Last month, Telkom, the state-owned provider of landline phone services in South Africa, introduced a new mobile service that is only the fourth brand to enter the market — behind Cell C (which we covered in August), Vodacom, and MTN. To introduce the new service Telkom worked with McCann Erickson, who created a pre-launch campaign that inundated the public with cryptic and playful billboards and print advertisements with the word “Heita” (South African slang for “hi”), rendered all in black-and-white with the exception of a pink dot. The pre-launch campaign served to introduce the correct pronunciation of the new provider, 8.ta.
Along with the print work, McCann also created a series of commercials, directed by famed South African director Keith Rose, that pushed the pink dot and “Heita” even further. Below are a couple of examples, more can be found here.
Entering a crowded market in fourth place can not be easy, but 8.ta has done a great job in establishing itself as a modern, hip, playful service that is probably a breath of fresh air against the two giants, Vodacom and MTN. The TV work is outstanding and the print advertisements, while a little disconnected from each other and the TV ads, seemed to have generated enough of a buzz to establish a clear link to something new coming. The logo is a very lively, bold wordmark that looks friendly and accessible. It’s even very well executed. Its curves are nice and has just the right amount of mass to stand out. The choice of pink contrasts well with the black-and-white tone of the identity and helps separate it from its competitors — hopefully it won’t anger the T-Mobile magenta overlords.
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