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#Loeries2016: How Ster-Kinekor's Grand Prix campaign is changing lives

For many, integrated campaigns are all talk no action. Here, representatives from the various agencies involved in Ster-Kinekor's #OpenEyes campaign that took home an integrated campaign Grand Prix explain how their Vision Mission win was all about eliciting an emotional response from consumers.
The #OpenEyes campaign touched on ‘cinema advertising’ in a new way – it was a simple appeal to the South African movie-loving audience to both make a donation for a costly double-corneal implant, and then to share in the patient’s joy by voting for the film that he should watch in his first big-screen cinema experience.

Motheo Matsau, chief marketing and sales office of Ster-Kinekor Theatres, says winning the Grand Prix in the Integrated Campaign shows the overarching success not only of the #OpenEyes campaign, but also of the amazing work that Ster-Kinekor and its agencies achieved together.

He calls it an example of “an extremely well-executed integrated campaign, with all the agencies bringing their industry expertise to the party.” In addition, he lists other achievements afforded for the #OpenEyes campaign as testimony to a truly amazing and heart-warming campaign that touched the lives of South Africans.

These include the Campaign Gold Loeries in the PR category for Ster-Kinekor and FoxP2, together with Ogilvy Public Relations, and Gold awards in the Branded Content and Integrated Campaign categories.

Joanna Oosthuizen, national managing director of Ogilvy Public Relations – Ster-Kinekor’s PR agency – calls it an inspiring and life-changing campaign.

“Together with our client Ster-Kinekor Theatres, and creative agencies FoxP2 and Juice Content, we used a combination of communication and social media platforms to mobilise South Africans to get involved too, and the results were overwhelming.”

Candace Whitehead, content business manager of Juice Content, Ster-Kinekor’s social media agency, says it was a privilege for the team at Juice Content to take the incredible story of #OpenEyes to Ster-Kinekor's social media platforms, particularly to witness first-hand how South Africans responded to and became involved with Philani's journey. Whitehead added that #OpenEyes was a wonderful example of the power each of us holds to completely change somebody's life – even if it's with something as simple as a R2.50 donation when buying a movie ticket.

Justin Gomes, founder and executive creative director of FoxP2, Ster-Kinekor’s creative agency, explains that the brilliance of the campaign is in the immediate emotional connection the audience feels with Philani Twala as a real person and the modest hero, and for the widespread problem his situation highlights. This condition is very common in South Africa, as is the inability to afford the treatment that can so easily rectify the condition.

Immediate, emotional, integrated

Gomes goes on to call this the most rewarding project he’s ever worked on. “To see two years’ worth of commitment from client, agency, director and production house culminating in these kinds of results, it reminds you why you got into the industry in the first place,” he says.

The results speak for themselves: Twala’s surgery was funded mostly through those donations to Ster-Kinekor’s Vision Mission CSI initiative, from moviegoers who opted in to add an additional nominal amount to the cost of their tickets when booking online or at the cinemas’ self-service ticketing terminals. During the campaign period, donations to Vision Mission increased by 60%.

In addition, there were 50 million online impressions with an earned media figure of more than R14m – more than twenty times the campaign budget; as well as numerous front-page features print and online articles, and Twala explaining his plight as an interviewee on SABC News, Talk Radio 702 and Cape Talk. That cross-platform success is at the heart of any integrated campaign, especially one that has true emotional pull.

Twala having his eyes tested

But it doesn’t end there. Oosthuizen says the #OpenEyes project has highlighted a plight that could change the lives of many more South Africans if they were given the opportunity of a corneal transplant. Through the campaign and the generosity of the movie-going public who donate to Vision Mission when buying their movie tickets, a profound difference was made to the life of Philani Twala. They’re also indebted to ophthalmologist Dr Akiel Asvat, who performed the double-corneal transplant on Philani pro bono.

She clarifies that the campaign doesn’t end with its Grand Prix win. In fact, Ster-Kinekor’s CSI initiative, Vision Mission, and its agencies have pledged their commitment to continue with the #OpenEyes campaign. Another announcement will be made soon regarding the next steps in this heart-warming initiative, once another deserving candidate has been identified.

Whether you’re a marketer, a creative or just a member of the public, it’s time to keep your eyes and heart open and do what you can to improve the lives of others.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is former Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality, and of course, gourmet food and drinks! She can be reached on Twitter at @Leigh_Andrews.



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