Ogilvy South Africa

Soccer Song for Change


The Brief

SA’s abuse rate is 5 times higher than the global average. Despite constitutional protections, gender-based violence remains widespread in our country. Carling Black Label recognised the need to acknowledge that alcohol can be part of the problem and used its status as a beacon of masculinity to challenge how society, specifically men, react to violence against women with the #NoExcuse campaign.

#NoExcuse combats women abuse and aims to mobilise men to protect women, through driving awareness, creating conversations and providing tools for people to take positive action to drive real change. Research shows abuse rates spike after big soccer matches, where tension is high and much alcohol is consumed.

The Solution

So, we leveraged our sponsorship of the Soweto Derby, between the notoriously rivalrous Chiefs and Pirates. With a full stadium of riled-up men drinking our product, this was the ideal platform for us to take responsibility and share a message with men that they could take home with them after the game. We had a choir enter the field just before kick-off and hijack Masambe Nono. Fans sang along with gusto, until half way through, our choir changed the lyrics to highlight the issue of women abuse. People took our message to the streets and marched to parliament.

We responded by changing our iconic packaging and partnering with government to set up a special parliament to tackle GBV, taking SA’s biggest beer brand from the no.1 excuse for abuse, to the no.1 champion against it. The non-traditional platform helped us not only to talk directly to a sold-out stadium of beer-drinking men, but with the game being highly televised and fans documenting and sharing their stadium experience, we reached a greater audience than the 2010 World Cup Football opening ceremony and match. We even got a shout out from Drogba for our efforts.

This resulted in brand mentions increasing by 823%, R31.8 million of earned media, and a total reach of 45 million. Positive brand sentiment increased by 86% and ABInBev awarded Carling with a Global Best Practice award, which lead to the campaign being rolled out in 5 other countries.