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My Favourite Kim Geldenhuys Commercials

This is another addition to the globally popular ACES series of featuring commercial filmmakers that I admire for bringing creative concepts and storylines to filmic life that enthral viewers.

Acknowledgements by the Advertising Communication industry, with accolades and international awards for their passionate dedication to their craft and painstaking executional realisations, are hard-won and well deserved.

Kim Geldenhuys

The multi-award winning South African filmmaker and one time fashion photographer, has directed many noteworthy commercials to global acclaim.

His ability to capture evocative scenes of filmic aesthetics, and the depth he is able to bring to his character portrayals as a narrative filmmaker of emotive or humorous scenarios, I find particularly impressive.

1. Allan Gray Investment Management, The Letter

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, Cape Town, South Africa

‘The Letter’ commercial has a personal poignancy for me with its insightful message analogy.

Shortly after the wall came down I was privileged to participate in a Leo Burnett Worldwide Conference in East Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie was still standing, but with the notorious East German Border Guards hiding in their checkpoint cubicle, probably fearful of their future, there were no passport checks or stop barriers.

Sections of the graffiti-covered border wall as far as the eye could see, were also still standing.

The soulless austerity and drab façades of East Berlin buildings, still pockmarked with bullet holes from World War II, it’s sad, paltry shop offerings and minimal street lighting at night, were a revelation for me.

The city was literally and figuratively without colour, and the contrast with the pulsating vibrancy of West Berlin could not be greater.

The many media stories about the successful efforts of family and friends to rapidly reconnect with loved ones, the minute the wall came down, were however, heart-warming.

Filmmaker Kim Geldenhuys in 90 seconds has captured the mood and tone of the time with remarkable monochromatic visual accuracy.

‘The Letter’ recalls that time to my mind. Memories of reports and newsreels about the chaos, the mass euphoria and the emotive uncertainty of one of the most momentous geopolitical events in modern history, are reawakened.

2. Nedbank Financial Services, Bird’s Eye View

Advertising Agency: Joe Public, Johannesburg, South Africa

Directed by filmmaker Kim Geldenhuys, Nedbank’s ‘Bird’s Eye View’ commercial is a compellingly visual expression of their corporate line; “See Money Differently”.

Filmed entirely from above in 9 days using cranes, drones and helicopters, in 5 cities, and 2 countries, the commercial conveys the scope, breadth, impact, and stature of Nedbank’s operations as seen from an entirely new perspective.

3. Telekom, Cyber Mobbing

Advertising Agency: DDB, Hamburg, Germany

The sense of fear and isolation of young man’s experiences of Cyber bullying, and his efforts to rise above weaponised words and messaging, have been powerfully and emotively captured in this true story portrayal by filmmaker and director Kim Geldenhuys.

The brutal reality of the story underlines Telekom Germany’s concerted efforts in working with various partner initiatives, to expose the effects of cyber bullying and fight for a hate-free Internet.

4. Hyundai Genesis GV80, Nothing Feels Like The First Time

Production Companies: Hochkant Films, München, Germany, & 03:07 Films, Cape Town, South Africa

Directed by filmmaker Kim Geldenhuys, and filmed in South Africa, Hyundai’s Genesis GV80 commercial is a dream-like, audio-visual experience that evokes feelings, memories and sensations of first-time encounters.

The aesthetically crafted monochrome commercial is compellingly surreal and rewarding to view.

5. Philips, Shave To Remember

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, Johannesburg, South Africa

The ‘Shave To Remember’ commercial, directed by Filmmaker Kim Geldenhuys, was part of an integrated campaign by Philips and The Nelson Mandela Foundation in 2018 to honour the centenary of South Africa’s liberation stalwart, Nobel Peace Prize recipient, globally revered President, and national hero.

To celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy, Philips barbers travelled nationwide setting up mobile barbershops to provide iconic Madiba haircuts in marked tributes to the values he stood for throughout out his life of unity, humility, forgiveness, and the universal brotherhood of man.

6. Nedbank Private Wealth, No Stone Unturned

Advertising Agency: M&C Saatchi Abel, Cape Town, South Africa

For me ‘No Stone Unturned’ is filmic storytelling at its best. Superbly directed by filmmaker Kim Geldenhuys the commercial was filmed on location in the fortified city of Benhaddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Morocco.

The two charming young stars of the commercial surprisingly had never acted before. They were cast after being spotted on the street but nevertheless, with Kim’s skillful coaxing were able to deliver very engaging performances.

The compelling ‘voice-over’ narration of the commercial is by Sunil Maholtr.

7. Prudential Investment Managers, The Fishermen

Advertising Agency: Lowe, Cape Town, South Africa

Directed by filmmaker Kim Geldenhuys and filmed on location in Madagascar, ‘The Fishermen’ is about the importance of ‘being consistent in inconsistent times’.

The emotive scenario relates to the endurance, courage and faith required to continuously apply ones knowledge and expertise day after day, to reap the benefits of success that in time, will come.

8. Nando’s, Blue Light Brigade

Advertising Agency: Metropolitan Republic, Johannesburg, South Africa

Brilliantly directed by filmmaker Kim Geldenhuys who displays a deft talent for filmic comedy, this satirical take on the ‘blue light brigades’ that South Africa’s Government Ministers are so obsessed with to the huge annoyance of everyone else, was an instant hit.

The commercial rapidly reached 3.2 million views, became one of the most watched YouTube videos globally at the time, and the hashtag #NoBlueLights received over 8,000 participants.

9. Santam, One-of-a-kind

Advertising Agency: King James Group, Cape Town, South Africa

Foreigners are frequently bemused by some aspects of daily life in South Africa that its citizens accept as par for the course of living in a society with such a kaleidoscope of diversity.

The selling idea of the commercial that ‘they are one-of-a-kind things, that require one-of-a-kind insurance’, is brought entertainingly alive by filmmaker Kim Geldenhuys’s direction of depicting how foreigners relate, and narrate what they perceive to be bizarrely amusing acts, that are uniquely South African.