Ogilvy South Africa

Volkswagen and Ogilvy 'Drive to Defy' in every way

"A campaign that truly lives its pay-off line," is how Ogilvy Cape Town creative director Alex Goldberg describes 'The Drive To Defy' launch of the new Volkswagen T-Roc.

The online films made for the launch capture the life stories of two South Africans who have defied the odds, expectations and stereotypes to achieve remarkable success; Major Mandisa Mfeka who is the nation’s first Black female combat pilot (and flew with the Hawks at President Ramaphosa’s inauguration in 2019) and Kitty Phetla who is the first Black ballerina to dance The Dying Swan in Russia.

“The emotional stories of these two remarkable women are powerful examples of the drive to defy the odds,” says Goldberg but the making of the films during the Covid-19 pandemic also represented a huge challenge. “They were briefed and produced during the lockdown in Johannesburg, Alexandra, Pretoria and at Middleburg Airfield, with the core team attending and directing shoots remotely. It was logistically complex and the health of everyone taking part had to be the top priority. The end product from director Fausto Becatti and Bioscope Films is superb by any standards and exceptional given the constraints we were working under.”

A further significant layer in the campaign was a deliberate decision to involve people in the production process who had defied the odds themselves to get to their current position in the industry and then to make four additional films telling their stories, directed by Kyla Philander, who describes herself as “a femme of colour in the film industry living with mental illness.”

Ogilvy Cape Town MD Vicki Buys says: “We are very proud of this campaign, which pushed everyone to their limits and then some, but we had some incredible partners who put every inch of their creativity into bringing it to life and we had the most important thing of all, a client committed to the vision of defiance.” 

To view the campaigns, visit the following links:




’Drive To Defy’ credits:

Client: Volkswagen South Africa

Client: Meredith Kelly, Loryn Symons, Neo Nkosi

Agency: Ogilvy Cape Town

Creative Director: Alex Goldberg

Associate Creative Director: Riaan Van Wyk

Creative Group Head / Art Director: Sibs Zihle

Creative Group Head / Copywriter: Marjolein Rossouw

Copywriter: Sandhya Mathura, Melanie Horenz, Steven Lipschitz

Art Director: Lisa Hodgskiss, Annie Bekker

Account Team: Lexi Leih, Chris Spencer, Jeanine Hugo, Sivenathi Jayiya

Agency Producer: Cathy Day Tooze

Delivery: Mel Forgus

Production Company: Bioscope Films

Director: Fausto Becatti

Producer: Daniel Kaplan, Lee-Anne Jacobz

DOP: Adam Bentel

Post: Strangelove

Post Executive Producer: Bevil Schwartz

Editor (Brand): Daniel Mitchell

Editor (Content): Shelby Ncube

Flame (Brand): Charmaine Greyling

Flame (Content): Darian Simon

Grade: Nic Apostoli

SFX: Sinister

Sound Design: The Workroom

Sound Engineer: Stephen Webster, Michael Botha

Score/Music: Audio Militia, Pressure Cooker and Daniel Caleb

Photographer: Jodi Windvogel

PR: Bonfire