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Director Kyle Lewis brings Toya DeLazy’s ‘Afro Rave’ to life

When South Africa’s very own superstar Toya DeLazy asked Egg Films’ Kyle Lewis to take a break from directing commercials to help her bring ‘Afro Rave’ to the world, he happily obliged.

The ‘Funani’ music video is somewhat of a comeback track for both Lewis and DeLazy, with Lewis back in the familiar music video director seat after over a year to take on DeLazy’s first new release in two years. 

Lewis was immediately intrigued. “We have been trying to collaborate for years, so when I heard about Toya’s ‘Afro Rave’ concept, I immediately had so many ideas to bring it to life. I called her up in London where she now lives and asked ‘I have a gap in my schedule, can you be here in a week?’ Sure enough, a week later we were shooting in the heart of the Tembisa Townships,” he said.

‘Funani’ is a notable divergence from the happy pop music we have come to expect from Toya DeLazy, and her new hard-hitting Africa inspired sound is something she has dubbed ‘Afro Rave’.

Knowing just who would be able to translate the ‘Afro-Rave’ aesthetic into fashion, Lewis called on designer Blünke Janse van Rensburg for outfits and styling. For the rest, Lewis and team had to get hands on. Most of the props and décor seen in the video were made by himself or his team members, including the zany eye masks, head gear and comical sock puppets. The ingenious crochet car ‘doily’ and bodysuit, were made from 14 crochet blankets which Kyle had to barter with a Plett dog charity for!

After just one crazy week to prepare, the whole shoot itself flowed so seamlessly that it took just 8 hours to complete.

This behind the scenes frenetic energy and the hand-made aesthetic just adds to the raw, colourful and off-beat township- chic atmosphere of ‘Funani’. The video itself, while wrapped up at warp-speed, is incredibly intricate and detailed. Do yourself a favour and watch it over a few times, you’ll notice some new, interesting detail you didn’t notice before with each watch.

Lebogang Rasethaba gives us a glimpse into modern soccer culture for the 2019 Shell Helix Ultra Cup

The new campaign for Wunderman by Egg Films’ Lebogang Rasethaba for the 2019 Shell Helix Ultra Cup is a vibrant glimpse into patriotic South African soccer culture, right in time for Heritage Month.

The two spots making up the campaign bounce off of each other to play up to the rivalry between two giants of South African football – Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs. The two teams will go head-to-head on the 12th of October 2019 at the FNB Stadium and, in the end, #therecanonlybeone.

The aim of this campaign, as outlined by Shell Brand Manager Devisha Ramdin, is to increase awareness of this second installation of the Shell Helix Ultra Cup, a prestigious fixture in the annual soccer calendar, and to get the fans out to support their teams.

“The Wunderman creative team led by Theo Ferreira and Thembalethu Msibi challenged me to make two equally compelling ads that show the real culture behind each team,” Rasethaba explained.

“To accomplish this, I set out to create two ads that really stand out and catch your attention, but without resorting to the expected visuals. I didn’t want to just show the vuvuzela-blowing super-fans we are used to seeing.”

Ultimately, Rasethaba created two striking ads that – in isolation and as a series – succeed in answering the question ‘What is a modern-day soccer fan?’

The ads were shot over four days on location in Soweto and Mamelodi on the teams’ (and their fans’) home-turf. It’s this authenticity that leads to the fascinating exploration of the different ways that fans express their support. Instead of the stereotypical soccer fan imagery, we see choir-singers, bikers, skateboarders and dancers. These are real South African soccer fans.

Rasethaba gets to the heart of the unique culture of each team, the colourful, hearty, realness of Kabo Yellow, and the slick, street smart attitude of the Amakhosi. The fans featured in the ads, and atmosphere created in each video, are real, relevant and essentially an authentic representation of the different flavors of South African soccer culture.

Director Kyle Lewis creates a powerful manifesto for EWI

Egg Films’ Kyle Lewis was briefed by Hamburg-based agency, Jung von Matt, and Berlin-based production house, Tony Petersen Films, to direct a viral spot for German energy provider, EWI.

