• Road to riches

    Taxpayers keep funding structures with big plans but who knows what efficacy, says Mandi Smallhorne.

  • Don't fall for Ponzi scams

    An expert unpacks the tell-tale signs to watch out for.

  • Inside Labour

    A smokescreen of misleading rhetoric won't make SA's problems go away, says Terry Bell.

See More

A Cannes-do Cannes

Jun 23 2011 00:00 Tony Koenderman

Related Articles

Cannes sets new record

A film gold at Cannes

Another Gold, but not enough

Another Gold, but not enough

SA ad industry fails at Cannes

Ad agencies splurge on Cannes entries

After seven years of drought have the rains returned to South African television advertising? Though predicting success at the Cannes Lions is a dangerous game, the local industry has more commercials with realistic hopes of winning something at the world’s top advertising competition than we’ve had for several years.

The Gunn Report’s traditional pre-Cannes list of the 20 best TV commercials includes two South African contenders: FoxP2’s “Drive Dry” spot “Love to meet you” for brandhouse (at number eight) and Ogilvy Johannesburg’s powerful ad for People Opposing Women Abuse, which shows city dwellers ignoring the sound of a woman screaming for help but reporting a neighbour for playing the drums loudly.

The multidisciplinary brandhouse campaign – which highlights the risk of assault in jail if you’re arrested for drunk driving – is one of only eight TV ads nominated for a D&AD Yellow Pencil this year. A public relations programme generated R14m worth of PR space over five weeks on a budget of R3m. It was in newspapers, on radio talk shows, TV programmes, blogs and websites – some as far away as Britain, Australia, Germany, Switzerland and Hungary. There were more than 130 000 YouTube hits and 85 507 visits to our interactive experience on thunda.com in eight weeks.

“We knew the campaign had become part of popular culture when we saw a consumer-generated Facebook fan page with more than 17 000 members,” says Fox P2 MD Charl Thom. “We even heard a DJ mix the ‘Pappa Wag Vir Jou’ sound bites into a house track, which was pretty eerie.”

Ogilvy has several hopes. From Johannesburg there’s its Kraft/Cadbury “balloons” commercial, in which a couple of hundred coloured gas-filled balloons capture the imagination of some monks and break up their devotions (pictured). Which all goes to show a Cadbury’s Dairy Milk bar contains a “glass and a half of pure joy”.

And while Selinah, the recovering Aids sufferer, has passed her sell-by date for other awards, Ogilvy has managed to squeeze a bit more life out of the Topsy Foundation campaign by entering it for the inaugural Cannes Effectiveness awards. Other Ogilvy hopes are KFC Snacks and (from Cape Town) Stimorol, Volkswagen and NSRI.

KingJames creative chief Alistair King says the industry goes to Cannes with its strongest line-up of contenders for TV trophies in years – but it could have been even better. “Some of the best work has missed the Cannes flighting deadlines but will be on show at the Loeries in September,” he says.

SA’s hopes aren’t limited to the TV category, with many agencies having tackled the integrated category this year. TBWA Hunt Lascaris, now down from the mountain called the “trillion-dollar billboard” campaign, has a couple of realistic hopes for metal-ware. For the Endangered Wildlife Trust it came up with the idea of showing every surviving member of six endangered species. It’s a powerful idea that – dare one say it? – could emulate the trillion-dollar billboard.

The very idea you can show the entire gene pool of any species in actual photographs on a single billboard is chilling, but there they are – eight rhino with the headline: “You’re looking at every northern white rhino left on the planet.” Other executions make the same point about the last 91 riverine rabbits, 36 blue swallows, 394 wild dogs, 235 wattled cranes and 153 dugongs (in African waters).

“This was a long, slow process,” says TBWA creative head Damon Stapleton. “It took us a couple of years to track down all the photographs. But this is the way of it these days. The presentation of winning international award entries routinely takes four or five months. That’s because of the increasing complexity of advertising campaigns, which almost always incorporate a range of touch points.”  
cannes  |  advertising  |  awards  |  marketing



Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Johannesburg has been selected to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2017. "[The congress] will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders, the Small Business Development minister said.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

People who fall victim to Ponzi scams are:

Previous results · Suggest a vote