The real-life South African commercial developed for POWA (People Opposing Women Abuse) by Ogilvy and produced by Frieze Films has won a coveted silver pencil at One Show.
As part of the concept for the ad both Ogilvy and Frieze Films were intent on creating a real experiment and the success of the commercial would depend on the results of the experiment.
The concept tests a real-life response to two different types of neighbourhood disturbances, one violent and the other not. From a production point of view the challenge was to document the event without compromising the integrity of the experiment.
Shot in a townhouse complex, the ad was a social experiment conducted over two different nights. A violent argument was recorded in studio and prepped beforehand. The camera crew and all involved (about six people in total) were secreted into the complex so as not to give the game away. The team was insistent on not alerting neighbours to any strange activity so the event could unfold in as natural and unexpected way as possible to truly test the results.