From aesthetics to authenticity, Gale Maimane amplifies South African visual culture

From the onset of her directing career, Gale Maimane has drawn on her background in photography, animation and graphic design to effortlessly blend concept and aesthetics in her work. Her trained eye, point of view and affinity for authenticity, enables her to craft impactful visuals that resonate with local audiences. Gale has now returned for her second collaboration with Jägermeister. Infused with super kühl vibes, she has once again created captivating aesthetics with a uniquely South African visual stamp on the work.

‘Whether she is directing a fashion film, working with children or an alcohol brand, Gale has the ability to create a unique look that belongs to Africa and South Africa, without ever sacrificing the concept or narrative. She understands that the idea should always author the look but her work is never derivative of a European look, because she has her own point of view, she takes risks and she makes it look cool. It’s not patronising or Eurocentric. That’s what her latest work for Jägermeister epitomises. She is unstoppable because she has her own vision.’ Says Darling’s Executive Producer Melina McDonald.

Jägermeister Umswenko

Jägermeister Glo Up

Gale’s latest work for Jägermeister is a deep dive into a microcosm of South African nightlife. Gale cast a range of artists all representing different subcultures. The spots star a red-carpet of local stars like Amapiano sensations DJ Uncle Waffles and Young Stunna, the effervescent Peach van Pletzen and LVMH Prize winner and Designer Thebe Magugu. On how she found her cast of actors and characters Gale says: ‘My many years of party experience haha. I’m on these streets, I know these people. I go to parties like these. So it was, as it always is for me, really important to authentically represent these kinds of party nights and our country’s diverse set of artists.’

Picking up where she left off from her previous campaign for the brand, featuring President Ya Straata FOCALISTIC, Gale created a cinematic language and look that inspires serious FOMO! Each scene peels back expectations revealing a new facet that drives up the entertainment factor. Nuanced with overlayed stacked footage the two commercials ignite a sense of adventure and exploration that taps into current trends IRL and on Instagram and TikTok.

After working as a researcher and assisting almost all the directors at Darling, Gale officially began her directing career three years ago, smack bam in the beginning of the pandemic. But no matter the challenges she’s faced, she has brought her perspective, taste and often editorial lens to her work, to create a reel that is visually rich and authentically South African.

‘’What’s so amazing about being at Darling is that everyone here wants to be the best. It’s a production company that produces excellence.’ Says Gale.

‘Gale might be one of the hardest-working directors we’ve ever seen. Limitations have never stood in her way. Her level of passion, whether on a small job or a big board is unstoppable. Right from the get-go Gale developed her own take on things, creating a look that is uniquely South African in all her work. She is uncompromising about that, it has to be authentic, no matter how editorial the aesthetic, it has to feel real.’ Says Executive Producer of Darling, Lorraine Smit.

And in the three years she has been directing she has done A LOT. But not only that, the quality of the work she has delivered, so early on in her career, proves our case, Gale is unstoppable.

Brutal Fruit ‘Grand Luxe’

Ocean Basket ‘Ballerina’ (Director’s Cut)

Bidvest ‘Life’

SARS ‘Higher Purpose’

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Executive Producers: Lorraine Smit / Melina McDonald /

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Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder

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