Suzelle takes us shopping

09 January 2015 - 02:37 By TJ Strydom
TURNING THE WHEELS OF COMMERCE: Suzelle braais chickens as Marianne pedals in one of online retailer Takealot.com's videos
TURNING THE WHEELS OF COMMERCE: Suzelle braais chickens as Marianne pedals in one of online retailer Takealot.com's videos
Image: YOUTUBE

Peeling apples with a drill and making a traditional dish in a hollowed-out pumpkin caught the attention of hundreds of thousands of South Africans on YouTube last year.

Suzelle's nifty DIY webisodes also piqued the interest of online retailer Takealot.com.

Julia Anastasopoulos, the actress who plays the quirky DIY guru, told The Times the retailer was quick to approach her for a collaboration.

"I think they saw the potential early on," she said.

One of her earlier videos - "How to make a braai-pie" - had been viewed nearly 400000 times by yesterday afternoon. For South African cyberspace, that's big.

Suzelle's content suited the brand nicely, said Takealot.com's head of marketing, Declan Hollywood. "She's a quirky girl and sort of left of centre."

Suzelle was given a very broad brief and care was taken to keep her authenticity. She came up with four videos that fitted - loosely at least - the online retailer's "everything you wish for" campaign.

The approach was simple. No product placement in the video itself. No hard-selling by Suzelle.

Only in the last few seconds of each of the webisodes do you see the words "Presented by Takealot.com". And then the brilliant part: an annotation that asks a direct question about the video you have just watched. Click on it and you are directed to Takealot.com and a product that would do the job.

In one video, Suzelle retrofits a training cycle - paddled by her friend Marianne - to turn it into a rotisserie. But what if you don't have a Marianne, asks the annotation at the end of the webisode. Click on it and you can add the Weber battery-operated rotisserie to your cart.

"We saw a significant volume of traffic coming to Takealot.com from Suzelle's videos," said Hollywood.

Two of the four videos have attracted more than 100000 views in only a few weeks and a third is very close to that milestone.

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