Serious newsman ‘lightens up’ in new Castle Lite beer commercial

By our News Team | 2022

Campaign shows Carte Blanche anchor ‘getting down and funky’ in a cool bar to promote South African Breweries’ popular beer brand.

Derek Watts, host of M-Net’s hard-hitting current affairs TV show Carte Blanche, recently cast himself in a much ‘lighter’ role for a new marketing campaign by beer brand Castle Lite.

The ‘Lite’n up’ campaign got Watts – known for exposing corruption, criminality and unethical behaviour to South African audiences for more than three decades – to show people how to lighten up and have a good time. Himself included, of course.

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Photo: Supplied

He is probably one of the best-known faces on local current affairs television, and a visit by Watts and a Carte Blanche TV crew to your front door typically means you’re in a substantial amount of trouble.

The advert’s script seeks to exploit this, as people from all walks of life – from car guards to shop assistants and supposedly blind beggars – duck for cover as the soberly dressed and serious-looking newsman approaches them in the street.

‘Serious’ presenter becomes a party animal

But this trepidation soon turns to fun as Watts enter a funky bar and is handed a Castle Lite. Off comes the suit jacket and the lanky TV presenter suddenly turns into a party animal and lets loose with some hip-and-happening dance moves. The other patrons are, of course, delighted and join in the fun.

The campaign was the created by ad agency by Ogilvy Cape Town and directed by Anton Visser, co-founder of Patriot Films.

In an interview with industry website Media Update, Watts notes that, while he is serious on Carte Blanche stories, the strangers he meets are sometimes surprised to see his lighter side. “It’s about not taking your work home with you,” he explains.

Watts adds: “I’m not sure the advertisement industry is there to lift our spirits. So, it’s a marketing choice … but I think adverts with a touch of humour are certainly more memorable.”

You can watch the Castle Lite commercial here.