.
In the past few weeks, we’ve all found ourselves turning to social media and our TVs for guidance, and we’ve found it. Our government has done an incredible job of staying calm in a crisis and its firm and fast action should save thousands of lives, if not more. We’ve been inspired by the words of our president over many speeches and we continue to look to him for leadership during very uncertain times. We feel an immense pride watching his speeches, knowing that our government is taking this incredibly seriously and is doing its best to have our backs.
This is a time of unprecedented anxiety and many of us aren’t doing so well right now, so it’s comforting to know that most of those elected to run our country share that stress and are working hard to make sure our country survives. President Ramaphosa’s speeches[watch videos here — ed-at-large] during this novel coronavirus pandemic show a communications campaign tightly crafted to give South Africans hope and inspiration.
Brand: Government of South Africa
Agency: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
While we have your attention: Please would you consider taking out a MarkLives membership to help finance our operations? The covid-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on society and industry. With your support, either as a once-off or monthly contribution, we can continue our coverage of its impact on our industry.
https://metropolitanrepublic.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/MarkLives-AdChamps-coronavirus-collage-April-2020-with-NICD-covid-19-stats-31-March-2020.jpg350770MetropolitanRepublichttps://metropolitanrepublic.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/MetropolotanRepublicLogo.svgMetropolitanRepublic2020-05-15 10:37:012020-06-05 21:59:37MarkLives - #AdChamps of the Month Apr 2020
The marketing and communications account for South African Tourism (SA Tourism) has been awarded to seven different agencies across mutiple disciplines, with each further subcontracting to a black-owned agency.
“I could not be more delighted with these appointments,” says Themba Khumalo, who was appointed chief marketing officer at SA Tourism in September last year (his second stint there). “Twenty-five years into our democracy, amid the rapid shift and uptake of the digital and social media world, we have been given an opportunity to re-energise our tourism proposition to the world, increase awareness and consideration of SA in our global hubs, to shape the reputation of our country and to make sure we reach our target of 21m arrivals by 2030.”
The agencies will officially commence work on the SA Tourism account as soon as contracting is concluded in February 2020.
Freedom of movement; the dignity of work; the joys of travel and experiencing wide open spaces; the human interactions of friendship and of love beyond the four walls of home are all hard-won freedoms for South Africans. But in the past few weeks, the nation has had to put these aside.
Ahead of an important landmark in South Africa’s history — Freedom Day on April 27 — South African Tourism released a television advert that acknowledges the great sacrifices South Africans have made since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.
This piece of communication honours all the South Africans who have given up their freedom to jealously guard the value of each South African life as our country’s greatest treasure. It inspires the many people that have the desire to walk freely, as well as the many travellers that are yearning to explore and enjoy the country once again, to continue to endure a little longer.
Done in collaboration with The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Videovision Entertainment, the advert calls upon the undeniable tenacity that South Africans have to triumph over turmoil in the same way that the late former President Nelson Mandela and all those who fought for freedom had to endure hardship for the greater good.
“South Africa’s history has always been important to tourism in this country, and in particular the story of our beloved global icon, Nelson Mandela. This year we celebrate Freedom Day under serious movement restrictions as we all try to contain and arrest the spread of the Coronavirus. While the tourism industry is one of the hardest-hit industries, this is a message of hope,” said Sisa Ntshona, chief executive of South African Tourism.
“We are particularly pleased to have collaborated with The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Videovision Entertainment in this project. As solitude gives us time to realign priorities and set clear goals, this piece of communication also encourages of us to take this time to shut out what is out there and look within. Partnerships such as this one allow us to do this and more, together. When we recover from this pandemic, we hope all South Africans will continue to join efforts in rebuilding our industry and our economy so that we can all travel again,” added Ntshona.
Chief executive of The Nelson Mandela Foundation, Sello Hatang, said: “Freedom Day has special significance this year. It comes at a time when Covid-19 is reminding us of how easy it is to take our basic freedoms for granted. And it is testing our courage in ways that we have not faced before. Now more than ever we need to be inspired by the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Let us remember Madiba’s wise counsel that every generation is given an opportunity to be great. This moment could be just such an opportunity. May we rise to the challenge,” said.
Anant Singh, chief executive of Videovision Entertainment, added: “As legacy partners of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, we have made films celebrating Madiba’s legacy, which are even more significant today as we navigate Covid-19 and our recovery from it. Madiba’s words give us inspiration: ‘only through hardship, sacrifice and action can freedom be won’. These words arerelevant as we face our current day-to-day challenges. We are delighted to partner with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and South African Tourism to build on this legacy. Happy Freedom Day to all.”
South Africa has been in a lockdown period since March 27 2020 and although it was not an easy decision, it has been the only solution to contribute to flattening the curve and keep South Africans safe. The country was recently lauded by the World Health Organisation that has singled out the South African government’s meticulously crafted approach to keep its citizens safe as it continues to manage the impact of this pandemic.
The advert has been on various South African national television channels from April 26 2020. Follow South African Tourism on Twitter: @GoToSouthAFrica and @SaTravelTrade.