SAB and Ogilvy, like all great friends, have quite a few stories to tell about each other. Amongst the stories of late-nights and getting the impossible done, there’s also tales of celebration. Like in the mid-1990’s when former Ogilvy chairman, Robyn Putter, took a dip in the pond at the Joburg offices to celebrate the return of the coveted Castle Lager account….sans clothes

It has since become a bit of a tradition – when Castle Lager moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg, Julian Ribeiro was made to swim the fish pond as well!

David Ogilvy was a good friend to SAB – once writing that he had “never known any company in any industry in any country that had built so many top brands.

SAB’s brands have become an integral part of South African history and our culture. A lot of the slogans that still resonate with young and old are thanks to Nick Tredoux – copy writer extraordinaire. He coined such phrases as “The taste that stood the test of time” and, of course, “Somewhat dry, somewhat bitter, never sweet.

All these memories were combined for a special commercial celebrating this enduring friendship. Ogilvy’s gift to SAB. It features favourite moments from the past 50 years, condensed into one beer-fuelled tour de force….

Patrick Kenny, who runs through the streets of New York to bring his mates some Castles, remembers filming it with a skeleton crew and director Giaco Angelini. While in the middle of the shoot, a family from Durban walked right into it to ask for Patrick’s autograph.

It turned out that the Naidoos, from Chatsworth Durban, were on holiday with family living in the US, and happened to be fans of my comedy radio show on East Coast Radio. So the crew graciously paused the shoot and allowed the Naidoos to pose with me for some pics.

“The American crew were suitably impressed with all of this and reckoned I was obviously ‘veery big in South Aaafrica’.

Running through NY streets isn’t for sissies and Patrick was almost run over twice – the first time during the very first shot of the ad!

The second time was as I did the big ‘illegal crossing’ or ‘jay walking’, through the Times Square traffic. I had just run around the front of an ambulance when I nearly got hit by a taxi, in the clip you can see me glancing at the taxi before I start running again. All the while, this guy was swearing something terrible at me!”

So here’s to (at least) 50 more great years! Inqaba!

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