The name game that fizzes


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

IN MAR­KET­ING terms it is no sur­prise that Coca-Cola is one of the big­gest brands in the known uni­verse (whether it has or hasn’t been over­taken by Ap­ple is im­ma­te­rial ... it will be around long af­ter peo­ple go back to eat­ing ap­ples).

The way it has be­come an icon is not be­cause of the prod­uct. It’s just flavoured, sug­ared wa­ter which, apart from benefits for thirsty peo­ple ( or ath­letes in en­durance events – noth­ing helped me more than Coke when run­ning The Com­rades), it has lit­tle in­trin­sic value.

Mar­ket­ing has turned it into an es­sen­tial part of a fun lifestyle. Who among us has not had some fun where Coca-Cola has been nearby? Its im­age has al­ways been one of ex­cite­ment, of fun, of en­joy­ing life – right back be­yond the clas­sic I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing days.

And the thing about the At­lanta-head­quar­tered or­gan­i­sa­tion is that with a bench­mark un­changed prod­uct, they put a whole lot of effort into the “three Ps” of the mar­ket­ing mix so of­ten ig­nored by com­pa­nies: Price, Place and Pro­mo­tion. The cost of a Coke is rea­son­able enough that ev­ery­one can en­joy one. The dis­tri­bu­tion net­work is the best on the planet and, most im­por­tantly, they don’t cut back on pro­mo­tion, even in tough times.

The new Coca-Cola cam­paign is a story about the fun and ex­cite­ment on the streets. In­stead of the nor­mal Coke lo­gos on the bot­tles, they now sport the names of South African peo­ple. And then we see an al­most un­be­liev­ably cute and in­tel­li­gent dog tear­ing around be­cause he can’t find his own name any­where. When he fi­nally sees “Bobby”, there’s an ex­plo­sion of ex­cite­ment.

It’s a great point that Coke is truly the drink for ev­ery­body (and their dog).

The ad, con­cep­tu­alised by Draft­fcb Joburg and di­rected by Greg Gray of Ve­loc­ity Films, pulses with en­ergy with (so I am told) well-known col­lec­tives such as I See a Dif­fer­ent You, Boyzbuks, Vin- tage Crew, The Sartists and Soweto Skate Society, as well as other South African “it” per­son­al­i­ties. It’s an ad that makes you feel good – just like a Coke does. So – Or­chids all around.

I love Audi and its ad­ver­tis­ing, but its lat­est TV ad, for “South Africa: Land of Qu­at­tro” is go­ing to have to get an Onion.

Have a look at the pic­ture and also look at the ad on our i-lincc (ssta­ro­nion02). The car is on the wrong side of the road. I ap­pre­ci­ate that there is such a thing as po­etic li­cence, but in our coun­try, where driv­ers are not the smartest crea­tures around, I don’t think this sort of thing should be shown. Clearly, it was made for a for­eign mar­ket (one which drives on the right-hand side of the road) but that subtlety might be lost on our speed freaks who have no idea what a solid white bar­rier line is for.

Am I the only one who gets ir­ri­tated by the fake Amer­i­can ac­cents that ad­ver­tis­ers use, par­tic­u­larly on ra­dio, in the mis­taken be­lief it will give added cred­i­bil­ity to their prod­ucts?

The lat­est is from Ex­ecu­train, which has an Amer­i­can voice-over (via Brak­pan no doubt) telling us a story about a busi­ness­woman who has been in busi­ness for “twenny-five” years and benefits in some way from the com­pany’s ser­vices. Onion for y’all.

Some­one who is prob­a­bly try­ing to get as many Onions in her KFC-fu­elled ad­ver­tis­ing as she can be­fore Pravin Gord­han’s govern­ment spend­ing axe falls is North­ern Cape Premier Sylvia Lu­cas. She was, you’ll re­call, the politi­cian ex­posed in the Sun­day Times for hav­ing spent tens of thou­sands of rand of tax­payer money on, among other things, take- away food, in­clud­ing KFC and Nando’s.

This week, there was a four-page sup­ple­ment in The New Age (where else?) ex­tolling the virtues of the North­ern Cape and the wise lead­er­ship of Ms Lu­cas. Kim il-Sung, the North Korean dic­ta­tor who turned self-pro­pa­ganda into a fine art, would have been proud.

