Sanlam has launched the country’s first WhatsApp drama series which is told entirely through the medium of WhatsApp in texts, photos, voice notes and video.
Sanlam has launched the country’s first WhatsApp drama series. Uk’shona Kwelanga (meaning ‘The Sunset’ and also ‘The Death of Langa’) is a collaboration with top scriptwriter and playwright Bongi Ndaba and a number of the country’s best known actors. But unlike a TV drama series, it is told entirely through the medium of WhatsApp in texts, photos, voice notes and video.
WhatsApp is the most used social messenger app in the country but is currently only used by a small number of brands globally – due to the technical limitations of the platform. Sanlam chose WhatsApp because it is a medium most of their market uses, and an ideal opportunity to shift into a new space of entertainment and immediacy.
On coming up with the concept Lesego Kotane, Strategy Partner at King James said, “The Funeral Scheme market is an important business for Sanlam; however in the past they have had challenges making inroads as a brand that is strongly associated with this offering. Besides having a very strong product offering to talk about, we also wanted to demonstrate to our market that Sanlam has an understanding of the realities that come with the planning of a send off for a loved on. So the creative challenge was to find a way to show this in a way that would resonate with our target market and through a platform that they already engage with. The combination of soapie and social media felt like the right one.”
The WhatsApp drama will launch on 5 June and be available up until mid July. The drama tells the tale of a South African family struggling to deal with the emotional and financial ramifications of loss while planning their father’s funeral. Although the story is a familiar one, the means of conducting the campaign is entirely new – subscribers will receive a series of updates over seven days (the average time it takes to plan a funeral), drawing them into the drama and making them feel like part of the family. A marketing campaign including a promotional video, billboards and social media ads will build an audience for the series.
Scriptwriter, Bongi Ndaba, used her experience writing for shows such as Generations to create characters that many South Africans will identify with.
“It was hugely challenging writing for WhatsApp – characters needed to be relatable to all South Africans, and their story had to deal with serious subject matter but in a fun and engaging way. When someone dies, you don’t have long to plan a funeral. Time pressure coupled with financial demands inevitably causes distress even in the most loving and harmonious of families – a theme we wanted to explore in more depth. I hope the script is true to life and handles the scenario sensitively. As a writer, it was an exciting opportunity to explore a real-time, real-impact medium. Hopefully, this will set the tone for the nature of advertising going forwards.”
According to Tendani Matshisevhe from Sanlam Developing Markets, “The idea behind this campaign was to educate people in an experiential and accessible way. We wanted it to be as lifelike as possible – also showing the cultural issues of deciding where to lay a loved one to rest, observing important rituals and balancing the demands of the modern world and tradition.”
Voice notes for the real-time drama will be voiced by some of South Africa’s favourite actors including Shabangu’s Bongani Madondo, Isidingo’s Linda Sokhulu and Stokvel’s Thembi Mtshali, who were also filmed for a series trailer.
Every episode in the drama demonstrates the necessity of a funeral scheme, which pays out claims quickly. With a lot to do in a short period, funeral cover alleviates some of the stress on families, and allows people to focus on what’s important – celebrating the life of the person they loved.
To find out more SMS your name and surname to 45603 to watch the drama unfold over 7 days or visit https://www.sanlam.co.za/campaigns/mychoicewhatsappdrama/Pages/default.aspx
Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist
Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.
Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.
The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela. It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.
“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time. We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”
The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba. It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka. The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.
Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.
“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”
This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.
Avengers’ all-time accolade
This past weekend Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War became the second highest grossing film of all time at the South African Box Office.
This means that Marvel Studios now holds the number 2 and number 1 film of all time positions at the local Box Office, following Black Panther’s unprecedented record-shattering run since it’s 16 February 2018 release.
In South Africa, audiences continued to assemble in cinemas to witness the cinematic journey ten years in the making, earning Avengers: Infinity War a current total box office tally of just under R73 million with over 874 000 attendances.
Black Panther’s historic box office journey ended in June and now boasts a final box office total just shy of R107.5 million and over 1.43 million attendances, making it the biggest film of all time at the South African box office and the first to cross the R100m mark. This record builds on Black Panther’s list of achievements on the African continent and is the biggest grossing film of all time not only in South Africa, but also East and West Africa. Black Panther is now available to enjoy on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as to digitally rent or buy from retailers and providers across the continent.
Elsewhere in Africa, Avengers: Infinity War has also raked in a total of Kes 66.9m in East Africa, making it the 2nd highest grossing film of all time behind Black Panther. Similarly, in West Africa, the film hit N450m at the box office, making it the 2nd highest grossing international film of all time, also behind Black Panther.
For Marvel Studios fans, the action and adventure continues as the 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ant-Man and The Wasp, hit cinemas this past weekend and created enough buzz to fly into the number one position at the South African Box Office.
“We are thrilled at the response that Marvel Studios’ titles have continued to receive from cinema-goers across the continent,” says Christine Service, Senior Vice President of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “With Ant-Man and The Wasp in cinemas, and both Captain Marvel and the next Avengers film in 2019, we are eagerly anticipating the continuing expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and look forward to celebrating with fans.”
On the animated front and with its own super hero theme, Disney•Pixar’s Incredibles 2, continues to entertain families across the country and is already Disney’s second-highest grossing animated film of all time behind Finding Dory, after only 3 weeks in release.