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Town Lodge Radio Campaign


When it comes to holidays and occasional travel, the City Lodge Group not only compete with other hotel chains and Airbnb –  they compete with the homes of friends and family. The truth is, in tight-fisted economic times, many of us end up choosing the “free” option. But how free is it really? Finances aside, there are some undeniable emotional and (sometimes) physical costs to staying with the people you love. 


Looking after your aging, haggard childhood pets, the constant, unrequited company – too much information about your parents’ sexual renaissance. When you weigh up the real cost of staying with the family, staying at a City Lodge hotel is better than free, actually.


Mahala is a colloquial Zulu word for anything that is acquired without payment, or effort. All Zulus love going to one place during holidays; home. Why? Because it’s mahala. The truth is, in these tough economic times, many of us opt for the ‘mahala’ option. But consider the real costs of dealing with family, both physical and emotional. Then add black tax, paid in cash, as well as in free labour.  And for women, even more hidden costs; including becoming part of the help, adhering to a strict traditional dress code,  and hyperpigmentation of knees from scrubbing toxic masculinity off the floors.


2019 Creative Circle awards:  1st Place - Zulu Radio Camapign

2019 Creative Circle awards:  2nd Place - English Radio Camapign

2019 Cannes Lion Festival:  Campaign Gold - Script writing 

2019 Cannes Lion Festival:  Campaign Silver - Travel

2019 Cannes Lion Festival:  Campaign Bronze - Social Behaviour & Cultural Insights  

Town Lodge Radio Campaign: English




Night Weeping
Durban is a sleepy, seaside city on the east coast of South Africa. The perfect place to relax… in theory.


Pleasure Cave
Cape Town is a gorgeous coastal city on the west coast of South Africa, known for its natural beauty and chilled vibes.


Lumpy futon
The WhatsUp. WhatsApp is the messaging platform of choice in South Africa and while our parents do try to keep up technologically, one or two hilarious malapropisms do arise.

English Radio

Town Lodge Radio Campaign: Zulu




Makoti is a city wife married into a Zulu family. She confronts the challenges
of adapting to a more traditional way.
It’s tough for Makoti; Zulus have a wedding song about how much she cooks and cleans.


Umsebenzi means a party, but the very same word also means work. It’s a day of serving guests, as well as bitter traditional practices. The next day, everyone returns to look for their hats, which is just a Zulu way of asking for more free food and alcohol.


The final story is about black tax, the act of repaying a debt to your parents. For giving birth to you and taking you to school. The currency for repayment is not limited to cash. It may include finding a job for your cousin, in a country where there are no jobs.

Zulu Radio
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CCO: Pieter Khoury 

ECD: Carl Willoughby

Create Director | Copywriter: Steph van Niekerk

Senior Copywriter (English): Sophia Basckin

Senior Copywriter (Zulu): Sanele Ngubane

Senior Art Directors: Melissa Grundlingh | Coenraad Grebe

Sound Producer: Louise Enslin from Produce Sound

Animator: Clayton Rolfe

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