Jock partners Suzuki

When you think about a dog that is as South African as boerewors and braaivleis, what springs to mind? Jock of the Bushveld – of course.

And now the hero of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick’s book about the adventures of a Staffordshire bull terrier, has a brand new ally in the form of Suzuki Auto South Africa. In an extremely clever marketing move, the company has concluded an agreement with the producers of a trend-setting South African animated movie to use the iconic canine in its above-the-line television advertising.

“Jock and Suzuki are a natural fit,” says Francois van Eeden, national marketing manager for Suzuki Auto SA. “Both epitomise stand-by-you loyalty, reliability and strength. Jock is a dog with a big heart – and courage against all odds is also one of Suzuki’s core values.”

Jock of the Bushveld, which opened in cinemas nationwide on July 29, is South Africa’s first, truly home-grown 3D animated feature film. It’s a story about a runt  that grows up to be a great dog, almost against all odds, and symbolises the courage, tenacity and fearlessness so typical of the South African psyche.

While the movie,  directed by Duncan MacNeillie, is truly South African, it features the voices of several international actors, including Donald Sutherland, Helen Hunt and Ted Danson. Jock’s voice is provided by rock star Bryan Adams, while the soundtrack was co-written by Sir Tim Rice and Johnny Clegg.

The movie is bound to be a runaway success; no doubt Suzuki hopes that car buyers will feel exactly the same way about its television advertising.