Grey Africa Conceptualises Hollard Life’s Abantu Bazothini Campaign


Hollard Life’s first collaboration with Grey is their new TV commercial (TVC) and 360 degree brand campaign, ‘Abantu bazothini’, a Zulu phrase that translates as ‘What will people say’. This comes after Hollard Life recently appointed Grey Africa as its new advertising agency.

Grey is also the agency for Hollard Insure, which focuses on corporate and commercial insurance, while agency VMLY&R has the account for Hollard Group and Hollard Partner Solutions.

‘We knew that Grey was the agency for us after our very first meeting,’ sayid Heidi Brauer, Chief Marketing and Customer Officer for Hollard. ‘Of course the high calibre and creativity of their previous work speaks for itself. However, for us at Hollard, it is about more than just great credentials. We love the energy and spirit of the Grey team, and we could see that they had really listened to us and had devoted a lot of time to think about the nuances of our brand. Creativity is a hard journey, so we wanted an agency that could work closely with us and grow with us. Relationships are everything in business, and great work takes time and commitment. We are thrilled to have Grey partner with us on this journey.’

The Hollard Life TVC tells the story of an old man who has left a video message for his widow, in which he emphasises that he wants a dignified burial but not a lavish funeral, as he wants her to benefit from his life insurance policy and be well looked after for the rest of her life. The entire TVC is delivered in Zulu, with English subtitles.

‘With this campaign, Hollard wanted to reposition what the life insurance business is all about,’ explained Fran Luckin, Chief Creative Officer at Grey Africa. ‘We wanted to start shifting South African’s mindsets about funeral and life cover and get them to think more about life insurance and less about funeral policies.’

Farhaana Baartman, Head of Marketing and Customer for Hollard Life, elaborated, ‘Funerals are an important element of many South African cultures, but the important question people should be asking themselves is, ‘What is the legacy I will leave behind for my loved ones?’.  Part of this legacy is life insurance to ensure that one’s family is well looked after. As Hollard celebrates our 40-year milestone, we want South Africa to start seeing Hollard Life as more than just a funeral business, but as a life insurance partner that can help you leave a worthy legacy.’

The director of the Hollard Life commercial was Justice Mukhali of Bomb Commercials, who is well known for his authentic storytelling. Luckin noted, ‘Mukhali really brought his heart and soul into the production and had some lovely insights, suggesting some changes to our original script that really made the story more relatable. He has a way of connecting with the human spirit and unpacking the real nuances behind the many issues that South Africans face.’