Quirk Johannesburg Releases A Touching New Ad – “Borrowed Time”

When Cindy Lee, film director with Fresh Eye Films in Johannesburg, approached Quirk to develop an TV commercial for Orange Babies we leapt at the opportunity to not only help a valuable cause, but produce our first television commercial and bring our digital expertise to bear on a positive outcome.  Orange Babies is a Dutch NGO focused on assisting HIV-positive pregnant women and their babies in Africa and they needed help to increase the awareness of their organisation to raise support and funds for their work here in South Africa.  Donations will be used to fund 5 life-changing projects in South Africa.

“We knew that if we were to move people to take action – in this case, make a donation – we had to create something that would move them emotionally” says Steph van Niekerk, Creative Director and copywriter of the ad. A big part of the process was finding the right story to tell and inspiration came in the form of a compelling fact: With the medical advancement made in recent years, the pregnant mother to child transmission rate of HIV has decreased from over 90% to less than 1.7%. It’s just a case of having timely access to the right medication, education and support. Which means there is no good reason for another child’s life to be cut short by HIV.”

The commercial is based on the insight that when you can’t have one, an ordinary life is an extraordinary thing and depicts an HIV-positive mother trying to let her baby see and experience as much as possible before it is too late.  Armed with a script, Fresh Eye Films and Quirk rallied some of the South African film industry’s most talented players and everyone involved generously donated their time and skills to take Orange Babies’ rather urgent message to the world. After 6 months of conceptualising, developing and planning, the commercial was shot over two long days in Johannesburg, the city’s Central Business District and the suburb of Hillbrow. It’s set to an original sound track ‘Light’ which was donated to us by American singer-songwriter, Sleeping at Last.

From a digital perspective, Quirk has also invested time in making sure the donation process is as seamless and easy as possible and that the film would work as hard as it could online.  Stephen Sandmann, SEO Specialist at Quirk Johannesburg, explains, “We applied SEO to the “Borrowed Time” YouTube video and website to maximise the online reach in a cost-effective way.  The SMS line was also added to their website’s Google Search descriptions; meaning people can make a donation via their phones, without having to visit the site or watch the full video.”