Heita South Africa

Telkom South Africa recently launched their new mobile network division 8.ta using the South African informal greeting, “Heita”. Heita (8.ta) in South African social network language, pronounced Aytaah!, means Hello.Hi.Howzit.Hola.Sawubona. McCann Erickson South Africa was given the brief of preparing South Africa for the launch of the country’s fourth significant mobile phone network, without giving away the actual name of the brand until the launch.

Heita Beach

Nationwide across all mainstream media channels, a nameless somebody or something started greeting the nation one morning. There was no logo. No brand name. No clues or hints as to what type of business was behind the “Heita” juggernaut. An unlikely ensemble cast from aliens to white colonialists, trapped in odd situations, greeted the nation in the pre launch television commercials shot by South African film director, Keith Rose.

Click on the image below to play the Baby video in YouTube

Click on the image below to play the Moon video in YouTube

Click on the image below to play the Tooth Fairy video in YouTube

Click on the image below to play the Tribe video in YouTube

Click on the image below to play the Aliens video in YouTube

Large scale newspaper ads featuring the work of renowned landscape aerial photographer, Michael Poliza, shouted out the “Heita” greeting.

Heita Field

South Africa’s biggest selling Sunday paper, The Sunday Times, featured a new masthead which shouted out, “Heita South Africa”.

Heita South Africa in The Sunday Times

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 greeting appeared on taxis and buses and on the sides of buildings. Short animations were associated with sponsorship of weather broadcasts.

Heita Billboard

Heita Billboard

Heita Billboard

Telkom launched the brand at Lanseria Airport on October 15, conceptualised, produced and managed by VWV.

Heita Launch Banner

The 8.ta connection was revealed in “Emoticon”, a television commercial focusing on animated Emoticons as two Sid and Nancy type characters who meet and share a connection. Music is “It’s a hard life”, by Queen. Click on the image below to play the Emoticon video in YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeS7Moyi4jc

“We had created something rather fitting for a cellular network. We had got people talking,” says Vanessa Pearson, Executive Creative Director, McCann Erickson South Africa.

Click on the image below to play the campaign case stud in YouTube


The Heita campaign was developed at McCann South Africa, Johannesburg, by executive creative director Vanessa Pearson, art director (Group Head) Sean Harrison, copywriter (Group Head) Tim Beckerling, copywriter Peet Englebrecht.

Filming was shot by director/DOP Keith Rose via Velocity Films with executive producer Peter Carr, producer Grant Davies

Editor was Ricky Boyd at Deliverance.

Visual effects for Emoticon were produced at BlackGinger by VFX supervisor Hilton Treves, producer Track-Lee Portnoi, lead Flame artist Marco Raposo de Barbosa, Flame artists Eddie Addinall, David Dowie Dunn, Matte Painting: Rob Muir, Nuke artists Ash Ryan , Bryan Dunkley, Angelo Collinicos, VFX artists Jason Slabber, Neilan Naicker, William Harley, Camille Naude. Matthew Kearny, layout and animation team Shaun Marnewick, JC Phillips, Richard Clark, Lani Greenhill, Hayden Barnett, Francois Conradie, Andre de Villiers.

Photographer was Michael Polizia.

McCann Erickson give some background for his work…

“Michael Poliza is a renowned international photographer, specializing in beautiful and breathtaking aerial photography. His work has spanned the globe and his coffee table books are legendary with superb reviews by esteemed publications such as The New York Times. It’s as if he captures life and land from God’s point of view. The sheer vastness seems to draw one in to the exquisite, minute detail. You can’t help but want to take a closer look. From an agency point of view, we were aware of his work, and his images were a perfect fit for our 8.ta Teaser Press Campaign idea. We wanted the 8.ta newspaper campaign to break out of the mold of stereotypical press advertising with headlines, pictures and logos. Our intention was to make it appear as if the whole land was preparing for something new and big, and the imagery we chose from Michael’s collection perfectly met our objectives.”