Dan­mar’s revved-up per­for­mance much to Singh about

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

DAN­MAR Au­to­body has re­ceived an Onion from me be­fore, for its ra­dio ad which has two mo­torists who col­lide “be­cause the ro­bots are out”. Apart from the wooden de­liv­ery, the ques­tion arose about how they both blamed some­thing else, not their in­com­pe­tence, for the col­li­sion.

Crashes (note I don’t call them ac­ci­dents be­cause that im­plies some Act of God, not stu­pid­ity) are part of South African life and Dan­mar, as a car re­pairer, wants to be top of mind. A much bet­ter ad for their ser­vice is their lat­est print one, which is sim­ple, but ef­fec­tive.

It shows two pics: one of a car badly crunched in a crash, the sec­ond of it re­paired as good as new. Un­der the be­fore pic­ture is “Damn” and un­der the af­ter pic­ture is “Dan­mar”.

It works. So an Orchid to Dan­mar and its agency, Singh and Sons.

An­other clever print ad comes from Ogilvy Cape Town for Volk­swa­gen Ser­vice. It shows a slop­pily dressed “me­chanic” stand­ing out­side a run­down “Joe’s ser­vice cen­tre” in what looks like a seedy part of town.

“If he’s as good as he says he is, he’d be work­ing for us”, runs the tag line. It taps right into that fear we have that go­ing cheap will end up go­ing nasty. And it em­pha­sises the point that VW has “the right peo­ple” to ser­vice your car. In ad­di­tion, it of­fers spe­cial rates for VWs older than five years, tempt­ing those own­ers of older cars who have fallen away from the dealer net­work. De­serv­ing of an Orchid. The say the ap­ple doesn’t fall far from the tree and this week the first Onion is fall­ing not far from where it would be yanked up – right on my own doorstep.

The lat­est ra­dio ads for In­de­pen­dent News­pa­pers – and The Star specif­i­cally (I hope it is not be­ing done for our other Group pa­pers around the coun­try) – are, sim­ply, em­bar­rass­ingly bad.

The script is dull and, to my mind any­way, fails to cap­ture the ex­cit­ing and com­pre­hen­sive news­pa­per of­fer­ing.

But it is the ab­so­lutely wooden voice artists, who leave you with the im­pres­sion that they are watch­ing paint dry, which re­ally do us dam­age. News­pa­pers are ex­cit­ing, but if those peo­ple are in­dica­tive of the av­er­age reader, then I’d want to run a mile.

An Onion for ev­ery­one concerned: how this was made, and ap­proved, is be­yond me. Any­one lis­ten­ing up­stairs?

An­other ra­dio ad which, yet again, shows only a nod­ding ac­quain­tance with the English lan­guage, is the one for ADT Se­cu­rity.

It starts by say­ing that, “If you are plan­ning to rob a re­tail out­let this Christ­mas” (or words to that ef­fect), then you should for­get about those shops equipped with ADT’s elec­tric Sen­sor matic equip­ment. These ma­chines, I be­lieve, are elec­tronic tag read­ers, which will sound an alarm if you try to walk out of a shop with­out pay­ing and with the tag still in place.

How­ever, no fancy tag-read­ing ma­chine in the world is go­ing to stop some­one if they want to your es­tab­lish­ment and if, as they are in this part of the world, armed with an AK as­sault ri­fle.

You see, ADT and your dim ad agency (who­ever that is), to rob means to steal with force, or with threats of force. Your ma­chines are only there to counter shoplift­ing which, as you should know, is a type of sim­ple theft.

Now lest I get at­tacked for be­ing un­nec­es­sar­ily picky, let me also point out that this is not only in­ac­cu­rate in a gram­mat­i­cal, lan­guage way, but also in a le­gal sense. What would worry me, if I was a po­ten­tial client of a se­cu­rity com­pany like ADT, was why they were not aware of one of the most ba­sic dif­fer­ences in crim­i­nal law.

So, a big Onion for you, ADT, – Bren­dan Seery

writes: The first Onion is from my wife, Rose, for Wool­worths Party Dresses for chil­dren TV ad. She says they could have been more sen­si­tive about the choice of mu­sic. Ap­par­ently the ad fea­tures an Amy Wine­house song, she of the booze, drugs, tat­toos and gen­er­ally un­whole­some ap­pear­ance who is not the best role model for lit­tle chil­dren.

And my Onion is for the Work­place of De­cem­ber 10. The ar­ti­cle is about writ­ing a good CV and the em­pha­sis is on a good pre­sen­ta­tion with good spell­ing and gram­mar.

“Start you job hunt with win­ning let­ter and CV” is the head­line of the ar­ti­cle and in the body is a small ban­ner – an ex­tract from the sec­ond last para­graph – and it states “as some­one you trust to read your CV and look for mis­takes”. While Missy Quest does not ap­pear to have made any er­rors in the body of the ar­ti­cle the edit­ing of the ti­tles leaves much to be de­sired, bear­ing in mind the con­text.

Shame on you!

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