#BTS The Biggest Loser

Things got weird for our July Sale campaign, but don’t take our word for it…

For our most ambitious campaign yet, we roped in a dream team comprising Jana + Koos, Crystal Birch and Travys Owen, who also just so happen to be part of our Superbalist 100 project. This is what they had to say…

Jana: It was a super basic brain fart, really. When we heard “Sale” we immediately though “the biggest loser!” and how in this case losing is winning and that the people we’re showing are the type of losers you want to be. So it’s putting a spin on when you’re losing you’re actually winning. 

Koos: It’s very easy to draw inspiration from your own life when you have red hair. When I started school we had to learn the entire school song. I was at Affies and the tradition there is to ask one std. 6 to stand up in front of the whole school and sing the school song, word for word, with no music, and so obviously having red hair I stood out and was chosen. But I already knew that I was going to be chosen and so I’d practiced the song beforehand. I did the entire song and afterwards everyone was like, “Shit, that’s impressive.”

Jana: I think it’s more impressive that you can survive something like that and be a functioning human being afterwards. I always feel a bit sorry for the people who peak in high school because it’s downhill from there. It doesn’t prepare you as much. Rather be a late bloomer.

Koos: The campaign has come together so quickly. It was briefed a week ago. Tonight we’re shooting and are aiming for 25 shots. 

Jana: The most difficult part is nailing tone. It’s not just a case of geeks and braces. There’s a subtle dryness that we’re trying to get. So it’s not about giving a brief to a photographer and a stylist. It’s more like Travys will get this… Crystal will get this… There’s a subtlety that we’re trying to nail. And it’s yet to be seen if we will. This is a team that we always wanted to work with. Met Crystal randomly through a friend, her name was always coming up. We wanted to work with her and Travys for ages, but we just needed the right brief. He was here and willing and able and it was quite a weird coincidence how everything fell into place. What’s so great about having such a fantastic team is that you can just go, this is the vibe, here’s a reference, go wild, and they get it.

Koos: The models that we selected were also very important. It’s actually quite hard for models to do this because there’s very little to go on. You can practice in the mirror to, say, look hot, or whatever, but how do you act sarcastic with your eyes? 

Jana: Like a blank look. That’s going to be the biggest thing for us. Pulling everything back. It’s that subtle, slightly offbeat, slightly dry thing and that’s why the team is so important.

Crystal Birch arrives carrying things like potted plants, Incredible Hulk fists and a 90s brick cellphone.

Crystal: I used to have all this sort of stuff lying around, but I’m not in Cape Town anymore and so I had to go to all the prop houses and China Town. I hate using China Town, but they’re the cheapest and do everything. Still, I try avoid them because they’re taking over the world. There’s nobody who can do, say, a woven basket cheaper than China. Same goes for a dog leash. What else did we get? Cups. You can’t outdo the Chinese. Today we’re going really arb and making pictures with, like, an arm or a leg or something else sticking out. Trousers on arms, back to front, or two shirts buttoned together, the clothes won’t be recognized as what they are. I’m really happy to be working with Jana + Koos. From the beginning of the concept to the execution they never compromised on their vision. Sometimes you lose momentum and the story doesn’t come out as strong as it should have. I flew in this morning, very early. They’re worth it. And so are you guys. You’re establishing yourselves as something fresh. It’s not only a passion project but also something that will last. Take the copy away and it’s still an aesthetically pleasing image that people are going to get excited about and that’s why I’m so enthusiastic about everything.

Tammy Tinker: The whole thing about superbalist is that we’re trying to establish a creative platform where young creative have a place to show their work. Grow their skills. Not only will this keep us youthful, but unless you’re going to collaborate with people your business will never be authentic. This is a cool concept that came from a sale campaign. Putting a group of creative people like this in a room together could be a disaster or massively successful. This will be a success. The first of many. This team came from The Superbalist 100, which proves that we don’t only showcase talent but collaborate with the people we’ve selected as influencers.


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