Developed by a crack creative team at Draftfcb Johannesburg under the guidance of the agency's executive creative director, Grant Jacobsen, the ad launched this month (June) to celebrate Vodacom's continued sponsorship of SAFA and Bafana Bafana during the FIFA Confederations Cup.
Vodacom's Managing Executive: Marketing, Enzo Scarcella, said: “As any football player knows, there is no better feeling than standing in the middle of your home ground pitch just before kickoff with your supporters in the stand or on the sidelines, chanting in total support and admiration for your skill. As a player, you truly feel empowered by the home ground advantage these supporters give you.
“Equally daunting is standing on another team's pitch knowing that, aside from a small band of travelling supporters, the stands are filled with screaming fans whose sole purpose is to remind you that you are in their backyard.
“Vodacom wants to encourage South African soccer supporters to remind the visiting teams that play against Bafana Bafana that they are in our backyard. The company acknowledges that the game of soccer is nothing without its legions of supporter,” he concluded.
The 60-second tongue-in-cheek commercial creates the platform and overall tone for numerous packages and special offers that Vodacom will launch around these major soccer events.
It opens with a foreign coach explaining to the camera that he has several tricks up his sleeve when it comes to creating a team with the will and ability to win. In the background is a samba beat and on the field are sequined Brazilian samba dancers. With that, the ad cuts to the sidelines where the players are taking turns jumping over a small fire. As the coach exhorts the team to ‘jump the fire', one of the player's boots catch fire. In another scene, players jog on the pitch with sacks over their heads and one, wandering off, nearly collides with the lawn mowers as the coach extols: "visualise, visualise, visualise."
After a few more inspiration mishaps - including several dozen chickens and a lion pacing down the access tunnel past petrified players to shouts of "face your fear, face your fear" - the ad cuts to match day inside a packed and noisy stadium. We see that it is Bafana Bafana on the pitch as Teko receives the ball, calmly looks around and takes just a second to send off a cracker of a shot right from the halfway line.
The noise quietens as everyone follows the path of the ball and, as it drops through the goal mouth, the stadium erupts with pure soccer joy.
It is then that the coach shares the one fact that all South African soccer lovers know, and foreign visitors will learn: "In Africa, the
power comes from the fans."
Added Draftfcb Johannesburg executive creative director, Grant Jacobsen: “Vodacom has used this ad to remind the supporters of the very critical role they play in their team's success.”