Ogilvy South Africa


Castle Lager

The Brief

In a country as diverse as South Africa, we are still confronted by acts of prejudice and discrimination driven by our differences in our race, cultural heritage, sexual preference, social-economic standing and background. Labels based on stereotypical labels perpetuate these prejudices and keep us apart. And that’s why Castle Lager, the iconic 150-year-old beer brand that’s always been about friendship, decided tackle the issue head-on. The insight being that when we sit down and get to know each other over a beer, we see that there is much more to a person than their ‘label.’

The Solution

The #SmashTheLabel campaign was launched with a provocative film directed by Kim Geldenhuys of 0307 Films. It features a diverse mix of South Africans who boldly state the societal label which has been attributed to them. Stereotypes attached to the characters are well-recognised labels, frequently used in South African culture. Terms like ‘Dutchman’, which refers to a person of Afrikaans descent, or ‘Cheese Boy’ being a black youth who comes from a fairly wealthy background (having the ability to afford cheese). Further labels include a ‘Slay Queen,’ a label generally attributed to a woman who is excessively materialistic and has a number of suitors to fund her lavish lifestyle and a ‘Stabane’ – a derogatory term used for a gay man. Each character is liberated from their limiting labels as items that signify their label are blown up to an anthemic declaration that they are ‘more than that.’ The track was composed by, DJ Maphorisa, one of the country’s most popular DJs, ensuring that the call for a label-free South Africa travels way beyond our screens.

It’s a radical shift for the brand that is seen as the boy’s club of beers, but it’s just the start of an inclusive, integrated campaign that aims to ignite the conversation in a way that inspires all of us to break through our biases. One beer at a time.