Media > Channels


OGILVY SOUTH AFRICA, Johannesburg / ABINBEV / 2022


Gold Cannes Lions
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Why is this work relevant for Media?

To create huge talkability, we hijacked one of the most widely attended shows in South Africa - South Africa Fashion Week. As the dress walked down the catwalk, press and influencers who were already present were shocked, making it the biggest story of the event.

The campaign received coverage in news/ current affairs, lifestyle & entertainment and national tabloid publications. Mass media channels incl: radio, TV, online, and print. News of the campaign received coverage on multiple national TV channels in the primetime news spots, including radio spots supported with live debate by prominent influencers.


One in three women report experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). 56% of female murder victims in South Africa were killed by their intimate partners. The brief was to draw attention to this horrific insight, and shift behavior.

The festive season (December) coincides with the wedding season (Nov – April); a time when couples are planning and executing their socially expressed commitments to each other. November ends with the global #16DaysofActivism against gender-based violence. This gave the brand a high relevance window of opportunity to grab both men and women’s attention and reinforce the brand’s ongoing message – there is no excuse for woman abuse.

Describe the creative idea / insights

Using hundreds of real stories of abuse in marriage collated by Lifeline South Africa, we partnered with Suzaan Heyns, a renowned local fashion designer, and designed a "dress of armour" - the bridal gown we wish we never had to make.

Crafted from materials like Kevlar, Tulle and Cast Iron, the beautiful gown could withstand fire, bullets, knives and beatings.

We then hijacked one of the most widely attended shows in South Africa - South Africa Fashion Week. As the dress walked down the catwalk, a film played using real victims’ voices. Press and influencers were shocked – placing the dress in a space of huge talkability.

The dress then travelled across South Africa, into shopping malls, exhibitions spaces and public debates.

It went to bars in areas where wife-violence was its most prevalent. Men were educated and asked to take a new vow: to love, protect and never abuse.

Describe the strategy

Carling Black Label’s core consumers are men, with the brand strongly positioning itself as a lighthouse for positive masculinity.

In South Africa, among those who consume alcohol, nearly one in two men (48.1%) engage in heavy episodic drinking of which 56% is beer. Heavy alcohol consumption by men is associated with intimate partner violence. Research on the social anthropology of alcohol drinking suggests that connections between violence and drinking and drunkenness are socially learnt and not universal, with some cultures using as a cultural “time out” for antisocial behavior. South African men are no different, often using being drunk as an excuse for their violence.

Describe the execution

At South Africa’s biggest social event – South African Fashion Week, we ‘hijacked’ the runway. With all the right press and influencers already in the room, our news took over, spreading quickly. As our bride walked down the catwalk, the real voices of those who had suffered abuse told their stories.

To reach the rest of the country in a meaningful way beyond headlines, the dress travelled South Africa, from malls to exhibitions and public debates. It also went into bars in gender-based-violence hotspot areas, surprising patrons and enforcing a new vow: to love, protect and never abuse. We printed this vow onto 10 million cans, putting them in the hands of those who can change the narrative.

List the results

Campaign reach:

+38 mil. people across channels

+ 30 mil. social media impressions

+ 36 mil. earned media

Societal impact:

75% increase -

Women willing to report IPV (post campaign Nudge report)

44% increase -

Men committing to stand against IPV (post campaign Nudge report)

Brand uplift:

59% increase in brand equity

Highest Brand Power Score in brand’s history (Kantar MDS score)

Polled as the most loved alcohol brand over the period.

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