Made in SA Chev ad drives point home


HOORAY! A car ad for real peo­ple, real, South Africans… and en­tirely pro­duced in this coun­try. Well done to Chevro­let.

The com­pany’s latest tele­vi­sion ad for the facelifted Cruze sedan was, they tell me, shot in and around Bar­ber­ton, in Mpumalanga, of all places. But that does give it an uniquely South African flavour. Mind you, I could be bi­ased be­cause I do love that part of the world.

We see a school­boy watch­ing as his class­mates put to­gether wire cars for a big con­test.

He then scav­enges all sorts of bits and pieces – col­lect­ing all the soft drink cans he can along the way – and spends his evenings craft­ing his own cre­ation (with a lit­tle forced help from Dad, of course).

When the car makes its de­but, ev­ery­one is in awe. And, it has clearly been copied from the fam­ily Chevy Cruze – also in at­trac­tive red.

We see him mak­ing a huge im­pres­sion on his class­mates and, on the way home from the con­test, with Dad driv­ing, Mom’s voice comes up on the Blue­tooth-en­abled hands-free fea­ture, ask­ing them how it went. This is a nice way of show­cas­ing what has be­come a must-have for many new car buy­ers. Then the Cruze pulls away into the dis­tance along a peace­ful, tree-lined av­enue.

Apart from the fact that the ad is a lo­cal piece and ad­dresses lo­cal peo­ple, it also works be­cause it shows the car as part of the fam­ily.

Nice one, Chev. You get this week’s first Orchid.

The ra­dio ads for NetFlorist don’t al­ways hit the sweet spot – some­times they veer off into crude and dis­taste­ful. That, though, is not the case with the latest one.

We hear, once again, Harold (of Re­la­tion­ship Line fame) of­fer­ing some­one ad­vice – some­one who is per­ilously close to sleep­ing on the couch for the rest of his life be­cause he is late for his an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion.

Don’t worry, says Harold, whether you’re Usain Bolt or For­rest Gump, you’ll be able to run, run, run and get your or­der in to NetFlorist be­fore noon. Do that, and it will be de­liv­ered the same day. A real-life (and re­la­tion­ship) saver.

The punch line prompts the gig­gle, though: “Run, Florist, Run…”

It brought a smile to my dial – and how of­ten can you say that when you’re sit­ting in traf­fic?

Plus, it makes a clear call-to-ac­tion pitch for NetFlorist’s same-day de­liv­ery ser­vice. Your beloved won’t know whether you planned it weeks ago – or only re­mem­bered when you heard the NetFlorist ad.

Or­chids to NetFlorist and its agency, FCB Johannesburg.

As a war vet­eran my­self (yes, Mr Mu­gabe – you owe me a farm), I am al­ways in­ter­ested in the sto­ries and lives of those who have taken up arms in a con­flict and are real sol­diers, not wannabes.

I thought the ridicu­lous Don­ald Trump made a to­tal ass of him­self this week when he had a go at his Demo­cratic Party ri­val in the latest Amer­i­can elec­tion silli­ness.

Trump said he wasn’t im­pressed with the fact that Sen­a­tor John McCain had spent five years in a North Viet­namese pris­oner-of-war camp af­ter be­ing shot down on a bomb­ing mis­sion in 1968.

Re­ports in the US media recorded that while McCain was in the camp bat­tling star­va­tion and beat­ings and learn­ing to walk again as he re­cov­ered from in­juries sus­tained in his plane crash, Trump was liv­ing the high life as a draft evader in an Ivy League univer­sity.

Later on, the record shows, McCain was tor­tured be­cause he re­fused to sign a con­fes­sion for broad­cast to the media.

Trump re­marked that he didn’t think much of McCain’s time as a POW, be­cause he would rather meet peo­ple who “didn’t get cap­tured”.

Clearly no one told Trump that, at the time McCain was shot down over Hanoi, the Viet­namese cap­i­tal had the high­est con­cen­tra­tion, in num­bers and so­phis­ti­ca­tion, of any air-de­fence sys­tem in the history of Planet Earth, so McCain was not in­com­pe­tent.

The mis­take Trump made was at­tack­ing a gen­uine Amer­i­can war hero. Since 9/11, vir­tu­ally all Amer­i­cans wor­ship their armed forces. So, Trump could have com­mit­ted po­lit­i­cal sui­cide. And, be­cause he is a high­pro­file busi­ness­man, his loose-lipped com­ments were not the smartest from a mar­ket­ing point of view.

Which is a round­about way of get­ting to the latest cam­paign for the Depart­ment of Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans here in South Africa. A tele­vi­sion ad­vert show­cases the work that the depart­ment is do­ing in look­ing af­ter all for­mer com­bat­ants – which is a good thing.

But you have to won­der how many of those be­hind the cam­paign have ac­tu­ally been in uni­form them­selves.

If they were, they would have no­ticed that, in the ad, a still im­age of a soldier salut­ing has been flipped, per­haps for artis­tic ef­fect, so that it is his left hand do­ing the salut­ing.

Prob­lem: the SA Na­tional De­fence Force uses the right hand to salute, as did all the non-statu­tory forces in the past.

Onion for the Depart­ment of Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans. Your cred­i­bil­ity is im­por­tant in a cam­paign like this and you’ve dam­aged it badly.

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