Cheryl Hunter (shelflife at’s weekly pick of all things new — product, packaging, design, insight, food, décor and more!

  • Chicken Licken embraces AI
  • Pizza Hut’s 100th African outlet
  • Helping the Underdog with The Friday Street Club

Chicken science

We live in a world on the brink of an artificial intelligence revolution, which makes Chicken Licken’s latest TVC for its Hotwings product — “Sbu 2.0” — relevant and funny, thanks to the creative talent of ad agency Joe Public.

For the latest ad, the agency worked with director Greg Gray from Romance Films to create a quirky comedy about a science teacher who invents a robotic version of himself to fill in whenever the craving strikes. It is perfectly set to Rag’n’Bone Man’s hit song, Human.

We meet S’bu, an unassuming science teacher who’s up to something in his garage workshop late at night, and quickly discover that he has managed to pull off what could possibly be his greatest achievement: using a mismatch of recycled metal and computer parts, he’s created a functioning, somewhat autonomous, robotic version of himself: S’bu 2.0.

The ad plays out a variety of scenarios where the real S’bu has been replaced with his 2.0 version; confusion and chaos ensue.

Says Martin Schlumpf, Joe Public creative director, “With such a proudly South African client, we always try to create ideas that are relevant. We try to showcase real South Africans at the forefront of global playing fields in an entertaining and humorous way. Whether it involves sending a South African to space, a South African archaeologist exploring an ancient Egyptian tomb or. like now, a South African science teacher that has built a real life, functioning, robotic replica of himself, we’re always trying to create a sense of pride and patriotism through our commercials.”


African opportunities

It’s been only three-and-a-half years since Pizza Hut re-entered the African market with a restaurant in Johannesburg; now the world’s largest pizza restaurant company (a division of global giant Yum! Brands Inc), is celebrating the opening of its 100th store in sub-Saharan Africa in the historic Ghandi Square.

Pizza Hut, Ghandi Square, South AfricaPizza Hut restaurants now trade in 13 sub-Saharan African countries, with an additional 90 stores in Morocco, Egypt and Algeria, bringing the total to 190 across Africa. Says Ewan Davenport, Pizza Hut Africa GM, “This aggressive growth in Africa reflects the untapped opportunities offered by emerging markets. As we expand our footprint in these markets, we continue to add and develop strong local supply-chain partners so that we can bring our pizza to customers in African regions where pizza is not as prevalent as elsewhere in the world.”

South Africa’s Gauteng and Western Cape provinces currently have the most restaurants within sub-Saharan Africa. Hot, free and fast delivery for online orders was recently successfully launched in the competitive South African market and Davenport says this will be available in African markets in the near future. “We’re ensuring that we bring our high global standards and full offering, including online ordering, to all our restaurants in Africa.”

Davenport believes the surface of growth has just been scratched and that there will be many more stores to follow: “We’re passionate about accelerating our expansion across the continent. We are prepped, ready and looking forward to developing Pizza Hut restaurants in more African countries, ultimately making us not only the largest pizza brand in the world, but also on the African continent.”



The Underdog Project, a South African community initiative that is committed to helping at-risk youth and shelter dogs, has launched #ISupportTheUnderdog. This challenge-based campaign calls on like-minded and compassionate people to keep their doors open.

The Underdog ProjectThe Hout Bay programme uses a unique combination of animal training techniques and therapeutic workshops to help the children develop crucial life skills and refocus their lives. Children are paired with shelter dogs for animal-assisted therapy, dog training, life-skills workshops and humane education classes. Not only does The Underdog Project help shelter dogs get adopted but it also helps change the lives of many young people.

Each workshop training session costs R250 per child and dog team, and the goal is to raise R250 000 to keep the programme running for 2018. With this ambitious target in mind, it enlisted the help of PR specialists, The Friday Street Club, to get the word out by encouraging people to share a picture of their underdog (two- or four-legged) and caption the image with their favourite underdog story.



Cheryl HunterShelf Life is’s weekly column covering all things new. Notify us of yours at shelflife at marklives dot com. Want to sponsor Shelf Life? Contact us here.

Cheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison.

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One reply on “Shelf Life: Joe Public goes 2.0 for Chicken Licken”

  1. Will the real Sbu please stand up?. What amazing talent,level of creativity is on another level. Last time I was so excited about an add was in the early 2000,the MTN ( what if add). Anyway thanks to you my five year old is walking and talking like a robot. And who ever casted the actor his this add , lister #BossVibed??

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