Nivea "Sunslide" (2016) 1:36 (South Africa)

South Africa has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world and children are especially at risk because they hate wearing sunscreen. Nivea came up with a freaking genius way to get them to apply it– by creating a Sunslide. Basically it’s a bouncy castle slide thing that also acts as a mister– and it sprays SPF 50 on the kids as they slide down (wearing goggles, of course) thus ensuring they wear their SPF.
This reminds me of when I was in university and one of my math professors created a program for disadvantaged elementary school kids called Puzzle Play– that basically turned math into a game. His theory was, as long as you turn everything into play or a game, you can get kids to learn. This is a great example.

Bic Apologizes for Women's Day Ad That Mostly Just Made Women Furious

Bic continues to have trouble talking to women.

The pen maker, which was the object of ridicule a few years ago for its absurd “Bic for Her” pens, failed spectacularly in South Africa this week, posting a tone-deaf ad on social media for national women’s day that drew swift criticism—and soon led to an apology.

The “Look Like a Girl” and “Think Like a Man” lines were both pretty infuriating, and the Internet reacted mercilessly to the brand’s misstep. Bic made things worse by trying to defend itself in one half-apology before deleting that (further angering people who’d commented on it) and posting a second apology.

That one read: “Hi everyone. Let’s start out by saying we’re incredibly sorry for offending everybody—that was never our intention, but we completely understand where we’ve gone wrong. This post should never have gone out. The feedback you have given us will help us ensure that something like this will never happen again, and we appreciate that.”

This Agency Ran a Print Ad About How Angry It Was That No One Ran Its Print Ad

Here’s the moment when spec advertising finally digests its own tail.

The Open Collaboration (aka, OpenCo), a South African agency majority owned by TBWA, whipped up what it apparently considers a masterpiece of social-cause messaging—a print ad showing side-by-side photos of Hitler and Mandela in prison. Hitler served nine months, the copy explains, while Mandela served 27 years.

“People do not always get the justice they deserve,” says the copy below. “We’re doing everything we can to change that.”

Here’s the proposed ad. Click to enlarge:

As you can see, there is a blank space where the logo should go. That’s because it’s a spec ad, done without client approval—indeed, without a specific client in mind here. But OpenCo hoped some group devoted to righting unnamed injustices in the world would, after initially fainting at the ad’s brilliance, slap its logo on there.

That didn’t happen. So OpenCo, feeling offended, decided to do something even more solipsistic than regular spec work. It went and made another ad about the first ad, describing it in detail—to call attention to this fresh injustice, and hopefully get the spec ad in front of someone “brave enough to run it.”

Here’s that ad. Click to enlarge:

There’s so much that’s odd about this, even if you accept that it’s not just a cynical PR play (though the whole “This is not a print ad” thing does seem aimed at ad people).

First of all, the creative is provocative—it would be offensive to many—and might not align at all with any organization’s marketing needs. Not many people, after all, are all that fond of using Hitler in their ads.

Also, its internal logic is thorny at best. Hitler killed himself in disgrace, his dream destroyed, while Mandela was lionized. Focusing on the prison terms is a simplistic take on whether justice was served in either case. (Mandela’s family, by the way, would surely balk at seeing his image paired with Hitler’s under any circumstances—particularly when the message is how he got a raw deal compared to the Nazi leader.)

The bigger issue, though, is the arrogance. This is spec work. Getting indignant when no one buys it makes you look like a fool. And in this case, it’s worse than that. OpenCo isn’t just complaining about intransigent would-be clients rejecting its work. It’s flat-out calling them cowards. That’s a pretty rich point of view for an ad agency to take of nonprofits doing real social work.

Let’s assume this stunt was well meaning. (We emailed OpenCo a while back, but haven’t heard back yet.) Maybe next time, if they really want to fight injustice in the world, they can start by not publicly shaming organizations that do so every day.

Meet the Couple Who Quit Their Ad Jobs to Take the Most Creative Trip Around the World

You’ve dreamed about it. But Chanel Cartell and Stevo Dirnberger are doing it.

After a decade in advertising, the South African couple—inspired by a talk by Stefan Sagmeister—recently quit their agency jobs and hit the road for an epic adventure. They’re traveling the world for a year and documenting the experience. But this isn’t some Lost in America-style escape plan. The How Far From Home project is intended to be a grand creative exercise that will hopefully recharge their batteries.

You can follow the project on their blog, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Vine. We spoke to Cartell and Dirnberger via email about how they got started and where they’re headed.

What was your advertising background? Did you both have agency jobs?
Yes, we were both in advertising at the time of departure. Steve worked at Joe Public (in our opinion, the best [above-the-line] agency in South Africa) as an art director, and Chanel was the creative director at Cerebra, the best social business agency in Africa (we would argue). We were basically at the top of our game, at the best agencies South Africa had to offer. It didn’t get better than Joe Public and Cerebra, and after a combined stint of 15 years in advertising and marketing, we felt we needed a change, and to re-energise our creativity.

0 kilometers // Johannesburg // South Africa

Did you reach a breaking point where you knew you had to quit?
We wouldn’t call it a breaking point, but after nearly a decade in the industry, your feet start to itch (not literally, of course). We were both lucky enough to attend the 2014 Design Indaba in February last year. We went to (the godfather of creative sabbaticals) Stefan Sagmeister’s talk, and it was after hearing his theory of “time off” that we knew it was what both our creative minds needed. On a scale of 1 to 10, Stefan rates taking a creative sabbatical as a 12. Every seven years, Stefan closes his New York design studio for 365 days to pursue “little experiments” that are difficult to complete while working full time.

After hearing his talk, and knowing that we couldn’t spend the next 30 years simply doing the same thing every day, we made a conscious decision to spend the next year saving every last cent, so we could also enjoy time off to pursue our own experiments, and not live how society says we should. We wanted to challenge ourselves to see how we could excel creatively, and what better time to do that, then right now?

As neither of us had traveled extensively before, we saw this as the perfect opportunity to sponge other cultures, experiences, languages and people, while taking a year to experiment and create. We’d always dreamed of doing strange things like sleeping in igloos, fishing in Alaska (more Steve than Chanel :), and visiting designer cities like Berlin and Copenhagen. With enough savings and smart research, we could travel and experiment simultaneously.

6,292 kilometers // Abu Dhabi // United Arab Emirates

How did Up by Jawbone get involved as your sponsor?
A friend of Chanel’s imports the product into South Africa, and after hearing about the journey and our focus on creative challenges, he offered us each a band and challenged us to live the #GetUp way (10,000 steps and eight hours of sleep a day). We accepted the challenge, and are completely ecstatic to promote the product in any way we can. It aligns to the How Far From Home vision of staying healthy and creatively stimulated, so it was the perfect partnership.

Can you tell me what expenses they’re covering?
As the sponsorship is only a challenge with no set contract or promotion, no expenses are covered by them and no content is obligatory. We received the Up bands for free, and promote the brand when we feel inclined to do so, and when it aligns to a content idea.

8,365 kilometers // Salzburg // Austria

You wanted see “how far from home” you could get, figuratively speaking. Is this to challenge yourselves again and reignite your passion for life and work?
Yes, absolutely. The How Far From Home concept is a literal one (to see how far we can get from Johannesburg) as well as a figurative one (to see how far we can push ourselves creatively, and challenge ourselves daily). We dreamt of a journey that allowed us to live outside of the comfort zone, and would give us the opportunity to say “yes” to a whole bunch of crazy cool experiences, while fueling our creative needs. Life at home was very comfortable—friends, family, amazing jobs, shiny cars, a beautiful home—we wanted something that would shake it up a little.

8,678 kilometers // Vienna // Austria

In what sense is this a “creative” trip, and how can people follow along and contribute to the creative project?
Being two creatives, our need to create is strong. When we’re not cramming kilometers in busy cities, we’re finding every opportunity to experiment, brainstorm and create. Steve loves to illustrate, Chanel is design obsessed, and we both love photography. With the blog, we’re experimenting with creative writing, and sticking to our 7-to-9 schedule, we’re left with plenty of time to brainstorm projects.

We encourage the community to send us challenges and give us things to do. So far, the challenges we’ve received have been purely travel-related, but creative challenges would be golden. Since we began our journey, we’ve shifted from seeing ourselves as ex-advertisers, to problem seekers and content creators. No challenge is too big, and we’re hungry to brainstorm and create, no matter who the challenge comes from.

9,245 kilometers // Untersberg // Austria

You have 63 items on your “Wanderlist.” Do you want to cross all of them off by the end?
Our Wanderlist is currently sitting on 63, and we’ve recently received a ton more from our community (which we are sifting through to add soon). As challenges come in, we’ll keep adding them. Although we know the trip has to end sometime, we want to see how long we can keep going for. Financially, we don’t think we’ll be able to afford to do all 63 this year (and the rest that have come in from the community), so we’ll try squeeze in as many as we can, and maybe “take a break” to work for a bit to make the rest happen. If finances weren’t an issue, we would absolutely do all 63 (and more).

