Great advert spotted in Spur of moment stirs the taste buds
WHAT to you call a collection of irritable men? A Grumpire. And, those of you following this column will know that not only am I am member but, in recent weeks, it has been a case of The Grumpire Strikes Back.
So I have been hacking down posters illegally fixed to roadsigns (an offence in terms of both the National Roads Act and Joburg by-laws). I know Capetonians probably don’t know what I’m talking about because their local authority strictly controls the proliferation of outdoor advertising – and enforces the by-laws. We don’t in Gauteng – hence the need for a little bit of citizen activism.
Now because of this attitude of mine, it might seem as though I have something against outdoor advertising, or “out of home” advertising, as the sophisticates call it.
I do wonder, frankly, whether the explosion of all types of signage – legal and illegal – is reducing the effectiveness of the medium because of the sheer clutter out there.
However, I also recognise that a good piece of outdoor work can do a good job for a client. I was reminded the other day of one of my favourites, a huge billboard alongside the N1 highway.
It is for Spur and, along with a picture of the restaurant chain’s iconic Indian chief, are the words: “Taste Bud”. That’s the main line. Just two words – but how effective is their pun.
Taste bud (on the tongue) and taste bud( dy), which is what Spur restaurants are for you and your family.
A classic piece of copywriting. Not sure who the agency behind the ad is – but drop me a line next week and I’ll be happy to give you your great moment in the limelight.
In the meantime, an Orchid to the Spur.
A subject which, one would guess, is difficult to put into marketing terms is HIV/Aids. But insurance company All Life provides an innovative scheme which offers life cover to those with HIV in a sensitive, tasteful manner in its latest TV ad.
It is a straightforward approach, which not only would encourage HIV-positive people to get in touch with the organisation but provides others with an interesting insight into how the company helps its policy holders. The ad reveals that All Life personnel make regular followup calls to their customers, reminding them to continue to take antiretroviral (ARV) medicines and that they have someone who will listen to them.
The ad says that, within six months of joining All Life as a client, the average increase in an HIV-positive person’s CD4 count (an indication of the strength of their immune system) increases 15 percent. Its amazing what caring support can do.
The ad also shows that the insurance will take care of family members left behind.
What I like about the ad is that it tackles the issue in a straightforward way, which does a lot to reduce the stigma associated with HIV/Aids.
Good advertising for a company doing good things for our society. So it gets an Orchid.
I read somewhere once that an ad break on TV should, according to the cynics, be long enough to make a cup of tea.
Let’s say three or four minutes, max.
I timed the ad breaks on DStv’s Comedy Central this week. One ran for 7½ minutes.
That is bad enough (or perhaps good enough if you’ve got to do things while watching The Big Bang Theory, for example) but during one of those almost interminable breaks the same ad ran three times! Now all that does, no matter how interesting the product being plugged (and it was for some extravaganza for BET, Channel 129), is make viewers irritated.
Please DStv, spread the ads around a bit. It’s not fair to suddenly start annoying an audience who, only moments before, had been chuckling at a good comedy show. Another Onion… Finally, and more in despair than in hope, I hand out another Onion to an egotistical public servant (that being someone who gets paid by us) for wanting to get his face all over what is essentially a public service announcement.
This time it is one Mziwonke Dlabantu, the director-general in the Department of Public Works, whose visage appears on an ad which warns people about scam artists out there misusing the name of the department to carry out criminal acts.
It is a useful warning and the text of the ad is something which is interesting and can do some good. However, the fact that it is screeds of type with the passport-type mugshot of the director-general in the corner means many will pass it over.
So, Public Works, you get an Onion.
But, just so no one accuses me of being grumpy, here’s a suggestion for you. Get a journalist and/or a photographer to help you put these ads together.
View them as stories, as content. And put some appropriate images along with them. You’ll get far more attention from the general public.
Your ego might not like it, though.
The thing to remember in government – much like journalists and marketers should remember that they are not always the target market – is that you are not the story.