Client: Hear Me Move
Category: Campaign of the year
Name of Campaign: Creating Groudswell fro SA’s First Dance Movie

Opening 100 Word Statement

Reflecting the state of the film industry locally, where funds are spent on creating the movie and almost zero on marketing, the film Hear Me Move (HMM) relied solely on PR as a tool to drive Word of Mouth and excitement for SA’s first dance movie to hit SA screens in 2015. Despite massive challenges, the PR team never gave up and the success of the campaign resulted in HMM achieving local and international acclaim – a position that will continue to resonate well into the future.

Statement of Problem/Opportunity

HMM was the first box office movie for the young black SA audience. A marketing budget had not been included when raising funds from key investors: the NFVF, IDC and Gauteng Film Commission. PR Expert was approached to help generate a PR campaign in SA which would create groundswell for the film locally, while also driving international awareness.
The film was on the cutting edge of local music and dance trends, enabling us to tap into all the intrinsic elements of the movie – dance, music, entertainment as well as the phenomenal cast, celebrities and filmmakers.


Significant research was conducted (see supportive document):

  •  Roots consumer research
  • Amps consumer research
  • Competitor review
  • Market analysis
  • Identification of core audience
  • A business case and revenue model



A core component of resourcing involved a partnership with UJ. The PR campaign created an experiential learning component for students who represented our key audience – the youth.

A large amount of planning was involved in finding the students: interviewing, assessing the skills, time allocation and selecting a core team.


PR Objectives

  • Launch HMM to Black Urban Moviegoers levering its USP as the first SA dance film for the youth
  • Mobilise the Urban Youth to view HMM as a MUST HAVE film to watch
  • Engage communities through traditional and digital channels to drive word of mouth
  • Excite youth through film messaging and interaction with dance crews/cast members and film celebrities
  • Pave the way for international distribution/success and the HMM franchise
  • Ensure positive relationships and communication with investors, sponsors and key cast members


  • Drive box office sales
  • Box office figures in locations aligned to activations
  • Reach, engagements, impressions on digital platforms
  • Celebrity and cast partnerships result in shares, posts and tweets and attendance at events
  • Securing Dance Crews
  • Media exposure in Platinum media list
  • The result of media partnerships
  • Responsive digital community management
  • Positivity and message inclusion
  • Consistent positive communication with key stakeholders
  • Festival enquiries
  • Positive relationships with the cast

Target Audiences


Other audiences

  • Investors and partners
  • Film sponsors
  • Cast and crew
  • The Film industry



  • Publicity
    A treatment schedule was developed which included key media, approach, angle and deadline and an editorial content calendar developed from there. By planning properly we were able to achieve massive publicity opportunities.
  • Press toolkit
    An EPK was developed for media.
  • Events/Promotions
    Events were leveraged with Proudly South African, Skull Candy, Soweto Drift and Ster-Kinekor. These events garnered media interest, fan engagement and social media traction.
  • Digital

Community management and engagement

Our campaign focused heavily on creating interesting content on our social channels and engaging with celebrities. All comments were responded to quickly and fans engaged.

Sharing on sponsor channels

All sponsors received regular communication about the content plans for HMM in Social Media and were asked to share and amplify on their own channels.

Book of Swag digital activation

A partnership with The Book of Swag created an innovative digital campaign leading up to the Premiere – an 8 hour Twitter Marathon.

News, blogs and SEO

Content was uploaded daily and an SEO expert used to drive google search on the web.

Advance screening

All stakeholders were invited to watch the movie at the Ster-Kinekor head office. Cast members were invited to participate, providing social media opportunities.

  • Partner & investor communication

Stakeholders were sent regular bi-weekly communications updating them on progress, coverage received, accolades and film news.

  • Partnerships

Ed-Create, channel 190 on DSTV & 65 on GOTV, developed a documentary about the making of HMM aired in 2015.


YFM helped us create hype around the movie through interviews and giveaways of tickets to the movie and the premiere.


The movie was featured on a number of top television shows on SABC.

Proudly SA

Our promoters attended activations running in Gauteng & Pretoria. They also did an anti-piracy campaign and promoted HMM.



Leading up to the Premiere we were able to get free airtime in SABC’s top vernacular radio stations speaking to the youth about the dangers of underage sex and drugs while promoting the movie.



Paul Modjadji

A strong relationship with the choreographer of HMM created the foundation for media interviews, a launch with the Department of Arts and Culture and TV exposure on Good Morning Africa.

Ad Outposts

Key Billboards around Cinemas in Gauteng were secured via a trade exchange.

  • Premiere Event

Guests, media and celebrity influencers attended the Premiere in Newtown, a red carpet affair the likes of the Oscars, with media lining up to interview cast members and celebrities.

Campaign challenge

The film industry is at the mercy of Nu-Metro and Ster-Kinekor who took the movie off circulation after two weeks and before full traction of Word of Mouth had been realised. This led to consumer disappointment when they could not find the movie in cinemas. At the lobbying of the film industry, Government is taking notice and debate is ongoing in the industry.

Management Support

The client was used to doing things on the fly: it was necessary to create a working team and process to ensure a cohesive campaign. By ensuring constant communication, decision-making inclusion and regular meetings, PR Expert became a vital and trusted member of the team.

Management process

Multiple challenges

The initial strategy was to showcase SA’s dance talent with an online dancing reality show: driving talk-ability, sharing and ramping up to the launch of the movie, where public voting culminated in the selection of country’s finest Sbujwa dance teams. Due to lack of funds the concept was shelved.

Strategy review

Core strategy: Celebrities, key cast members and filmmakers would become “Ambassadors” for PR.
There was some reluctance initially from the cast. Via strong personal communication we were able to get them to view the opportunity as a personal profiling platform.


Due to the date of the movie release being shifted the bulk of our publicity activity moved to Jan – Mar 2015 which created a few resource challenges. We hired a full time additional resource from UJ to fill the gap.