South Africa 25.8.2018 07:00 am

Orchids and Onions – Checkers is boxing clever

Another food-related Orchid for Checkers. It’s no wonder that, these days, Checkers has usurped the place of Woolies … 

While the rest of the country wallows in hatred and anger, I am feeling a bit more mellow today (it’s spring, my niece is getting married today and I can now run longer than 20 minutes).

So, no outright Onions today, just two interesting Orchids and one marketing and reputation management warning (in case none of you saw that anyway).

First up is the new Checkers ad for its “meal in a box” and which promises that you, too, can “cook like a Master Chef” every day.

We see a man in his kitchen, unpacking his “meal in a box” and, as he does so, the scene behind and around him transforms into a restaurant. Suddenly, a master chef appears. (At this point, let me declare, I am not a great fan of cooking shows, although I do love food … so I did not recognise the man.)

He offers advice as the meal comes together in delicious high definition (HD). And that is the promise of the box: not just the ingredients, but also the instructions and advice so you look like the expert. In no time at all, it seems, the meal comes together and looks really good.

The man in the kitchen looks up to where his ghost helper was – and he’s gone.

Apart from the fact the advert showcases the product perfectly, it is also another example of how Checkers has consistently set the bar high when it comes to visual images of food. They’ve done it in the past with their meat, their cheeses, and their wines. It’s so real, you can almost taste it. And if that’s not what the marketing people describe as a “call to action”, then I don’t know what is.

So, another food-related Orchid for Checkers. It’s no wonder that, these days, Checkers has usurped the place of Woolies … 

These two Twitter pictures – the first from BMW US and then a follow-up from Audi US – take my fancy because I love comparative and humorous advertising. That’s why BMW’s iconic “Beats the Bends” ad from the 1990s was so appealing.

Comparative advertising is not only frowned on in this country, it is outlawed and many a campaign has had to be pulled off. Sigh…

What happened in these tweets was that BMW decided to showcase its new M4 in front of a spectacular light display. The Audi social media clevers quickly noticed that the lights formed a series of inter-locking rings … just like the Audi logo. So they dropped their take – a subtle “when you see it” message.

The tweet went down a treat with the twitterati. But it didn’t all go Audi’s way. A BMW fan put things into context by noting that an Audi would “always be behind a BMW”. But an Orchid for Audi US for a little marketing fun.

Adam Catzavelos. Picture: Screenshot.

In case you had your head in the sand this whole week, the calamitous collapse of businesses related to the “beach racist” Adam Catzavelos was a warning about the power of social media.

Just looking at it from a marketing perspective, I can think of few other examples where the outrage of a social media community had done such damage so quickly.

Moral of the story – apart from “stay in Europe if you hate black people” – is, be extremely careful about anything you post on social media.

Brendan Seery.

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