Schools scan­dal

Finweek English Edition - - ADVERTISING & MARKETING -

dou­ble-scan­dal fort­night, which may in­di­cate that busi­ness is slow, busi­ness is bor­ing, or the silly sea­son is upon us. First out of the blocks was Mor­risJones, with a com­mer­cial for ruby­box in which a cus­tomer end­lessly re­peats: “It doesn’t smell like Come to Me.” (The name of the fra­grance in French means “Come to Me”.) It ’s prob­a­bly the more of­fen­sive of the t wo, but i f you un­der­stand the pun you prob­a­bly won’t be trou­bled, and if you don’t un­der­stand it, well, again you won’t be trou­bled.

This was a “made-for-YouTube” com­mer­cial, flighted at no cost on the client’s chan­nel and in­tended to go vi­ral (to be spread by view­ers like a disease). There have been 40 000 views in two weeks, with 172 YouTube “likes” and five disl i kes. Sales have also ri sen sharply.

The only cost is in the pro­duc­tion of the com­mer­cial (about R450 000). Com­pare this with con­ven­tional free-toair TV, where each flight­ing of a 45-sec­ond prime-time SABC s pot coul d s et you back R285 000. And you still have to pay for pro­duc­tion.

Metropoli­tanRepub­lic’s com­mer­cial for The Fish and Chip Com­pany is a dif­fer­ent genre, the “not-really-in­tended” shock. Un­less you have an ex­ag­ger­ated ir­ra­tional hos­til­ity to the an­i­ma­tion for­mat, it ’s dif­fi­cult to see why the SABC felt a need to ban it. A true “made- to- be- banned” spot would have to be much more of­fen­sive to guar­an­tee its ban­ning. This an­o­dyne com­mer­cial shows the Zuma fam­ily hav­ing a fish and chips din­ner, and talk­ing to each other in l ovey- d ovey t e r ms, l i ke “Zuzu­li­cious”. The SABC found this “de­grad­ing to the pres­i­dent”.

But agency boss Paul Warner said he had been ab­so­lutely bowled over by the out­pour­ing of me­dia anger and con­cern over the threat to free speech. At the end it didn’t mat­ter as the client with­drew the ad.

Mnce­disi Mayek­iso


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