Retail advertising doesn’t have to be pedestrian

Retail advertising doesn’t have to be dry and boring, it can be entertaining and quirky, according to Duke Advertising.

When DUKE advertising was briefed with creating an online retail campaign for webafrica’s uncapped fibre offering, the agency was determined to make retail advertising that wasn’t dry and boring.

The result was five hilarious short video’s that resulted in an average view time of 24 seconds – an amazing achievement for online ads considering they were 25 seconds long. Explains Duke creative director, Gareth Cohen, “There is a great deal of parity in the uncapped fibre market. There isn’t just one thing that makes webafrica stand out from all their competitors, but rather a combination of three main product benefits of their services – reliability, affordability and speed. Also, telling consumers about fibre didn’t sound like fun, so, in the quirky webafrica tone, we personified the attributes that make webafrica who they are.”

This led to the introduction of three unlikely characters: Reliable (Winnie Ntshaba), Affordable (Will Hobson) and a super-fast Ostrido, played by Makvoel the ever-popular South African celebrity ostrich. With the help of Ari Kruger from Sketchbook studios, Duke  created a series of five pre-roll ads that took the figurative representation of the world of the internet and portrayed it quite literally. From phishing to cloning and deleting your internet browsing history, the three unlikely webafrica characters provide an entertaining account of the everyday occurrences of the online world.

Adds Cohen, “Because these ads are skippable, we made sure the main messaging – Affordability, Reliability, Speed – is delivered in the first three seconds, in the off-chance that viewers don’t watch the wackiness until the end. But from the stats we’ve received, it seems like everyone wants to see more of our crazy webafrica characters.”

To add extra value, Duke also produced a six-second retargeting campaign with nine short clips for social media channels.

Comments webafrica’s head of marketing, Jeremy Wilkinson, “With the ever-expanding diversity of our country, we wanted to ensure our brand resonated with even more South Africans. We needed something different to what we had done in the past and, thanks to Duke, we nailed it. The content was unique, and Duke have done an amazing job of creating watchable online content that just happens to double up as advertising for our webafrica brand. There’s a likeability to the characters and a need to see more. What ever happened to Ostrido’s clone…? Did Will ever regain his memory…? The result is a brand personality that is even more relatable to South African audiences.”

To view the webafrica digital ads, click on the links below: – Unboxing – Phishing – Robot – History – Clone


Main image credit: Duke.


The DUKE Group is a sponsor on and with Retailing Africa, will be publishing a series of thought leadership articles on strategic insights into advertising for brands in South Africa and Africa. DUKE is an integrated marketing agency that puts the best people in the corner of contender brands so they can win the fight for customers’ attention. The independent agency is a tight collaboration and integration of different disciplines, brought together to best help clients to succeed in a progressively challenging and fluid environment – from strategy to creative; production and PR; sponsorship and research. Companies in the group include Duchess, Champ, Nude, Mark1 and Positive Dialogue.


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