In the Zulu culture, love letters are traditionally crafted out of beadwork by Zulu women. According to FCB Joburg, this truly South African declaration of love seemed like a fitting way to celebrate South Africa’s most-loved car.

The beaded billboard measures 12 metres by nine metres, weighing over a tonne, and comprises over 138 000 individual beads sewn together by 350 crafters from Woza Moya. Woza Moya is the economic empowerment project of the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust in KwaZulu-Natal, where Toyota South Africa has manufactured Corollas since 1975.

According to the creative director responsible for the design, Janine Kleinschmidt, the decision to celebrate Corolla and Corolla drivers in this way was sparked by the thinking behind the Special Edition Corolla, which rolled out earlier in 2018.

Kleinschmidt says, "Toyota South Africa wanted to celebrate the fact that Corolla has been the most-loved car in South Africa since ‘forever’ while entrenching its positioning, ‘Love Driving’."

She adds, "The intricate workmanship in the Special Edition Corolla that launched earlier this year was evocative of the uniquely South African visual language of Zulu love letters, so we used this for the art direction and design of the campaign."

"Our decision to create a love letter that was also a billboard came from the fact that this would have been a common feature alongside the roads the Corolla and Corolla driver would have travelled together," she says. 

"We absolutely love what we’ve achieved, and we’re thrilled that Toyota South Africa insisted the campaign include a large corporate social responsibility element. It has been an honour to work with the crafters from Woza Moya," she adds.

Toyota South Africa vice president: marketing, Glenn Crompton, says, "It was vitally important for us that this campaign, an act of thanks to Corolla drivers and their Corollas, also said ‘thank you’ to the community in which our Corollas are put together." 

"Since 1975, the Corolla plant has been in KwaZulu-Natal, so the fit between Woza Moya and the campaign was ideal. We’re thrilled to have been able to create work for the crafters who belong to the initiative," Crompton adds.

The billboard and the social media campaign was devised by FCB Joburg creative directors Tian van den Heever and Janine Kleinschmidt, copywriters Esté de Beer and Marina Andreoli and art directors Julie Thorogood and Thato Moatlhodi.

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