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Grey Advertising Africa and KOO collaborate on Mzansi's top baked bean

The one thing Grey Advertising Africa and Tiger Brands jointly believed, and what brought them together in the way they did, is that a bean is not just sommer 'n boontjie! There are beans, and then there are KOO beans, Mzansi's golden standard in baked beans, and the number one South African bean there is!
Grey Advertising Africa and KOO collaborate on Mzansi's top baked bean

Following an agency pitch process to join Tiger Brands' creative agency roster, the ask was to bring Mzansi’s favourite bean to life by telling the real story of how they are made, fresh from the farm to plate!

Understanding that we were working on an iconic brand, which has been around for over 80 years, Grey Advertising Africa threw all their passion and creative energy at the special bean, which captivated the KOO team. Edna Mohale, marketing director – culinary at Tiger Brands, said: "I have never laughed so much in a presentation and felt invigorated to go on the proposed new journey of moving from farm to plate. The ask was to bring the KOO brand purpose to life with KOO baked beans at the center."

“The brand’s continued commitment as a trusted source of nutrition and goodness for many South African households remains key as our primary currency thus, we are proud to be in so many millions of homes. We know how deeply KOO is loved in our country by our consumers and their expectations of the brand mean that we reciprocate that love. These expectations have continuously led us to deliver on taste superiority as a priority, without compromising quality, whilst being socio-economically impactful in our communities and the economy by sourcing and empowering locally,” Edna Mohale concludes.

After a deep strategic dive and spending time in the KOO factory, the agency decided to tell the most South African 'making of' story we could. We created KOO Farm, a fictional farm depicted, in a humorous and magical manner, the deep passion of the real farmers, canners, sauce makers, quality controllers, and everyone involved in growing and making KOO baked beans in tomato sauce what it is today, loved and enjoyed as consumers have.

We created memorable, truly South African characters like Koos, the expert in all crops, Barry Boonhuizen, who makes every bean count, Gogo Ubhinwe, the bean whisperer, and Lebza the can fine tuner, ensure every bean is 100% made in Mzansi, by Mzansi for everyone. Once the cans are ready, it is an emotional farewell when the team waves goodbye to their once-baby beans.

Grey Advertising Africa and KOO collaborate on Mzansi's top baked bean
Grey Advertising Africa and KOO collaborate on Mzansi's top baked bean

“KOO has been a part of Mzansi families for generations, over 80 years, and Mzansi loves KOO. The produce is grown in our soil. The people who tend to and nurture the crops are our people. That makes KOO products so delicious – they are infused with Mzansi flavour from when the first seed is planted.

The starting point of our ideation was telling the story of KOO from farm to plate and showing the care and thoughtfulness that goes into every can that makes its way into our homes to nourish our families. We created a campaign that tells a story of provenance for an iconic brand while keeping the integrity of its heritage, nostalgia, and quality promise, which is Only the Best Will Do,” says TJ Njozela, creative director at Grey Advertising Africa.

There is no bean like a KOO bean because no other group is as enthusiastic about getting the best Mzansi produce to plates, as fresh as the day it was picked, than the people of KOO Farm.

Grey Advertising Africa and KOO collaborate on Mzansi's top baked bean

From a strategic insight: “While canned food offers strong cues of convenience, consumers are less aware of the benefits the canning process offers in preserving nutrients. We wanted to change this perception and differentiate KOO as the leader in the canned vegetable category. Our job was to show that eating healthier and better is easier with KOO products and, in this case, KOO beans because it is sealed in goodness with natural protein from beans and a source of fibre.​ There is so much more to KOO baked beans: the unique tomato sauce, size of the bean, bean-to-sauce ratio is just right and tasty. ​There are baked beans, and then there’s Mzansi’s favourite tasting baked beans – KOO baked beans,” concluded Sindiswa Masuta, strategy business director.

“We embrace our agency relationships, the partnership with Grey has proven fruitful and we want to continue to produce creative that resonates with our consumers, while remaining true to our purpose to nourish and nurture more lives everyday,” said Zayd Abrahams, chief marketing and strategy officer, Tiger Brands.

Grey Advertising Africa and KOO collaborate on Mzansi's top baked bean

All proving the point we already knew from the start – in Mzansi there is no bean like a KOO bean!

Click here to watch the television commercial.

To find out more about Grey Advertising Africa visit or follow them on social media.

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