Charles Mathews

#AdOfTheMonth - A modern love story image

By Charles Mathews. Set in the sleepy Overberg town of Greyton in the Western Cape, the MarkLives October 2022 Ad of the Month is Hyundai Staria Multicab's You Can Do Almost Anything, created by Dentsu Creative South Africa (recently rebranded from FoxP2) and Team Best Productions.

The global debut of the multipurpose vehicle has been all about promoting the Hyundai brand's transformation and its vision of "Progress for Humanity".

In a country where people absolutely love their bakkies, this campaign has been "skewed toward the versatility of the van and the different ways in which you can use it," says Jacqui Harries, Dentsu Creative SA client director.

"This gave us an opportunity to tell a story using the different people that the Hyundai Staria could potentially appeal to."

Assumption, the mother of all mistakes

According to Prabashan Pather, Dentsu Creative SA art director, the narrative cleverly reveals how assumption really is the mother of all mistakes. "There's quite a big market for customers who buy bakkies. Depending on the work that you do, there's a large market here for working cars that can also act as family vehicles. During the week, the car will carry the heavy loads but, on the weekend, you use it to take your family, or partner, into the mountains. Instead of actually just comparing it to a bakkie, which would have resulted in a very functional show-and-tell ad, we wanted to weave a story about what the Hyundai Staria can do.

"We thought: 'What if we had a kind of a competition between two South African men who are trying to get the attention of a woman and contain the story quite tightly'?"

The "what if" narrative approach is frequently used to build plot points, characters and storylines in fiction. It's also helped the agency that's twice been selected as The Loeries' no. 1 mid-sized creative agency to develop a modern love story that has huge charm, and a twist in the tale.

The setting is a quaint road in the town. A new neighbour moves into the suburb, piquing the attention of two singletons who've long been looking for love.

"As soon as they see her, these two men signal they are interested in winning her attention and start this kind of competition," says Pather. "I won't go through the details but we didn't want it to be a very straight story or a narrative where two men compete over a woman. This felt too much like familiar territory, so our protagonist has a surprise."

Beautifully shot & funny

The result is a beautifully shot and funny TVC, with perfectly cast and fleshed-out characters, that works incredibly well to relate a story about what happens when you make assumptions about who, and what, people are.

The directors, Bryan Van Niekerk and Asher Stoltz of Team Best Productions, had this to say: "Had a swell old time shooting in Greyton. Little dorpie welcomed us with open arms. Thanks for being so kind and accommodating. Budget was super tight —some might even say impossible —so we had [two] days to shoot a [four]-day job. We got lucky with a good crew and proper actors and then let them just do their flippen' jobs, man!"

A winner in every sense of the word!

Watch the advert here: