OLX ‘The Sell It Show’ campaign.

This was our first commercial campaign in Kenya, and was quite the undertaking.

OLX is a very successful worldwide online trading marketplace, however in 2013 the Kenya market for OLX was suffering from low market penetration and knowledge.

In easier campaigns they had spent a considerable amount of money, but it didn’t resonate with the Kenyan consumers.

We used the data form their own market research and found the problem – The commercials weren’t local enough. Therefore we designed a campaign along with local agency ‘DudeSquad’ and created something very memorable.

This campaign turned out to be one of the most memorable and successful advertising campaigns in Kenya. Due to the popularity of the commercials, OLX started popping up in cartoons in newspapers and memes online.

Ultimately, I was lucky enough to direct over 50 commercials for OLX.

Every time we shot, we would be adding and changing things at the last minute. We couldn’t help ourselves, and we had a crew and a client who let us go with our gut on many occasions.

What started as an informative and humerous 3 minute show, quickly became a memorable and funny platform. Very memorable for the viewer and beneficial to the client.

Note: Although known internationally, OLX in Kenya was not. Due to this campaign, OLX went from being a relatively unknown website to being a household name, being mentioned on satirical political cartoons and also being the most searched item on Google in Kenya in 2014.

We did it all - Things we did, but weren't expected to do:

 

  • VFX – From removing boats on the horizon, to hiding lights in cars, to hiding puppeteers. There was plenty of subtle VFX in almost every piece.
  • MUSIC – In many of the shows there was music that was either licensed or bought, and in some cases complete tracks were made
  • 3 cameras synced at all times – Our production approach was very efficient, although never appreciated.
  • Sound FX & Foley. Yup, in EVERY episode we added sound fx, mostly creating them from scratch.

Overall we did 7 ‘seasons’ of filming each with 8-10 Episodes.

We also did full standard TVC’s, but still managed to keep the budget at a very competitive level.

Pre Production

We hired Eric Omondi, a very popular Kenya comedian who is popular amongst all demographics, and is seen as an ‘everyman’.

These commercials were produced at a fast pace, and were to have a ‘reality’ feel to them, and to that they had to have real houses, with real mess in them.

As we would be filming inside peoples homes, their instinct was to tidy up for the cameras. We managed to keep this to a minimum and this really helped the ‘real’ nature of the commercials.

At first we filmed 2 episodes per week, and would have them edited within that week. By the time we finished we were filming 3 episodes per week and the film crew were a very well oiled machine.

The OLX client really began to trust us and we started adding more and more funnier parts into each commercial. Some requiring small amounts of vfx work, some requiring music to be composed. One of the fun things I did was to pay homage to films that I like, often inserting whole scenes.. I don’t know how many Kenyans noticed them.


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