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The #NewSavannaBottle TV ad which went live earlier this year has showed South African brands how storytelling can promote authenticity.
The Savanna brand is known for spinning memorable yarn in its brand communication strategy. Staying true to its iconic culture of dry humour, Savanna has provided local consumers with memorable adverts on various media platforms.
Driving brand/product awareness is not an easy feat in the fast-paced, consumerist society that the advertising industry caters to. These days, hooking the attention span of relevant markets requires a unique approach - especially with television ads. In a recent study, it was discovered that humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish.
With this alarming reality to contend with, brands like Savanna are strategising creative scenarios in which to market their products, services and value. Consumers love to be entertained, and creating video content - with a clearly defined brand message - worth watching seems to be a trend on the rise. The #NewSavannaBottle might have slightly changed its shape, but the brand continues its legacy with excellent advertising.
#NewSavannaBottle - Why did it trend?
Enrapturing TV/digital/mobile audiences with great content is one of the best ways to engage a crowd. In this instance, the ad’s appeal mimics that of a broadway play. At the forefront of every amazing idea, a vetted copywriter serves as the conceptual thinktank. This is one of the primary reasons that the message will be recalled in the consumer’s mind - the idea at its core was unrivaled.
Playing on pop culture and familiar broadway scenarios, the advert is set in a bar with two groups of men in the heat of a comically choreographed “dance-off”. One group insists that the #NewSavannaBottle is ‘cooler’, and the other demands that the drink is ‘bolder’. As the two guy-gangs battle it out in the bar, the music suddenly stops. A man approaches both groups, curious about the flamboyant argument. He takes a sip of the Savanna and confidently states, “still the same crisp taste”.
Simple to understand and entertaining to watch, the #NewSavannaBottle is a triumph in creative brand storytelling. Apart from the quality scripting, the handpicked cast included iconic South African comedian Rob Van Vuuren (leading the “cooler” gang). It’s a smart move on the strategic front to include a locally renowned personality, as this makes the advert more relevant to the South African audience. The drink itself usually appeals to a basin of slightly higher income consumers of various demographics from the ages of 18-35, and is enjoyed by both males and females. Even though this advert is dominated by male actors, the entertainment can be appreciated universally - and most certainly by collective South African audiences.
On Savanna’s social media front, the #NewSavannaBottle has trended on the brand’s Twitter page. Not only a platform for uploading digital print ads, consumers are speaking about the new bottle’s style, and uploading pictures of the drink being enjoyed in singular and social settings. The TV ad has been viewed over 17,000 times on YouTube, and the visually appealing digital ads are ‘liked’ by thousands on Facebook. Consumer engagement is flourishing for Savanna, and the resulting acquisition speaks true to the well-received commercial. The drink’s new look and the brand’s ability to constantly reinvent themselves while staying true to their culture of dry humour is an impressive feat in the local advertising industry.
Cape Town based advertising agency FCB Cape Town was the creative anchor behind the #NewSavannaBottle TVC. In celebration of creative prowess, a round creative congratulations goes to Executive Creative Director Mike Barnwell, Creative Director Aaron Harris and Copywriter Chris De Villiers for their efforts.
#NewSavannaBottle - Competitor landscape
So what does this say about the competitor environment? The concept of storytelling, and how it can heighten consumer buzz, is beginning to be appreciated by South African brands.
The alcohol industry in South Africa is extremely competitive, with many brands offering USP’s that clash with one another. Appreciating the success of the #NewSavannaBottle TV ad and resulting campaign, brands targeting similar markets but promising different experiences can immensely boost their presence by creating stories relating back to their identity.
Popular whiskey brand Johnnie Walker has utilised this strategy. Recently, the brand’s “Gentleman’s Wager” campaign released their fourth episode, which was also well received on their YouTube platform. Whiskey is a premium drink, and the brand enjoys a target market that wishes to enjoy/aspire to the prestigious things in life. The story of a wager between two ‘gentleman’ in a variety of situations and sub-installments ranging from racing model cars to painting beautiful portraits of women. Tying the brand communication together with quality storytelling, and creating an engaging plot with twists, turns and scenarios relative to Johnnie Walker is exactly why the brand in winning on many fronts.
Hunter’s, another cider brand indigenous to South Africa and one of Savannas direct competitors is known as one of the country’s first alternatives to beer. That USP alone is enough to expose the brand’s enriched history by creating grassroots story - with an extra appealing “local ‘n lekker” concept.
Insights & Consumer Trends
The #NewSavannaBottle TVC has revealed an insight that storytelling is one of the best ways to boost a the success of any campaign. We can see a clear trend in consumers whereby an entertaining story, no matter how the context, will be spoken about a lot - especially on social media.
An even deeper insight into the minds of consumers is that when a brand portrays its essence, identity and core value by resourcing quality copywriting and an engaging creative direction, it’s well received and enjoyed by target markets.
Consumers are privy to a diverse pattern of thinking when choosing an alcohol brand to engage with; the competition grows as target markets diversify and South Africa is already so diverse in its demographic environment. Savanna has a USP that many can’t ignore - humour. In past adverts, the brand has called Barry Hilton to add some dry humour into the dialogue. The ROI that came from this one TVC alone is a commentary on how consumers respond to branded humour.