by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) Chicken Licken, Joe Public United and director Dean Blumberg of Bouffant pay homage to Indiana Jones in a journey that take viewers from the mysterious land of the pharaohs to the heart of Egoli. The quest? The search for ‘inner peace’.

The quest for ‘inner peace’ has been part of Chicken Licken’s messaging for a while: previous iterations featured a cubicle escapee getting lost in the snowy wastes of the Himalayas, and a kung fu disciple finally besting his master. The integrated campaign promotes the brand’s “Rock My Soul” offering, which is either three or six pieces of fried chicken with fries and ‘Soul Fire’ Hot Sauce.

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The latest in the TVC series is entitled “Archie and the Pharaoh”. In this episode, we are transported to Egypt, where a lone archaeologist (Archie) is hard at work. Dressed in the obligatory waistcoat and fedora hat, this is a cool nod to that most-famous adventurer/archaeologist in recent movie history — the one-and-only Indiana Jones.

In the ad, Archie uncovers an intricate heraldic carving and, as he does so, the ground opens up beneath him and he falls into a hidden cave. No problem, our protagonist ignites a match. But doing so causes all sorts of flaming devices to spontaneously illumine, revealing a classic Egyptian tomb resplendent with relics. In the centre of it all, a sarcophagus, inlaid with gold.

The intrepid explorer cautiously opens the lid of the upright sarcophagus to reveal, not a mummy, but a real, live Egyptian pharaoh. He awakens, and barks in Egyptian (but with subtitles): “Who dares disturb the peace of the great Hor-Aha?”

“I curse you!’ he exclaims, but the damning seems to cause the ancient one pain.

“Sorry,” says Archie, in typical South African style, adding: “But, Pharaoh, I know where I can find you inner peace.”

“Show me,” the pharaoh commands, which (naturally) launches them into a travel montage.

“Are we there yet?” asks Hor-Aha, as they walk through the streets of Cairo. There are a few moments of culture shock: as the ancient Egyptian monarch encounters traffic for the first time; at a TV store, he’s amazed to see himself on the screen, and Archie has to pull him away; approached why a street vendor selling cheap pharaoh-inspired trinkets, Hor-aha magically turns him into a frog, much to Archie’s dismay; and more.

The travel scenes (filmed on location) are accompanied by Indiana Jones-style graphics, depicting their path through a map of Africa.

The journey continues through Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania, where Hor-aha and Archie have fun splashing in the sea. “Is this it?” asks the pharaoh, taking in the idyllic setting. But the archaeologist just smiles knowingly.

Next, they take to the skies, and travel to Joburg, Mzansi, at last arriving at a Chicken Licken restaurant downtown. Here, Archie presents Hor-aha with a perfectly crumbed and fried chicken drumstick. The pharaoh bites into a succulent piece of fried chicken, and his face dissolves into rapture. The archaeologist, too, is in a state of bliss. But as he opens his eyes, the pharaoh disappears — no doubt, because he has finally found ‘inner peace’. The archaeologist tries to take the food the pharaoh has left behind but just then it, too, disappears. The scene cuts back to the sarcophagus, as its lid is slowly pulled closed.

The casting, both of the archaeologist and the pharaoh, is spot on. The graphic effects, so reminiscent of the movies it is paying homage to, are a lovely touch. The sets, locations, editing and music all combine to make a watchable story that gives one a chuckle time after time.

Well done, Chicken Licken, Joe Public and Bouffant — may you continue to delight us with more entertaining episodes on our ongoing journey to inner peace.


Agency: Joe Public United (ATL and digital)
Group chief creative officer: Pepe Marais
Chief creative officer: Xolisa Dyeshana
Executive creative director: Roanna Williams
Creative directors: Martin Schlumpf, Claudi Potter
Agency TV producer: Di Cole
Group account director: Amber Mackeurtan
Production company: Bouffant
Director: Dean Blumberg
DoP: Adam Bentel
Producer: Chanelle Critchfield
Post-production: Fresh VFX
Editor: Tessa Ford
Final mix: Louis Enslin, Produce Sound
Music: Lorne Balfe/Library Music

Credits updated at 9.25am and 10.07am on 18 May 2017


Oresti PatriciosAd 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

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