Flow Communications

Hollard’s 2021 Big Ads for Small Business campaign was a resounding success – so we at Flow were delighted to hear that there was a phase two on the cards, and even more thrilled when Hollard asked us to come back on board to do the public relations for the campaign in 2022.

In phase one, 12 home-grown enterprises benefited from Hollard’s pioneering advertising-sharing campaign to boost small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs). These ranged from a Johannesburg inner-city tailoring outfit, an aunt-and-niece-run landscaping firm and a township chicken restaurant to a small Soweto laundromat venture and a one-woman wine-distribution start-up.

Each SMME received its own tailored media package, comprising anything from radio and television ads to billboard and digital advertising space.

The small businesses reaped phenomenal results from their participation in the campaign, including securing myriad new contracts and partnerships, setting up new franchises, expanding their markets and creating many more jobs in their communities.

Flow bolstered the impact of the first phase of the campaign by securing some truly remarkable media coverage for both the SMMEs and Hollard – from national and high-circulation print, broadcast and online media to specialist publications and regional and local media that talk directly to the small businesses’ target audiences.

We had numerous interview requests and even set up a photo shoot for a national glossy women’s magazine. The requests kept coming well into 2022, months after we stopped proactively pitching to the media.

Flow’s PR efforts had a direct beneficial impact on the SMMEs. For example, a Sunday Times article we secured won Busanimen Studios a deal with the National Lottery to provide netball and soccer uniforms for 500 schools in the Eastern Cape.

As a “human” brand, Hollard’s business purpose is to enable more people to create and secure a better future, explains Hollard chief marketing officer Heidi Brauer.

Hollard Big Ads blog image

New format for 2022 campaign

Now, the insurer is building on last year’s success and asked Flow to come back on board and do PR for the second six-month phase of the campaign in a slightly different format, adding three more small businesses to the pool in a novel partnership with DStv.

These include a small tomato-products farmer that not only creates jobs in a rural economy, but also empowers local women; an innovative app that helps children learn South African languages through augmented reality, stories and games; and an online tutoring tool that matches students of all ages with the best tutors.

A partnership proposal to Hollard from the satellite service at the end of last year provided the perfect opportunity to run a competition across three of its television channels, Mzansi Magic, kykNET and M-Net, and social media, inviting SMMEs to apply to become part of the 2022 Big Ads for Small Business campaign.

Like last year, criteria for this year’s campaign included whether the small businesses would benefit from the campaign, could handle a potential rapid increase in business and were spread across the country.

Overall, 248 applications were received, which were narrowed down to 10 with the help of a specialist business consultancy, and then to the final three successful applicants that met all the criteria: Timeless Tomatoes, Ambani Africa and 123tutors.

From March to August 2022, Hollard is sharing two months of commercial airtime worth R1-million with each of these enterprises on DStv channels, plus providing social media exposure on its channels. Hollard is also promoting these small businesses through its digital channels.

Flow is profiling the three businesses in the media, while continuing to profile the SMMEs that were part of the first phase of the campaign – ensuring that Hollard shines and gets due credit for spearheading this shared-value marketing campaign that has a real impact on people’s livelihoods.

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