Better Canned than Cancelled.
As any fan of Savanna - SA’s favourite crisp, dry and premium cider - would tell you, it’s been harder to find Savivi on shelves recently. And there are compelling reasons why – a global supply chain crisis for one, compounded by shipping delays. On top of all that, the enormous love and support from South Africans resulted in a situation where the brand doubled in size in the last twelve months, creating significant pressure on supply. But from the brand’s perspective, the reasons didn’t really matter, because the people just wanted that crisp, dry taste they love.
While Savanna continued to work around the clock to produce and supply as much of their iconic cider to customers and consumers each week, some fans still noticed the brand selling out fast and missing from fridges and shelves. So, Savanna’s loyal customers did what we all do when it’s time to demand more from a brand – they took to social media, looking for answers.
As Savanna has always said: Siyavanna South Africa, or we see you and in this case ska wara (don’t worry) we’re working hard not to let you go dry. But the reality was without a solution these were just words, and Savanna knew its consumers deserved more than that.
So they did the unthinkable – they took themselves to the court of public opinion and asked The People to try their case against them in #CancelCourt with the Trial of Savanna Dry.
During the proceedings Savanna is brutally honest and owns up to the (very) public product supply chain challenges and glass constraints that they had faced during 2021 admitting:
“We never meant to let you down. And we’re doing everything we can to fix it…”
But again these were just words and didn’t quite settle the problem or offer a solution. So they introduced Exhibit A – the new Savanna Slender Limited Edition 300ml Can, available in The People’s favourite Savanna Dry. It’s 100% the same crisp, dry taste you love, just in a can and available right now.
The introduction of the limited edition can through the #SavannaTrial showcased Savanna’s commitment to its consumers, their ability to have a laugh (even at their own expense) and to find the perfect solution that worked for everyone. Because they would rather be canned than cancelled.
This campaign was an excellent example of what can happen when a brand owns its troubles. From the first rumbles on social media hinting at consumers battling to find their favourite Savanna, the brand worked on short and longer-term approaches to own the situation and make up for it. Instead of letting speculation run its course, Savanna was the one communicating the truth (the whole truth and nothing but the truth) to the media and their audience.
“Brands tend to lay low when controversy hits. Savanna, in this instance, did not avoid the confrontation; rather leaned into it. There is an authentic bond between the brand and the people, and it’s a relationship based on listening, hearing and then, very importantly, finding solutions and taking action. We’ve learnt in the past that honesty is the best policy, and that means owning our sh*t and having a good laugh about it with our people”, said Steph van Niekerk, Creative Director at Grey/WPP Liquid.
That’s Savanna for you, oh, and in case you forgot – it’s dry but you can drink it. DM/ML
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