The Ghandi Effect!!
By the South African from RateMyAd.net
Santam (the South African based finance company) pulled off a super campaign with one Sir Ben Kingsley, slick and sophisticated, it was nothing short of a class commercial. Nando’s the chicken outlet did a sterling job of mocking the advert, clever and smart, which I am sure got people to buy more of their products. So instead of leaving it as is, Santam countered, at this point you want to do the Homer Simpson head slap followed by the raging verbal “Doh!”. The reaction by Santam was limited!
The Slam Dunk effect was missing, when putting forward a statement you want to make sure you go forward with authority and the sort of manner that keeps your brand within the integrity that people know it as. By dropping to the level of the antagonist it makes it looks like a schoolyard spat as opposed to what it should be, a corporate dust off the shoulder, this would relay to potential and current clientele that managing financial situations are more important than dealing with a silly outlay by a fast food chicken chain!
A good Slam Dunk effect in this case should have been put forward as follows, firstly call in the big gun, Sir Ben Kingsley, he is famous for being witty, well spoken and playing the man who is up there with Mother Teresa and the like…Ghandi. Okay, he isn’t the real thing but if you watched the movie made by Lord Richard Attenborough called Ghandi, Kingsley did a great job of making us believe he could lead a nation away from British rule…
The fact is Santam had used the actor with amazing latitude in the previous commercials and his presence along with his professional execution is what sold the Santam brand to the audience. Therefore who better to resolve a dispute in an advertising commercial than the person who played Ghandi, instead they wasted a great opportunity in their response, it could have been bigger and more marketable, with a little extra foresight. Headline news could have flowed “Kingsley resolves financial-chicken dispute with passive resistance” or “Chicken outlet caught short of fowl play by Ghandi actor who offers a resolution”, surely these would have grabbed international attention.
The moral of the story or in this case commercial, is that when you have the armoury available to you then one should make use of it. A company’s brand/product offering is more important than tackling a humorous jibe. Kingsley should have been used as the first choice in terms of response or there shouldn’t have been a response at all (they could of settled this with a little less fuss and kept the class of their original commercial as their statement). Secondly it is noted that Ghandi was a vegetarian, further the international spin has been wasted and finally the person who portrayed the Kingsley look-alike is possibly up for the roll as a stunt double for Professor Charles Xavier in the next X-Men reboot!
Check out the commercials here:
Santam’s original advert with Sir Ben Kingsley
Nando’s commercial that took a jibe at Santam’s commercial
The Santam response
And just in case you never saw it, the trailer for Ghandi.
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