Draftfcb's creative director, Grant Jacobsen, senior copy writer Neo Mashingo and art director Ntsikelelo Nukwa are the team responsible for the new advertisement. They enthusiastically describe their new offering as a riot of colour and action.
“This commercial - which is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our new soccer sponsorship campaign - perfectly encapsulates Vodacom's relationship with soccer,” added Vodacom's Managing Executive Marketing, Enzo Scarcella.
The advert features soccer legends of old as well as heroes in our time. Teenage Dlala, Phil Masinga, Linda Buthelezi, Excellent Walaza, Moses Spandeel, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Mark Williams, Neil Tovey and Bryce Moon can all be seen in this homage to the jive of Sophia Town. The ad even includes respected referee Ace Ngcobo, showcasing the full spectrum of the beautiful game in a much stylised rendering.
Jacobsen reiterates that the imperative of this soccer campaign would leverage off the already expansive influence and support that Vodacom offers sports fans in South Africa. With Vodacom's mandate: “Vodacom: The greatest supporter of South African supporters” in mind, it is hoped that South African soccer can further flourish under this broad banner.
The scope of Vodacom's contribution to the soccer playing arena in South Africa is unparalleled. The list of beneficiaries covers all areas of development within South African soccer. The national team, Bafana Bafana, and the epic derby partnering of Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates as well as Bloemfontein Celtics all enjoy support from Vodacom. In addition, Vodacom offers its assistance and brand to the Vodacom Challenge, Vodacom League and the Interschool Challenge.
Therefore Jacobsen and his team have taken up the cause “to develop a campaign and television execution in such a riveting and unassailable way”.
The creative response sees the bringing to life of the 1950's Sofia Town lifestyle including its music, dance moves, style of dress and setting. The dance hall replaces the soccer field as the stars show off their ‘moves' to the distinctive musicality of the penny whistle and Sophia Town jazz. The style of this era has a fantastic energy, which is a hallmark of the South African aesthetic and a perfect match for our soccer culture.
“Vodacom is delighted with our new commercial, and the way in which Draftfcb rose to the challenge of celebrating our passion,” affirms Grant Jacobsen.
The TVC was shot over three days by the production house, the Bomb Production, after a preliminary three-day rehearsal. The shoot took place on location in the ‘Old Synagogue' on the corner of Paul Kruger and Struben streets in Pretoria.
Professional dancers were used as body doubles for the soccer players when it came to the dance moves but, of course, the soccer stars needed no assistance in showing off their natural talents. The cast swelled to around 120 people, including extras and a full band. The soundtrack, ‘Marie', featured in the commercial, was composed by Louis Prima.
'So'jaiva' breaks on national television on July 4 and is supported by cinema, print, outdoor and radio media campaigns. Script for reference purposes:
We're inside the hall and all of a sudden everything goes silent. Something has disturbed the festivities. Excellent Walaza (hero) walks into the picture, chewing very slowly on a matchstick and has dismissive look on his face. This is our antagonist and he's looking for trouble.
Standing in Excellent Walaza's way is Teenage Dladla, a legend, and he too has a look of indifference on his face. They face off as leaders of two rival gangs did in the good old days. Behind each leader a group of 10 other players assemble. This is the Legends versus Heroes match up. The posse get together and get ready to rumble.
Excellent Walaza aggressively throws a soccer ball towards Teenage Dladla who, instead of moving out of the way, chests the ball and drops it down to his feet. With his foot neatly placed on the ball we see Excellent fixing his cuff links. He nods his head; giving the signal that he's accepted the challenge. Now it's time to get it on.
The atmosphere is tense as the two teams move into position. Still, there is no sound in the hall. Ace Ncobo, the referee, signals the start of play with the sound of his pennywhistle. The music begins to play and trumpets mimic the sound of the vuvuzela. The ‘game' gets under way. Again the crowd starts dancing and what was a tense atmosphere has all of a sudden changed into being festive and vibrant, reminiscent of the vibe in the days of Sophiatown.
Excellent passes the ball to Moses Spandeel, a hero, who happens to be standing in front of the corner with his wife and a few other ladies. Moses Spandeel receives the ball and immediately jumps onto it. He does a twirl for the ladies and tips his hat at them. They gush back in appreciation. He makes the move even though he has two players moving in on him.
With only split seconds to spare Moses Spandeel makes a smooth pass to Siphiwe Tshabalala, a hero, who is tackled by Linda Buthelezi, who is a legend, and looses the ball. Linda Buthelezi makes a pass to Teenage who fakes a shot at the defender bearing down on him. The defender falls for the dummy, covers his face and turns his back on Teenage, ‘show me your number'.
The crowd reacts to the defender's cowardice by signalling for his substitution. The crowd goes wild as the game continues, resulting in one of the ladies on the sidelines inadvertently making her way into the area where the action is taking place. Simphiwe Tshabalala runs towards her. Realising that the lady has no time to move out of the way he slips the ball between her legs. “Shibobo!” He slides through her legs and upon getting up, turns and gives the lady a bow. The crowd once again erupts, marvelling at what they have just seen. As a result of his flirting, he looses the ball to Phil Masinga, a legand, who makes straight for the ‘goals'. He's shadowed by the defender, Bryce Moon, a hero, whom he can't seem to shake. He then fakes a shot and loses him.
Phil Masinga then flicks the ball over his shoulder but Siphiwe Tshabalala takes the ball and without hesitation attacks. He rifles the ball past the hapless goalkeeper. Halakasha! The crowd erupts. Siphiwe Tshabalala runs off, sliding in the direction of the corner with the eligible young ladies.
Voice over: Here's to playing it our way, So' Jaiva. The greatest supporter of South African soccer.
End logos: Bafana Bafana, Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs, Bloem Celtics, Vodacom Challenge and Vodacom League.
End title: Vodacom. The greatest supporter of South African soccer.