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The Courier Guy: “handling your package” with humour

As South Africans, we’ve got a lot on our plates.  From managing the daily crime and corruption to living without power for hours on end, as well as skyrocketing food and petrol prices, just getting through the rigmarole of day-to-day life could be good enough reason for a major sense of humour failure.

Except, now, the country’s leading courier service is playing on this unique situation, using distinctive South African humour to show audiences that by understanding the daily challenges we all face, they are perfectly geared for South African conditions. In The Courier Guy’s first ever television commercial campaign, light-hearted references to language, places and social norms are made that talk to local audiences directly, positioning the company as one that is very much in tune with the market it serves.

Its first ad, released in September, saw new drivers being enthusiastically trained up by local cash-in-transit driver and hero Leo Prinsloo on how to handle barking dogs and deliver a waybill. It also introduced new “self-defense” tactics such as the “Brakpanhand” and “a PK”.

Released just this week, its second television ad takes place once again in their “Training Facility”, but this time shows a softer side of training, with new recruits being taught the correct pronunciation of customer and city names in a classroom-style setting – ‘the “x” must klap!’ – and the ad cleverly playing on quirky South African stereotypes.

Accompanying the TV spots are two radio ads that play on load shedding woes and hiking petrol prices. The former describes The Courier Guy as “big fans of load shedding”, remarking that this is something they do every day (“except Sunday”) when they “get rid of the loads in their bakkies and trucks” across the country. The latter admits that while it is nice to be thanked by customers for “going the extra mile”, in fact, due to the crazy cost of petrol these days, one thing people can be sure of is that drivers only go as far as they really have to, to keep delivery costs as low as possible.

It is in this light-hearted, fun and memorable way that the overall campaign message is made clear: that by understanding (and celebrating) what makes South Africans unique, The Courier Guy is suitably trained for local conditions, and thus truly able to “handle your package”, no matter the extenuating circumstances.

As a proudly South African company, The Courier Guy was very deliberate in its choice of creative and media agency partners for the overall campaign, using small, local businesses Bouwer Bosch and Bennie Fourie from Freckle to film the adverts and boutique agency Ivie Media to book and plan their media.

Unsurprisingly, the local public response to the first advert has been nothing short of fantastic, with social media continuing to spread its popularity. With over 70 000 views and 1 000 shares on the company’s Facebook to-date, the ad has also received 63 455 impressions on LinkedIn.

Commenting on the public’s response, The Courier Guy’s Head of Marketing Simon Hill says: ‘It has been absolutely amazing. Apart from going completely viral locally, the first television ad also travelled around the world, appearing on various expat Facebook community groups in many different countries. I honestly cannot remember the last time a commercial resonated so strongly with South Africans.  Look out for “Express delivery from Polokwane to Kakamas” and “Brakpanhand” weaving their way into South African lingo!’

Irina Vlad, Managing Director at Ivie Media, said: ‘Speaking to a broad target market, we have assisted with The Courier Guy’s radio and television advertising to ensure that their brand becomes a national household name and with that, the “go-to” courier company in South Africa. Growing brands is a key agency focus and working with The Courier Guy is the epitome of just that. Apart from the fact that their ads’ creative, both TV and radio, speak wonderfully to the unique South African sense of humour, we look forward to working more together and growing the brand to its full potential.’

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