New ABSA Campaign Inspired By The Distinctly African Way To Get Things Done


ABSA Retail and Business Banking (Absa RBB) has launched its new retail TV commercial (TVC) campaign, inspired by the distinctly African way to get things done through a combination of tenacity and ingenuity.

The campaign celebrates the ‘I Can’ spirit of many South Africans who are displaying grit and determination to get things done during these difficult times, which is what Africanacity is all about. ‘I Can’ is a positive affirmation; the can-do-spirit embodied by all Africans. It says that ABSA RBB is ready to help customers preserve what they have worked for and to help them rebuild so they can bring their possibilities to life. 

The creative campaign required the creative storytelling vision of a director, who brought the words on paper to life. Zee Ntuli, a multiple award-winning filmmaker and commercials director with Darling Films, was selected from some of the finest in the commercials business to bring his distinctive talents to the production. 

Creativity and strong leadership on all fronts played a big role in getting the new campaign off the ground, as there were many unforeseen issues and challenges that needed to be overcome. Once the ball was rolling, it was a race against time to get the campaign completed while chasing an incredibly tight deadline to produce a television commercial that all parties were happy with. 

Agency creative director, Ntokozo Tshabalala commented, ‘What the public is seeing today is an idea that seeks to capture Absa Retail and Business Banking’s commitment to their clients and customers. The broader team worked tirelessly behind the scenes to understand what South Africans want to achieve in life and to provide banking products and services that enable more people to get things done in these tough times. We needed to communicate the key features of numerous Absa banking product and service offerings that would show people how Absa is there for them. We tell a number of human stories that most South Africans can relate to.’

Ntuli added, ‘I had a fantastic time working with exciting creatives on this campaign. Shooting within Covid-19 regulations naturally posed some difficulties and challenges, especially regarding access to locations and time-consuming hurdles. However thanks to our exceptional team and crew, these hurdles were easily overcome. Working with the client and agency, we managed to pull off an ad which I think will resonate with consumers.’

The TVC wasn’t the only piece of work the agency team were tasked with delivering in a short space of time under restricting conditions. The team had to truly live up to the spirit of Africanacity by displaying loads of ingenuity, tenacity, creativity and the willingness to get multiple things, aside from this particular production, done.

‘As a part of the project management team, I had to ensure this particular project and all the ongoing strategic and creative work in the system continued as planned. We couldn’t afford to get side-tracked by the numerous tasks associated with a large production. We needed to remain disciplined and committed to making sure that the production deadlines were met as well as that all the other important work that came before and after the TVC, were all on track,’ said Zahrah Stoltenkamp, agency project manager, VMLY&R. Despite the many challenges that came with working under Covid-19 restrictions, the campaign launch was a success.