Devised by the agency's creative team of Grant Jacobson, Michelle Casanova and Bee Crane, the commercial hinges on a tried-and-tested storyline: while everyone around him is enjoying an ‘in-joke', one individual is left out of all the fun because he doesn't listen to the same radio station, read the same newspaper or, as in this case, watch the same TV shows.
But, in true Vodacom and FCB Johannesburg style, the story is told in a unique, South African manner with the ‘in-joke' being a multi-cultural, multi-lingual punch line – "Eish Joe; I'm dancing like a white guy!"
Explained FCB Group Business Unit Director on the Vodacom account, Heidi Nelson: “A boardroom full of people is waiting for a meeting to start. Everyone is excitedly chatting about the TV shows they've watched, all except one young man who gazes in dismay at the animated faces of his colleagues.
“Someone calls out across the room, ‘Hey, did you watch it last night', to which the answer is sang back, ‘Eish Joe, I'm dancing like a white guy.' At this point everyone jumps up from their seats and starts gyrating to an old disco classic. Even the window cleaner gets in on the act.
“Suddenly, the boss walks in and the room is quiet. Very seriously, she starts the meeting: ‘Before we get underway this morning, I'd just like to say … Eish Joe, I'm dancing like a white guy!', and again the room explodes into laughter and funky movement. Our young man, though, sits silently, unable to join in.
“At this point, the voice-over introduces DStv Select, and our own punch-line – ‘'Cause 16's more fun.' Finally, we close on a shot of our young man at a table listening to another young man – a rather nerdy geeky type – who is relating the part of the TV show that has everyone singing and dancing. Except, when he gets up to sing the punch line, he does it as the ‘white guy' who is the butt of the joke would do it and botches it – ‘Eish Joe, I'm dancing like a white man!'. Hey, it just doesn't have the same funk appeal!
“We had a great deal of fun making this commercial, and I think it shows. I'm certain it will appeal to Vodacom's broad target audience and become one of their all-time favourites,” Nelson said.
Vodacom's Managing Executive: Advertising and Brand Management, Andre Beyers, added: “Vodacom, previously the only service provider bringing entertainment to South Africa's cell phones, wanted to broaden its entertainment option.
“Hence the decision to find a way to bring entertainment into South Africa's homes in an affordable, elegant manner. The DStv Select option is perfect for those who've only had access to SABC 1, 2 and 3 and e.tv because... well, because... because 16 is more fun, don't you think.
“FCB has managed to communicate this in a manner that resonates with ordinary South Africans, that grabs their attention, appeals to their sense of humour and identity, and that doesn't simply entertain them with an artfully shot music video.
“There's a true empathetic feeling to this commercial but, most importantly, there's also a call to action. I'm certain this ad will help us make DStv Select a very important part of Vodacom's business,” he said.
The launch is initially using television, print and radio for rapid and extensive reach but will move into more tactical media once the initial image and communication task has been completed.