Ad of the Week: Takealot of this DIY Christmas Special with Suzelle
by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) YouTube has spawned a new generation of video creators — people who create content in the form of short programmes, traditionally done using a webcam. But ever since the first YouTube millionaires hit the headlines, production values have improved dramatically.
Today’s mini-moviemakers seem to have access to uber production, including proper editing, graphics and scripting. South Africa is up with this trend, and, although some attempts are cringe-worthy, there a host of breakthrough and standout brands — and Suzelle DIY is becoming a firm favourite after I added her channel to my subscription list.
The “Bitesized Do-It-Yourself Webseries” is conceived by filmmaker and animator Ari Kruger and illustrator/designer Julia Anastasopoulos, also known as Knolc. In December 2014, online retailer Takealot.com used the holiday season and four episodes of Suzelle DIY to promote the brand, as well as its wish list feature— and I think it’s a very clever association.
We South Africans love to poke fun at ourselves. We especially like to parody our archetypes: the bumbling politician; the hoity-toity housewife from [insert the name your ‘larney’ suburb here]; the socially inept schoolteacher; or the self-aggrandising, the self-conscious and the self-defeating among us. These parodies can be unkind sometimes but, if done with charm, empathy and good humour, they can be a window into what it means to be ‘Seffrican’.
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Suzelle has what one might call a ‘typical’ South African delivery, a fascinating aesthetic and entertaining content. The channel provides DIY tips, from the unusual and quirky, to the crazy but practical. Want to peel a whole bucket of potatoes in a hurry? All you need is a drill and an unused toilet-brush. How about making an avocado face-mask, or a ‘braai pie’? The tips are eclectic, unusual and usually useful.
Suzelle has an accent that certain people assume when they’re trying to sound ‘posh’ — which is just a layer of pretension on top of small-town mannerisms and enunciation. For example, she would pronounce the word ‘hyena’ as ‘high-heenah’ — that, combined with a sort of singsong delivery, typifies this character.
The idea of a wish list isn’t entirely new, but the association with Suzelle works: just seeing her eclectic range of pink items helps to bring home the concept, while showcasing the range of products that Takealot.com has to offer.
With over 24 400 subscribers and some 2.7 million combined views, the channel certainly has a dedicated following (and there’s also Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). In terms of digital advertising, it is certainly more impactful than banner ads or those annoying spots that get slotted in at the start of a YouTube clip, where you are forced to watch for at least five seconds before you can hit the ‘skip’ button.
May Takealot.com and Suzelle DIY be just the start of something new and fresh!
Ad of the Week, published on MarkLives every Wednesday, is penned by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki), the CEO of Ornico, a Brand Intelligence® firm that focuses on media, reputation and brand research.
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