Savanna Premium Cider has always prided itself on being one of the most innovative brands in SA. Its latest product innovation, the deliciously crisp and dry Savanna Chilled Chilli with hints of chilli and ginger, is taking South African taste buds by storm. But the innovation doesn't stop there, as Savanna now takes a bold step into the tech and digital AI space and unleashes Gugu, a spicy new voice assistant, for the people of South Africa.
"How would Alexa behave if Alexa was South African? This is the exact question that led us on this year-long journey. What makes this work special is that it's insight-based tech – not just tech for tech's sake. Gugu embodies that particular brand of spice we are all so familiar with within this country, and the result is hilarious and addictive. She has an answer for everything, so we apologise in advance for the loss of productivity users may experience,” explains Steph van Niekerk, Grey Advertising Africa creative director.
Developed for Savanna by Chakalaka Norris, the charismatic spokesperson for Chilled Chilli, Gugu would be like Alexa if Alexa were a certified Black Twitter member.
But what does Gugu actually do? If you ask her, she can do anything any other AI can do, except she won't because she simply refuses to solve people's problems for them. Unless that problem needs a Savanna Chilled Chilli, then for some reason, if you ask nicely, she’s happy to put you in touch with that spicy game.
Tilesh Bhaga, creative technologist of Grey Advertising Africa, explains: "The Gugu voice assistant was built as a progressive web app based on React.js, allowing its capabilities to extend beyond just a standard website. The brains of Gugu live on a Google AI tool called dialogflow. The user would input a command that is either text or speech, converted to text. This input is then sent to the Google AI to interpret the order. Based on the response back from the AI, we determine the correct audio answer to match the text and prompt that.
Visit gugu.savanna.co.za for an up-close and personal experience of the deliciously Siyavanna spiciness. Ask her anything you want, but be warned – you better be ready for how she'll come at you.