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    #BehindtheCampaign: Castle Lite and Derek Watts Lite'n Up

    Four months ago, Castle Lite released an advert starring news heavyweight Derek Watts showing his lighter side.
    Castle Lite advert. Source: Supplied.
    Castle Lite advert. Source: Supplied.

    The ad which now boasts 1.4m views on YouTube was inspired by the brand's need to reconnect with its consumers.

    Reconnecting with the consumer

    Brand director for Castle Lite Africa Colleen Duvenage says: “Over the last few years, Castle Lite had been struggling to really connect with its consumers emotionally. The brief was pretty simple, make Castle Lite famous again. We had this nagging insight that the world’s a serious place, especially here in South Africa. But recently, we’ve been hit with more serious news than ever before, all at once.”

    “Eternal load shedding, fuel and inflation hikes, water restrictions – it was enough to make even the chilliest of us, feel down and out. Castle Lite’s always been about refreshment, entertainment and enjoyment, yet even we were caught up in maelstrom of heaviness. It was time to Lite’n things up again. Someone had to step in and bring our nation back to the lite side."

    "So that’s what we did. It only made sense to start with the most serious news journo/bad-news bringer in the land …Derek Watts. We knew that unlocking his lite side for all to see, would inspire the rest of Mzansi to find their sense of humour and enjoy the moment again too,” she says.

    Perfect character

    Duvenage says Watts was chosen because of his association with the serious investigative show Carte Blanche.

    “Watts is known as one of the most serious characters around. Who better to flip the script and show us all how to let our lite side free? He was delighted and perhaps felt a little vindicated when we approached him. The ad was so close to his lived experience of evoking dread and anxiety wherever he went because people assume he’s on a beat for Carte Blanche. He was thrilled to finally get the chance to show SA his fun side,” says Duvenage.

    She adds that the ad was a success because they managed to pick the right protagonist for their advert.

    “Watts is a national treasure. And the human tension we struck at the heart of, was one all South Africans could relate to. Right place, right time, perfect protagonist. From the public commentary on social media, you’ll note how many people felt that Lite’n Up could not have touched the lives of SA at a more relevant time".

    "We got people smiling, moving, recounting fond memories, and sharing their own Watt dance moves with expat family across the globe. Millions of views, millions of genuine smiles. We couldn’t have asked for a better result, that is not just driving connection with our consumers, but very positive commercial results too," concludes Duvenage.



    • Brand Director Castle Lite Africa: Colleen Duvenage
    • Marketing Manager Communications: Michelle Hewitt

    AGENCY: Ogilvy CPT

    • CEO / creative chairman: Pete Case
    • Executive creative director: Camilla Clerke
    • Creative director: Mike Martin
    • Creative group head: Sibs Zihle
    • Art director: Dale Mullany:
    • Copywriter: Sandhya Mathura
    • Copywriter: Kenny van Reenen
    • Business director: Julian Hendrickse
    • Account director: Refiloe Tsikane
    • Head of broadcast: Cathy Day
    • Director: Anton Visser
    • Executive producer : Zayd Halim
    • Producer: Lauren Dugmore
    • Production manager: Jhadi Quinn


    • DOP: Devin Tosseli
    • 1st AD: Greg Martin
    • Art director: Mike Berg
    • Wardrobe stylist: Robin Osrin
    • Hair and make up: Zenique
    • Choreographer: Zoyi Lindiwe Muendane - Kryptonite Dance Academy


    • Post: Deliverance
    • Editor: Kobus Loots
    • Producer: Paula Raphael
    • Online: David Oosthuizen
    • Audio and final mix: Rob @ Resonate Producer: Alexis Roberts

    PR AGENCY : Capacity Relations

    • Managing director: Sarit Tomlinson
    • Director: Shiri Raymond
    • PR specialist: Zama Ntuli

    About Karabo Ledwaba

    Karabo Ledwaba is a Marketing and Media Editor at Bizcommunity and award-winning journalist. Before joining the publication she worked at Sowetan as a content producer and reporter. She was also responsible for the leadership page at SMag, Sowetan's lifestyle magazine. Contact her at
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