Cannes Lions

iLobola Nge Bhubesi

DNA BRAND ARCHITECTS, Johannesburg / AB INBEV / 2019

Case Film
Supporting Content
Supporting Images






If you are black and South African chances are you have experienced the process of Lobola. It is an unavoidable fact of life for large part South Africa’s population and is the most widely practice traditional custom in the country. The Lobola negotiation process sees a man pay the family of his prospective fiancé a bride price for her hand in marriage. This cultural practice has stood the test of time and showcases to the family of the bride that the man will be able to take care of their daughter and is an important part of bringing families together. The story seeks to portray customs tradition, and black people in an authentic and dignified manner and bring pride to our cultural practices. iLobola Nge Bhubesi was produced and scripted entirely in isiZulu, the most widely spoken language in the country to connect with more audiences.


In South Africa, “Lobola” is a widely practiced traditional custom that sees a man pay the family of his prospective bride’s for her hand. To resonate with our audiences we wanted to more representative of the country’s diverse landscape and rich cultural heritage. We introduced iLobola Nge Bhubesi, a 5-part digital series that was shot & produced entirely in isiZulu. It tells the story of a young South African young named Sipho, who is getting ready to marry the love of his life but first he must overcome “Lobola” which has been a part of his culture for decades.


Key insights told us that our target audience were black male blue collar workers aged 25 to 45. They predominately live in urban to peri urban areas and may be marginalised but they don’t see themselves as poor. They have a deep sense of pride and value tradition & culture. They also have a strong presence across digital platforms. This underpinned PR and Digital strategy and we developed brand assets across Facebook, Twitter and Youtube as we understood where the bulk of our audience resides. Our key message was to communicate that Lion is back. This was supported by an aggressive PR roadshow that took our cast of relatively unknown actors on the road for interviews and features on key platforms. This included interviews on broadcast platforms (Morning shows, entertainment, and radio shows) and features on the country's biggest print and online platforms.


Before the launch of the series media was invited to cover the shoot where behind the scenes content was created ahead of the launch on the 22nd of October 2018. For 4 weeks between October 22 to November 2018 five episodes where uploaded every Monday and Thursday across Lion Lager’s social media platforms. To ensure that the content landed on PR platforms we created multiple content pieces that included a trailer, memes & GIFs as well as a full short film that we used to drive sustained talk-a-ability. This however wasn’t without it’s challenges. Because we didn’t have a well-known cast and a familiar brand we had to strategic in how we sold the story to media. We tailored content to each and every media outlet to ensure that they had unique pieces of coverage that were relevant to their audiences.

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