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.
IT’S BEEN A