#Breaking: New Woolies TVC celebrates SA activists and achievers

by Louise Burgers. Woolworths is about to release a new brand commercial with all the feels to encourage South Africans to celebrate our latest and greatest achievements.

by Louise Burgers. Woolworths is about to release a new brand commercial with all the feels to encourage South Africans to celebrate our latest and greatest achievements. It even has its own song, ‘Believe’, sung by the Ndlovu Youth Choir of course; and all the South African achievers spotlighted, including our very own Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi, are subtly decked out in Woolies winter fashion (because it is still an advertising campaign).

The new ad campaign breaks on 9 March and is titled ‘Catch the Feels: It’s Time to Believe’, aiming to promote feelings of “unity, pride and positivity” in South Africa. It will be supported by TV, print, social media and PR. All elements of the campaign will also be found in stores across the country.


The ad brief reads: “It talks to how good feelings are contagious. That is, excellence, energy and joy are shared and spread, creating a connecting swell of uplift. We’ll bring this contagious spirit to life through a campaign that shows every day South Africans doing exceptional things, uniting through music and dance.”

Backstage: Lady Skollie, Bee Diamondhead, Rolanda Marais.

The creative includes the cast of activists, athletes, influencers and industry trailblazers, moving from bus to dressing room to the stage, ‘behind the scenes’ backstage footage, with the focus on the Woolworths knitwear range, before the entire group unites on stage for a moment of unity.

The ‘cast’ include: the Ndlovu Youth Choir; Miss Universe Zozi Tunzi; World Rugby Player of the Year Pieter du Toit; fashion designer, photographer and stylist Thebe Magugu; feminist artist and activist Lady Skollie; comedian and actress Celeste Ntuli; businesswoman and TV personalisty Basetsana Kumalo, wheelchair runway model Lebohang Monyatsi; athlete Caitlin Rooskrantz; ; fashion designer Rich Mnisi; actress Rolanda Marais; human rights activist Tshmia Ismail; fashion stylist Bee Diamondhead; model and activist Elle Rose van der Burg and model Nontobeko Mbuyaz.

Catch the Feels is not just an advertising commercial though – as purpose-driven marketing it hopes this initiative will provide a platform to create those feelings of unity, pride and positivity in South Africa, by bringing together South African heroes and trailblazers from different sectors to motivate South Africans to feel positive and do great things.

Shaheda Sayed, Woolworths executive head of brand communications for fashion, beauty, home and international marketing, told Retailing Africa: “The purpose of the concept is to make all South Africans feel that they are part of something that has the power to inspire others. We wanted to remind everyone of what is special and unique in our country: the extraordinary talent, the driving ambition, the deep sense of community and that anything is possible if we believe. We’ve specifically partnered with some inspirational people and SA champions that personify courage, optimism and hope. It is with this in mind, that Catch the Feels was born. It’s more than a campaign, it’s a movement. Our approach to how we produced this campaign was also very different. We chatted to each member of the cast, as we wanted them to feel a natural part of it, believe in it and to continue to be champions of this geez [spirit].

“As a business, our strategy has always been to work with ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and our cast, are exactly that. Each and every one of them is a trailblazer in their respective industry, they inspire the nation, they break boundaries and pay it forward. As a brand we want to stand for a beacon of hope and optimism,” Sayed explained.


She said the South African celebs and achievers which took part in the brand campaign loved it. “They were so inspired and reenergised to continue to help move the country forward. The energy on set was incredible and it was a blessing and honour to work with such remarkable and passionate talent.”

Sayed added that the core message she wanted South Africans to take away with them after experiencing the new campaign, was on of positivity: “To celebrate the best and beautiful things that our country has to offer and to always believe in themselves and one another. To continue to rise, to continue to shine and to believe that anything is possible.

“Purpose driven messaging helps foster stronger relationships with your target audiences based on shared values and beliefs. It allows the brand to connect with the consumer on a deeper and more personal level. Consumers will support a brand that they have an emotional bond with, and this bond is built on shared ethics. However, it has to be authentic and connect with them. That is what creates long lasting loyalty.”


Louise Burgers (previously Marsland) is the Publisher and Editor of She’s spent over 20 years writing about the FMCG retailing, marketing, media and advertising industry in South Africa and on the African continent. She has specialised in local and Africa consumer trends and is a passionate Afro-optimist who believes it is Africa’s time to rise again and that the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will be a global game changer in the next decade.

– Receive the Retailing Africa newsletter every Monday and Thursday. Subscribe here.