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SA gets WhatsApp drama

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.

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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.”

Qeaql Studio Design Resource

Qeaql Studio Design Resource

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

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Arts and Entertainment

Timberlake to headline iTunes London festival

Apple has announced that Justin Timberlake, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Jack Johnson and Jessie J are among the headliners at this year’s iTunes Festival in London.

Running every night in September at the Roundhouse, the iTunes Festival features more than 60 acts performing at the legendary venue.

Performances can be watched live or on-demand by millions of iOS users around the world on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, as well as by music fans with iTunes on their computer or in stunning HD with Apple TV. Tickets are free for competition winners only.

Music fans from across the world, including the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Japan and Mexico can win tickets to the iTunes Festival through competitions run by local media partners. In the UK, fans can win tickets using the iTunes Festival app and the iTunes Store as well as select media partners including Channel 4, Global Radio and Metro.

Sir Paul McCartney, Amy Winehouse and Crowded House played the first iTunes Festival at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2007. Since then over 370 artists have performed in front of more than 370,000 fans and tens of millions more online and on television. Other performers have included Adele, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Alicia Keys, Paul Simon, Jack White and Oasis. Performances are available for purchase and download on the iTunes Store.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

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Arts and Entertainment

New PS games ready for download

Sony has announced its June line-up for PlayStation Plus subscribers, including Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and two new catalogue releases, Demon’s Souls and ICO and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection.

Immerse yourself in the ancient world of Amalur and its 10,000 years of magical history in the action-packed tale Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, created by acclaimed New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore. Take destiny into your own hands as you combat your way through this vast and vibrant world as envisioned by the visionary creator of Spawn and much-admired artist, Todd McFarlane.

In Demon’s Souls you are summoned by a mysterious maiden as the last hope for humanity to take on a mighty demon horde that has taken over the kingdom of Boletaria, after a terrible curse was mistakenly unleashed by King Allant the XII whilst in search of greater powers. Prepare for a battle that has so far defeated all other realm champions as you set out on this epic journey to save the Kingdom from a fate worse than death.

ICO and Shadow of the Colossus HD Collection brings two exciting worlds to PS Plus ready for fans to explore. Adopt the role of ICO, a young boy who finds himself imprisoned by the people of his village inside the walls of a menacing castle before joining forces with a young girl named Yorda as she attempts to escape in ICO. Take on the role of a young man named Wander in Shadow of the Colossus as you journey through an enchanted land, battling 16 enormous beasts known as the Colossi in order to restore the life of a girl named Mono, whose soul is trapped in this haunting world.

For gamer’s on-the-go, grab your PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) and transport yourself to lush forests in the cartoon-quality action title Rayman Origins. Alternatively, weave through airborne mazes as you avoid falling coconuts in Coconut Dodge HD, both available on PS Plus from 5th June.

PS Plus provides subscribers with access to top-rated games on PS3 and PS Vita, extending the service to two platforms for a single price for a one-year subscription. Additionally, 90 day subscriptions are also available giving user’s access to the same fantastic titles and great PlayStation Store discounts.

PS Plus subscribers receive an array of exclusive features, including 2GB cloud storage (1G for PS3 & 1G for PS Vita) for game saves. Automatic updates and beta access, as well as a huge collection of exclusive dynamic themes and PlayStation Network avatars, makes PS Plus the place to be in 2013.

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