How are Africa’s marketers engaging their audiences in a continent where mobile usage is rocketing through the roof, where creative juices are flowing and consumers are interacting via mobile at high rates?

In the case of mobile agency Brandtone, they looked beyond banners and apps and set their sights firmly on mobile activation with a strong storyline/concept that was tied top to bottom – above the line and below.

For their clients, Carling Black Label from South African Breweries, Brandtone created the ultimate fantasy football experience prior to a soccer match between the Orlando Pirates and the Kaizer Chiefs.

Potential beer drinkers were encouraged to “Be the Coach” and create their own fantasy team. Participation was linked to purchase of Carling Black Label, where consumers would find a unique code on pack.

They entered via a free USSD (a form of text messaging) to make a team selection. Each code let fans select a player in a preferred position. Each time a user played, they were asked a demographic/behavioral question that helped enrich a permissioned, profiled database. Participants then heard from the coaches of the teams via prerecorded messages. On game day, consumers could have their final say and vote via SMS for a player to be substituted. There were more than 11 million entries through USSD, and this effort won the top prize at the awards.


Andrea Quaye, Carling Black Label’s General Manager, comments on the success of the campaign: “This unique sporting property has turned the tables of sponsorship on its head and continued to change South African beer drinkers’ perceptions of the brand. Carling Black Label’s proposition was brought to life in trade and captured the imagination of soccer loving supporters with the biggest and boldest through-the-line campaign in the history of the brand.”

The campaign has since won awards at industry events such as GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards in Barcelona, the South African Creative Circle awards and  Virgin Active Sports Industry Awards.

Brandtone are based in South Africa -

About The Author


Neva is a storyteller and media strategist with a background in PR, film, advertising and digital marketing who is passionate about technology, new media and the endless possibilities of the social and mobile sphere. Read more about her on our 'About Us' page.

3 Responses

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