Oh, man – This Is Powerful Advertising

Brand SA is out for pitch, and when you see such beautiful work, you get a sense that perhaps the brand is perfectly fine with The Odd Number. Why put it out for pitch?

Imagine if every piece of advertising was like this? Isn’t that the goal anyway? If it isn’t, it should be. Imagine if we all strove for great work on every piece of brief? Imagine we treated each brief with such focus, intensity and intent? Oh man.

I haven’t been this inspired by local advertising in a while. What a powerful and deep wrenching piece of communication. This is a great example of why every person in advertising works so hard. To produce such work.

Screen grab: A man who is a foreign national praying for his life whilst the mob outside is thirsty for his blood (his last hope is prayer)

Watch the advert below:

This ad is so powerful. It’s deep. What a clever way to talk about Xenophobia in a way that is so relevant to South Africans.

Here is a video that I recently shared on twitter, drawing similarities to what happened to the lady who was arrested for taking selfies (i.e.: “for being of the wrong colour”, proclaimed twitter community:

Black men being hounded, beaten and punished by the then Apartheid Government/Police Force

My takeaways

When Trevor Ndhlovu brought it to my attention, I had a sense it was something great, but damn, this is greatness.

Oh man, I have no words to describe the power and deepness of the Brand SA TVC, but I’ll try to put to words what is in my mind. Without explaining the TVC, here are some key points of why the video is powerful:

  • A man rushes into his shack, frantically tries to form a makeshift barricade at the door using a loud speaker and chair made out of plastic, to try dissuade the mob outside, seeking unjustified justice – trying to punish a man because he comes from a different country.
  • After the flimsy barricade is created, he searches for “something” that may help salvage the situation by finding a way out. He tries to make a call, but unsuccessful.
  • He quickly ponders with the idea of money being his only hope out of this helpless and inevitable fatal situation that he finds himself in. He hurriedly searches under his mattress for money as a peace offering and lifeline.
  • Realising that the two attempts are futile, he gives in, but not without a prayer. This is where the magic is. Oh man.

Why This Ad/TVC by The Odd Number is Brilliant

Obviously, I was not part of the process, nor was I privy to the backend thinking, but here’s my take out on why this piece of work is brilliant:

  • When South Africa transitioned from Apartheid into democracy, black South Africans experienced similar of not the exact same treatment under the Apartheid government. We were discriminated against for something that was completely out of our control; being black – in this case, being born into a different country.
  • One of the signifiers or our transitions from the horrid past into a bright and fruitful future; was the national anthem. Our national anthem is not just a national anthem. It is a pledge to never go back to our past. You can’t think of the national anthem and not remember Nelson Mandela and his ideals of a man not being discriminated by another, regardless of race.
  • When the man running for his realises that there’s nothing physical or tangible that can save his life; in a prayer, he desperately utters God’s name, as he proceeds, he reveals that he is reciting South Africa’s national anthem. Oh man. This is so deep.
  • The national anthem, almost as a reminder to the mob outside, he provokes the mob outside; “you (the mob), and I are no different. We have experienced the same prejudice, and therefore, out of everyone in the world, and particularly in this country, you should know better.” This is anchored and brought together by the copy line; “That which binds us together, is greater than that which drives us apart”. Oh man
  • Ntando Msibi mentioned a critical point that also, that Zambia and South Africa share the same national anthem (“…that which binds us…”)

A powerful content piece that drives the message in an emotive fashion. This is why I love advertising. Driven by powerful insights and thinking, great work is eminent.

This is type of work that makes you go; “I wish I did that”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s