Sitting with our Creative Team at CMedia Africa: We were talking about this unfathomable Cecil the lion publicity that Zimbabwe (and the dentist industry world wide) received over the last two weeks.
The question on the table was, how do we capitalize on this with a Zimbabwean brand?
Lion Lager, the beer, was put on the table, theoretically speaking. This brand, matched with Cecil the Lion hype and combined with humor is the recipe for "love". (We say Love when everything comes together like a Austrian symphony playing Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Theme. In other words, when everything is completely working).
One of our clients had delayed by a day on timeline, so we spent another few minutes talking about the simplicity, the setting, the words and the voice.
“It has to be a tribute, but with a shot of humor," said Devon. From there, the short script came together. "From All the Lions out there, cheers to Cecil."
It wasn't rocket science, but it couldn't just be slapped together. Everything would have to be intentional.
Who could play the part? It needed to be a "full- bodied" man.
“Yes!” Tawanda did a job interview with a Memorable bloke, who didn't get the job, but who had an unforgettable face. "Call him up! Let's take one good swing at this thing."
Our in-house voice, Clemence, nailed the tone. And Ben, our director, pulled the whole thing together and executed it supremely given the timeframe.
By 7pm that night, the shoot was done. A local bar “Bolero’s,” who were gracious and accommodating, gave us the stage, and the talent was more than happy to sip on a beverage.
Here's the thing, Delta Corporation, the company that owns the brand Lion Lager had no relationship with us nor did we really know them at all. It was a risk, and it was time sensitive. Either way, we needed to stick to our gut feeling.
We couldn't let this perfect storm pass. There was a possibility that we wouldn't get a cent from it. But that was okay. A big corp like Delta Beverages could have been bureaucratic and hard to get to. After a few calls and a draft sent via Whatsapp, the media buyer called our team in a matter of hours. An agreement was made and then as the saying goes, “BOOM goes the dynamite."
We are sad that Cecil is gone and we really wanted to pay tribute to this great lion, hopefully this small piece keeps Cecil part of Africa's story and not just a world news bulletin.
"Cheers to Cecil" has taken off. It was picked up by USA Today and over half a dozen online blogs. It's recognized for honoring the famous lion. Another toast to the team at CMediaAfrica. These guys understand story, production, relevance and timing. Tipping our hats to a great team that we are honored to be a part of.
(click here if you can't see the video above)
(photo via wikipedia)