Hose baby is it any­way?

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

THERE are ads which make you laugh and there are ads which make you gasp, in as­ton­ish­ment, or even in fear.

Both ap­proaches can work quite well in fos­ter­ing brand re­call, but they can back­fire.

The lat­est ad for Toy­ota Au­tomark is a com­bi­na­tion of both ap­proaches… but first the al­most- shock and then the hu­mour.

We see a proud dad with his al­most ubear­ably cute lit­tle baby in a plas­tic basin, giv­ing him (or her) a lov­ing wash. It’s ac­com­pa­nied by sweet mu­sic and, no doubt, all the mums, wannabe mums and grannies (and even a few men) who see it can­not re­sist that lit­tle “ah­h­hhh…” mo­ment.

Then dad grabs a high pres­sure hose and pre­pares for the rinse cy­cle.

Cue the gasps… es­pe­cially the women.

Let’s face it, guys, who of the fa­thers among us have not ei­ther used, or thought about us­ing, th­ese type of in­dus­trial clean­ing meth­ods on the off­spring, par­tic­u­larly around nappy-chang­ing time?

Then we see him turn the spray on his real “baby” – a shin­ing Toy­ota 86 sports car. Cue the sighs of relief – and maybe a few chuck­les about men and their “can do” so­lu­tions.

The ad goes on to make the point that you can find your “baby” is used but in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion at Toy­ota’s sec­ond­hand Au­tomark deal­er­ships.

Even though it has not been flight­ing for a long time, it has al­ready started up a vig­or­ous con­ver­sa­tion and es­pe­cially among women, so I am told.

And no­body will mis­take the brand, so it’s good mar­ket­ing and gets an Orchid for Toy­ota and Draft­fcb Joburg.

A friend sent me an en­raged text the other day: “Here’s an Onion. I get a long fancy MMS from Ned­bank… un­so­licited. Don’t have Ned­bank ac­count. And then I have to PAY to opt out.”

She then added the rest: “www. ned­bank. co. za/ homeloans To opt out SMS Stop to 45258. R1 per SMS.”

They are not the only ones who do this sort of thing. I got one from Brad­lows of­fer­ing me “ex­clu­sive fur­ni­ture” but told me I had to text Stop to opt out. No in­di­ca­tion of text costs, though.

Some­how, some­where, some­one has got my name and put it in a data­base. Not much you can do about that, other than to con­tact the Di­rect Mar­ket­ing As­so­ci­a­tion of South Africa and put your name on a “do not con­tact” data­base.

If one of their mem­bers vio- lates that, ac­tion can be taken.

What th­ese brands don’t re­alise is that this sort of mar­ket­ing is cer­tainly go­ing to kill a goose which has the po­ten­tial for lay­ing many golden eggs. If you have the ca­pa­bil­ity of send peo­ple un­so­licited text mes­sages in bulk, then surely there must be a way of de­sign­ing the sys­tem so that when they re­spond to opt out, you get billed for that mes­sage?

Oth­er­wise, you are just an­ger­ing and alien­at­ing po­ten­tial cus­tomers. Onions to Ned­bank and Brad­lows. You’re no dif­fer­ent from the peo­ple send­ing mes­sages telling me I’ve won £1 mil­lion on the Bri­tish Lotto.


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