Owen Kessel Leo Burnett and Amstel Lager are together toasting the success of iNumber number, and director Donovan Marsh, following the announcement of the SAFTA award winners in Johannesburg on Sunday night last week.
The South African Film and Television Awards (better known as SAFTA) are held annually to recognise the achievements of the local film and television industry. iNumber Number was awarded Best Editing and Best Screenwriting, while Marsh walked off with the coveted Best Director trophy.
“OKLB and Amstel Lager are incredibly proud to be associated with iNumber Number and Donovan Marsh, and seriously amped to have played a role in getting this incredible production off the ground and onto air,” says OKLB CEO Felix Kessel.
Although most South Africans are familiar with the local thriller since it won the 2014 Audience Choice Award at the 2014 Jozi Film Festival, not too many know that it has its origins as an AFP (or Advertiser Funded Programme) for Amstel Lager.
“In 2010, OKLB and Donovan Marsh teamed up to create a TV series called Class Act for Amstel Lager, with the aim of finding South Africa’s next top actor. It aired on SABC 1, becoming South Africa’s best-watched reality series with upwards of four million viewers a night,” explains Kessel.
The winner of the first series was Sdumo Mtshali, his prize was a movie script, and that movie was iNumber Number.
“The success of the show, and the subsequent movie, means a great deal to us because it closes the loop. We had an idea to create branded content which embodied the brand’s proposition of the creation of quality over time, which was incredibly successful in its own right for the Amstel Lager brand, but more importantly, it enabled the brand to deliver on a promise.
“Through Class Act, Amstel Lager promised to create a movie, and a movie star. And the wins at SAFTA prove to us that we did just that,” says Kessel.
Marsh is equally proud of the movie’s roots, commenting that “iNumber Number is the incredible culmination of a long term vision of developing talent through Class Act and then getting them to star in a world class film.”
Although Amstel Lager was not involved in iNumber Number, OKLB continued to contribute to the movie’s success through a launch activation that has since been recognised as South Africa’s most successful action movie launch to date, pipping even blockbuster Hollywood movies to the post.
“I would like to take this opportunity to raise a glass to everyone involved in the production of iNumber Number, from its humble origins, to its current award-winning status. It has been completely thrilling for us, as an agency and creative content producer, to contribute to a true South African success story,” Kessel concludes.