Bread brand gets a boost as little girl’s cute photos go viral

By our News Team | 2023

Social media users create their own mock marketing campaigns and call for three-year-old to become a brand ambassador.

Albany Bakeries, a South African bread brand, received an unexpected boost this week when a series of photos taken by an aspiring photographer of his three-year-old niece went viral on social media.

Cute-as-a-button Lethukukhanya Mjaji was photographed in various poses with a loaf of Albany bread as part of a university project by her uncle, Lungisa Mjaji.

Social Media

A social media users’ depiction of what a billboard using the young girl could look like. Illustration via Sibongile Erica Mbuzwana on LinkedIn

He told the newspaper TimesLive he wanted to capture the essence of South Africa and its love for children, as well as include well-known products.

“I saw an opportunity to involve Albany, a well-known bread brand, and decided to incorporate it into the shoot,” Lungisa said.

He shared the photo and video sequences on social media and they became an instant hit. On Twitter alone, there have been more than one million views and over 7,000 retweets.

Many social media users have urged Albany to adopt the little girl as a mini-brand ambassador, while others shared their own mock-ups of how Albany could use the images on billboards and as part of its wider marketing strategy.

Brand has visited the girl’s family

Subsequently, Albany shared Lungisa’s TikTok video on its Facebook page and Albany representatives visited the young girl’s family to hand over various Tiger Brands products to them. Tiger Brands is one of Africa’s largest FMCG manufacturers, with Albany being part of its brand portfolio.

In a statement to our news team, Tiger Brands said: “Albany was heartened by the beautiful image of a young girl captured by her uncle, photographer Lungisani Mjaji, which told a heartwarming story in just a moment of how bread runs can turn into unforgettable moments. 

“We were honoured to gain permission from Lungisani to organically reshare the video on our social media platforms so that more people could experience this moment in a time when we all need a little upliftment.”

In response to our question as to whether young Lethukukhanya would feature in any future marketing campaigns, a PR spokesperson said: “Our responsible marketing policy seeks to ensure that all our marketing and communication reflects our commitment to fair and responsible marketing practices, with specific guidelines around the portrayal of children to ensure their rights are protected.”

In a LinkedIn post examining how the images went viral and their subsequent impact, Sibongile Erica Mbuzwana, MD at Valiant Agency, an SA-based digital-first agency, said the brand’s swift response and genuine engagement transformed what could have been a passing viral moment into a genuine connection with its audience.

She provides five key tips for fostering brand love in the age of social media:

  • Embrace Authenticity: Be true to your brand values.
  • Act Swiftly: When a positive moment arises, act promptly.
  • Listen and Respond: Pay attention to what your audience is saying. 
  • Create Emotional Connections: People connect with brands that stir up emotions. 
  • Give Back: Show your appreciation and give back to your audience.

You can see the TikTok video shoot shared on Albany’s Facebook page here.

You can access photographer Lungisa Mjaji’s Twitter feed here.

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.