Vodacom’s new television commercial illustrates how a relatively high-brow concept like ‘connectivity’ can inspire, enable and empower even the most technophobic of people to achieve on the grandest scale.
In just 60 seconds, it shows how beauty can be born out of bleak concrete, rusty machinery and discarded household paraphernalia as two lead characters have the will … and Vodacom provides the way.
Familiar faces Marcus and Mac are trolling a junk yard when they chance upon an old water tank. Inspiration strikes – but they need knowledge and muscle to turn their fantasy into reality.
Using their mobile phones and the internet to tap into the social media networks, as well as connect via tablets and computers with experts around the globe, they stir up a flurry of activity of fetching and carrying, welding and hammering. The streets and several rooftops are teaming with purpose.
Eventually, following a stray balloon that escapes a little boy’s hand, the camera leaves the frenetic pavement scenes to the top of an adjacent building. This reveals the task that’s united the community – myriad roof top gardens resplendent with tropical greenery, winding pathways and irrigation sprinklers bringing the rooftop crops to life.
The ad, which broke on June 24 on national television, was devised by Draftfcb Johannesburg’s team of Chief Creative Officer Brett Morris, Executive Creative Director Neo Mashigo, Creative Director Grant Sithole, Art Director Innocent Mukheli, Copywriter Napoleon Masinga and Intern Copywriter Vuyo Mpantsha.
Shot by Tristan Holmes of Star Productions over four days at 16 locations, it has 28 featured cast members, in addition to the two leads, and some 600 extras.
It also took an 80-ton crane to get all the props and material onto the five rooftops used to construct the gardens and the three bridges spanning four of these. Also lifted were 16 tons of greenery including three 200kgs trees.
There were an engineer and safety officers on site at all times to ensure the stability of the rooftops, and a 100-man strong crew to do all the construction and handle the special water effects.
To capture all the activity, Holmes used 2 red epic cameras as well as a team of 9 to complete the 24-day animation period.
“Vodacom’s vision is to put the power of the internet in every South African’s hand. That’s an awesome vision that required an awesome creative execution,” said Morris.
“We set out to create a truly epic ad that had an exceptionally strong emotional tug. This inspiring rooftop creation is the result. It speaks to the strides South Africans could make on so many levels if only they were connected to the internet.
“We believe this execution will go a long way to convincing South Africans to reach out and embrace the power that the Internet brings.”