The result is a campaign made up of four television commercials that are sure to intrigue South African consumers.
In the introductory commercial we see a long suffering brand manager desperately trying to inspire a Wildeklawer onion mascot to embrace his new character as a sweet onion. The belligerent mascot has always been a traditional brown onion and is finding the transition almost impossible. In the other three commercials, we see him behaving in his old 'brown onion' ways - he smells, is offensive and is anything but sweet.
Creative director, Paul Warner explains the campaign: "Wildeklawer is an onion farm in the Kimberley area that sponsors the local rugby team - the Griquas. They have a well known brown onion mascot that's often present at the rugby matches. We felt there was a great opportunity to take the mascot with the traditional characteristics of a brown onion and to use this as a device to introduce the completely new and different, sweet onion. Of course, he has a little trouble with this and so the relationship between the desperate brand manager and the stubborn brown onion unravels."
Each of the characteristics of the Wildeklawer Sweet Onion is revealed in the various commercials in a humorous and intriguing way - they are sweet, don't make your hands smell and won't make you cry.
According to director - Leigh Ogilvie of Frieze Films: "The greatest production challenge was to shoot four performance boards in just two days - with limited resources. It required hard concentration and great focus, and although we worked with a much smaller crew than normal, the crew and agency worked extremely well as a team. We supported each other and the production was seamless. It was a fun campaign to direct - even the shots were extreme, going from close up to far away, with nothing in-between."
The absurd relationship between the brand manager and mascot is set to continue in future campaigns which begs the question - will the mascot be able to adopt the character of the new, sweet onion...