The result is a virtual tapestry of energy-conscious youth, each representing a letter of the alphabet for the emotion that is most important to them. They’re each in their ‘own’ space, but they’ve come together to create a powerful and meaningful manifesto.

Given a great deal of freedom by the agency to interpret its script, Lewis grabbed the opportunity to infuse the piece with his distinctive style. “The agency wanted a piece that was bold and self-expressive. And, it was very important to represent various demographics making up the target market, especially the Digital Generation,” he said.

“I wanted the audience to be transported into a slice of life that feels like a conversation, a ‘meeting of minds’ of sorts. Of big thinkers, who are either young or young at heart, shaping our digital future and energy needs. We celebrate them in vignette films that capture the viewer’s attention with accelerated dynamic visuals, innovating angles, location set-ups, transitions and outstanding performances.”

From pitching to final picture lock took about a month, an exceptionally quick turnaround for Egg Films, but one that made the job much more exciting. Shot in Johannesburg with director of photography Devin Toselli, it took three days to extract the vital performances, in German.

“This job was challenging, because we constantly had to reference Germany from the language to the characters, to the wardrobe, to the locations. The creative team on set were incredible, the cast proved again the immense talent we have in our local actors and models, and my producer, Vjorn du Toit, both an inspiration and a tower of strength,” said Lewis.

And there’s another reason he will never forget this shoot: “For years, I have been wanting to do a flower-bath-tub scene. Thanks to EWI, I finally got to put the composition I’ve been dreaming of in front of a camera; pure bliss!”

Credit list:

Client: EWI (Germany)

Campaign: EWI Alphabet

Agency: Jung von Matt (Hamburg, Germany)

Chief Creative Officer: Doerte Spengler-Ahrens

Creative Director: Florentin Hock

Producer: Dennis Wendt

International Production Company: Tony Petersen Films (Berlin, Germany) / Egg Films

Director: Kyle Lewis

TP Executive Producer: Børge Heesemann

Egg Executive Producer: Colin Howard

Producer: Vjorn du Toit

Director of Photography: Devin Toselli

Production Company Art Director: Gerhard van Zyl, Mica Mckechnie

Zwelethu Radebe creates nostalgic new TVC for Cadbury

Hot on the heels on a spate of accolades for his short film Vuka, including a merit certificate from the prestigious One Show, Egg Films’ Zwelethu Radebe has drawn on memories of his childhood to create a new TVC for Cadbury that will tug on South Africa’s heart strings.

The hard-hitting Vuka, created for the SAB ‘Be the Mentor’ programme, added the One Show Merit Award to its Editor’s Choice on Little Black Book, Best of Reel on ididtht, Creative Circle Awards 2018 2nd position, and Ciclope shortlist.

The Cadbury ‘Mom’s Birthday’ TVC, tapping into the truth that moms always have a lot going on – work, dinner, family life, your homework – tells the story of one little girl doing what she can to make her mom feel special on her birthday.

“Whether it’s in 60 seconds or 180 minutes, story is everything,” says Egg Films’ Zwelethu Radebe. “In addition, my dad owned a filling station and convenience store in Soweto while I was growing up, so ‘Mom’s Birthday’ lands in a particularly nostalgic place for me.”

The ad is an adaptation of a British commercial, but interestingly feels distinctly South African. Working alongside Egg producer Saskia Rosenberg Haak, Ogilvy creatives Terry McKenna, Sue Jenner, Hazel Davies, and DOP Fabian Vettiger, Radebe has delivered authentic textures, effortless visual aesthetic and a complimentary ensemble cast.

“Zwelethu’s filmmaking is defined by an empathy for his characters and a genuine interest in what they experience, so naturally a lot of the really important work happens during casting,” adds Rosenberg Haak. “In this piece, we enjoy three beautifully juxtaposed characters for a brief moment. Enormous in their subtlety – the performances are understated and nuanced.”

This is one of the sweetest ads of the year. Watch it now.

