I sat down to start writing this column just after the First Test between the Proteas and India got under way at Newlands in Cape Town.
Screengrabs from the ad.
I had just been watching a cute little video of the latest ad for Standard Bank, put together by TBWA\ Hunt\ Lascaris. Basically, it is about the youngsters who really love the game of cricket and how they are determined to make it to the top.
We see them in all sorts of places – in dressing rooms, in the nets, catching balls, smashing sixes out of the ground, giving comments to the press, sitting in the team bus. All as the real Proteas do. And these kids wear the real Proteas kit.
Their message, though, is tough and uncompromising: We are coming for you. These are the buds who bloom into Proteas later in life, the ad makes it plain. And they are not shy about warning the guys who should be their heroes: You are in our sights. And your days are numbered. Tick, tock, they say repeatedly.
As the official sponsor of the Proteas, Standard Bank is also the official sponsor of Regional Performance Centres (RPCs), which is a Cricket South Africa development programme that nurtures the Proteas of tomorrow...
Hardly had I finished watching the video than I looked up at the TV. The Proteas were already three wickets down. I did a double take for a quick second… was I watching South Africa or was I watching England?
Tick, tock, Proteas. Can these little okes do much worse than you did?
Fickle fan that I am, I am a bit ashamed to say, that was my initial emotion. Over the next few days, as the match see-sawed backwards and forwards, so did the emotions. In the end, the Proteas made me swallow my initial anger by wrapping it up on the third day.
But the timing was fortuitous – and I am sure more than one cricket fan will have been shouting at the Standard Bank ad, calling on the kids to get out there, like now and replace these palookas.
Whatever the reason, the ad works really well and it reflects the passion we feel for sport… even when it is less than well-balanced and fair. (Sorry, Faf…)
So, Orchids for Standard Bank and TBWA\ Hunt\ Lascaris.
Sitting at home over the festive season (and how nice that was, actually, away from the hustle and bustle of holiday crowds) I had a lot of time to ponder the adverts. And by far and away the most irritating one of the entire period was the one for Appletiser.
It featured a nicely-balanced trio of gorgeous girls, supposedly showing their wonderfully successful lives – sexy, intelligent (look, I won the contract – take that, boys!) and even incredibly agile, enough to skip out of the way so I don’t get splashed on my beautiful designer dress by a car going through a puddle.
They all laugh their perfect laughs, which showcase their perfect teeth. And they sip the power drink of note – Appletiser. And they probably don’t, as the lovely in the famous song, even get their lips wet.
Then, with a coquettish flirtishness, one drops something on the floor for the hunky man to pick up…and everyone giggles (natch...)
Now, before I go on, let me say I like good-looking women as much as the next man. That’s why I’ve been married for 32 years. But I like intelligent women even more (again, one of the reasons the woman in my life was so attractive to me…and still is).
But I really do have an aversion to bimbos. In my better-looking youth, I took one or two of them out on dates. And returned home with a headache from trying to make conversation. Trophy babes can be very shallow.
And that, I’m afraid is what this Appletiser ad screams: Bimbos!
So it gets an Onion from me.
Appletiser’s bubbles, clearly, put the air in airhead…
Brendan Seery has been in the news business for most of his life, covering coups, wars, famines - and some funny stories - across Africa. Brendan Seery's Orchids and Onions column ran each week in the Saturday Star in Johannesburg and the Weekend Argus in Cape Town. Contact him now on
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