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Innovative Campaign Grips SA Shoppers


An innovative campaign utilising social media, activations and public relations in Cape Town and Johannesburg has grabbed the imagination of shoppers.

Conceptualised and implemented by word-of-mouth and social media agency, HaveYouHeard, the campaign takes an irreverent look at what happens to shopping trolleys when bricks and mortar stores loose business as more and more shoppers turn to online retailer, Error! Hyperlink reference not valid..

Driving the campaign was a video posted on youtube spoofing a news report; in it a representative for accepts responsibility for causing the epidemic of homeless and jobless trolleys.

The video, which went viral, was supported by an app that rewarded those who ‘adopted’ a trolley with a voucher to redeem online with Trolleys repurposed as chairs by designer, Jasper Eales, were also made available on a made-to-order basis at’s newly acquired online store,

Activations around Johannesburg and Cape Town – trolleys stationed at traffic intersections holding messages written on cardboard asking for money because they were out of work, or trolley ‘graveyards’ alongside major thoroughfares – piqued commuters’ interest.

Journalists and bloggers were alerted to the phenomenon with spoof press releases in which took responsibility for the death of the shopping trolley and announced its adopt-a-trolley initiative aimed at giving shopping trolleys a renewed purpose in life.

The campaign – #RIPtrolley – quickly gripped the imagination of consumers and journalists – it was featured on KFM, as well as TV station ANN7 and various blog sites. The figures, too, are impressive.

The campaign broke on September 2 and within two days had notched up 5.7-million opportunities to see (OTS), R1.3 million advertising value equivalency (AVE), over 1500 mentions in the social media space, 758 unique authors of social media content as well as trending on the day of the campaign as well as the day after.

HaveYouHeard’s managing director, Ryan McFadyen, said: “As a word-of-mouth and social media agency, it’s our job to find more and more innovative ways to create conversational currency for the brands we work on. This is what we’ve done for; disrupted the consumers day in an entertaining manner, given them something to talk about and given them a reason to engage with the brand.”



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