MarkLives #AdChamps of the Month [Jul 2020]

by Kyle de Waal & Morgan Botha. Our latest choice of SA ad campaigns: Drive Local, Three Word Stories, Faces of Change, Roadblock, and Seriously Responsible.

Ad of the Week with Oresti Patricios – when anything is possible

Humour is often used to great effect in advertising. The youth market is particularly open to a good laugh, and six years ago Opel raised eyebrows by making a series of wacky, crudely animated ads that focussed on the ‘fun’ aspects of owning a car. In fact, many of them didn’t even talk about the car – they were just silly, funny or weird.

The CorsaLite ads featured the ridiculous, absurd and wonderfully funny Raj Brothers, and the commercials that were produced over a decade ago still live on in our memories and YouTube because they were so distinctive and hilarious.

In the stuffy old days of advertising, car commercials were largely targeted at adults, and focussed strongly on benefits – like safety, fuel efficiency, power… the stuff that interests ‘Dad’. Fortunately advertisers came to their senses, and part of the big changes in automobile advertising was the idea that humour could feature in a car ad. Ten years ago the Raj Bros TV spots for CorsaLite were some of the most talked about ads of the time, because they were so unusual, and because they worked.

VW’s entry-level product, the Polo Vivo, is definitely aimed at the youth market, and although its sticker price is not the lowest on the market, it has the VW brand and sleek looks that set it apart from its peers. And then there’s the commercial campaign. The idea central to this clever and comedic campaign: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if the unlikely and improbable could come true? Well if Volkswagen can make Polo Vivos available for such a crazy price, then who knows what other crazy things might happen…”

This ad takes place in the world of students: university. A dreamy looking young man is falling asleep in a class – which looks a lot like Advanced Calculus, given the cryptic scrawling on the board. The professor announces that this is an unsolvable equation. Our hero is woken by the prof, and blurts out what is clearly a guess: “Eleven”.

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