It seems that every corporate in SA is jumping on the B-BBEE share scheme bandwagon, albeit with varying degrees of success. But when Barloworld announced that Khula Sizwe would be based on R2.9 million in commercial property—an unprecedented shift in the share scheme template—we were thrilled to be a part of their story.
Khula Sizwe has been structured in such a way that black South Africans become, through a seriously complicated set of complex maneuverings, property owners. Well... kind of. They become shareholders in a property management company, with a guaranteed blue-chip tenant (aka Barloworld) for the first ten years. Genius!
For us, this was a chance to challenge the way we got the news out to the public. If this was a B-BBEE share scheme like no other, then our ad needed to reflect this. After a whole lot of thought and deliberation, we landed on our "Fearless Girl" storyline. Not only was it a fresh way to represent something that can be deathly dull for most, it would involve birthday cake and a jumping castle. Win!
The beautifully shot, fabulously sound-tracked TVC aside, what was really important for us was the alignment between Barloworld, Khula Sizwe and ourselves. You see, we're pretty clear that the entire purpose behind Riverbed as an agency is to make a real, lasting change in the lives of all South Africans. In particular, those who have been disadvantaged by our country's tumultuous history and Khula Sizwe resonated with this like a perfectly tuned middle C piano chord.
To us, it was undeniable how passionate Barloworld was about the entire Khula Sizwe journey. To them, it was more than just a box-ticking exercise to boost their business profile. It was a way for them to make a lasting, long-term impact on their staff, individual black South Africans, the greater communities and the economy as a whole.
So, from all of us at Riverbed, we would like to say a great big thank you to all the wonderful folk at Barloworld for the incredible opportunity to be a part of this remarkable chapter in your history.