10,027 kilometers // Berlin // Germany

What do you think you’ll do after it’s all over? Head back to advertising?
We have only planned until the end of December 2015. After that, who knows? We might decide to catch the next flight to see where we end up. We like that it’s unknown, and we’ll let it be another challenge we have to solve then 🙂

11,185 kilometers // Oslo // Norway

Via Design Taxi.

Prudential – The Fisherman – (2015) :60 (South Africa)

This well crafted story of a fisherman’s steady grind with his grandson, as they get up before the sun, working the nets in the hot mid day, and keep pulling up empty nets day after day after day. Perseverance pays off, as the grandfathers boat is the one the brings home a catch so large it feeds the entire village one day. Having learnt unwavering consistency by his persistent, and patient, grandfather, the young boy applies this lesson the very next morning, when he wakes his grandfather before the sun is up.

The really realistic feeling casting comes from the fact that the talent consists largely of amateur actors from the local villages in Madagascar where all of this is shot. It’s entirely possible that the wiry man who plays the fisherman spent many days of his life sailing just like so. It’s a gorgeously scenic film, that should get some attention at the coming award shows. Nicely done Lowe Cape Town & director Kim Geldenhuis.

VW Up has some advice for you.

Here are some fun ads for VW in South Africa that are very matter-of-fact in their advice. “The car that takes you places,” reminds me a lot of Toyota’s “Let’s go places.” I guess because it’s more or less the same tagline. Stillt hese are quite witty and are in some ways a modern take on the classic Bernbach VW ads. The women headline is my favorite. Sort of takes the piss out of all the mid-life crisis cars out there.

FCB's Giant Eco-Civic Project Would Create a South African Flag Visible From Space

FCB South Africa is running an idea up the flagpole. A really big idea. In fact, the idea is ginormous. And its main component is a South African flag so large, it will be visible from space, 30 miles above the Earth.

The Giant Flag project was put in motion last month by Guy Lieberman, the agency’s head of green and social new business development. The initiative is ultimately designed to foster national pride, improve the lives of people in need and make a lasting impact on South Africa’s economy and environment.

“Yes, it is big. And it is wild,” Lieberman tells AdFreak. “It’s both an unreasonable project—in the good sense of the term—as well as a practical one.”

So, how big and wild are we talking?

The proposed flag will measure 66 hectares—that’s nearly 165 acres, about the size of 66 soccer fields. Its red, green, blue and gold sections will consist of millions of cacti and succulent plants that can thrive in the semi-arid Karoo region, offsetting some 90,000 tons of carbon emissions annually. Solar panels designed to power the equivalent of 4,000 homes will make up the flag’s triangular black patch. (They will also “harvest” rainwater to feed the flag’s living components.) The white areas will be access roads.

The project will provide more than 700 jobs in Camdeboo Municipality, where the unemployment runs over 40 percent, and support tourism, hospitality and various enterprises over the long haul. Moreover, Lieberman says, it will serve as a symbol of hope, cooperation and sustainable growth for South Africa and beyond.

But … where did the whole giant-flag idea come from?

Lieberman drew his inspiration from the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, noting “the nation’s huge emotional response to our flag.” After the World Cup, FCB launched the much-praised “Keep Flying” campaign to encourage the nation to maintain its momentum. “The CEO of FCB South Africa [John Dixon, since succeeded by Brett Morris] called me into his office,” Lieberman recalls, “and said that while the [“Keep Flying”] campaign was amazing, it was fleeting and we needed to look for a legacy project on the flag, something that could live on. And so the Giant Flag idea was born.”

Of course, a 66-hectare flag can’t be built on the cheap. What’s the price tag, and who’s footing the bill?

Crowdfunding and corporate efforts are under way. All told, it will cost about $20 million, with $2 million being the threshold to begin the massive germination project, followed by clearing the land, fencing off the site, building roads and constructing the solar field. “There has been half a million dollars sunk to date,” says Lieberman, “and a variety of commitments, soft to definitive, of around $6.5 million.”

Individuals can donate $10 to sponsor a plant, $100 for a section of road and $250 for a solar panel. What’s more, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs is lending its support, and corporate sponsors such as Google and Toyota “have come on board because they see the value this will have on the nation, as well as on their brand,” Lieberman says. “It also speaks to their commitment to game-changing initiatives, and in this sense the Giant Flag is not tied to any one nation—it is global.” (Google is providing a monthly $10,000 AdWords grant to promote the project, as well as cloud services for the Giant Flag app.)

In a way, the initiative represents the confluence and expansion of two industry trends—agencies launching intellectual property efforts and creating installations designed to have a broader social impact. Many such projects have succeeded (including FCB’s own fascinating billboards in Peru), but they have been far less ambitious, and staged on a more manageable scale.

