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When Savanna gets serious, it must be serious. Deadly serious.

It is a well-known fact that South Africa's annual road accident statistics are significantly higher than the world average. Surpassing the numbers in even our own continent when compared to other African countries, this is a concerning statistic that all our country's road users should take seriously.

The good news is that many of the leading causes of road accidents are ones that we can control. Like drinking and driving. As they should, our government takes this offence so seriously that from June, 2020, a new zero-tolerance law was passed, which means the legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers is 0%. South Africans are, therefore, risking hefty fines as well as fatal accidents by getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

It is clear that this is a serious matter. Deadly serious.

So, even though Savanna is well known for its quirky, dry sense of humour, the brand decided to take a stand and create an awareness campaign that drives a very important message to its consumers: Drinking and driving is no joke.

The creative challenge of the Arrive Alive campaign was to find a way for a brand that is always funny to talk about a deadly serious topic such as driving under the influence of alcohol. Deciding to continue its use of featuring comedians in the campaign definitely made an impact on viewers. Delivered in a tasteful tone, yet with an undercurrent of that dry sense of humour that brings relevance to a topic that often gets a ‘It won’t happen to me’ response, it was clear that comedians were also taking this topic very seriously.

“The industry is working very closely with government to drive home the importance of responsible consumption at this time. It was important for us to treat this messaging with the same creative integrity as any other Savanna brief and to do it in a way that would get noticed, not ignored. I think people are immune to scare tactics, these spots were designed to pull the viewer in and to make them think,” explains Steph van Niekerk, Creative Director Grey Advertising Africa.

This type of execution played perfectly into the tension of a sobering topic by getting three of South Africa’s top comedians – Celeste Ntuli, Alfred Adriaan and Mo Mothebe - to leave their funny bones at home and deliver an uncharacteristically serious message in a dry, drawl tone to highlight the severity of driving drunk.

These adverts appeared over 2020’s festive season on Savanna’s social channels and will be flighting on TV this month. As you watch them, remind yourself that the price of drinking and driving can be as high as your life or those of your loved ones. It’s simply not worth it. Seriously.

The work was produced by WPP Liquid, Distell’s bespoke agency solution.

For more information, follow Savanna’s social media channels or go to

17 Feb 2021 12:58