The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) conjures up sombre images of heart disease, strokes and other dreaded illnesses. That’s precisely why ad agency DUKE chose a light-hearted, entertaining approach for their latest TV commercial for the non-profit organisation’s salt reduction campaign which launched the first week of September’s Heart Awareness Month.
Conceptualised by the DUKE creative team headed by Executive Creative Director, Mike Beukes, the TVC depicts a stylish young lady sitting down to a meal. As she reaches for the salt and attempts to sprinkle it over her food, she appears to be dragged out of her seat and away from her meal by her hand holding the saltshaker. In a push-and-pull battle, our character fights for control of her arm amidst a background of ever-changing colours, bold outfits and a multitude of meals. In the end she is dragged to a cupboard where the salt is placed out of sight, as the ad closes with the payoff line, “Your Body Doesn’t Want the Extra Salt.”
The HSFSA’s brief was simple: Encourage South Africans to reduce the amount of salt they consume. DUKE Head of Strategy, Steve Miller explains the rationale behind the agency’s lighter approach to a serious issue, “Research conducted by neuroscientists has shown that our brains shut down when confronted with negative messaging, so a doom-and-gloom approach that tried to scare consumers wasn’t going to be effective. We also aren’t telling people not to consume salt at all, we are just telling them to consume less – so we couldn’t take an all-or-nothing stance either. A key finding of our research, however, revealed that the number one way of reducing salt intake was simply to leave the salt in the cupboard and not have it within view or reach. And that simple out-take became the focus of the campaign.”
Shot by Motion City Films, the ad features well-known graphic designer, model and dancer Manthe Ribane who choreographed her own performance, using her unique style to build a narrative of movement. Ribane worked closely with Motion City director-duo Helen and Kim, as well as stylist, Richard De Jager, to create every eye-catching look, ensuring that each flowed seamlessly into the next.
Commenting on the campaign, HSFSA Chief Executive, Professor Pamela Naidoo says, “From the outset DUKE demonstrated a superior understanding of our requirements and their resultant campaign is a truly modern execution, that speaks to our consumer. From the model to the teams working behind the scenes, the wardrobe and the music, this is a proudly South African collaboration and we are extremely happy with the result. We have been overwhelmed by the positive response thus far with over 4000 YouTube likes on the very first day of flighting and we have received requests from other global organisations to utilise the ad internationally too.”
The HSFSA TVC is currently flighting on TV as well as on Transit and Taxi Rank TV and is supported by bus branding, print advertising and social media campaigns.