MetropolitanRepublic Gets Hearts Beating With Flora Through-The-Line Campaign


Flora had always had a heart health narrative that spoke to an older market who were concerned about developing or already had heart and cholesterol problems. As a result, Flora was losing relevance with the broader LSM A market, and wanted to, going forward, take a proactive approach to heart health, as opposed to a reactive one.

MetropolitanRepublic’s response was to remind people why their hearts are so important and why they should protect them. Encapsulated by the new pay-off line – ‘Whatever your heart beats for, protect it with Flora’ – the proposition aims to solve the growth challenge put to agencies who pitched for the business last year.

Art Director at MetropolitanRepublic, Sheldon Ford said, ‘Our hearts don’t just beat. They beat for love, happiness, success, family, work and play, ultimately guiding us to what we need, not just want, and giving us a reason for being. This reason for being is different in each and every one of us. Some love the simple things like the morning sun on their skin. Some love adventure and building empires. We need to protect our passions, our being, what makes us who we are and protect our hearts.’ 

‘So, if our heart is our everything, why is it that we take our hearts for granted? Why do we go about our days, yet fail to see the value in every heartbeat?’ asked Jess McTeer, Copywriter at MetropolitanRepublic. ‘This is where Flora comes in, it helps protect what allows us to love and what allows us to live: our heart.’

The campaign has a strong above-the-line focus with two brand TV commercials (TVC’s) and six unique spots to talk to different groups of people – or tribes – loosely defined by common passion points.

There’s also a substantial influencer campaign with appearances by Itumeleng Baloyi, Lesego Semenya, Mpoomy Ledwaba, Zaakirah Khalek, Martin Headger, Angie Batis Durrant, Ashleigh Knox, Robbie Coetzee, Ketishnie Naiker and Luyanda. Five chefs have also contributed nearly a dozen recipes which are being shared online. Mario Nicolettis from production house Ministry of Illusion (MOI) directed all the work.

Both client and agency are exceptionally proud of the brand’s repositioning journey, which is the result of a mutually respectful partnership between the Flora brand team and MetropolitanRepublic that was ignited during the pitch process; cultivated during the re-imagination of the core brand strategy; and bedded down through consumer research and insight generation.

‘When advertisers are asked what they would like to create a campaign for, margarine doesn’t generally come up on top. But MetropolitanRepublic looks at every product and every brand as if it is gold and Flora has that status in the margarine category,’ said McTeer.We were over the moon when we were awarded the account, and the honour of being selected only grew with every interaction we had with the Flora brand team.’

‘They are the ‘Unicorn Client’: not only incredibly trusting in our ability as an agency, but there every step of the way – well, virtually, thanks to lockdown. Even though they were in Durban, while we were shooting in Joburg, they were ‘on set’ via zoom from first call to final wrap, demonstrating their dedication to their brand and their excitement to be a part of every moment of Flora’s repositioning journey,’ she said. 

‘I believe that the secret sauce is in the way in which both agency and client have walked this journey together. There is just such a fantastic chemistry that has developed through this project that we feel nothing can stop us,’ added Flora’s Brand Manager, Keegan Eichstadt.Kudos, too, have to go to MOI for landing a fantastic TVC and digital healthy food recipe videos, as well as Shaun Jacobs and Adam Howard for creating an audio thread throughout the campaign.’

For Eichstadt, it was particularly exciting to see that the creative was not limited to ‘the big idea’, but included key practical FMCG applications from packaging design, to point-of-sale design and digital execution. 

‘Notable was MetropolitanRepublic’s insistence that the digital strategy, creative and execution was fully aligned and integrated with the core idea and through-the-line plans and creative. For me, this was a departure from my previous experiences, particularly in that the translation of the big idea into a packaging concept was unexpected and unique.’