In South Africa, the migration out of the cities into rural areas and high rates of poverty mean many families go without enough food and household basics. The Christmas holiday season is an especially difficult time for many families.

The Daily Sun newspaper, part of Media24, created a holiday campaign to address this. We held a contest, and readers who sent in winning submissions received a live holiday sheep for their families. The campaign was well received and generated much excitement in the local community. In addition, it had a positive effect on sales.

Children affected by poverty see happy families on television, enjoying gifts, full stomachs, smiles, and happiness during the holiday season. They want and deserve to feel some of this joy, but in the cold, unrelenting shadow of poverty, most of the average South African’s income goes to the basic feeding of the family.

Daily Sun aimed to provide hope for these families through a holiday campaign that also focused on coverage of heroes or good news stories that inspire. We wanted to be seen as the newspaper for the people, serving 5.2 million of our brothers and sisters.

The Daily Sun's contest offering readers a sheep for their holiday feast was well received by the local community.
The Daily Sun's contest offering readers a sheep for their holiday feast was well received by the local community.

In early December, we launched our two-week campaign by distributing large street posters around South Africa, with strong imagery using the outline of a sheep. This graphic became a talking point on social media. We also used front page teasers and strips — and all of this led up to a competition, in which readers answered a daily question in the newspaper, via SMS messaging.

There was strong support for the campaign and competition. DJEuphonik, one of South Africas most popular DJs, added his excitement by tweeting “Daily Sun, really” to his nearly 700,000 followers.

We had an overwhelming response, with between 2,000 and 5,000 competition entries coming in daily. We had expected a 6.81% dip in sales during this time of year, but the campaign swung the needle in the other direction: sales increased by 5.57%!

The winners were overjoyed with receiving their sheep, which enabled them to enjoy an unforgettable Christmas with their families.

The Christmas feast campaign was a huge success, and the winners enjoyed a happy holiday.
The Christmas feast campaign was a huge success, and the winners enjoyed a happy holiday.



Winner Steven Maoto, from Mohlakeng in Randfontein, said his sheep would provide a feast for his family, “I have three children. This prize is helping me to save money I would have spent on meat for the festive season.” And another winner, Nopinki Ngwenya, from Protea in Soweto, said, “I will save a lot of money over the festive season ... you really made our festive season a great one.”

Our campaign ensured that many people had a better holiday, and created many loyal, happy Daily Sun readers who will tell their tales to everyone they meet for years to come.