Sanlam’s groundbreaking drama series, Uk’shona Kwelanga, combined soap opera and social media in South Africa’s first-ever WhatsApp drama series.

A collaboration between top scriptwriter and playwright, Bongi Ndaba, and a number of South Africa’s best-known actors, the WhatsApp drama told the tale of a South African family struggling to deal with the emotional and financial ramifications of loss, while planning their father’s funeral.

Although the story is familiar, the means of conducting the campaign were entirely new. Subscribers received a series of updates over seven days – the average time it takes to plan a funeral – creating an opportunity for them to experience the demands and expense of a funeral in real-time through texts, photos, voice notes and video.

Despite the platform’s technical limitations, Sanlam chose WhatsApp because it is South Africa’s most used social messaging app. This created an opportunity for Uk’shona Kwelanga to resonate with a wider target market on a platform with which they are already familiar and engaged.

In addition to a strong product fostering, Uk’shona Kwelanga demonstrated to consumers that Sanlam understands the realities of planning of funeral. Uk’shona Kwelanga was supported by a marketing campaign that included a promotional video, billboards and social media adverts.

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