The Citizen (Gauteng)
José just the ticket for ad
SANLAM: MOURINHO EPITOMISES COMPANY’S NEW ‘LIVE WITH CONFIDENCE’ POSITIONING
‘We needed someone with the rare ability to ignite it in others.’
When you’re making a brand ad for one of the biggest, most iconic names in the South African, and African, insurance and financial services sector, it almost goes without saying that you go big or go home.
Cape Town ad agency KingJames Gourp SA went big for client Sanlam by getting global football star coach José Mourinho to be the face of a new campaign across all media platforms.
Mourinho is regarded as one of the most successful football coaches in history, with a haul of silverware second to none.
KingJames group executive creative director Matt Ross said the brief was to launch Sanlam’s new positioning – Live with confidence.
“Research undertaken had indicated that Africa, and our people, have a confidence issue. And this, when we most certainly need not. We are the fastest developing continent and the most innovative continent on Earth, working with the least structure and least resources on the planet. We’re incredible. All we need is more enablement.
“And this is where Sanlam is perfectly positioned. The biggest financial services business on the continent can help Africa gain financial confidence in its future.
“We needed someone that not only embodied confidence, but most crucially, has the rare ability to ignite it in others.
“There is no one known across Africa that embodies that more than José Mourinho. He was the right person to not only communicate our message with the requisite weight and inspiration, but also to be the bedrock of enabling Africans to live with confidence.”
Will Mourinho work for an audience here, though?
Ross says: “This campaign may have been gestated way down on the southern tip of Africa, but it is designed for the entire continent. This is a Pan-African campaign and José is a Pan-African icon. Football is the highway of interest across the 54 countries in Africa. And José, having this year been voted the best coach of the 21st century, is the one driving the car. Oscar Wilde said that the only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about, and therein lies José’s utter uniqueness. He can be a polarising character, but he is a character that can’t be ignored. Cut-through is the marketing Holy Grail. He gave us that. And so much more.”
Sanlam realised that the concept would have to “cut through the clutter” but it was far from a let’s just go for it” decision.
Executive creative director Devin Kennedy says: “The biggest challenge was that we had limited time to film with him so we couldn’t do take after take. And directing José remotely from Cape Town [he was in London] didn’t make things easier. Oh, and it was his wedding anniversary.
“We wanted José. It’s like when you shoot with Bob De Niro. You just want De Niro. And we got what we needed. José Mourinho.”