I gave Gumtree’s last TV ad an Orchid, because it brought a chuckle by portraying how amazingly long it would take for someone to go out and actually test drive all the cars available on the classified site. It takes so long that the man of the house returns years later to find someone else in his place and his child not recognising him.
The latest ads are not quite so cynically funny but they do take what the ad agency, Ogilivy Cape Town, calls a “harmless jab” at the current generation’s obsession with celebs, “stuff” and, most importantly, fomo (fear of missing out).
The vague, nagging feeling that there is a hole in your life affects the great and the good, too, as Gumtree illustrates in two vignettes.
First up is a man called Cyril. Clearly very important, he sits by the fire with a decanter of the finest whisky, reading (heavens!) a print newspaper to keep up with the events of the world. But still, something’s not quite right, so he picks up his phone, calls up Gumtree and starts looking for a new computer, all within his “budget”…
Surprise, surprise, it’s not the Cyril, but one Cyril Nkosi who, thanks to Gumtree, can also have a state of “The Life”.
Then we see Kim and Kanye, an ultra sexy and hip couple, relaxing at home on their comfy couch, he with virtual reality goggles on his head, she with her nose buried in her smartphone. We learn that all the “stuff” around them has come from Gumtree – couch, bicycle, even baby pram – and Kim is still clearly concerned there is something out there (on Gumtree) with her name on it, so she surfs and surfs…
As before, we discover that these two are not, in fact, the Kardashians, but are just plain Kanye and Kim Kumalo…
I like the fact that the ad makers haven’t taken themselves – or the much-adored millennials – too seriously and are confident enough to have that little dig. At the same time, though, it makes the point that you, too, can find what you’re looking for, on Gumtree, from the comfort of your place – whether that be the Union Buildings, Hollywood or just plain Randburg.
So Orchids to Ogilvy Cape Town, as well as to Egg Films and director Robin Adams.
I am anything but a prude but I really have to wonder about people who, in this day and age, still use a bit of sexual innuendo to make a marketing point.
An ad for eTravel is one such. The company is aimed at small travel business operators and offers them support they struggle to get being out on their own. Fair enough. But was it necessary to characterise support by using a bra filled with two melons (melons, geddit, bru!) as a way to illustrate this?
Maybe you thought it would resonate with your target market – because many of the small travel businesses in this country are run by women. I’ll be the first to admit I am not one of them, but I am fortunate to be married to an intelligent, capable woman and I know she would think this ad silly and sleazy …. never mind talking down to “the girls” by using simple, easy-to-understand visuals (everyone’s got a bra, right, bru?).
But, mainly, resorting to this sort of back-to-the-60s nudge-nudge, wink-wink sleaze just says one thing: you are bereft of marketing ideas.
And, if that is the case, you pick up an Onion.
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