So, how does Lieberman respond to critics who say the Giant Flag is a grand idea, and great PR for FCB, that will probably never fly, owing to its cost, complexity and all manner of potential pitfalls?

“I understand why they would say that,” he says. “It’s unlike anything that has come before—there is no easy framework for them to grasp on to. How could they possibly see it happening? But that’s OK. The Giant Flag will happen. … There are too many people who can already feel it in the landscape.”

Five Red BMWs Drift Together in Automaker's Latest High-Octane Stunt

If you like watching pretty cars dance with each other, check out this new stunt driving ad from BMW South Africa.

Five cherry red M235i coupes spin around each other in a tightly choreographed high-speed sequence on a closed traffic rotary. Titled “The Epic Driftmob,” it takes pains to emulate a human flash mob. That means showing a woman dressed as a cop blocking several cars (including a Honda) from entering, and cutting in some unconvincing footage of confused and excited spectators.

Ultimately the stunt, orchestrated by Interone in Cape Town, feels more like it’s paying homage to Esther Williams than Improv Everywhere. Maybe that’s because it’s clearly too high-budget and well-planned to feel believable as a spontaneous event. Or maybe it’s because the fast edits and burning rubber can’t hide that there’s a sort of grace to the whole thing—especially if you watch the clip on mute, and spare yourself the obligatory but grating sounds of revving engines and screeching tires.

It also doesn’t look quite as dangerous as some of BMW’s other stunt commercials from recent years, which saw cars drifting through car-shaped holes in walls and around the edges of skyscraper helipads. But while less risky, at least we know the new spot is real (the brand says so on the YouTube page) and not CGI—unlike the recent aircraft carrier ad, which was almost certainly not real. (In the making-of video for the new spot, stunt driver Rich Rutherford points out the thin margin for error in coordinating the fast-moving cars, steered by pro drivers including drifting champions Rhys Millen and Samuel Hübinette).

And of course, the ad has a happy ending: The hot lady cop pulls off her hat and does a dramatic hair toss before climbing into one of the Beamers. Because the brand couldn’t resist suggesting its product will get you laid, too.

South African Brewer Uses Ads to Declare an All-Out War on Hipsters

We’ve reached peak hipster. And we’ve also reached peak anti-hipster. But South Africa’s Garagista Beer Co. is barging ahead anyway with a campaign that positions the brand as absolutely not the right choice for the coolest people on earth.

Watch below as a bunch of unkempt cool white people battle each other with records, typewriters and bicycles for a taste of the brewery’s limited-edition batch of suds. And also check out the onslaught of anti-hipster print ads the brand has put together.

Over at the brand’s Facebook page (because having an actual webpage is so January 2014), it’s clear that Garagista is pretty normcore about the whole thing. “In a world where some people care more about the craft beer image than the actual beer,” it says, “we care about one thing—damn good beer.” 

Cool. Now, can we make all the selfies go away?

Huge Pop-up Art Prank

Live Reporting on Autopsy Banned at Pistorius Trial

Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee track star, was reported to have vomited during a pathologist’s testimony.


This Whisky Ad From South Africa Is More Heartwarming Than Most of the Super Bowl Commercials

Scotch whisky brand Bell's and ad agency King James might just lift your spirits with this South African ad with an elderly man struggling to overcome his illiteracy so he can celebrate a family milestone.

Director Greg Gray of Velocity Films employs a restrained cinematic style to show "The Reader" diligently practicing his A-B-Cs at every opportunity. There are some deft details: Our hero initially misspells "Kat" while playing Scrabble but gets it right later on, and he places cards reading "Kettle," "Oven" and "Taps" on corresponding objects around his home.

The literacy angle might sound like a stretch, but the idea of celebrating personal triumphs by toasting with Bell's feels on target, and the heartfelt acting and storytelling are strong enough to yield a potent emotional payoff.

Indeed, good scotch should leave you with a warm feeling inside.

Via Design Taxi.


Famous Photos Reimagined as Selfies in Newspaper’s Wonderful Print Ads


Agency Sets Up Its Office on the Sidewalk Once a Month to Soak Up the Real World

Way to gain some street cred!

South African design firm Studio Shelf has been taking its laptops and a few pieces of colorful furniture outdoors and setting up shop one day a month in public spaces around Cape Town as a means of "testing the immediacy of design and seeing what the collaboration between designers, communities and businesses has to offer." During these forays, members of the four-person collective share their views on the business with passersby, evaluate portfolios dropped off by local talent and even take occasional requests for on-the-spot logo designs.

