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Malo finds the mother inside the men for Ace


Frieze Films’ Malo 8 directed Expensive Girlfriend, TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris’s new commercial for Ace maize meal. The ad follows two men who turn into their mothers when they give a friend some relationship advice.

“The mother’s love intervention was such a simple and strong idea,” says Malo. “I laughed when I read the brief, but there was also a fuzziness that came over me as I pictured the mother suddenly standing there and giving advice to one of the boys. As a director, I am well versed in creating warm, heartfelt stories; I also love doing quirky comedic pieces. But this was the first time I could work with both of these tones in one ad.”

Malo turned the men into their mothers with clever editing, rather than elaborate visual effects. “The transformation is dramatic and unexpected,” Malo says. “Because of this, there is a natural temptation to make it the central point of the story, when in fact it is just a

device to help us bridge a gap between two generations, showing that ACE is relevant for both the younger market and the older market. What was critical for me was to keep the transformation within the confines of a simple, character-driven, performance piece, so it didn’t overshadow the narrative.”

Malo gave the ad a relaxed, episodic feeling, almost like a sitcom, but used a track from Rob Schroeder at Rob Roy Music that subtly prepared the audience to expect some unusual happenings.

Malo is full of praise for the TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris creative team of Pete Khoury, George Low, Harry Mackenzie and Melanie Moore. “There’s tendency to talk down to this segment of the market, whereas they believed the concept could be pushed and the audience would get it, without anything needing to be over-explained.”

Werner Maritz shot the commercial, which was edited by Paul West at Deep End Post Production.

To see more of Malo’s work, visit


Title: ACE Expensive Girlfriend

Client: Tiger Brands

Agency: TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris

Agency Producer: Jerry Sekhwela

Chief Creative Officer: Pete Khoury

Creative Director: George Low

Copywriter: Harry Mackenzie

Art Director: Melanie Moore

Production company: Frieze Films

Director: Malo8

Producer: Liz Dahl

Director of Photography: Werner Maritz

Editor & Company: Paul West (Deep End Post Production)

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