Collaborating with Chicken Licken

Earlier this month Chicken Licken won brand of the year at the Loeries, Africa and the Middle East’s premier award ceremony that recognises creative excellence in the advertising industry. This is their seventh consecutive year receiving this title. Their partnership with Agency Joe Public is clearly the perfect match. 

We asked the team at Joe Public to share their thoughts on why the Chicken Licken commercials are so iconic to South Africans:

“Chicken Licken was established in 1981 and has become South Africa’s most iconic chicken brand. Not only do consumers love our chicken, but they love our advertising too with every campaign getting millions of views across all social media platforms. There’s somewhat of a cult following where people wait in anticipation for the next ad to drop and there’s always conversation about which is their favourite.

The 2023 Loeries Awards named Chicken Licken as the Top Ranked Brand in South Africa for the 7th consecutive year which is testament to how creativity that harnesses true human insights can not only grow a brand but capture the hearts of a nation.

Chicken Licken always tries to put South African’s at the forefront of their ads, making heroes of everyday people. We’ve seen successful scientists, explorers, afronauts, archaeologists, actors and even superheroes. People can see themselves in our characters and when this is served up with local insights in a fun and entertaining way it gives people a form of escape, if only for a couple of minutes.”

In celebration of this win, we look back on the brave work we have had the pleasure of collaborating recently.

We also got some insights from the creative team at Joe Public behind these epic ads.


Directed by Greg Gray of Romance films, this commercial was an epic Black Panther parody that we collaborated on at the end of last year.

The creative team at Joe Public took some time to answer our questions on this campaign:

What was your overall vision for Ya’Hunga?
The Big John Burger is legendary. It’s big, very big, and it’s bound to beat the biggest hunger. We wanted to tell a tale of just how legendary our burger is and how far someone would go to get their hands on one. Our Big John campaign was set to launch in November 2022, which just so happened to coincide with the global release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. 

And so the idea to create a humorous parody inspired by the Black Panther franchise was born. Introducing Big John™ Beats Ya’hunga Forever, our very own Hollywood blockbuster.

How did you achieve this vision?
To produce a Hollywood blockbuster, the storytelling, performances, and comedic timing needed to be perfect. The cinematography, art direction and CGI had to be spectacular and the music score and sound composition could be nothing less than epic.
To achieve this, we partnered with director Greg Gray from Romance Films, BlackGinger for the special visual effects and animation, Pressure Cooker Studios for the music score and Sterling Sound for the sound design and final mix.
Once we had our blockbuster we launched our film across TV, cinema, and social media on the same day as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, tactically hijacking the hype surrounding the biggest movie of the year.

What role did Music and Audio play in this commercial?
The music score and sound design played a massive role, it not only helped set the tone for the genre but it also helped guide the viewer through the various scenes, building suspense, adventure, and celebration all the while reinforcing and emphasising the comedic timing from start to finish.

What was the public’s feedback on this commercial?
Our consumers loved the commercial, not only because Black Panther is such a big deal in South Africa but because it’s set in the streets of Mzansi, with an all South African cast and real South African insights that consumers could relate to, something Hollywood rarely gets right.
The campaign was viewed more than 6.5 million times with 212 million people reached, 11 000 comments and a 10.1% increase in sales in the first two months, all for R0 PR spend. All in all, it was the most talked about ad in South Africa in 2022.
The ad even out-trended Black Panther on launch day with Marvel giving it their thumbs up.

Thank you to Integrated ECD Martin Schlumpf, Integrated Creative Director Jeanine Vermaak for taking the time to answer our questions on the Ya’Hunga campaign.


We kicked off 2023 with this feisty and fun 3 part campaign for Chicken Licken EasyBucks.
Directed by Adrian de se Garces of Egg Films, these sound design led ads are comedy gold.

If you want to read more about how we used sound to bring these crazy scenarios to life, head on over to this blog here and learn about how we harnessed the power of ‘diegetic sound’ to elevate the storytelling for this campaign.

(Understanding more about Diegetic Sound:
Diegetic sound refers to any sound within a film, television show, or other visual media that originates from the world or environment depicted on screen. In other words, these are sounds that the characters and objects in the story can hear. This includes things like dialogue between characters, footsteps, car engines, background music playing from a radio in the scene, and other sounds that are part of the narrative.)


Another iconic commercial directed by Greg Gray of Romance films making Josè Mazibuko a part of Mzansi’s pop culture.

What was your overall vision for Jose Mazibuko – Undefeated Since Forever?
To create a commercial that would further increase brand love for Chicken Licken and continue making humourous work that South Africans can relate to. We wanted the commercial to be associated with SA and one of the things we love about the country; sports and to further entrench that sentiment with a character people would love, who’s success was thanks to his love for Chicken Licken.

How did you achieve this vision?
By creating a story around something that all South Africans love or can relate to. Football and irresistible chicken. It also bridged that gap between reality and fantasy, becoming part of the social conversation and having a fictional character appearing in real-world situations.

What role did Music and Audio play in these commercials?
The music brought the piece to life and made every touchpoint of the commercial feel considered and well crafted. It tapped into the French heritage of our protagonist and was interesting and breakthrough as a result

What was the public’s feedback on these commercials?
Months after the campaign and football’s fans are still referencing the commercial, so the feedback has been amazing.

This spot also received Craft awards and mentions with I Did That. Read more about that here. 

Cindy Lee’s comment on our original composition for this ad had us all emotional at the studio:

“We often underestimate the importance of a good piece of music. How it can make you feel, how it can steer a commercial in the right direction even without you realising it. The brilliant piece of original music from Pressure Cooker Studios in Chicken Licken ‘Undefeated Since Forever’ hits every note. It’s clever, it’s witty, it’s funny, it’s tonally perfect. It’s like the icing on the cake of a perfectly crafted commercial. It makes me smile even if I’m not watching the commercial. Bravo.’”
– IDIDTHAT Guest Judge: Cindy Lee, Director at The Star Film Company


Thank you to Integrated ECD, Adam Weber, and Integrated Creative Directors Tshepo Tumahole and Tshepo Mogorosi for taking the time to answer our questions on this commercial. 


We can feel the fire with this latest TVC from Chicken Licken, directed by Greg Gray of Romance films 

Watch Khwezi Duma’s (played by AtandwaKani of Black Panther fame) rise to fame as a Hollywood star with the help of his agent Razz Matazz and his secret to success, a Rock My Soul ™ meal from Chicken Licken.
This TV commercial boasts scenes from 6 ‘movies’ that Khwezi stars in. The track we composed for this is an epic mix of different cinematic genres, seamlessly linked into one flowing piece.

“Chicken Licken®’s fans on social media are constantly asking us to make a movie, so we decided to give them six mini-movies in this rollercoaster of emotions commercial, that highlights the heat and flavour of the Rock My Soul®,” explains Martin Schlumpf, executive creative director at Joe Public.

Our studio full of audio pioneers and composers in Cape Town look forward to many more collaborations with Joe Public and South Africa’s favourite Chicken brand, Chicken Licken.