Schabir Shaik puts down the phone. His lawyer has informed him he’s being investigated for parole violation. To distract himself he nervously flicks on the TV and just as he settles into his favourite golfing show, the ads come on. A tattooed con’ looks him in the eye and whispers gruffly, “Pappa wag vir jou.’ With shaking hands, Shaik fumbles for the phone and dials his doctor.
As guilty as Shaik is of corruption and fraud, statistically speaking South Africans stand a far better chance of landing behind bars simply by driving home after they’ve had one too many. But this hasn’t deterred people.
However the new Brandhouse Drive Dry campaign created by FoxP2 might very well be making the right impression on drivers. According to Justin Gomes, creative director of the agency, the impact has been such that the campaign has coined a catch phrase: “Pappa wag vir jou,’ and taxi drivers have been known to put their inebriated customers at ease by declaring: “Pappa’s not gonna get you tonight.’
The core of the campaign is a series of TV and viral video ads playing on the theme of a dating video. Rough looking candidates are interviewed as they vie for the chance to meet you. The final character is “Pappa’ the real thing, an ex-con with the tattoos and demeanour to prove it.
It’s a controversial campaign, playing on the stigma of prison rape and Brandhouse is braver for it.
“They wanted something that would truly make an impact so we pushed the team to explore the limits,’ says Gomes.
Right from the beginning it was a collaborative effort with director Robin Goode (then of Fundi Films, now with Giant). Gomes continues: “We were able to present the concept to Brandhouse with a full treatment from Robin. This aided the impact of a potentially risky idea and helped convince the client of its merits.’
Brandhouse is more than satisfied with what is arguably their most effective drive dry campaign yet.
One of the most impressive elements is an online initiative targeting drinkers who have their photos taken at nightclubs or bars by the popular photo site Thunda.com. When the revellers check Thunda.com for their image what they find is a video clip of a con lying on his bed while he ogles the photo of the same reveller.
If you are caught drinking and driving chances are that you’ll end up behind bars. This isn’t the Swedish prison system where the only thing you have to be wary of in prison is the photographer rearranging your room for Wallpaper magazine. You don’t want to end up behind bars in South Africa, not even for a night. As you must know by now: “Pappa wag vir jou.’