Advertising News South Africa

#BehindtheCampaign: Chicken Licken unleashes your SoulSister

The Chicken Licken SoulSister campaign aired yesterday for the first time on screens big and small across the country, with a film set to the soul-rocking Bomba Estéreo track, 'So Yo', shows the SoulSister 'effect' involuntarily taking over Mzansi, one (wildly out of control, gyrating, soul-shaken) body at a time, starting with... a man.
Image supplied. Chicke Licken's SoulSister campaign d shows the SoulSister ‘effect’ involuntarily taking over Mzansi
Image supplied. Chicke Licken's SoulSister campaign d shows the SoulSister ‘effect’ involuntarily taking over Mzansi

A dictionary might tell you that a ‘sister’ is a girl/woman who has parents in common with someone else, or it might refer to a female friend/peer. But Chicken Licken has chosen to defy the dictionary’s conventions, as it does with so many others, through its new SoulSister campaign, saying ‘There’s a SoulSister in all of us’. (Yes, even in you, SoulMister.)

The SoulSister effect

Created in partnership with Joe Public and directed by Slim of Darling Films, our story starts on a train with a suit-clad businessman, whose inner SoulSister has just come out to play ‘during the people’ as Tweeps might say.

A tell-tale orange packet lands in the lap of an unsuspecting co-passenger who is perplexed by this sudden display of wild abandon as the man exits the train – his face and limbs seemingly working to a different agenda to what his diary might suggest for the day.

As we travel through the city, we encounter more and more joyfully out-of-control bodies as this SoulSister effect takes hold of every person who has enjoyed the meal.

Repositioning of the sub-brand to be inclusive

This bold new SoulSister campaign is the result of a deliberate move to reposition the sub-brand by making it much more inclusive. This signifies a strategic departure from the previous positioning which was much more female-target focused, with the 2019 campaign featuring three ‘SoulSisters’ who show up to champion other women in tough situations, and even to cheer on a young man having difficulty ‘coming out of the closet’ with his dad.

Says Assaf Levy, executive creative director at Joe Public, “We needed to overcome the inherent bias implied in the name ‘SoulSister’. We couldn’t change the product name, so we chose to redefine what ‘SoulSister’ means extrinsically.

“It took on the meaning of that inner self that we all have, the part of us longing to let loose, to move, to play, and to be free of the constraints of the everyday. The version of ourselves that we don’t even know exists until we suddenly meet it. The part that longs to be fed.”

Dance as a vehicle

Xolisa Dyeshana, Joe Public’s chief creative officer agrees, “We chose dance as a vehicle to represent each person’s unique SoulSister personality because it’s highly individualistic and self-expressive.

“The campaign gives men, women, children – everyone, regardless of who they are or where they’re from, permission ¬to embrace that part of themselves.”

He adds, “It’s another example of how Chicken Licken loves to break down stereotypes through light-hearted entertainment, using creativity to grow both brand and country beyond, by allowing them to see themselves differently and break out of the norms that society tries to impose on us.”

The campaign is set to unfold in coming weeks on social media. Tlhogi Swaratlhe, Ovayo Ntlabati and Joey Gordon, the young Joe Public creative team responsible for the SoulSister concept, says there’s an extra surprise to come for Chicken Licken fans on TikTok – because if there’s anywhere a person’s SoulSister wants to show off their stuff, it’s on TikTok, right?


  • Brand: Chicken Licken
  • Client: Chantal Sombonos van Tonder
  • Agency: Joe Public
  • Group chief creative officer: Pepe Marais
  • Chief creative officer: Xolisa Dyeshana
  • Executive creative director: Assaf Levy
  • Integrated creative director: Alexa Craner, Michelle McKenna
  • Integrated Copywriter: Tlhogi Swaratlhe
  • Integrated art director: Ovayo Ntlabati, Joey Gordon
  • Creative Business Director: Amber Mackeurtan
  • Account manager: Sonwabile Mkize
  • Head of TV & Radio: Di Cole
  • Agency producer: Aileen Kennaugh
  • Media: Joe Public Maximise
  • Director: Slim
  • Production house: Darling Films
  • Executive producer: Lorraine Smit, Melina McDonald
  • Producer: Nick Voortman
  • Director of photography: Adam Bentel
  • Production art director: Keenan McAdam
  • Choreographer: Zoyi Muendane, Eugene Baloyi
  • Stylist | Costume design: Rosanne Whyte
  • Editor: Xander Vander
  • Editing company:Stangelove Post
  • VisualeEffects:Jean du Plessis
  • Post-production: Chocolate Tribe
  • Colourist: Terry Simpson
  • Audio & sound design: Lorens Persson
  • Sound studio: Sterling Sound

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