Given that this is the last ‘Ad of the Week’ for 2012 it feels good to celebrate the power of the individual with an advert that comes to us from Cell C, and which is very reminiscent of those legendary Apple ads, that famous campaign that put the company back on track when it had lost its way.
You know the ads, probably off by heart. But for the sake of nostalgia, let’s read those words again:
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits.The rebels. The troublemakers.The round pegs in the square holes.The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.Because they change things.
They invent.They imagine.They heal.They explore.They create.They inspire.They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
We make tools for these kinds of people. While some see them as the crazy ones,we see genius.Because the people who are crazy enough to thinkthey can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Now that campaign for Apple – which was called‘Think Different’ because that was the slogan for the ads – was created by TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles in 1997, a year that Apple Computers (now known simply as Apple) was in trouble. Steve Jobs exited the company following a palace coup in 1985, and what followed for the Apple brand was about eleven years in the wilderness.
The festive season is when advertisers traditionally tug at the old heart strings, and the commercial for Ster-Kinekor’s charity initiative in conjunction with Specsavers, which implores viewers to ‘share the gift of sight’, is no different.
This commercial movie (and yes it is a little movie in that it tells a beautiful story and has impressive cinematic production values) opens on an RDP-styled house somewhere in South Africa. The house has been built on to, so it appears that this family is moving up in the world.
A little boy in school uniform runs into frame, opens the door and tries to sneak past his mum with his head down (as we’ve all done, some or other time in our childhood). This lad is almost home free when guilt gets the best of him. You see him wavering slightly as he’s almost out of eyeshot of his mother, who is cooking dinner because night has fallen and supper time is fast approaching.
The young son, who is wearing the most awesome black hipster glasses, turns and walks towards his mother and looks her straight in the eye. It is then that the viewer clearly sees that one of the lenses of the glasses he is wearing is missing.
The mother is furious of course, because the shiny new glasses must have cost a fortune. She scolds him as he remains silent, and then she demands to know what happens. As soon as he’s mustered the word about who has the other lens, mum leaves the cooking and drags her son off to get his missing lens back.
At the best of times paying tax is seen as a necessary evil, but when politics is so highly contested – as it is right now – paying tax becomes a highly emotional issue. Locally tax payers are horribly over-burdened and the tsunami of news about government corruption and wasteful expenditure hardly endears those who fill up the state’s coffers to SA’s revenue collection entity.
This is what makes marketing the SARS brand such a massive challenge. Our country’s revenue collections service is among one of the most efficient state departments, but the funds it collects are not being well spent by government which is a major irritation for tax payers.
But City Press editor, Ferial Haffajee, penned the perfect column a couple of weeks ago called ‘Tjatjarag: Sars adverts help soothe nascent taxpayer resentment’, which talked about what a wonderful government organisation SARS is, and how it is even the subject of a Harvard case study.
“The agency is South Africa’s most efficient and innovative, and is always held up as a public-service model,” writes Haffajee. “The effective collection of tax has been a steady story of governance success. Under former tax commissioner Pravin Gordhan, and now under his successor Oupa Magashule, tax compliance has taken the country from a state of high delinquency to one of high compliance.”
If you read a paper called ‘The power of politics: The performance of the South African Revenue Service and some of its implications’, by Laïla Smith of the Centre for Policy Studies, you’ll understand why this is the case. SARS, says Smith, appears to be one of the success stories of post-apartheid government. “In a context in which the failure of the state to elicit citizens’ compliance with public obligations is seen as a central weakness of the new democracy, and in which the efficiency of government is seen by many analysts to be wanting, the statutory tax collecting agency has substantially increased its revenues.”
Gordon Ramsay is back on South African television screens, but this time the British celebrity chef is not telling failed restaurateurs to “fuck off”, he’s checking Checkers’ racks.
“Checkers reckons their butchery’s top notch,” says the legend who holds an incredible 12 Michelin Stars. In the advert he’s carrying in a whole lamb on his shoulder into what looks like a pristine gourmet kitchen. You don’t immediately see that the chef carrying in the carcass is Ramsay, so there’s a big surprise when that meat hits the wooden cutting board, and that unmistakable, self-assured tone growls at you.
