Nataniel’s dry de­liv­ery whets ap­petite for more

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

IF EVER there was a “smoke and mir­rors” celebrity in our coun­try it is Nataniel.

His out­ra­geous, shaven-headed camp style could well mask the lack of any real tal­ent – but we’re so busy be­ing en­ter­tained we don’t no­tice.

Lately, he has branched out into cook­ing, per­haps the poor man’s Jamie Oliver (Jan­nie Olivier?). So he was the ideal per­son to use to fo­cus on Check­ers and its fes­tive sea­son food of­fer­ings. His dry de­liv­ery ac­tu­ally draws you into the TV ad and makes you chuckle. At the same time, though, you pay at­ten­tion to the de­li­cious food.

Or­chids all round – to Nataniel, to Check­ers and to its ad agency 99cents.

I know I’ll be ac­cused of vin­dic­tive­ness with this one, but here goes any­way. You have to ad­mire the power of ad­ver­tis­ing, Gupta-style. In The New Age this week, the paper was stick­ing firmly to its plan of telling it like it pos­i­tively is.

While the in­com­pe­tents at the Na­tional Youth Devel­op­ment Agency were mak­ing the front pages of ev­ery paper in the land with their pa­thet­i­cally or­gan­ised youth fes­ti­val in Pre­to­ria (paid for by you and me, cour­tesy of R40 mil­lion from the Lotto and R29m from the of­fice of the Pres­i­dent), there was nary a word in TNA.

Hang on… there was a word or scores of words. On page 13, there was a colour ad by the NYDA, call­ing on the youth to at­tend the fes­ti­val, to de­mand jobs and de­feat im­pe­ri­al­ism. Funny old world in news­pa­pers, isn’t it?

writes: Con­grat­u­la­tions, Bren­dan, on hav­ing the courage to give your own em­ployer and/or its agency an Onion. The ra­dio ad in ques­tion is in­deed a shocker!

The same is­sue of the Satur­day Star car­ried an In­de­pen­dent News­pa­pers ad that also did no great ser­vice to the peo­ple work­ing at the paper. An ex­cerpt: “But when good news is the only news that gets re­ported, we’re trav­el­ing on a road we shouldn’t be.”

As an ex-sub edi­tor I would prob­a­bly have in­serted an ex­tra “on” at the end of that sen­tence, just to be safe, but that is de­bat­able, per­haps even pedan­tic. I know from ex­pe­ri­ence that The Star and its sis­ter pa­pers have many very com­pe­tent subs, any one of whom would have cor­rected the spell­ing of “trav­el­ing”. Why, one won­ders, didn’t the pony­tails con­sult just one of them? Any sub would have pointed out that “trav­el­ing” is Amer­i­can.

writes: In­ter­est­piece about the his­tory/

ing ra­tio­nale be­hind the Cell C cam­paign. Un­usual to see an SA com­pany go­ing through all the nec­es­sary steps, as op­posed to merely slap­ping a sur­face paint job over the rust­ing ed­i­fice.

It re­minded me of the way my wife and I have no­ticed a huge dif­fer­ence in ser­vice in the Mr Price/Home stores. For­merly with staff sullen and un­mo­ti­vated and ig­no­rant, ex­hibit­ing a couldn’t-care­less at­ti­tude, they seem to have un­der­gone a ser­vice makeover, judg­ing by our ex­pe­ri­ences in three of their north­ern sub­urbs out­lets.

As a shop­ping-hater (ie nor­mal male) I found my­self as close to en­joy­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence as my chro­mo­somes will al­low. In one case, staff at the floor­walker level (not su­per­vi­sory), unasked, phoned around to see if other stores had stock, and when we got to the “other” store, there it was, put aside for us. Lastly, staff now ap­pear friendly well be­yond the for­mu­laic “Have a nice day” level, lead­ing to some re­ward­ing con­ver­sa­tions.

writes: Thank you for your Or­chids and Onions. I al­ways en­joy it even if I do not al­ways agree. How­ever, you must give the new Nando’s ad (spoof on Cell C) a whole bou­quet of Or­chids. It is price­less and very well done.

writes: Is Alis­tair Mathie se­ri­ous? It’s a flip­pen spi­der. I reckon only Alis­tair and the mem­bers of his club don’t Doom or step on spi­ders on sight. That part about “Since 1976 the club has worked tire­lessly” made me think he was at­tempt­ing satire. I had to check the head­ing as I thought it was a Hay­ibo ar­ti­cle.

writes: The ad with the white man who is “not Sizwe Khu­malo” made me smile and I thought it was some­thing dif­fer­ent. I think only a South African would catch it though.

All South Africans would know that you are highly un­likely to find a white man called Sizwe Khu­malo, just as you wouldn’t find a black man called Boet Eras­mus.

It en­ter­tained me.

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