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High Five: South Africa

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Commercials director and co-owner of Patriot Films in Cape Town, Anton Visser, picks five pieces that show off the diversity and inventiveness of South Africa’s ad industry

High Five: South Africa

Advertising in South Africa is an exciting place to be because we’re a mix of so many different cultures and ideas. We also have unique creative challenges, so our work runs the gamut from big budget TVCs to super smart radio campaigns (remember them?) to smaller experiential gems. These are some recent pieces of work that I think show the diversity of our blossoming industry in every sense of the word...



Nissan - 'Shwii'

Agency: TBWA\Hunt Lascaris

When you use Waze in South Africa, you can only listen to English or Afrikaans navigation, even though Zulu is the most spoken household language. So TBWA\Hunt Lascaris created Zulu-language navigation commands in Waze for Nissan. It’s a great idea, but what makes it really special is the ingenious way that Zulu words are used phonetically to evoke what lies ahead of you on the road. They did some great radio ads for this too, just listen!



KFC - '50 Years'

Agency: Ogilvy Cape Town

Covid-19 / lockdown / pandemic ads have almost become a genre of their own, but what I like about this is that it’s so forward-looking and happy, and it’s a great tie-in to the brand. What you’ll notice as well is the wide range of South African characters in the story - I love that we love to celebrate ourselves like this.



Volkswagen - 'The Power of Vrrr Pha'

Agency: Ogilvy Cape Town
Production: Patriot Films
Director: Sam Coleman
Post: Black Ginger

This was a piece for Volkswagen and Ogilvy Cape Town that my production company did with our director, Sam Coleman. It’s super fun and has some memorable imagery, but there’s also a unique South African slant to it because the track is Edith Piaf’s 'Non, je ne regrette rien' sung in Zulu by the talented Nonku Phiri.



Converse - 'Unity Laces'

Agency: Joe Public United

South African creatives are amongst the most fun and outgoing people that you’ll find, but they’re also particularly socially aware and issue conscious. This beautifully simple idea by Joe Public for Converse spoke to the problem of xenophobia in South Africa with shoelaces that had one half as the South African flag and the other half as flags from nations whose peoples are often victims of xenophobia here.



Chicken Licken - 'Loan Shark'

Agency: Joe Public United
Production: Romance
Director: Greg Gray
Editorial: Deliverance Post
Post: Chocolate Tribe
Sound: The Workroom

This is kind of the best of both worlds - a South African tale with local flavours, but told in a slick, pacy and international way. It shows we have the comedy and production chops to compete with the best in the world, and that our unique stories can be universal.

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Patriot Films, Wed, 02 Feb 2022 11:15:41 GMT