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#ACACelebratingDiversity: Overcoming Covid-19 constraints to create one of the most liked ads of 2020

Watch and listen as Meenal Abdulla, marketing lead at Hunter's; Anita Mubangizi, marketing manager at Hunter's and Felix Kessel, ECD Grey Africa/WPP Liquid, share how the 'Hold my Hunters' campaign came to be voted one of Kantar's Best Liked Ads of 2020.
#ACACelebratingDiversity: Overcoming Covid-19 constraints to create one of the most liked ads of 2020

Hosted by Rutendo Nyamuda, in this penultimate episode of Celebrating Diversity and Inclusivity in the SA Advertising industry - made possible by the ACA, we find out just how the client and agency navigated the challenges of the Covid-19 2020 lockdowns through remote collaboration to create a narrative relevant to the experiences of their market; showing that advertisers and brands have the power and the platforms to change narratives on a global stage and the importance of tapping into diversity wherever we find it.

This interview is also available on YouTube, and at BizTakeouts, via downloadable App, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and IONO.FM.

Together they had a plan, then Covid-19 happened and changed everything but despite this, the ad that never should have been created became one of the most liked ads in 2020.

“In that moment, “Hold my Hunters”, we made something happen and that refreshes us. That’s where the story originates, but it comes out of this new world that we found ourselves in,” says Felix Kessel, ECD Grey Africa/WPP Liquid.

Consumers, particularly the younger demographic of 18-24 is multi-screen viewer; they’re watching a show, viewing a TikTok, checking their timeline, liking an Instagram all at the same time!
Covid took away an important part of the Hunters’ audience lives; that is to be social.

Meenal Abdulla, marketing lead at Hunter's says they asked themselves how do they put themselves in the shoes of the younger adult facing lockdown, but wanting to break free? And how could they facilitate that in an entertaining way but one that portrays that responsibility?”


Age was not the only factor the team had to consider.

“Diversity of gender race and age, but also diversity of thinking, diversity of experience, of different thing that people have to bring to the table,” says Anita Mubangizi, Hunter's marketing manager.

“There’s a saying that diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance, so it’s not just having people at the table, but also contributing their ideas, being heard and put into practice,” she adds.

As the custodians of brands, we have a responsibility to create and role model ‘better South Africans’ we can do it in a number of ways, by being fun, profound, funny, that allow people to understand, we have amazing stories to tell and that is why a brand like Hunters can be pivotal to changing narratives.
“Inclusivity and diversity give you better storytelling and to pull something meaningful about of the world,” adds Kessel.

Real and here now

To make the TVC, the script required mirroring motion for two worlds, so the same thing had to be shot twice and then matched.

“All the technology you see in the TVC s real and available now, including the QR Code. Hunters is the first alcohol brand with a QR Code that allows customers to interact with the brand,” says Mubangizi.

“Technology is such an important part of our existence. From a Hunters perspective technology is there to enable your life and success, especially for the youth,” he adds.

“It’s so important that we take our consumer on this journey of embracing and embedding technology, even the idea of access to higher-tech becomes a conversation about have and have nots, versus us taking them on a journey to make tech a lot more accessible or finding ways to expose consumers to it. In so doing brands can become enablers for that which many can’t even speak or dream of,” explains Abdulla.

“We want to bring it to their awareness, showcase what exists and make it accessible. That is what the VR tech in the TVC does here. It is not a world far away, it is here. We have used tech to create joy,” she adds.

Technology to overcome challenges

While technology is a major feature of the TVC, it also played a massive role behind the scenes as they had to figure out how to shoot a TVC during a lockdown. Considerations included social distancing, the number of people on location and in production as well curfew.

With a limit on the number of people allowed, Mubangizi and Abdulla had to attend via a live feed of the shoot.

“It was the first ad where I have not been on set. The live feed made it feel like we were there, and there was lots of communication via other platforms,” says Mubangizi.

Abdulla says they have learnt that so much can be enabled by tech or thinking about the problem differently. “The lesson is that there are ways to do things and that we need to trust the process.”

In conversation with Rutendo Nyamuda. Founder Tinzwe Media. @roo10dough |

This industry-wide series of discussions on the topic of diversity and inclusivity in the SA advertising industry, is made possible by the Association for Communication and Advertising. The ACA is committed to the transformation of the industry and to upholding the principles of the ACA Transformation Charter.

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