One thing Brexit can’t change for Brits’ coolest cat

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

THE fall­out from Brexit is set­tling over Bri­tain, but also across the rest of the world. How it is go­ing to turn out not even the clever­est of clevers knows. What does seem to be emerg­ing is that the UK econ­omy could well take a dip as in­vestors shy away from the wet, green is­land and look to go where they have a bet­ter “in” to Europe.

Bri­tish brands could also take a bit of a pound­ing (ha ha).

One of the first Bri­tish brand icons to make a state­ment about the im­pact of Brexit was the Jaguar-Land Rover Group, which es­ti­mated its prof­its could drop by more than £ 1 bil­lion ( R19bn) be­cause of the UK’s with­drawal from EU eco­nomic ar­range­ments.

The group’s brands – Jaguar and Land Rover – are quintessen­tially Bri­tish au­to­mo­tive prod­ucts, although they are now owned by Indian gi­ant Tata, whose fi­nan­cial mus­cle has given the com­pany a new lease of life.

A ben­e­fit for South African fans of Jaguar and Land Rover will be the de­cline of the pound in cur­rency ex­change terms, mak­ing the ve­hi­cles cheaper here.

And, like all suc­cess­ful brands, Jaguar and Land Rover con­tinue to mar­ket strongly: even in tough and un­cer­tain times, his­tory has shown, those who suc­ceed don’t cut down on mar­ket­ing.

It’s good to see the com­pany here bring­ing in new prod­ucts and ad­ver­tis­ing them.

Of course, Brexit may well de­value that (some­what myth­i­cal) per­cep­tion of Eng­land be­ing syn­ony­mous with qual­ity, but that may take some time. Mean­while, Jaguar and Land Rover can trade on their unique Bri­tish- ness. With both brands, this qual­ity and unique image are por­trayed ef­fec­tively yet sim­ply.

The lat­est print ad for the new Jaguar F-Pace, the mar­que’s first SUV, is full of that un­der­stated el­e­gance you have come to expect from any­thing as­so­ci­ated with the Union Jack (Wayne Rooney and Co ex­cluded, though).

The head­line says: Above all, it’s a Jaguar.

It’s clas­sic and says so much with so lit­tle. In that short sen­tence, you know this is not just a good car, it is a great car – be­cause it is a Jaguar.

Great line. And, be­cause of that, an Orchid to Jaguar.

I should have been rolling my eye­balls at the cheesy col­lec­tion of hunky, mus­cu­lar al­pha males ar­rayed in the lat­est TV com­mer­cial (for­eign-made, I see) for Nivea for Men. But some­how it works…

You see them do­ing all sorts of mas­cu­line things and then hit­ting the locker room – to find skin-care prod­ucts in pink. We are men – they seem to be say­ing as they look at each other in that solid way that real men do.

Then the Nivea Men ap­pears. Some­thing a hot-blooded, testos­terone-fu­elled boy can use and not feel em­bar­rassed.

Then comes the lit­tle box at the end say­ing: Nivea is an of­fi­cial sup­plier to Real Madrid. And guess what? Cristiano Ron­aldo, that mobile male man­nequin (and rea­son­ably tal­ented foot­baller to boot), plays for Real Madrid. And he fits right in with the new world of the met­ro­sex­ual male.

How­ever, men th­ese days are start­ing to take bet­ter care of them­selves, even if they don’t quite yet oc­cupy the ma­jor­ity of the space in the mar­i­tal medicine cab­i­net. And blue works for boys – in so many ways. So the ad works – and gets an Orchid from me.

All I have to do now is re­mem­ber to use the Nivea Men that has been sit­ting in our bath­room for months…

Funny how the Joburg mu­nic­i­pal­ity and its mayor, Parks Tau, have been boast­ing about how amaz­ing the “World-Class African City” is – how many awards its of­fi­cials have col­lected over­seas, how much wa­ter has been de­liv­ered to res­i­dents, etc etc. A bit like po­lit­i­cal cam­paign­ing us­ing pub­lic money? Could there be an elec­tion just around the cor­ner?

I don’t have a prob­lem with the ads as such, but like all high-flown and vir­tu­ally unattain­able mar­ket­ing aims and state­ments, Joburg’s claim to be world class is some­what let down by the reality.

That reality, this week, was a re­port in The Star say­ing the mu­nic­i­pal call cen­tre – the ma­jor con­tact point for ratepay­ers and cit­i­zens – had been down for six days. World class? If your world is in­hab­ited by crea­tures vis­ited by a girl called Alice, maybe…

Other­wise, when your de­liv­ery is at such odds with your mar­ket­ing mes­sages and you do noth­ing about it, you are wast­ing your (sorry, our) money and you get an Onion.

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