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Better canned than cancelled

Savanna faces the backlash from global glass shortage head-on in a hilarious new campaign.

Savanna Cider, a brand known to have a strong connection with its audience through the use of humour, has tackled recent outcries from the nation struggling to find it on shelf head-on. The Savanna trial, The People vs. Savanna, is an excellent example of their ability to laugh at themselves to establish connection and engagement between themselves and their audience. A tactic frequently used by top comedians with significant effect to connect with their audiences.

Better canned than cancelled

Facing some trials at the end of 2021 in supply and demand due to numerous global challenges compounded by shipping delays and healthy growth in terms of volume and value, the product was not as easy to find. It was hard to find the nations favourite premium, crisp and dry cider, but Savanna went out and said: Siyavanna South Africa, Ska wara, we’re working hard not to let you go dry!

Apart from working hard to find practical solutions to get the product into stores, the brand knew that it had to offer a sincere apology to its consumers. But words aren’t enough. So they took actionSo #SavannaTrial was conceived to hopefully find mutual ground between Savanna and The People and to introduce a can to market. In the proceedings, Savanna is brutally honest and would rather be CANned than CANcelled altogether. As exhibit A settles the tension in court - a sophisticated 300ml limited edition can of Savanna Dry - available immediately.

Better canned than cancelled

This campaign is an excellent example of what can happen when a brand team and agency team work together as partners. From the first rumble in social media hinting at consumers battling to find their favourite Savanna, the team worked together on short term 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. We owe it to our community. 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.

Better canned than cancelled

While it is still early days since the introduction of the cans and the trial, the response from fans has been overwhelmingly positive. Social media users are noting the brand’s ability to not only listen to them but to offer a solution – and they are elated that the trial didn’t even take that long.

Carla van Pletzen, BUD Grey PR/WPP Liquid, explains: “We were facing a potential crisis which could gain momentum very quickly. Tackling an issue head-on and taking the lead to put out a truthful narrative does not come without any risk. Still, transparency and an honest apology (and a solution now) went a long way for Savanna in this instance. With full access to the brand team in the media answering all questions, consumers also got to see compassion and accountability from the brand they love so much."

Savanna promotes responsible drinking. Not for persons under 18.

#SavannaTrial #SiyavannaSouthAfrica #StaySafe

For more information, follow Savanna’s social media channels or go to

Instagram: @savannacider
Facebook: @SavannaCider
Twitter: @SavannaCider
YouTube: SavannaCider

15 Feb 2022 14:50