New TV ad from Unisa follows life of a distance learner

Net#work BBDO has designed a new television commercial (TVC) for Unisa to launch and reinforce its new brand proposition – Define Tomorrow, using the story of the tenacity of a Unisa student who, unlike most university students, accesses his higher education through online and distance learning.

Brad Reilly, ECD of the agency, says, “Many Unisa students have dual lives to support themselves and the people around them. It is a tough and highly admirable situation driven mainly by the need to make the most of themselves and ultimately, define their tomorrow.”“Our strategic and creative intent was to amplify the significant value of a Unisa degree and its social impact. Through distance and online learning, it is able to provide access to higher education to those tenacious individuals who have no means or resources to acquire a degree on a full time basis. All students undertake their own version of hardship to achieve a degree and the university has developed a unique breed of doers, thinkers and pioneers in the process.“The overarching theme for the treatment is authenticity. We tried to bring that through the treatment as much as possible. We shot predominantly at night in the streets of Johannesburg using the light that was available to us and limiting any artificial lighting. We did not want to overcomplicate things stylistically and kept the grade close to what we saw on the camera.”The commercial opens depicting the challenges faced by a late night cab driver who, on returning home in the morning, immediately starts a day of studying, while still caring for his young son. Before long the day is over and he is off again to start an evening long shift carrying partygoers around town. Each morning his father is waiting for him to return until one morning when he is not there. He enters the house, to be greeted by his parents and son who proudly presents Unisa correspondence to him—and confirmation of a pass.

The musical arrangement was created in collaboration with Audio Militia and acts as the emotional thread throughout the film.

“In keeping with the authenticity we want portrayed in the piece—the track was recorded using actual instruments and we feel it helps to understand what the character is going through,” concludes Reilly.

*This article first appeared on Bizcommunity. The TVC is also Tilman Gerald’s Ad of the Week!