Following the success of South Africa’s first ever WhatsApp drama series – Uk’shona Kwelanga – Sanlam has launched a follow-up audio drama, Lives of Grace. This time the series is highly interactive, with the subscriber able to make a meaningful impact on the outcome of the story-line. It plays out over WhatsApp and for the first time, Facebook Messenger, and uses big name actress, Zola Nombona, to engagingly help consumers understand the impact funerals can have on their financial health and make informed decisions.
Dan Pinch, executive creative director at the King James Group, says social media as a medium to educate and tell stories has a lot to offer audiences. “Brands have really just scratched the surface. The successes we had using WhatsApp – achieving a total of 44 000 subscribers and 30.5 million impressions – showed us social media is the perfect platform to reach our audience and we are excited to continue to explore telling compelling stories this way.”
This year the drama series is played out almost entirely through voice-notes, making the power of the voice critical to bringing Grace’s story to life.
Acclaimed scriptwriter Bongi Ndaba – who received international accolades for her script for Uk’Shona Kwelanga – also penned the new series. The drama unfolds over five interactive episodes which follow Grace as she faces a series of life-changing scenarios and examines the consequences of some of the defining decisions we make in our lives. Each episode ends on an interactive note, where the subscriber, who takes on the role of Grace’s confidante, is able to help Grace make a decision in her situation.
Tendani Matshisevhe, head of Marketing and Communications at Sanlam Developing Markets Limited, believes the script will be relatable for many South Africans, “In South Africa, giving loved ones an honourable funeral has great cultural significance and can be extremely expensive, often putting financial strain on certain individuals in a family or whole families. This series not only explores the importance of being adequately prepared for the often unexpected loss of a loved one but looks to educate the public on how the decisions we make today can shape the future we wish to have and leave for our loved ones.”