McCann1886's chief creative officer Stuart Stobbs says that when 2020 "didn't quite go according to anyone's plan", they turned to the McCann global mantra — 'creativity is the only way to survive' — for inspiration and to redefine the agency.

According to the agency, this approach had three key drivers being agility, making and fun.

"Admittedly, 'agility' was an obvious driver to apply to how we worked, how we built insights, how we created, collaborated and thought. The agency wanted faster outputs, but without impacting on quality," Stobbs says.

"'Making' was all about taking ideas to finish and upskilling staff with the know-how to do so. Here, we reckoned the more we could do, the better we could help clients," adds Stobbs.

"And 'fun'? Well, what would be the point of all that work without fun,” Stobbs says. "Also, facing a pandemic is mentally draining and having some fun while you work — well, that's the perfect antidote or dare I say, vaccine?"

The agency says that it initially put these drivers to work for Steers when it was preparing to re-open after being in a forced shut-down for three months. The need was for an immediate and significant upturn in revenue.

"Our first campaign — the 'Mix It Up Sharing Meal' campaign — combined old ads with new footage to create six pieces of fresh and engaging content that talked to the situation we were all in and reminded consumers of the power of sharing," says creative director Mthokozizi 'Zi' Sithole.

"And, knowing time was everything, we followed up swiftly with a full social roll-out … and then proceeded to launch TVCs for the 'Shake It Up Sharing Meal' and the 'Cheese Boy Sharing Meal'. Agility and making indeed worked hand-in-hand to help us keep delivering for Steers in record time," adds Sithole.

"None of this would be possible without a solid relationship with a client who is just as agile as we were. And it turns out that, if you work together, creativity not only lets you survive a pandemic, but thrive in one too," Sithole says.

The new executions were created for the 'Phanda Ribster Burger Meal' by:
  • executive creative director Tumi Sethebe
  • creative director Zi Sithole, and
  • art director Chan Ma.
The trio was briefed to show what it really means to be 'phanda' in South Africa, while leveraging of the amazing Steers value offer.

"'Phanda' means 'hustle' and, in a South African context today, that translates into an ambition or hunger to turn your side-hustle into a major success," says Sethebe.

"Steers has tapped into the ethos of 'phanda' and 'phandapreneurs' in the recent past, supporting their endeavours with competitions to win a little 'seed money' and opportunities to build awareness for their side-hustles," adds Sethebe.

"This new campaign acknowledges that every now and then, 'phandapreneurs' lose their hunger for success because they are tired or physically taxed and just don't realise it. So, our TVCs show how the Steers Phanda Ribster Meal helps them regain their phanda by giving the 'fuel' to re-ignite it," adds Sethebe.

"For our digital and social content, we spoke to real 'phandapreneurs', some of whom have been with Steers for a while. We interviewed them about how to cope with those moments when you feel like giving up and how Steers helps fuel their phanda," he concludes.

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