Firms lay down law on good ad­ver­tis­ing

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING -

ONCE upon a time, the le­gal pro­fes­sion was not al­lowed to ad­ver­tise its ser­vices. That changed some years ago and, judg­ing by some print ads lately, they’re mak­ing up for lost time.

Two re­cent ads for law firms caught my eye. One was for Ed­ward Nathan Son­nen­bergs. An el­e­gant, vertical print ad em­pha­sised the firm’s awards in the law, tax and foren­sics are­nas. And an­other clever touch was the web­site – www.prob­lem­

Eye-catch­ing brand ad­ver­tis­ing. And it gets our first Or­chid this week.

An­other law fir m us­ing print ad­ver­tis­ing to pro­mote its brand is Bow­man Gil­fil­lan: its ad is equally el­e­gant, fea­tur­ing a clever im­age which goes with the strapline “con­cep­tu­alise then re­alise”, out­lin­ing the com­pany’s strate­gic in­sight.

Very classy and some­thing un­ex­pected from lawyers, long re­garded as strait-laced and stuffy. Break­ing the mould in brand ad­ver­tis­ing gets this ad our sec­ond Or­chid.

Hands up all those who have been con­tacted by an ir­ri­tat­ing per­son from Cell C’s call cen­tre in the past month or so. Th­ese breath­less sales pitchers try to con­vince you that you are about to get the best thing since sliced bread.

It’s a cell­phone and a spe­cial SMS of­fer, peo­ple – and not a par­tic­u­larly good one at that, so why should I go to the has­sle of leav­ing Vo­da­com? This I ex­plained on the first oc­ca­sion in de­tail.

Did that stop me get­ting an iden­ti­cal call later in the week? No. And now I am re­ally ir­ri­tated by Cell C (let’s not even talk about how they got my cell num­ber in the first place). An Onion for Cell C for in­tru­sive and stupid mar­ket­ing. –

of Ger­mis­ton writes: The Su­perS­port ad where the cam­era­man out­sprints the two soc­cer play­ers – who are sup­posed to be fit­ter – brings a smile to my face. Keep it up guys, one good ad among many.

of Cape Town writes: Re­gard­ing a re­cent col­umn, here are a few ex­am­ples of bad ad­ver­tis­ing copy I’ve seen within the last month. A cer­tain top-hat­ted and bowtied chain of pizze­rias re­cently ad­ver­tised “pizza’s” and “shake’s” for sale.

I have also seen “car’s” for sale, and restau­rants that don’t seat peo­ple wear­ing “short’s” or tee “shirt’s”. The logo of a lo­cal TV se­ries about angling urges us to “con­ser­vate” our fish stocks in­stead of to con­serve them.

How­ever, the win­ner of the Sil­ver Chal­lenge Cup against all com­ers is a sign in my lo­cal li­brary in the south­ern sub­urbs, of all places. In ad­ver­tis­ing a new se­ries of books pop­u­lar among teens, it ex­horts them to “Read da book b4 u c da movie ttfn:)”.

This mis­use of lan­guage was jus­ti­fied as an ex­am­ple of a lan­guage’s evo­lu­tion. Well, evo­lu­tion is one thing, but cor­rup­tion of a lan­guage is en­tirely an­other mat­ter, es­pe­cially by a li­brar­ian. Does that make me a fuddy-duddy at the age of 54?

writes: I am a reg­u­lar lis­tener to 702 and sick of hear­ing the “We are a black-em­pow­ered com­pany” advert. Is this racist type of ad­ver­tis­ing al­lowed? If the an­swer is yes, then why not “We are an Afrikaner-em­pow­ered se­cu­rity com­pany” or “We are an In­dian-em­pow­ered ca­ter­ing com­pany” etc?

I can­not ever re­mem­ber dur­ing the dark­est days of apartheid be­ing told by an ad­ver­tiser “We are a lily-white trans­port com­pany”.

Fi­nally, how long are we still go­ing to suf­fer the beer advert where an ob­vi­ously re­tarded white per­son is caught try­ing on a bathing cos­tume and then of­fered a beer? This isn’t only ir­ri­tat­ing, it is in­sult­ing. Buy the

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