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How Joe Public taps into the zeitgeist of AI in advertising for Africa

Are you ready for the artificial intelligence revolution in advertising, like Ciclope Africa Festival's agency of the year Joe Public? Here, chief creative officer Xolisa Dyeshana explains the importance of showcasing real South Africans at the forefront of global playing fields, against the backdrop of their grand prix-winning Chicken Licken work, Sbu 2.0.
Xolisa Dyeshana, chief creative officer at Joe Public United.

Joe Public picked up seven awards at this year’s Ciclope Africa Festival for excellence in film craft, including the coveted agency of the year prize.

This was by no means a fluke, with Joe Public and Chicken Licken already shining in the most recent Loeries Rankings – Joe Public topped the SA agency ranking table as well as the table for large agencies with 85+ employees, with Dyeshana himself in second spot on the chief creative officer (CCO) table – with only fellow Joe Pepe Marais above him, while Chicken Licken slid into second spot in the brand ranking table.

#LoeriesBrandRankings: The fire and spice of Joe Public's Chicken Licken work

Xolisa Dyeshana, CCO at Joe Public United and Chantal Sombonos-Van Tonder, MD of Chicken Licken, explain the fire and spice of their award-winning work together...

By Leigh Andrews 23 Nov 2018


Their work on Ciclope Africa’s Grand Prix-winning Sbu 2.0 has also picked up a slew of awards elsewhere:

Chicken Licken Hotwings Joe Public UnitedSbu 2.0Craft BronzeFilmCannes Lion
Chicken Licken Hotwings Joe Public UnitedSbu 2.02nd Place FilmThe Creative Circle
Chicken Licken Hotwings Joe Public UnitedSbu 2.0SilverTV & Cinema Commercials - above 90sLoeries
Chicken Licken Hotwings Joe Public Sbu 2.0Craft CertificateFilm Crafts - Best Use of Licensed MusicLoeries
Chicken Licken Hotwings Joe Public & Romance FilmsSbu 2.0Craft GoldFilm Crafts - DirectionLoeries
Chicken Licken Hotwings Joe Public & Romance FilmsSbu 2.0Craft Gold Film Crafts - Production DesignLoeries
Chicken Licken Hotwings Joe Public, Bladeworks & Chocolate TribeSbu 2.0Craft Gold Film Crafts - AnimationLoeries
Chicken Licken Hotwings Joe Public & Romance FilmsSbu 2.0Craft Gold Film Crafts - PerformanceLoeries
Chicken Licken Hotwings Joe Public & Produce SoundSbu 2.0Craft Certificate Film Crafts - Original Music & Sound DesignLoeries
Chicken Licken Hotwings Joe Public ConnectSbu 2.0Bronze Social Media (Social Media Platforms)Assegai
Chicken Licken Hotwings Joe Public ConnectSbu 2.0GoldArt Direction Assegai

Clearly this is a winning team and extremely tasty creative tech idea.

#Loeries2018: Xolisa Dyeshana of Joe Public United on winning Agency of the Year

This year's Agency of the Year is Joe Public United, which also came in third as Regional Agency of the Year, announced at the 40th annual Loerie Awards on Saturday, 18 August at the Durban ICC...

By Jessica Tennant 27 Aug 2018


Here, Dyeshana explains the importance of celebrating excellence in film craft as well as of highlighting the team behind the scenes in terms of costume design, editing and visual effects beyond the camera and actor, in the work everyone gets to know…

BizcommunityExplain Sbu 2.0, which won the Ciclope Grand Prix, and how it works as both a film for pure entertainment and in driving brand awareness.

We live in a world heading for an artificial intelligence revolution. In recent times, we have seen everything from a robot being interviewed on live television to a robot being granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia.

#Loeries2018: Hall of Fame inductee Greg Gray and all that Romance

This year's Loeries Hall of Fame inductee is... Greg Gray of Romance Films!

By Jessica Tennant 18 Aug 2018


When it comes to AI though, South Africa has never really been viewed as being at the forefront. Therefore, tapping into the zeitgeist of AI, the agency worked with director Greg Gray from Romance Films to create a quirky yet cerebral comedy about a science teacher who invents a robotic version of himself to fill in whenever the craving strikes as the basis of the S’bu 2.0 film.

#AfricaMonth: "Get inspired by an unorthodox approach to ideas" - Xolisa Dyeshana

Xolisa Dyeshana, CCO of Joe Public United and SA representative on the international board of the One Club for Creativity shares his post-Creative Week One Show reflections...

By Leigh Andrews 25 May 2018


In terms of brand awareness for client Chicken Licken – such a proudly South African client, the agency always tries to create ideas that are relevant.



We try to showcase real South Africans at the forefront of global playing fields in an entertaining and humorous way.
Whether it involves sending a South African to space, a South African archaeologist exploring an ancient Egyptian tomb or like now, a South African science teacher that has built a real-life, functioning, robotic replica of himself, we’re always trying to create a sense of pride and patriotism through the commercial films.
BizcommunityYou’ve certainly succeeded, having won seven awards in total at the recent Ciclope Africa Festival, including the title ‘agency of the year’. Explain what your clear excellence in film craft means to the agency and how you’ll drive this forward.

The Ciclope Africa Festival is a local version of the renowned international conference and award show that is dedicated to craft in moving image. It’s a platform that showcases the best in craft in advertising and film in Africa and draws the best creatives, producers and marketers in the country.

99c sponsors second annual Ciclope Africa Festival

Ninety9Cents (99c) is proud to once again have sponsored Ciclope Africa, as it made its return to South Africa. This year's festival was held at the Goodluck Bar in Johannesburg...

Issued by Ninety9cents 23 Apr 2019


Being an advertising agency honoured amongst some of the top calibre film houses is an outstanding achievement – and for Joe Public United, it’s the product of continuous dedication to achieving perfection in their television film craft offering.

In recent years this has been an area of focus for the agency, with emphasis on the importance of emotive storytelling.

BizcommunityCiclope differs from the usual awards as it celebrates craft in advertising and film in particular. Why is it important to celebrate the team behind the scenes of the work everyone gets to know?

Having won across such varied categories – from costume design to editing to visual effects to direction – tells us we’re starting to achieve excellence across all aspects of our film craft, and we plan to become even better as we grow more and more within our talents.

Ciclope Africa shone a light on local craft work

Francisco Condorelli, the director of Ciclope, tells Bizcommunty.Africa what he sees for the future of Ciclope and awards focused on craft rather than the 'big idea'...

By Louise Marsland 20 Apr 2018


The importance of these accolades is indicative of the different component parts within a film. It’s not just a camera and an actor. Every single detail that goes into making a mesmerising piece of film needs is thought of and those that make it happen and bring it to life are important too.

BizcommunityShare the importance of emotive storytelling in African film craft, in particular.

Our achievements at the Ciclope Africa Festival as a significant milestone along our film craft journey, as the agency strives to push creative boundaries and produce ever more inspiring, impactful and meaningful stories that uplift and grow our client’s brands and ultimately, the country.

Celebrating African storytelling and craft

Mbithi Masya, film director at Fat Rain Films, Kenya, and a Ciclope Africa judge, talks about what Africa can bring to the international stage...

By Louise Marsland 26 Apr 2018


We’ll be ready and waiting to watch that work! Visit Joe Public’s press office and follow their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds for the latest updates.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...
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