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Toyota SA and FCB Joburg Create Beaded Billboard As Corolla Love Letter

Press Release - Johannesburg, 21 September 2018

This Heritage Month, Toyota South Africa and its long-standing agency, FCB Joburg, have created a "beaded billboard" with the help of KZN community-based NGO Woza Moya to celebrate the love Toyota Corolla owners feel every time they drive their cars and celebrate the Corolla heritage.

In the Zulu culture, love letters are traditionally crafted out of beadwork by Zulu women, each is a work of art and totally unique. This truly South African declaration of love seemed like a fitting way to celebrate South Africa’s most-loved car. 

The beaded billboard measures 12 meters by 9 meters, weighing over 1 tonne, and comprises over 138 000 individual beads sewn together by 350 crafters from Woza Moya. Woza Moya is the economic empowerment project of the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust in KwaZulu-Natal, where Toyota SA has manufactured Corollas since 1975.

According to Creative Director responsible for the design, Janine Kleinschmidt, the decision to celebrate Corolla and Corolla drivers in this way was sparked by the thinking behind the Special Edition Corolla, which rolled out earlier this year.

She explained: “Toyota SA wanted to celebrate the fact that Corolla has been the most-loved car in South Africa since ‘forever’ while entrenching its positioning ‘Love Driving’. The intricate workmanship in the Special Edition Corolla launched earlier this year was evocative of the uniquely South African visual language of Zulu love letters, so we used this for the art direction and design of the campaign. 

“Our decision to create a love letter that was also a billboard came from the fact that this would have been a common feature alongside the roads the Corolla and Corolla driver would have travelled together. 

“We absolutely love what we’ve achieved, and we’re thrilled that Toyota SA insisted the campaign include a large corporate social responsibility element. It has been an honour to work with the crafters from Woza Moya.”

Toyota SA Vice-President Marketing, Glenn Crompton confirmed: “It was vitally important for us that this campaign, an act of thanks to Corolla drivers and their Corollas, also said ‘thank you’ to the community in which our Corollas are put together. 

“Since 1975, the Corolla plant has been in KwaZulu-Natal, so the fit between Woza Moya and the campaign was ideal. We’re thrilled to have been able to create work for the crafters who belong to the initiative.”

The Toyota Corolla Beaded Billboard, located alongside the M1-De Villiers Graaf (26°13’0.26”S 28°1’25.52”E), will be unveiled on 15 September so that it ‘flights’ for a month around Heritage Day (24 September). The billboard and the social media campaign that will help spread the message and communicate the great work done by Woza Moya was devised by the FCB Joburg Creative Directors Tian van den Heever and Janine Kleinschmidt, Copywriters Esté de Beer and Marina Andreoli, and Art Directors Julie Thorogood and Thato Moatlhodi.          



Client: Toyota SA

Brand: Corolla

Vice President Marketing: Glenn Crompton

Senior Manager, Advertising & Digital Marketing: Tasneem Lorgat

Creative Agency: FCB Joburg      

Executive Business Director: Reagen Kok                  

Account Lead: Taryn George   

Account Manager: Narissa Rajagopal

Creative Director: Tian van den Heever     

Creative Director (Design): Janine Kleinschmidt 

Copywriter: Esti de Beer, Marina Andreoli                           

Art Director: Julie Thorogood, Thato Moatlhodi                    

Print Producer: Monica Maloka             

Strategy: Stuart Sims, Jason Doyle         

Production House: Red Dot (billboard production); Creative Motion (content production) 

Content Director: Dewan Meyer

Note to Editors:

Woza Moya (Come Spirit of Change in IsiZulu language) is the economic empowerment project of Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust. Woza Moya’s mission is to unearth creativity that creates economic empowerment through traditional quality local crafts made by people in need. 

Started in 2002 with five beaders making AIDS ribbons at a local church, the project now supports more than 350 crafters, most of whom have 5-10 dependents. Crafters were referred to Woza Moya by other HACT departments, including the respite unit, counselling department and home-based care project. 

Once the men and women are enrolled with Woza Moya they are then trained in a craft, most commonly beadwork or sewing. The crafters are mostly women and are almost all first-time money earners, having set up bank accounts for the first time in order to receive they payments from Woza Moya.

Every week the crafters come to HACT to sell their crafts to Woza Moya, everything from beadwork, wirework, woodwork and even crochet. By selling Woza Moya their crafts the crafters become self-empowered and self-employed. We have found that being financially secure gives our crafters hope and the luxury of looking to the future; because of this they take ownership of their disease and fight to stay healthy. 

Woza Moya are dedicated to both their crafters and to their customers, and as such are careful to only take in work of a high quality and to give on-going training to the crafters so the standard is met and kept and they can be proud of the work they bring in. Woza Moya encourages the crafters to come up with new, creative ideas and, as much as possible, for the crafters to set their own prices. Woza Moya has a very special relationship with each crafter and takes care of each individual. The sale from their crafts is the only source of income for close to 95% of our 350 crafters.  Every item bought from us has already helped to empower, uplift and inspire and to give hope to a family in need.

Woza Moya is an amazing example of an innovative project. It has taken a traditional African craft – beading – and modernized it and made it relevant and appealing to customers both local and international. One of the biggest successes of Woza Moya has been its innovative product creation – from the famous Little Traveller beaded dolls, to the World’s First Fully Beaded Suit, to the Dreams for Africa Chair that sold at a record breaking R750 000 to a private Cape Town buyer, the Dreams for Africa coffee table book, to the yarn bombed tree at the front of HACT’s property,  to the beautiful beaded necklaces in a huge array of colours and design, to gift cards, to the upcycling project that produces beautiful products out of waste – everything that Woza Moya does is innovative. It has popularized African beadwork again and made it appeal not just to African markets but to all South Africans and internationally in countries including Australia, Germany, Holland and the USA.

Issued on behalf of FCB Joburg 011 5666000