Feature Lifestyle

Simba brings back the flavour as South Africa returns to life

October 23, 2020

Simba, long part of South Africa’s history has unveiled one of its largest brand relaunches in recent memory to celebrate the rich flavours of South Africa and to emphasis what the Simba brand does best – bringing people together.

The 2020 Simba relaunch comes after a period when moments with family and friends have been scarce, as we look to rebuild the meaningful connections that are such an important part of South African societal fabric.

“People are feeling the need to connect now more than ever,” said Agnes Kitololo, platform director, potato chips, PepsiCo Sub-Saharan Africa. “Simba can be the catalyst for rebuilding those meaningful connections with family and friends. That’s what the relaunch campaign is all about.”  

The relaunch campaign brings new energy to the brand South Africans have loved for more than 60 years. It incorporates: 

  • A creatively brave TV commercial
  • Radio
  • An outdoor campaign
  • Collaborations with: 
    • Up-and-coming fashion designers
    • Amapiano star DJ Maphorisa
  • More contemporary packaging
    • New authentic SA flavours 
    • Chakalaka  
    • Chilli Biltong
  • State-of-the-art point-of-sale and billboard elements
  • Digital and social touchpoints.
Simba Creamy Cheddar chips
Simba has been bringing people together from as far back as we can remember.

“PepsiCo puts the people we serve at the heart of everything we do,” said Simba chief marketing officer, PepsiCo Sub-Saharan Africa Giulia Iorio-Ndlovu. “Simba is proud to celebrate the rich, diverse flavours of South Africa coming together. With our 2020 relaunch, Simba is still South Africa’s much-loved brand of chips, but modernised and more vibrant, without losing any of its heritage – Simba the Lion and those great-tasting, authentic SA flavours.”

The new Simba television commercial by leading SA director Tebza Malope takes a unique musical approach, featuring a song composed using the expressive sounds we make when enjoying the different flavours of our favourite Simba chips. The track was produced with DJ Maphorisa, just in time for summer-jam playlists.

Dancers starring in the video were directed by choreographer Nhlanhla Mahlangu – and were tasked with bringing each flavour to life on screen. In the true spirit of South African collaboration, emerging fashion designers were commissioned to create a tailor-made wardrobe for the dancers. Bespoke pieces were created for each Simba flavour by designers such as: 

  • Peace by Khotso
  • Happyviille
  • Refuse
  • Deuce
  • Nao Serati
  • Art Club and Friends
  • Swanker

“Simba is the flavour that connects us. It celebrates inclusivity, it speaks to South Africa’s genuine ubuntu values. This is about making moments together more meaningful, more precious,” said Iorio-Ndlovu.

“The relaunch journey has helped us fall in love with our brand again. We have learned to be humble, to pause and reflect on our last years, re-connect with our consumers again and have the courage to think big and celebrate what we believe in. This is the biggest relaunch in 10 years. It was the right time to rejuvenate our brand when we have the insights and the boldness we need – and now we’re ready to roar louder than ever!”

Iorio-Ndlovu said the ambitious 2020 relaunch follows Simba’s highly successful 2013 Mapha relaunch, which celebrated Simba’s heritage, but also conveyed Simba’s “sharing” message for the first time – a message powerfully rooted in the fabric of South African life.

“This time, we went for a deeper emotional engagement – while following the rhythm of more contemporary times,” she said.

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