South Africa’s preeminent apple and pear brand, Tru-Cape, continues to innovate in its marketing activities to increase fresh fruit sales. In what might even have been a global first for a fresh fruit brand, in March 2020 the company launched a TikTok promotion and in 2021 Tru-Cape contracted the South African band, Sunset Sweatshop, to record their song, Takeaways from Nature. The song was released across all streaming platforms and they shared the associated music video extensively. Now they are trying to reach the listeners of one of the biggest music trends to hit Southern Africa – Amapiano.
When Tru-Cape needed someone to help partner their apple and pear brand with urban musicians, Sheikani Makhado was the solution. He manages numerous performing artists bringing his strong marketing focus and ability to connect brands with the right artist. Born into a media and music industry family, his connections run deep. “For a traditional company like Tru-Cape to run a beat competition not only shows their forward thinking but also that the genre has grown and how much crossover potential there is. Many global artists and Ed Sheeran is one of them, are looking to Amapiano’s sound, like DJ Kool Drink’s remix of Sheeran’s Bad Habits.
Makhado says: “I recommended MaWhoo as an influencer for Tru-Cape’s Amapiano competition to help the brand reach their urban customers. Her popularity has grown dramatically and I predict that she will have more than half-a-million followers in the next year. Artists such as MaWhoo really know their worth – they are business people and her position as one of the top five producers proves that she brings artistic talent and business acumen in equal measure. In the past when you think HipHop and other urban-music styles you think hard living and hard-partying people. Today’s generation is different. Their focus is on the art and the value of it. In January MaWhoo was featured by The Yanos, an online magazine about Amapiano culture, and it referenced her start in the music industry when she was only 11 years of age. Her song, Once Upon a Time in Lockdown also champions her belief that women should be able to express themselves however they choose and be appreciated for it. Her single, Umshado, about marriage, has over 700 thousand YouTube views.
According to Wikipedia, Amapianos, the isiZulu and isiXhosa word for “the pianos”, is a style of House music that emerged in SA in 2012 which has found great favour recently with 920 million global streams, 4,2 billion TikTok views and is currently among global listeners, Africa’s largest music genre. What characterises Amapiano is the wide percussive baseline and Log-Drum sound. The tempo tells a story too with between 108 and 115 beats per minute. Riffs on the Kwaito baseline are also signs of this DJ-mixed sound.
In a competition with a prize win of R40,000 cash to a single winner, deejays are invited to create their own Tru-Cape Amapiano remix to the pinned Tru-Cape sound on the @Tru-Cape TikTok account with Sunset Sweatshop and share it to their social media accounts with the hashtag #TruCapeAmapiano.
According to Conrad Fick, Tru-Cape’s Marketing Director, to further boost Tru-Cape’s urban reaches influencers such as Talarsetee, Uncle Vinny, Bravo le Roux and an Amapiano dance group called Johnny Bravo have also been engaged. Mooya Musunga is scheduled to post his second video in the following few weeks on TikTok. “By using these influencers to expand our footprint on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube we can reach different urban audiences throughout SA,” Fick says.
Fick explains that the top most liked videos will move on to the next round. “They will be placed on the Tru-Cape website for people to vote. Artists will share their songs via their own social media platforms to generate votes. After a week of voting the song with the most votes will win. Currently, the campaign has reached 3.4 million people with 95 entries which we expect to grow in the coming days,” he says.