Absa looks to boost card usage over cash with a campaign from FCB


Absa intends boosting card usage over cash with a new campaign from FCB Joburg
that utilises television, radio, out-of-home, digital, social and internal communications.

“Swiiish’, which features a protagonist who enters the lives of people paying with cash
to question that foolhardiness at various points-of-sale, takes its strategic direction
from the platform “Anything cash can do, your Absa card can do better’.

But, rather than fall back on the “Anything you can do, I can do better’ ditty made
famous (at least in the westernised, English-speaking world in the 1950s musical
“Annie Get Your Gun’), the creative treatment is quintessential modern South African
– as it should well be.

Not only does the campaign use a very colloquial piece of music specifically created to
resonate with South Africans living in our dynamic and culturally diverse society, it
includes some great characterisation and a hand movement that could well make its
way into popular culture.

“The strength of this campaign is twofold. Firstly, it’s messaging is straightforward and
easy to understand. Second, it is strongly rooted in South African insights and truths,
thereby appealing to Absa’s diverse but truly local market,’ said manager for
Integrated Marketing Campaigns, Bertus van der Walt.

Created by executive creative director Gareth Paul, with creative direction by Loyiso
Twala and Greg Russell, art direction from Thandeka Gilbert and copywriting from
Boniso Modise, Siyabonga Moloi and Sifiso Ndhlovu, elements of the campaign broke
on September 26.

The TVC flighted for the first time on 15 October, and the campaign will continue to
roll-out through mid-December.

“With 65 per cent of all transactions in South Africa still done in cash, Absa wanted to
get their customers to pay with their card more often than with cash,’ said Paul.

“The reasons for a consumer to adopt this behaviour are simple and logical – you earn
rewards when you swipe, it’s faster when you Tap and Pay, it’s safer than carrying
cash, you can track your spend on the Absa app, and it’s more convenient.”

“But, if not delivered in an engaging manner, even the best of reasons could be a

“South Africans are not boring people, so we gave them an energetic and engaging
musical that’s 100 per cent Mzansi with the assistance of Tigerfight and Bomb

“At FCB Africa, we pride ourselves on consistently delivering work that touches the
hearts and souls of ordinary South Africans while helping our clients to achieve their
business objectives. I’m certain “Swiiish’ will meet the grade,’ he said.

Watch the ad:


Creative agency: FCB Joburg
Business Unit Director: Alan Schreiber
Executive Creative Director: Gareth Paul
Creative Director: Loyiso Twala, Greg Russell
Copywriter: Bonolo Modise
Art director: Thandeka Gilbert
Agency producer Barbara Clarke
Copywriters: Sifiso Ndhlovu, Siyabonga Moloi
Strategic planner: Jade Dos Santos, Antonio Petra
Media planners: Maxus
Music production Tigerfight
TV production: Bomb
Director: Tebogo Malope
Production house producer Marc Harrison
Editor: Evy Katz
Post production: Left and Fuel Content