How Viceroy’s latest campaign had the team from Egg Films “dreaming in diamonds”

SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE:

Distell – one of Africa’s leading producers and marketers of spirits and wines – recently partnered with creative agency Singh&Sons and Egg Films to produce the Perfect Blend campaign, aimed at raising the profile of Viceroy brandy in Kenya.

Produced and bottled in Stellenbosch, Viceroy holds a large stake of the African market with both their five year and newly introduced 10 year brandies. Distell wanted to reintroduce the brand with a young yet still sophisticated edge representative of this market.

The result is a visually rich, diamond-inspired spot that skilfully carries a lot of different design elements and textures through its 30-second running time, creating an urban (and urbane) look and feel that delivers spectacularly on its brief.

BRIEF AND CONCEPT

According to Robin Adams, director at Egg Films, “The brief for Viceroy was simple enough: the golden raffia (in the shape of diamonds) encasing the bottle plays a big role in the iconic representation of the brand,” he explains. The decision was taken to “use this extrinsic imagery of the diamond and seed it visually throughout the commercial.”

Although this process sounds “simple enough”, the execution of it was anything but. As Adams says, “Each shot had to be meticulously designed and choreographed to work in the diamond template so that, although busy, the uniform structure and sequence holds the viewer’s attention without becoming overwhelming. It’s also important to mention the excellent craftsmanship of both Kezia Eales (art director) and Fabian Vettiger (director of photography) in this respect.”

Diamonds are ever-present in the sensuous and textured commercial – from intricately-cut drinking glasses to futuristic buildings, pixelated shields and carved patterns on wooden drums, a beautiful mish-mash of images that signifies both modernity and tradition. “I really loved the visual design aspect of the brief, and it became my voice as we moved through the prep on the job. My team and I started dreaming in diamonds every step of the way,” Adams says.

UNIQUE CHALLENGES

“What was interesting for me as a filmmaker,” Adams explains, “was deciding to put more of my focus into the post-production aspect of the job. Not to say that it was a simple shoot by any means, but it became a bit of a colour-by-numbers kind of job. At many points it felt like crew members were looking at me thinking, Where does this fit into the bigger picture? But at the end of the day the beauty was in the split screen technique, as this married the idea of the diamond throughout.”

Shot on the versatile ARRI Amira, the advert’s idiosyncratic design required a great amount of buy-in from the post-production team, Adams explains. “With so many visual elements at play, it meant the really hard work was all in post-production. Buying into our vision, the post-production team of Stephen Du Plessis (2+3 Post Productions), Blake Prinsloo (Static Black) and Nic Apostoli (Comfort & Fame) put in an outstanding effort.”

Giving details of the process, Adams shares: “We had four different templates on the drawing board – the “1 Diamond”, as we called it – which showcased three large diamonds with 11 split screens, as well as templates where we could showcase as many as 81 split screens (in three rows of smaller diamonds). Each of these split screens were numbered and coded to allow us control over which shot went into which split screen at any given point in the edit. I can assure you that this reads a whole lot easier than it was practically piecing it all together!”

Over and above this ambitious split screen project, “There was a need to showcase a representation of the ‘future’ of Kenya in one of the scenes,” Adams says.

Furnished with some references and 2D blueprint drawings, “Our online CGI maestro, Blake Prinsloo, was asked to create a building in the middle of the Savanna that would be representative of the techno-cities being planned there in the future. The drawn out blueprint became a 3D printed model (seen at first in the spot), which then became the 3D base model used to build the eventual building and surrounding world – all crafted by the man himself.”

THREE-CARAT RESULTS

Viceroy Global Brand Manager, Renato Santana, explains the message that the Viceroy brand wishes to promote: “As the world constantly changes, so do our habits, and the way we connect with each other. That’s why Viceroy, which has a rich heritage and celebrates over a century of tradition, prides itself in still remaining relevant across the generations.”

Reflecting on the project, Adams concludes: “Inspired by the diamond-patterned ‘cage’ encasing the bottle, we wanted this ad to celebrate the kaleidoscope of forces – natural, cultural, social – that influence and shape Kenya today. My process throughout was to do this justice. Although I might not be the right person to comment on this, I feel my team and I achieved this with excellence – and I am sure this will show in the client’s returns.”

