Nando's South Africa, the casual dining restaurant chain that has become well known for its quirky and culturally topical advertising campaigns, couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to add some spice to the day. Together with their advertising agency, M&C Saatchi Abel, Nando’s decided to set up ‘Reconciliation Tables’ at some of their key restaurants. The brand then invited popular South African public figures who had some well-publicised ‘beef’ to make up at the Reconciliation Tables.
Invitations were sent to DJ Black Coffee and AKA; Bonang and Somizi; as well as Lerato Kganyago and Tbo Touch.
“These high-profile personalities were invited in the days leading up to Reconciliation Day to come together and enjoy a meal at Nando’s to forget their beef and have delicious Nando’s chicken instead,” explains Doug Place, Chief Marketing Officer at Nando’s South Africa. “It was a powerful idea, but we knew that the execution would be crucial.”
To up the ante and create the desired buzz, invitations were delivered via social media and placed in online publications such as Times Live and MTV Base Africa. In true Nando’s fashion, the invitations were peppered with tongue-in-cheek references to the issues surrounding the cause and outcome of these public figures’ disagreements.
“We made sure that both the people who knew the exact details of the disagreement and those who didn’t could still understand and laugh when reading the invitations to reconciliation,” adds Place.
The Reconciliation Tables in restaurants also had elements such as place mats with conversation starters for would-be reconcilers, written with the typical Nando’s tone of playful irreverence.
“As is sadly too often the case in South Africa, reconciliation is harder to practise than preach and the celebrities themselves proved to be no-shows. That said the campaign received overwhelmingly positive responses on social and traditional media in the days leading up to Reconciliation Day, on the actual day and afterwards,” says Gordon Ray, Executive Creative Director at M&C Saatchi Abel.
Notably, @NandosSA trended in SA just three hours after the first invite post went up on Twitter on Wednesday, 14 December. The hashtag #NoBeef & “Reconciliation” also trended in Johannesburg, and Nando’s was the brand with the most impact linked to the term ‘Reconciliation Day’ on Twitter on 15 December.
“We were delighted to be able to provide the creative rocket fuel and expertise that was required to carry out this bold campaign with Nando’s,” adds Ray.