The sup­ple­ment ap­pears to have been wholly funded by the Premier’s Of­fice, ap­par­ently with­out sup­port from lo­cal busi­nesses, ei­ther KFC or Nando’s.

Still, when you cast your ad­ver­tis­ing bread upon the waters of The New Age, you will be blessed – as Lu­cas was the fol­low­ing day when she was the star of the paper’s regular Busi­ness Brief­ing.

How­ever, for clearly not both­er­ing to lis­ten to the min­is­ter of fi­nance – who said waste­ful govern­ment ad­ver­tis­ing should be cur­tailed – the premier gets a deep-fried Onion. ONE OF the in­ter­est­ing things about this year’s Ea­gle Awards for print ad­ver­tis­ing, which is spon­sored by In­de­pen­dent News­pa­pers, is that one of the top two win­ners was an ad for a news­pa­per.

The print ad for the Cape Times, ti­tled Self­ies and won by Lowe and Part­ners Cape Town, won a Gold Ea­gle.

The only other Gold win­ner was the Weird Ac­cents ex­e­cu­tion done for Flight Cen­tre’s Stu­dent Flights by TBWA Hunt Las­caris Joburg. No Black Ea­gle – the top ac­co­lade – was awarded this year.

Michael Vale, Mar­ket­ing Man­ager at In­de­pen­dent News­pa­pers Cape, said the Ea­gle Awards em­pha­sised that “there can be no deny­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of print me­dia.

“There may well be a mi­gra­tion of some clients’ spend to dig­i­tal me­dia but the ad­van­tages pre­sented by print are over­whelm­ing. It of­fers tan­gi­bil­ity. Mag­a­zines and papers can live in homes for months, be­ing re­ferred to of­ten, while dig­i­tal ads can dis­ap­pear im­me­di­ately. Print is en­gag­ing and read­ers will spend more time on a print page than they might on a web page which is of­ten skimmed over.

“Print pub­li­ca­tions of­fer tar­geted au­di­ences with some mag­a­zines of­fer­ing very niche au­di­ences.”

These days, clients are start­ing to see the value in “cross plat­form” ex­e­cu­tions – as when QR codes are fea­tured in ads to of­fer a link be­tween the print ad and a dig­i­tal plat­form the client has in place. (In­de­pen­dent News­pa­pers is cur­rently tri­alling the i-lincc plat­form with a view to a pos­si­ble mul­ti­plat­form of­fer­ing to ad­ver­tis­ers in the fu­ture.)

Vale said re­fer­rals to web­sites, Twit­ter han­dles and Face­book pages are sim­i­lar pro­mo­tions of clients’ dig­i­tal of­fer­ings car­ried in print, “tar­get­ing an au­di­ence who might not be en­gag­ing with them dig­i­tally”.

Vale said the lat­est Ea­gle for news­pa­per ad­ver­tis­ing pro­duced in Cape Town (both the Cape Times and Cape Argus have been mul­ti­ple award win­ners in var­i­ous shows over the year) was grat­i­fy­ing.

“In the past we have won at all the ma­jor award shows, in­clud­ing Cannes, One Show, D and AD, Lon­don In­ter­na­tional, Young Guns, Clios, Lo­eries and Ad Of The Year South Africa. Ad­di­tion­ally, we have won a num­ber of INMA Awards for ads that pro­mote news­pa­pers.”

Ad­ver­tis­ing was cru­cially im­por­tant for the brand po­si­tion­ing of a news­pa­per, added Vale.

“It is es­sen­tial that we dif­fer­en­ti­ate the Cape Times from its com­peti­tors.

“The tone of the ads (print and elec­tronic), lo­ca­tion and medi­ums used to pro­mote the ti­tle have suc­cess­fully po­si­tioned the Cape Times as the paper of choice for read­ers in Cape Town seek­ing a qual­ity read which em­pha­sises busi­ness news and pro­vides in-depth cov­er­age of cur­rent is­sues.”

He added: “Mar­ket­ing a news­pa­per is no dif­fer­ent to the mar­ket­ing of an FMCG prod­uct – un­less we are con­stantly in the con­sumer’s mind and suc­cess­fully dif­fer­en­ti­ate our­selves from the other news­pa­pers, we will not suc­ceed.”

Given the so­phis­ti­ca­tion of the au­di­ence, which tends to be highly ed­u­cated, top cre­ativ­ity was es­sen­tial to break through the clut­ter and grab at­ten­tion.

ONION: On the wrong side of the road

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