Back to the future for big scale TVC’s

Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) Cape Town’s latest campaign for long-standing client Carling Black Label is a throwback to the days of epic, story-telling South African television commercials with high production values.

The Carling Black Label ‘Horse’ television commercial (TVC), shot over six nights in the Cape Town city centre by veteran director Keith Rose and Velocity Films, depicts a wild horse on the loose through the streets and three Carling Black Label champions intervening to save the day and the horse. For a behind-the-scenes look at what went into making the commercial, click here (for online use only – no broadcast rights).

The logistical challenges presented by the concept were substantial, and the investment from the client was significant, but O&M Cape Town Managing Director Luca Gallarelli says that major set-piece TVCs like this still have a significant role to play in the South African marketing mix; “when done well with great creative and high production values they can uniquely position a brand like Carling Black Label in the minds of many people in a particularly emotional and engaging way”.

Gallarelli believes that even with the uptake of digital and social marketing, TVC remains popular and plays an important role in building the brand narrative; “Even in markets like the UK with massive online video penetration, the major retailers still spend big on Christmas TVCs and flight them heavily”.

“Television remains as relevant as ever but as our world evolves with the proliferation of digital media, there is an entirely new array of media channels that clamour for our attention.

“For a TVC to cut through this new media landscape and have impact, we need to think bigger, bolder and smarter. We need to tell stories, we need to entertain, and we need to deliver the kind of cinematic quality which audiences now take for granted. Allan Gray’s recent TVC ‘The Letter’ is another example of this kind of epic, cinematic storytelling”.

O&M Cape Town Executive Creative Director Tseliso Rangaka says; “Carling Black Label is an iconic brand which has always made major statements in its marketing, and this truly was a major statement”.

As well as the six days of prepping and shooting across six different locations, the TVC used five thoroughbred horses which were trained and conditioned for six weeks.

Carling Black Label General Manager Vijay Govindsamy believes the outcome vindicates the effort and the investment as it “powerfully and emotionally delivers the message of Champion Men taking brave action in a crisis and truly deserving the reward of the Champion beer”.


Link to television commercial:

Link to Behind the Scenes video:

(for online use only – no broadcast rights)


Press Contacts:

Roxanne Leibrandt

  • Ogilvy Public Relations Cape Town
  • +27 21 467 1133
  • +27 76 826 8333

Brittney Kok

  • Ogilvy Public Relations Cape Town
  • T +27 21 467 1271

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