More than 3 500 aspiring ‘braai masters’ have entered South Africa’s homegrown reality cooking show, The Ultimate Braai Master being hosted by Justin Bonello, hoping to be in the final 16 teams chosen to braai their way across South Africa under extreme conditions.
The numbers have been promoted through a 360 campaign driven by the country’s youngest ad agency, Cape Town’s Muizenberg-based OFyt (Old Friends, Young Talent) who delivered the goods on a tight deadline and tighter budget.
“It’s difficult to identify anything that is closer to South Africans’ collective sense of ‘home’ than the culture of the braai,” says OFyt creative head, Jono Shubitz. “This was the first real campaign our young interns got to work on and they threw themselves into it with big energy, doing voice overs for the radio spots and playing extras in the TV ad with series presenter Justin Bonello. It’s this energy and passion that OFyt is hoping to keep stoking in our agency and the industry.”
Only 16 teams will ultimately go head-to-head in the “extreme cuisine” TV series. The Ultimate Braai Master is the latest concept in Cooked in Africa’s branded entertainment model, which associates a brand with a protagonist or situation, creating positive brand awareness and resonance.
“It’s definitely a powerful awareness and positioning tool for effective advertising, and it’s going to be used more and more in the future,” says Shubitz, award-winning former chair of the Cape Town Creative Directors Forum, and a Loeries judge for 18 consecutive years.
The brief required a strong call to entry via a multitude of media channels, driving prospective entrants to the UBM website. The online entry portal then invited consumers to sell themselves and their skills in their quest to becoming South Africa’s braai champion.
The campaign also used television, print (Sunday Times and Food Times), radio (5FM and MetroFM), as well as Facebook and Twitter, to rally entries into the show.
Three radio ads featured amusing scenarios played out in fictional Gugulethu, Mitchells Plain and Sandton households, and highlighted the notion that there’s much more needed to win the title than just slapping a chop or some wors on a braai. In each, the household braai master is asked, “What’s on the braai?, only to answer with list of mouth-watering dishes (“Blackened East Coast sole with dill sauce… Pepper and chilli-encased rolled beef fillet”) to trigger entrants’ imaginations and give them a taste of the culinary expertise Bonello will be expecting from contestants.
TV also uses a variety of situations with Bonello asking prospective contestants if they had what it takes to be South Africa’s Ultimate Braai Master. Once consumers had signed up on the UBM website, they were encouraged to upload audition tapes to Braai TV, a specially set up YouTube channel.
“The creativity and humour of the online audition tapes are fantastic,” says Shubitz. “Some teams are so passionate that they’ve set up their own Facebook and Twitter accounts to rally support from their friends and family. It’s going to be tough to choose just 16 teams to take part in the show.”
The first episode of The Ultimate Braai Master will air in September.