Ad of the Week: Getting coached by Mr Mo
by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) Satirical humour sometimes fall flat in advertising because it’s tricky to get right. But this couldn’t be further from the truth in the new King Price ad campaign, which ties in with the moustache-growing month of “Movember” and shows that South Africans can laugh at themselves.
King Price is smartly setting itself apart in the short-term insurance industry with an innovative approach that pushes at the boundaries and the constant, smartly executed, brand-building ensures top-of-mind awareness in a crowded market. By tying in with themes such as Movember, the brand builds an association with the target of a company that is friendly, relevant and approachable.
Peter de Villiers, aka “Div”, the man who replaced Jake White as coach of the Springbok rugby team, has taken up a new national position again. Div served as South Africa’s coach to the Springboks from 2008 to 2011, and became known for being outspoken when defending his own players, or accusing the All Blacks of cheating. He was also instrumental in transforming the game from its ‘whites-only’ heritage to being more inclusive.
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This time, the coach’s new, somewhat unusual, role is that of moustache-aficionado and -expert, thanks to King Price. And he’s been provided with a script that should tickle the funny-bone of every South African — Div gives a dead-pan soliloquy that manages to mash the Movember message with otherwise serious topics.
In the first ad, “Manage your Mo”, the target is “change management”. De Villiers introduces himself as a “renowned moustache expert”, and the location is, as one might expect, a barber shop. He waxes nostalgic over the good old days, “when we were feared and respected for our moustaches”. But things have changed. “Nowadays,” he complains, “even the Japanese make ours look weak” — referring, presumably, to the Rugby World Cup 2015, when Japan thrashed the Boks. But, he points out, “you can’t just blame the moustache… the moustache can only perform with good management.”
After a few more puns and double entendres, De Villiers concludes with: “Let’s get back to the basics… and see if we can manage to grow.” He then proclaims: “Manage your mo.”
For the second ad in this campaign, “Movember Growth”, Div subtly satirises the quota issue, transformation in sport and race relations. A tricky subject, but there’s no harm in poking a little fun at the vocabulary that has been created around the topic. This works like a charm because of his history with transformation in rugby — he was, after all, the first coach that wasn’t white.
“One of the most important things with a moustache is growth,” de Villiers declares, adding: “All hairs should be treated equally and be given equal-growth opportunities.” De Villiers has the perfect moustache for this, because his fine specimen has both white and black hairs. The former Springbok coach continues: “If there is a performing white hair, let him grow. If there is a performing black hair, let him grow. It’s not about a race: you want everyone to grow together.”
The next section plays with rugby phraseology, which ties in with Div’s role in transforming SA rugby. The script is peppered with terms such as “getting bullied at the mall [maul]” and “giving away your possessions”, which he delivers with a straight face. The speech ends with the message that it’s important to “stay mo-tivated”. Each advert in the series is completed with the hashtag #movember and the King Price logo.
The third in the series, “Backline Movember”, talks about the various positions on the rugby field, and once again applies this to the moustache, with puns galore. The fourth ad, “Mo-vember Jargon” plays with some of the unique rugby technology, such as “TMO” and “Truck-and-trailer”.
There’s a lot of attention to detail. The set is beautifully done — all dark and goth with a steam-punk edge, so the environment looks like the kind of place where a hipster or Boland rugby fan would feel equally at home. The background music is also one of those stirring, anthemic pieces that filmmakers might use for a scene of a political leader giving a speech about going to war, or a coach giving his team a half-time pep talk. This adds an extra touch of irony.
Using De Villiers is a clever move on the part of King Price. He wasn’t always popular in SA rugby, but he brought a passion and determination to transform the sport. It’s a risk that I believe has paid off: It’s his dead-pan delivery of wordplay and puns that really makes the comedy in this campaign; the script is well thought-out; the location is beautifully filmed; and the overall production is slick.
A clever campaign from what is fast becoming a great brand — I’ve no doubt that this calibre of advertising is its own reward. Now, excuse me, please, I’m going to put some growth serum on my mo; when compared to Div’s, the one I’m growing for Movember is still looking a little patchy.
Concept, direction & script: Bouwer Bosch, Bennie Fourie
In collaboration with King Price marketing team
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. If you are involved in making advertising that is smart, funny and/or engaging, please let Oresti know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.