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PPC launched its new TVC

In the minds of an average South African, cement is not a product the general public would associate with personality, innovation and success. Southern Africa’s leading supplier of cement, Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC), recently launched its first stirring branding campaign since the 1990s, with a television advertisement that captures the qualities so inherent in the company and underpin the PPC brand.

At the centre of the advertisement is the iconic African elephant. Made of cement, the majestic creature loses its static position and comes to life, transversing the South African landscape, morphing into infrastructure where it doesn’t exist. For example, one scene sees the cement elephant transforming into a sheltered bus stop where a waiting passenger is standing on a pavement with her luggage, unprotected by the elements.

“Our new campaign builds on our more than 100-year legacy as a proudly South African company and will support growth and development both at home and in other African countries. The campaign will further enhance our principles of good corporate citizenship and confirm our dedication to delivering quality products,” said Richard Tomes, PPC’s Customer Executive.

South Africa is poised for extensive infrastructure development in years to come. As this investment programme gains traction, the country will be propelled further along its growth trajectory. As an emerging market company, PPC is currently undertaking its own investments to ensure that its growth trajectory is accelerated, while extending its expertise and entrenching its position in other regional emerging markets in a manner that will unleash the anticipated demand in those markets.

The advertising agency responsible for executing this brand vision, Jupiter Drawing Room (Johannesburg), had to grasp the essence of the brand, what it represents and the values that help drive the company forward.

“This advertisement tells the story of PPC Cement using a mighty 12-foot tall African elephant made of cement coming to life using some very clever animation techniques. Representative of the brand, the elephant not only demonstrates PPC Cement’s new innovative way of addressing customer challenges, but also the company’s strength to support the customer’s vision”, says Jupiter (Johannesburg) executive creative director, Pierre Odendaal.

The project involved a team of 114 people labouring over a three-day period, pouring 2,900 hours in to pre- and post-production. While some elements were simpler than others, the latest visual and 3D technology was used to breathe life into the majestic concrete elephant.

“Working with Jupiter (JHB) has been fantastic. The team interpreted our vision accurately and quickly grasped our needs. They articulated and demonstrated the brand in a humble manner while showcasing us as a proudly South African brand with the elephant demonstrating strength, longevity and consistency. The attention to detail was great,” comments Tomes.

The commercial demonstrates PPC’s involvement and contribution to South Africa’s development. PPC was involved in the construction of major projects such as the Union Buildings, Gariep Dam, Van Staden’s River Bridge and stadia built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which bear testimony to the strength, reliability and consistency of PPC’s products.

“The campaign will also launch PPC Cement across Africa as they expand their operations, hence we decided on a feel-good soundtrack by a Congolese artist to have broad appeal and the graphics themselves are self-explanatory in an entertaining way”, adds Odendaal.

The commercial is part of a 360 degree brand campaign aimed to further entrench PPC’s brand in the minds of local industry stakeholders and ordinary South Africans, as one with a strong South African heritage, but with global reach and standards, focused on making a difference.

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