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7DKS Gives Audiences a Good Excuse to Tune into Idols

 7DKS Gives Audiences a Good Excuse to Tune into Idols

With Idols entering its 10th series this year, the hit show set out to make a splash with an advertising campaign designed to let audiences know that this season would be bigger and better than ever before. Jozi-based agency 7 Different Kinds of Smoke (7DKS) was selected as the team for the job and as such, gave audiences all the excuses they needed to tune into Idols each week, with a tongue in cheek through the line campaign.


Twitter, taxi and bathroom media, digital and traditional outdoor, as well as TV and radio were used to build an advertising campaign that gave viewers the tools they needed to get out of conflicting arrangements so that they could tune into Idolseach Sunday. “A wack of deliberately over-the-top excuses such as ‘I have to take my parrot to attack-training’, were seeded across multiple channels, with the idea of creating a bit of conversation and laughter. Our strategy was to simply play up on people’s FOMO as a means of creating awareness around the show’s on air date with a view to driving appointment viewing,” explains 7DKS creative partner, James Cloete.

Outdoor, TV and tactical and traditional radio spots drove the campaign, but DJ’s were also used to extend the conversation about Idols X both on air and in social media. Twitter then gave the public the opportunity to join in and show off their own creativity by making their own excuses and tagging them with #MakeYourExcuse. The ‘social’ and ‘user friendly’ nature of the idea served to spread the word further without breaking the bank on media spend.

Idols Release

“The tactically themed TV ad poked a bit of fun at the way soccer players tend to dive and fake injuries. It started flighting during the height of ‘FIFA fever’ and got the Twitter stream overflowing with appreciative comments and conversation,” adds art director, Kyle Baillie.

“I Thought You Meant Maponye Mall”

In addition to this year’s season promising to be bigger and better than ever before, Idols, which has traditionally always been flighted on M-NET’s channel 101, was also aired on Mzansi Magic; a channel designed specifically for strong locally developed content.

“Mzansi Magic is creating increasingly exciting content for audiences not only in South Africa but beyond our borders as well. So for the campaign to really work we had to employ the right insights and use of language in order to generate a number of different ‘excuses’ so that our messaging and humour would get across to different types of people in a way that would be relevant to them,” adds Cloete.  The media planning, in terms of what excuses were chosen for what sites and mediums, was also tactical.


“From a client perspective, we were able to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution which meant that a relatively small budget could be used to maximum effect. We love to see one great idea working hard across different channels, in a symbiotic way, to deliver for the client. That’s the value of the combination of great creative and solid transmedia planning,” concludes Ryan van Jaarsveld, 7DKS managing partner.




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