Ad of the Week: Ocean Basket connects friends and family
by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) In a world where social media has brought us closer together yet, paradoxically, keeps us further apart, Ocean Basket, So Interactive and director Markstry of Spitfire Films bring a timely reminder of the value of connecting face-to-face.
Friendship day has just come and gone. That’s right! Thursday, 30 July 2017, was International Friendship Day, 24 hours dedicated to that special love and closeness that makes life worth living. Social media has enabled us to find, and reach out to, friends (and family) like never before. But, when it comes to creating real connections, nothing beats meeting face-to-face. This is the essence of what the new Ocean Basket campaign, “The Beautiful Truth About Sharing”, is all about.
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The ad sets itself up as a sort of ‘social experiment’. The titling, “We asked people to have a conversation over message” is flashed on the screen during a quick montage of people sitting down on a couch. The text test here is to see how well people connect through the medium of instant messaging.
The camera is locked off, and the couch never moves, so the jump-cuts between various people work well to demonstrate how we can disconnect through text messages. As the people start to message each other, the text appears in balloons, with the person’s voice reading it at the same time in voiceover. Already the disconnect is clear. When ‘Daughter’ asks ‘Mom’ how her day has been, the reply is, ‘I’m okay’. But the tone of her voice when she reads the text message tells us much more. The mother is obviously sad.
Texting is a great, quick connector but are easy to misinterpret as it lacks most of the nuance and unspoken communication that we get from face-to-face interactions. The experiment, which reveals the difference between text and face-to-face connections, is repeated in the following interactions: friend-to-friend, father-to-daughter and so on.
But, in the real-life conversations — a montage that follows — there is so much more spontaneity. The camera style changes to accommodate this. The cinematic-style change to closer angles matches the more-intimate nature of the conversations.
The final section of the ad is prefaced with the text, “The difference?” Here the participants talk to an off-screen interviewer about how they feel about the transactions. “It’s kind of scary to see how disconnected we are,” a man in the ad says. “When we eat together, that’s when we’re actually a family,” says a woman.
The payoff line, “We share more when we’re together,” is followed by a simple invitation: “Come share a meal and more around our table.” The Ocean Basket logo with the hashtag #SeaFoodShareFood ends the mini-movie, and is followed by a bonus punchline. This is a sweet little out-take of a particular elderly lady asking for wifi. Watch out for this when you view the ad; it’s guaranteed to bring a smile.
The essence of the campaign is connection, or what I mean when I talk about spending real, quality time with friends and family. Life is short, which is why taking the time to deepen the friendships we have with our family and the people we love is so important. And there’s no better way to do this than over a sizzling pan of freshly fried calamari. (What can I say, I’m Greek 😉 We believe friends, family, and food are the magic recipe for peace, love and understanding.)
It is interesting to learn that the first Ocean Basket restaurant opened its doors in 1995, the same year that South Africa held its first democratic elections. One of the founders, Fats Lazarides, saw an opportunity because, before that time, fresh-fish restaurants were largely elitist — something for folks with lots of dosh. He swam against the current by creating a fresh-fish deli where everyday folk could bring their friends and family — without taking a second bond out on their homes. This is, in part, why I love this campaign: making memorable moments with friends and family should be affordable and fun.
AA Milne wrote a wonderful series of stories inhabited by a famous character you’ll know. Milne’s tales of Winnie the Pooh have some incredible truisms about friends and family. In one of these stories he wrote: “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” That’s what this campaign is all about. It is a beautiful reminder that we need to get out from behind our computers or places of work to connect with friends and family. A glass of wine, a pan of fresh seafood and delicious conversation — life doesn’t get better than that. Thanks, Ocean Basket and So Interactive, for reminding us of this invaluable life lesson, and hats off to Lazarides who, in 12 short years, has created a brand that now boasts 201 restaurants in 16 countries around the globe, from Dubai to Durban and Nelspruit to Nigeria.
Agency: So Interactive
Chief creative officer: Darren Mansour
Creative director: Letitia Lerm
Copywriter: Gerda le Roux
Strategist: John Gamble
Account manager: Michelle Marder
Digital project manager: Kirsty Hook
Production company: Spitfire Films
Executive producer: Liesl Karpinski
TV producer: Cherice Whewell
DOP: Waldo Pretorius, Direct
Production manager: Baleseng Makola
Production coordinator: Rebone Sesing
Post-production company: Aces Up Post Production
Editor: Gareth James
Graphic FX: Ed van Blerk
Online: Ed van Blerk
Grade: Craig Simonetti
Sound/mix: Hope Kekana, Direct; Nathi Luthango
Music: Library Music
Full disclosure: The brother-in-law of Oresti Patricios was one of the original founders of Ocean Basket. However, he retired from there 3/4 years ago.
Credits updated at 9.26am on 8 August 2017.
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. If you are involved in making advertising that is smart, funny and/or engaging, please let Oresti know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.