South African drama series is entirely crafted for WhatsApp

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Using social media as a storytelling device has grown in popularity in recent years and brands have increased their marketing spend to find new ways to engage with their audiences. The latest creative effort comes from South Africa where financial services group Sanlam has chosen WhatsApp as the primary campaign vehicle to launch a full drama series to promote the company’s funeral products. Working with ad agency King James Group, Sanlam have hired veteran scriptwriter Bongi Ndaba to write Uk’shona Kwelanga (or The Death of Langa), a story about a fictional family’s funeral arrangements which unfold in real-time via text, voice notes and video. The messaging app was chosen instead of traditional methods of airing the show, as it offered the opportunity to engage with their consumers through a medium that they are very familiar with. The drama was released on 5 June, and run for six weeks, up until mid-July. Users were required to subscribe with their full names to a five-digit SMS number prior to the show’s launch.

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