Ad of the Week: Nando’s serves up the good news
by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) From Nkandla to load-shedding, from chaos in parliament to ISIS, the bad news seems to be coming at us hard and fast. Thankfully, there’s a flame-grilled chicken brand with a good sense of humour that’s campaigning hard to get us to laugh.
Renowned for its cheeky, topical and sometimes off-the-wall campaigns, Nando’s always seems to connect with the zeitgeist. And in its latest online ad, from Publicis Machine, it has identified the sense of fatigue that many of us are experiencing with all the ‘bad news’ that gets served up on news sites.
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The concept is simple. Next to an article with ‘bad news’ on the website News24, the distinctive Nando’s font proclaims: “Load shedding making you feel a little in the dark?” Beneath this is a big red ‘button’ with the instructions: “Click here for some good news.”
Click on the button, and the text changes to: “Good news coming right up.” The news article bursts into flames and is replaced with a Nando’s ad. It’s a beautiful picture of a Nando’s meal, with the text, “Don’t let life get you down. Get the ¼ Chicken Meal for only R49.90. Now that’s good mood food.”
In the meantime, the red button’s text has changed to: “Click here for more good news.” Click again, and the fire animation ‘burns up’ the page to be replaced by a good news story, for example, about turtles being rehabilitated and returned to the ocean.
Click again, and a new tab opens with the Nando’s site where you can search for the nearest Nando’s restaurant. Prominent on this page is a link to a list of Nando’s restaurants with backup generators, or home delivery, as an alternative for that power-interrupted home meal.
The effect is achieved, as far as I can tell, using Flash, so if you have disabled Flash, or blocked pop-ups, the ad won’t work for you. (I’m not going to go into the pros and cons of Flash here, save to say that many security specialists are against it due to security vulnerabilities that it can introduce.)
A revised brand approach
At this year’s Design Indaba, Nando’s co-founder Robbie Brozin spoke about a revised approach to the brand, where it will furnish its restaurants globally with hand-made products. Speaking to The Drum magazine at the indaba in Cape Town, Brozin said this is part of a desire for South Africa to “own the soul of the brand” once more. This means that individual franchisees will be able to personalise their restaurants, while adhering to a basic ‘brand bible’.
In the UK, Nando’s has created some more upmarket venues where the sit-down meal is complemented by interesting decor and art, usually with a South African theme.
The company currently boasts some 7400 pieces of art in its collection, of which much is displayed in the 243 restaurants in the UK — which makes it the largest collection of SA art outside the country. But it’s not just aesthetics — Nando’s also promotes art through mentorships, installations and competitions.
“Part of our DNA”
Speaking to Kelly Berman at Design Indaba, Brozin credited chairman Dick Enthoven for the company’s focus on art, saying, “He’s passionate about art. He said art would make our chicken taste better. There’s no scientific evidence for that but I can tell you when there’s beautiful art on the walls, it makes a great impact for the restaurant — and for the artist. It’s shared value. It’s not a CSI project — it’s part of our DNA.”
It’s this DNA that puts Nando’s way ahead of the pack in the fast-food segment, and the reason that a simple yet smart ad such as this one can make such an impact.
Because it’s not just the ad.
Nando’s has built a brand that’s renowned for humour and for being authentically South African. It is as if Nando’s gets us, and we get it. So you know that clicking on that button isn’t going to just open a boring link. There’s going to be a reward, in the form of a laugh or a surprise.
That’s the Nando’s promise. And it delivers.
Digital agency: Publicis Machine
Senior art director: Josh Foster
Creative group head copywriter: PJ Eales
Executive creative director: Jake Bester
Ad of the Week, published on MarkLives every Wednesday, is penned by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki), the CEO of Ornico, a Brand Intelligence® firm that focuses on media, reputation and brand research.
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