In an effort to celebrate the country’s diverse cultures and languages as well as to connect authentically with South African customers, Volkswagen has produced its first-ever television and digital advertisements in isiZulu.

Creating locally-produced advertising material, that tells uniquely South African stories and reflects local characters, has been a consistent priority for the Volkswagen Marketing team. While most automotive brands adapt centrally-developed creative assets, especially within the current financial and logistical challenges of COVID-19, Volkswagen remains dedicated to crafting award-winning work that celebrates the inspiring human truths of South Africa and its people.

“In 2021, Volkswagen will be celebrating 70 years in South Africa and we will continue to tell our local brand stories, through the eyes of local storytellers and in our own languages,” said Meredith Kelly Head of Marketing at Volkswagen.

In addition to Volkswagen’s motivation to reflect local stories, the brand will continue to champion the local creative and advertising industry which is in line with Volkswagen’s ‘Drive Local’ campaign launched in 2020. Creating work locally not only enhances Volkswagen’s relevance and celebrates the South African consumer, but it also provides the opportunity to collaborate with South African talent to bring home-grown stories to life.

“The local film industry has been severely impacted by COVID-19 so it became even more important to create own content, as Volkswagen we are committed to crafting relevant brand stories that reflect our country, its people and resonate with our fans,” explained Kelly.

“While our first objective of locally-produced content is authenticity and relevance, we are also passionate about supporting the local creative industry by utilising the brilliant skills and talent we have here in South Africa,” concluded Kelly.

VW Tiguan T-SUV

The upcoming launch of the new Tiguan, which completes Volkswagen’s T-SUV model range, provided the brand and their creative partners with a new opportunity to tell a uniquely South African story, once again, through the eyes of local creatives. With the new Tiguan being the ultimate family SUV and following the context of a very tough period for all families due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Volkswagen wanted to celebrate that in retrospect, ‘Family has Never Looked this Good’. The new Tiguan creative campaign highlights that while all families have those bothersome habits as well as challenges which sometimes drive people apart, it is spending quality time with family that matters most – bad habits and all.

The new television creative, which is produced in isiZulu, showcases a South African family gathering for a birthday party and highlights that, although family is never perfect, it is the only thing that matters at the end of the day. The new Tiguan television commercial brings together a family after more than a year of various lockdown restrictions to celebrate that family has never looked this good.

To produce the new advertisement Volkswagen partnered with local filmmakers, Egg Films and director Zwelethu Radebe. On directing the advert Radebe said, “As a black South African filmmaker, I am incredibly proud to have worked on Volkswagen’s first isiZulu television commercial.”

“What was integral in directing this story was seeing South African people, my own people, reflected in the best possible light and in the most realistic way. It was important to me to showcase a non-stereotypical version of a black South African family, yet one that spoke to local truths. I hope when people view the creative, it brings back fond memories of moments in their own family interactions,” concluded Radebe.

video: supplied

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Nomakhaya Makhaya

Nomakhaya Makhaya is a B.A. Journalism graduate.

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