Cell C campaigns for the people


All cellular networks are not created equal, according to a new Cell C advert
which follows a string of cheeky jabs, mostly aimed at rival mobile operator,

The dispute between the cellphone networks involves cuts in call termination
rates set by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA),
and has played out in double-page newspaper spreads, courtrooms and on
radio since February. By reducing the rates which operators charge each other
to transfer calls between their networks, ICASA has opened up the potential for
smaller operators, like Cell C, to lower retail prices and gain a bigger share of
the industry. MTN is one of the major players that are fighting against the new
rates regulation.

Benjamin Kaufman of 7Films produced the commercial and says the ad conveys
the message that Cell C fights for South Africans by offering fair and easy-to-
understand products – including the lowest guaranteed flat call rate in the
country. His brief from Johannesburg-based creative agency, FCB 1886, was to
create a commercial highlighting the fight that Cell C is undertaking for the South
African consumer and the result is powerful and uplifting.

In the commercial, a voiceover plays over a montage of inspirational footage
featuring South Africans who express their independence through raised fists,
loudspeakers and protests. These scenes are intercut with shots conveying the
everyday lives in which they live, ranging from children playing in a suburban
garden to an elderly tribesman looking at the horizon. Kaufman comments: “We
wanted as much of a cross-section of South Africans as possible.’

Kaufman says that, although the production team had to stick to key points
taken from the voiceover, they did have creative freedom over some of the
scenes as it was a vignette style commercial. “It was important that the
commercial was cinematic and had large scale to it,’ he adds.

Executive producer, Jason Plumbly produced the advert along with Kaufman;
and the DOPs, Trevor Brown, Kim Hinrichs and Lourens van Rensburg, who also
directed the advert, shot the spot using two Arri Alexas, a Steadicam rig and an
aerial drone. The Steadicam was operated by Richard Rolf, while Kobus Swart
was responsible for art direction and Philip Stapelberg for wardrobe.


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