Key crew

Singh&Sons

Creative Director: Roger Paulse, PJ Kensley

Senior Copywriter: Liora Friedland

Senior Art Director: Annie Klintworth

Account Director: Kate Bailey

Agency Producer:  Julie Gardiner

Egg Films

Director: Robin Adams

Producer: Kerry Hosford

Executive Producer: Colin Howard

Director Photography: Fabian Vettiger

Art Director: Kezia Eales

Editor: Stephen Du Plessis (2+3 Post Production)

Post Production: Nic Apostoli (Comfort & Fame)

VFX Post Production: Blake Prinsloo (Static Black)

 

 

 

Ford South Africa launches new range with cross-media marketing campaign

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SCREEN AFRICA EXCLUSIVE:

GTB Africa, a Johannesburg-based creative agency, under the WPP Group, has been handling the Ford South Africa account for more than five years. The agency was recently tasked with developing an innovative campaign for the launch of the new Ford Figo, Ford Fiesta and Ford EcoSport.

With each car launch came a separate multi-channel campaign that included TV, radio and tapping into social media platforms in a fun and creative way that fully engaged viewers.

GTB Africa’s art director, Candice McLeroth comments: “The vision for the Ford brand is to keep it relevant. It is something we keep in mind when coming up with our campaigns, which is why we try and utilise different mediums in innovative ways.”

FORD FIGO

The campaign for the launch of the new Ford Figo includes a music video titled Ka Mzolo. The video was initially released via Instagram stories and is part of a collaborative campaign to give a platform to various up and coming innovators. The video showcases these young creative entrepreneurs, who use Instagram to build their personal and business brands.

“It was important for us to showcase and give a voice to very talented up and comers. And what better way to show off their talents than creating a piece of content that was made by up and comers for up and comers. After all, just because you don’t have a name today, doesn’t mean you won’t tomorrow,” shares McLeroth.

The music video allowed viewers to interact with the featured personalities through their Instagram handles which were embedded in the section of the video that they featured in.

The talented group of individuals featured in the Ka Mzolo video included singer and songwriter Rhea Blek; founder and creative director of women’s wear brand BAM, Jacques Bam; crew leader of BMX Maniacs, Hloni Ramaila; make-up artist Orli Meiri; founder of dairy-free ice cream brand YOCOCO, Sinenhlanhla Ndlela; founder and creative director of ownURcrown, Nikiwe Dlova; creative director of PHINDA Furniture and Interior Design, Siyanda Mbele; photographer Obakeng Molepe; and the Bambanani Brass Band.

Following a successful launch on Instagram, the video was adapted for various mediums including YouTube, radio and digital billboards.

Arcade Content’s Zandi Tisani, directed the Ka Mzolo music video, she expands: “The brief was to identify a group of young and dynamic people in various fields and create a music video that would allow them and their craft to shine.”

“I wanted to create a fantastical world that was both authentic and otherworldly. The music video is a loose take on the Alice in Wonderland narrative and each step further down the ‘rabbit hole’, so to speak, involved interacting with our makers. I wanted it to feel like a dream, that is both familiar and strange, something we took even further with unusual grade and colouring,” she adds.

“I think this campaign will resonate because it features people who are not part of the line-up of usual suspects. I feel like that communicates that Ford is not just looking to leverage major influencer followings but is invested in helping creatives develop a following of their own. I think in general people love seeing the underdog win.”

FORD FIESTA

The Independent State of Nandi Twitter series – directed by Egg Films’ director Zwelethu Radebe – was produced to promote the all-new Ford Fiesta. The 4-week episodic campaign was released on Twitter every Monday and Thursday in June and July 2018.

The campaign was a social media marketing success, with its first episode gaining over 14 000 votes, 350 retweets and nearly 2000 likes.

GTB creative director, Neil Lindsay expands: “Launching the all-new Fiesta required something a little different that resonated with our very independent and vocal Fiesta audience. This resulted in us creating an engaging ‘choose your adventure’ style Twitter series – The Independent State of Nandi. The series consisted of eight Twittersodes that were released twice a week. Each episode ended on a cliff hanger, giving the audience 24 hours to vote on how the episode should end.”

