Or­chids, Onions and … peaches?

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

SANTAM has been run­ning an eye-catch­ing print cam­paign re­cently which taps into our deep primeval be­liefs that bad things hap­pen more on some days than oth­ers.

So, for ev­ery day of the week – from Mon­days to Fri­days – Santam put to­gether a disas­ter for the day, ask­ing whether we, the read­ers, knew that most plumb­ing dis­as­ters hap­pen on Mon­days, or that most car hi­jack­ings and thefts hap­pen on Tues­days.

It’s prob­a­bly all flim-flam, but it does em­pha­sise that mis­for­tune can hap­pen on any day on the week – and in any num­ber of dif­fer­ent forms.

It’s a clever re­minder to check whether the in­sur­ance is up- to- date, lest you turn an in­con­ve­nience into a tragedy. Or­chids to Santam. I also like the VW Tiguan ad, which is cur­rently run­ning… al­though I un­der­stand it is not a new one. It shows a cou­ple awak­ing in a bed at a coun­try ho­tel, then hastily get­ting dressed, pack­ing, grab­bing break­fast on the run from the din­ing room (to dis­ap­prov­ing looks from the maitre d’) and then flee­ing to their Tiguan.

You see them roar­ing along dirt roads and fi­nally, af­ter park­ing the car, they hur­dle a fence and dash across a field… and sneak into the back of a tent, only to emerge im­me­di­ately on the other side and greet their camp­mate as though they have just got up af­ter sleep­ing rough all night.

The punch­line: Tiguan – ex­plore, com­fort­ably – per­fectly sums up the ap­peal of the VW SUV which can take you to ad­ven­tur­ous places, but in the com­fort you’re ac­cus­tomed to.

I could not find a copy of our lo­cal ver­sion of the ad on the in­ter­net, al­though it is clear it has been used in Euro­pean and Amer­i­can mar­kets, with a slightly dif­fer­ent tag line. The ad is clearly South African, so it would have had to have been done by Ogilvy Cape Town, VW’s long-stand­ing ad agency.

It’s an­other typ­i­cal, uniquely South African VW ad, and gets Or­chids all round.

A rub­bishy for­eign ad which ir­ri­tates me is the one for Lifebuoy (filled with lots of clean, so­phis­ti­cated white peo­ple) which pur­ports to show how the dis­ease preven­tion sys­tems of trees are sim­i­lar to that of Lifebuoy. Garbage! Mind you, putting tree sap all over your­self would prob­a­bly be bet­ter than the pong of Lifebouy. Onions for you, Lifebouy.

An­other ad in sim­i­lar vein which gets an Onion from me and my daugh­ter, who gets al­most in­can­des­cent with rage when she sees it (won­der where she got that from?), is the one for Dove beauty soap, which shows two women look­ing af­ter a peach for a week – one which has been coated with Dove and the other left nat­u­ral.

Of course, the un­cov­ered nat­u­ral one is all with­ered af­ter a week whereas the one smeared with Dove is, guess what?… peachy smooth.

More garbage. As if Dove would do this and as if peaches are any­thing like hu­man skin in real life.

Do we look like we’re mo­rons, Dove? Onion (non-coated) for you.

Fi­nally, this is nei­ther Orchid nor Onion but just an­other ob­ser­va­tion from our uniquely South African “you can’t make up this stuff ” bucket of trea­sures.

There was an ad­ver­tis­ing sup­ple­ment in the most re­cent Mail & Guardian com­mem­o­rat­ing the 20th an­niver­sary of the National Union of Me­tal­work­ers of South Africa (Numsa). Apart from the usual thoughts from the union pres­i­dent, there were a num­ber of vir­u­lent at­tacks on the whole ed­i­fice of cap­i­tal­ism by the union’s gen­eral sec­re­tary, the firebrand Irvin Jim.

At one point he ranted on about how gov­ern­ments around the world had done in the work­ers by putting in money to sup­port the ra­pa­cious banks. Fair enough… your opin­ion.

But, I ask with tears of mirth in my eyes, where else in the world would you find this ac­com­pa­nied by a half-page, full-colour ad for a bank?

FNB of­fers ser­vices to the Numsa’s strug­gling work­ers (and a few peas­ants like me) – but I can’t help but won­der what Steve would say.

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