At this past weekend’s 38th Annual Loerie Awards, held at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC), the Western Cape Government’s highly acclaimed “First Kiss” television commercial was awarded the prestigious Craft Certificate Award for TV Crafts – Editing, an award won by Upstairs Ludus for their excellent editing work on this now viral television campaign.

First Kiss TVC Image by
First Kiss TVC Image by

The “First Kiss” television commercial was a finalist in the following six hotly contested categories:

  • TV & Cinema Commercials up to 90 seconds (Y&R SA)
  • TV Crafts – Best Use of Licensed Music (Y&R SA / Egg Films)
  • TV Crafts – Cinematography (Egg Films)
  • TV Crafts – Editing (The Upstairs Ludus) Winner
  • TV Crafts – Directing (Egg Films)
  • TV Crafts – Special Visual Effects (Y&R SA / Egg Films)

The “First Kiss” multimedia campaign was launched by Safely Home in March this year, in response to road death statistics and research showing that vehicle occupants (drivers and passengers) continue to constitute the majority of all road deaths in the Western Cape. Based on these facts, increased seatbelt compliance would undoubtedly save thousands of lives on our roads.

The campaign consisted of a series of radio advertisements, billboards, cinema ad bumpers at all major cinemas, and was live online on Facebook and Twitter for the duration of the campaign. The campaign was anchored by the “First Kiss” television commercial which launched on Friday, 18 March 2016, and was first aired on SABC 1 during the screening of an episode of Generations: The Legacy. The TVC aired on all three SABC channels as well as ETV, Kyknet, and CTV, inciting the much-needed conversation around road safety, and particularly around the use of seatbelts in vehicles by all vehicle occupants.

The “First Kiss” commercial was adapted from the “Damage” advertisement produced by the Northern Ireland Department of the Environment. This advertisement was credited by the Irish Road Safety Authority with having brought about a 100% increase in backseat seatbelt wearing and 50% increase in front seat wearing rates in Ireland and Northern Ireland. We are continuing to monitor the effects of this campaign since it aired in March, through our attitudinal surveys, to see what effect it has had on vehicle occupants and their compliance with the wearing of seatbelts.

The television commercial can be viewed on

I should like to extend my congratulations to Upstairs Ludus on their well-deserved victory, and my thanks especially to the entire team for their hard work and dedication to the successful execution of this campaign. Special thanks to Kenneth Africa, Chief Director, Provincial Traffic Management; Donald Lakey, Director, Provincial Traffic Services; Harold Williams, Provincial Traffic Services; Vonita Thompson, Director, Forensic Pathology Services; Shaheem de Vries, Director, Emergency Medical Services; Ian Schnetler, Fire Chief: City of Cape Town. Credits: Creative agency: Y&R; Direction and Production: Egg Films; Post-Production and Editing: Upstairs Ludus; Media: The Media Shop.

Our next campaign will focus on pedestrian safety, and will be rolled out soon. We will continue to be creative and innovative in our approach when conveying these and other important road safety messages. We hope this will result in changes in behaviours and attitudes towards road safety, ultimately saving thousands of lives lost senselessly on our roads.