I told my boss we should try something similar, and he gave me a wooden stool and an iPad to take into the alley behind AdFreak HQ. The idea seemed like a breath of fresh air, but the reeking dumpsters and pigeon attacks may quickly curtail this particular project's shelf life.


UPDATE: Shelf co-director Lourina Botha tells AdFreak that the project is designed "to gauge the role of design in the lives of people in Cape Town. Do people understand what design can do? Do they care? Is design something they should care about? Are we designing for people or just other designers? It's a very reflective process." She adds, "As with science, research is done through experiments that often fail. So yes, we've sat in the sun for days with not a single person engaging, there's been rain, we've been shouted and laughed at. … We've also heard epic life stories and gained valuable insights about our own streets."


Universe’s Most Indulgent Gum Gets a TV Commercial to Match

Stimorol Sensations, a South African gum that appears to be the same thing as Trident Layers, claims to be the most indulgent gum in the universe. In its latest spot by Ogilvy Cape Town, an office drone pops the layered gum, slips away into an indulgent fantasy of synchronized swimmers and fruit waterfalls that cop a feel, and, of course, walks across water to play a saxophone duet with a parrot. The whole thing was put together using an indulgent set that included 30 tons of pink goo. Check out the behind-the-scenes video for shots of the set and a delightfully unenlightening interview with the quirky director, Trevor Clarence. Credits below.

Client: Stimorol Sensations
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Cape Town, South Africa
Executive Creative Director: Chris Gotz
Associate Creative Director: Tommy Le Roux
Creative Group Head: Prabashan Panther
Agency Producer: Anthea Beylis
Art Directors: Reijer van der Vlugt, Matthew Pullen
Copywriters: Justin Osburn, Dean Paradise
Production Company: Your Girlfriend
Director: Trevor Clarence
Executive Producer: Linda Bogle
Postproduction: Black Ginger
Sound Design: We Love Jam
Voiceover Artist: Adam Behr


Coffee Brand Pours You a Free Cup When You Yawn at Its Vending Machine

Vending machines have been developing unique personalities for some time. We've had generous ones, sadistic ones, patriotic ones. Now, we've got an exceedingly empathetic one. Check out the video below from a South African airport, where coffee roaster Douwe Egberts rigged up its vending machine with facial-recognition software to dispense free cups of coffee to anyone who yawned. It's a nice stunt that turned those yawns to smiles. The fittingly named agency behind it: Joe Public. Via Foodbeast.


Nonpartisan Fact-Checking Comes to South Africa

A fledging Web site seeks to offer South Africa the kind of journalistic fact-checking that is a fixture in America with sites like


World Briefing | Africa: South Africa: Lawmakers Pass Contentious Secrecy Bill

South Africa’s Parliament on Thursday passed a much-criticized secrecy bill that will restrict access to information and impose hefty fines and jail terms on reporters who publish information the government classifies as secret.


Agency Sends Briefs Back to Clients as Elaborate Paper Sculptures

When it comes to paperwork, the designers at TBWA\South Africa in Johannesburg are a cut above. As an exercise in self-promotion, the design group transformed some of the agency's creative briefs—those not specifically requiring design recommendations—into three-dimensional paper sculptures using the pages of the documents and their nondescript envelopes as raw materials. The results, intended to capture the essence of the brand from which each brief was received, are amazing. My faves: the dress shirt for Bio Classic washing powder, with one corner of the garment composed of billowing soap bubbles; the insanely detailed ship in a bottle for Mainstay vodka; and the heaping bowl of shredded-paper noodles for Fatti's & Moni's pasta. Snatches of text from the original briefs peek through here and there. Such brand-specific words and phrases provide intriguing visual flourishes for these fusions of art and commerce. More images below. Via The Inspiration Room.

Client: TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg
Executive Creative Directors: Matthew Brink, Adam Livesey
Art Director: Jade Manning
Copywriter: Vincent Osmond
Creative Directors: Sacha Traest, Mike Groenewald
Design: Sacha Traest, Leigh-anne Salonika, Katleho Mofolo, Graeme Van Jaarsveld, Ilze Venter, Jason Fieldgate
Typographer: Hazel Buchan
Photographers: Graeme Borchers, Des Ellis
Account Manager: Vanessa Maselwa
Director: Brett de Vos
Sound: Cut and Paste, Opus
Production: Craig Walker, Simone Allem, Ingrid Shellard, Gillian Humphris

Honda – Go Everywhere

Voici une nouvelle publicité vidéo pour la marque Honda en Afrique du Sud. Cette animation très réussie reprend l’idée de pouvoir se déplacer constamment grâce à toutes les technologies que le constructeur a pu développer. Une création de l’agence DDB à découvrir dans la suite.

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