“Well, let’s see what they’ve got,” Ramsay asserts over music that sounds just like ‘Misirlou’ a folk song popularised first by Dick Dale and the Del-Tones, and then by Quentin Tarantino when it was used in “Pulp Fiction”. Viewers of the chef’s compulsive US reality show, Kitchen Nightmares, should find it familiar because ‘Misirlou’, a wild, rebellious soundtrack was used with that show. The makers of Ramsay’s television programmes have always made astute choices for their soundtracks, and the Checkers butchery commercial is no different.
For the longest time in the history of advertising, insurance commercials were awful. The usual fare in this category used to include a washed-up actor (or former television news presenter) droning on about what would happen if one suddenly died and left the wife and children all alone (with the wolves knocking at the door). The punch line would be how Dead Dull Insurance Co was the answer to life, death, the universe and funeral bills.
If you weren’t being destroyed by guilt, you’d be spurred on by fear – that other classic marketing staple. These insurance adverts usually included children and the grim reaper, although Mr Reaper wasn’t always cast in a starring role. The hooded figure with the large, scary sickle was often off camera, but cast a long enough shadow to let you know he was lurking. These ads were more frightening than anything featuring Jason, Freddy or a Jesuit priest called Father Damien Karras.
Thankfully, most thankfully, insurance advertising has become a little more inventive, creative and even funny of late. Financial services companies have (at last) realised that buying insurance is a grudge purchase and that there are better ways of plying this type of product than trying to freak people out.
What is it about Marmite that makes the yeasty spread such a perennially relevant brand? Perhaps it is because the dark, salty sandwich favourite has been around for almost 110 years, but my bet is that it is, in part, because the people who market the brand are clever. Oh so very, very clever.
In the UK, the makers of the dark brown paste where intelligent enough to work with an advertising agency that told them that not everyone was a lover of Marmite, and that the sandwich spread shouldn’t try to be all things to all people.
Harvard Business Review tells how Marmite’s brilliantly controversial ‘Love It or Hate It’ campaign was born 15 years ago out of a difference of tastes among the creative team at DDB London. “One loved the brown, savoury spread and one hated it. The campaign’s longevity and fame reflects the fact that even in its country of origin, the brand’s strong taste is ‘challenging’.”
The scene opens in a futuristic type tunnel, where nattily dressed man steps out from a computer generated symbol that appears to be part of a logo. As he starts walking closer towards the audience he’s saying: “When it comes to staying in touch, staying in one place isn’t an option.”
There’s a network of neurons adjacent to him that glow, and almost appear alive. Words flash in Google-esque type frames and a dynamic red orb appears and rotates around the man, who’s wearing glasses because he’s intelligent – you see? But a T-shirt under his casual suit which means he’s smart, yet accessible. Trendy, yet timeless.
The erudite protagonist continues amidst orbs that become liquid, and then immediately resume their more firm form: “Wherever your day takes you. From talking business to catching up on the home front, you need all your devices – laptop, desktop, smartphone and tablet – to work together. Keeping you connected – anytime, anywhere. It’s not complicated. It’s the journey to convergence.”
If you don’t know which brand this ad belongs to, would you be able to guess?
by Oresti Patricios. As the very foundation of banks change, how does one position banking brands favourably for the future? Standard Bank has answered this conundrum with a very clever campaign that looks backward in order to look forward.
MarkLives Ad of the Week with Oresti Patricios – A good reason to love Nando’s (even more)
Ever tried to list all the reasons why you love South Africa?
In a context saturated with mining violence and strikes, investor pessimism and ratings downgrades, you’ve got to love Nando’s for reminding locals to think of the reasons why they love this country.
In a clever campaign that celebrates the chicken people’s 25th birthday, the savvy brand has called on Fando’s (Nando’s fans, get it?) to use the hash tag #25reasons and to start showing the love.
There’s a Pinterest board called #25reasons where SA lovers can repin their favourite reasons or create their own. Fando’s were also required to Tweet their #25reasons or to post them on Nando’s Facebook page. The fowl brand says the most shared reasons will be made into online videos.
To drive interest in the campaign Nando’s agency, Black River FC, created a couple of spots that have been flighted on TV, can be seen on YouTube, and are doing the rounds via email, Google+, Facebook and other social networks.