In the series, Nandi (Lebo Borole) embarks on her first long-distance trip in her new Ford Fiesta. On her journey she encounters some difficulty and Twitter users get to help her out by voting for the outcome of the next Twittersode.

“This feels like the future of advertising,” said Egg Films’ executive producer, Colin Howard. “Where storytelling isn’t limited to 30-second TV commercials and the audience can be more involved more than ever before.”

FORD ECOSPORT

For the bold Ford EcoSport range, the creative team decided to cater to the urban adventurers with a television commercial titled Go Wander, Go Further – also directed by Radebe.

“The vision of the ad was to show that with the new EcoSport we can help our urban adventurers explore their cities, discovering new things along the way. Enter the Go Wander, Go Further TVC that follows three friends who got caught up wandering their city,” shares McLeroth.

To intrigue viewers, Ford decided to kick-start the launch of the Ford EcoSport with 6” and 10” videos that lived on YouTube bumper ads and pre-rolls. These were then promoted through Ford’s social media accounts. The end result was a 30’’ television commercial targeted at its EcoSport audiences.

However, following the TVC, Ford realised that there must be a more engaging way to utilise traditional platform viewers for greater engagement. Lindsay explains: “As we are an integrated agency, we believe in more than just creating a TVC. As most of us are on our phones while watching TV, we decided to capitalise on second screen users too. While the TVC played, you were fed a social post that unpacked more of the story in the TVC.”

This was done by producing a series of TV ads that tell viewers only half the story and entice them to explore the rest on their second screens.

Speaking about the Ford project, Lindsay concluded: “The launch campaigns for each of these cars have been very successful. Each campaign is completely integrated, with some mediums being up-weighted depending on the audience. Each of the channels in each campaign supported one another by delivering one campaign message from brand love, all the way down to dealerships. The one thing that remained consistent over all the campaigns is that with Ford you can Go Further.”

The Ford campaigns were conceptualised by GTB’s executive creative director Nick Liatos, creative directors Nico Botha and Neil Lindsay, copywriters Sophia Basckin and Leyash Pillay, and art directors Candice McLeroth and Martjie Louw.

Zwelethu Radebe directs ‘choose-your-own-ending’ Twitter series for Ford Fiesta

Egg Films’ Zwelethu Radebe directed The Independent State of Nandi, a choose-your-own-ending series of short films brought to Twitter from inside the all-new Ford Fiesta. Released every Monday and Thursday over four weeks across June and July 2018, the eight shorts captured Twitter’s imagination, with the first episode getting over 14 000 votes, 350 retweets, and nearly 2000 Likes, and the finale being watched over 230 000 times, generating nearly 150 comments.

Agency GTB Johannesburg approached Egg with the idea for a series that allowed the audience to drive the story by voting at the end of each episode on which way the characters should go.

Zwelethu worked with The River screenwriter Nelisa Ngcobo and the agency’s creative team of Nico Botha, Neil Lindsay, Sophia Basckin, and Candice Mcleroth to craft the different storylines around Nandi (Lebo Borole), who is taking her new Fiesta on its first long-distance trip, from Johannesburg to Amanzimtoti for her sister’s wedding. She’s bringing along her Sotho boyfriend Sechaba (Marcus Mabusela) with the hopes of introducing him slowly to her traditional Zulu family.

Zwelethu and DOP Ofentse Mwase shot 14 epilogues for the first seven episodes, to cater for the different voting outcomes. William Kalmer edited all eight shorts at Post Modern.

Twitter gets a bad rap for bringing out people’s worst sides, but Ford Fiesta drivers seem to be a nicer bunch, voting to give Nandi’s sister her say rather than cutting her off; to answer rather than screen calls from her mother; and to help a Gogo who didn’t entirely deserve it.

“This feels like the future of advertising,” says Egg Films’ executive producer Colin Howard. “Where storytelling isn’t limited to 30-second TV commercials and the audience can be involved more than ever before.”

Watch the full short.

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