Devised by Draftfcb Johannesburg executive creative director Grant Jacobsen and his team, the 60-second commercial broke late in June after three 15-second teaser ads flighted for a week to prime television viewers to expect another epic from the cellular network.
The characters from these teaser ads - two elderly farmers, a couple of gym jocks and a construction site foreman - also feature in the new commercial. The central character, however, is a goofy-looking, ordinary guy who goes on a whirlwind tour that starts in his bedroom and takes him to the colourful nooks and crannies of South Africa. He executes the dance routine performed by Beyonce Knowles and her troupe and gets all the ordinary South Africans he encounters along the way, including Vodacom favourites Bankole and De Pinna, to perform with him. The ad concludes with a subtle teaser of its own suggesting that that there is more to come - the final few seconds features show biz-styled text saying ‘connect more' and ‘live more' as well as a West End-style logo billing ‘connect for fame'.
Vodacom's Marketing Executive, Enzo Scarcella, said that the journey this ordinary man takes through the commercial lays the foundation for a comprehensive fun and interactive campaign that will unfold over several months.
“The teaser ads and this commercial, phase one and phase two of the campaign, developed by Draftfcb Johannesburg, demonstrate in an entertaining way the extensive reach of Vodacom's network. The remainder of the campaign - comprising several more phases of television advertising as well as online, print and radio - will show customers just how easy it is to get connected to the internet.
“Vodacom has a range of products that makes connecting to loved ones and the rest of the world through a cell phone call and SMS that much easier. But, to many South African consumers, connecting to the internet is perceived as an activity requiring a great deal of technical expertise.
“With Vodacom, nothing could be further from the truth and our brief to the agency was to illustrate that anyone can access the internet, from just about every corner of South Africa, using Vodacom's services."
Jacobsen added: “Vodacom's new television campaign is straightforward, yet entertaining; a tried and tested recipe that has ensured South Africans have taken its marketing messages and the characters that deliver them to heart, since it opened doors nearly 15 years ago.
“The overriding consumer perception highlighted by our strategists was that people think it's a hassle to get internet connectivity. Vodacom tasked us with challenging this perception, and we believe that the phased campaign will do that.
“For instance, by showing our central character in numerous different locations interacting with ordinary South Africans from all walks of life, the initial communication really drives home the message that Vodacom's network can be used by anyone no matter where they are in the country.
“More importantly, the action of him recording his dance routines using his mobile phone reinforces the fact that many, many people already use these devices on a daily basis as their cameras and video recorders, without even considering the technical aspects of doing so.
“The next few phases and product specific executions will build on these elements to educate South Africans about connecting to the internet using Vodacom's products.”