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#BehindtheCampaign: Spotify - 'Ons Praat Nie Afrikaans Nie, Ons Sing Dit'

To showcase Spotify's wide array of Afrikaans music and target Afrikaans-speaking South Africans, South African creative-solutions agency Machine_ launched a social-media campaign that created a stir - and a lot of laughs.
#BehindtheCampaign: Spotify - 'Ons Praat Nie Afrikaans Nie, Ons Sing Dit'

The campaign was simple and effective, using one of the best Afrikaans influencers, Schalk Bezuidenhout, sharing a mockumentary series on his TikTok and Instagram.

The campaign: “Ons Praat Nie Afrikaans Nie, Ons Sing Dit” translates to: “We don’t speak Afrikaans, we sing it”. Here’s the story behind the campaign…

Spotify has been growing its reach in South Africa (see Machine_’s 2022 Monthly User Acquisition campaign overview case study video here). And, towards the end of March 2023, Machine_ launched a campaign showcasing the wide variety of Afrikaans-speaking singers, playlists and songs.

"Afrikaans-speakers love their language and proudly support their own. And with the Afrikaans music genre growing exponentially over the years, with new musicians, as well as dedicated festivals and concerts and, of course, curated playlists on Spotify, there has been a cultural boom in the Afrikaans community," says Chrizanne Wolfaardt, account manager at Machine_ Johannesburg.

“So, we wanted to create a mockumentary-like series celebrating Afrikaans music, debunking the ‘myth’ that the Afrikaans language is dying – as global movie star Charlize Theron had once said. Because what we’ve seen in recent years, is, in fact, that the language and culture is growing,” explains Chrizanne.

“The main premise of the whole series is to say that people are not speaking Afrikaans, because they are actually singing it, tying it back to the brand and the growing Afrikaans catalogue on Spotify,” explains Chrizanne.

#BehindtheCampaign: Spotify - 'Ons Praat Nie Afrikaans Nie, Ons Sing Dit'

For this campaign, Machine_ sent a comedic genius Schalk Bezuidenhout to go “find out” what was happening to his mother tongue.

Schalk then “found out” that people aren’t actually “speaking” Afrikaans anymore, because they are singing it, thanks to the vast Afrikaans music library on Spotify.

To make this mockumentary, Spotify brought together a crew of celebrated Afrikaans musicians to “testify” to this theory. The mockumentary rolled out in three parts, each featuring one of the guest artists: Demi Lee Moore, Bobby van Jaarsveld and Appel. Each of these Afrikaans musicians then “apologised” to South Africa for no longer speaking Afrikaans, because they were singing instead.

The roll-out:

We partnered with our sister Publicis Groupe agency, MSL, who specialise in influencer for the roll-out of the content.

Schalk launched the first video on his profile on 29 March, saying:

“Dit is baie tragies, ja. Maar met Spotify raak dit al hoe moeiliker om Afrikaans te PRAAT! Nuwe stukkie werk saam met my nuwe vriendin Demi-Lee Moore. Download die app en kom sing saam met my en @demilee.moore op @spotifyafrica.”

Watch the first video here:

The second video launched on 12 April, with Schalk saying: “Nog 'n video waar ons hierdie krisis aanspreek van Afrikaanse mense wat al hoe minder Afrikaans PRAAT! Arme Bobby kon skaars sy trane terug hou... Download die app en kom sing saam met my en @bobbyvanjaarsveld op @spotifyafrica.”

Watch the second video here below:

The third video launched on 26 April with Schalk saying:

"Die laaste in 'n trilogie van 'n bewusmakingsveldtog om 'n STOP te sit aan mense wat al hoe minder Afrikaans PRAAT! Appel, Spotify... hoor hoe ons pleit! Julle maak dit moeilik, man!

"Download die app en kom sing saam met my en @appelmusiek op @spotifyafrica."

Watch it here:

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