Profile

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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Roll on, Volksie bus; but did KMPG do the right thing for its reputation?

My colleague Seelan was about to head off to Sun City this past weekend and take the Jeep Renegade we have as a test car ... until he discovered how little room there is in the car...

By Brendan Seery 2 days ago

#OrchidsandOnions: A bird's eye view of money - and digital Big Brother's view of you...

If you want to impress someone, or at least have a good chance they'll remember you or your product, then a piece of advice often offered is “Go big, or go home...”

By Brendan Seery 6 Sep 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Feeling good about conservation... but peeved about Vodacom's mean data “apology”

While all our attention has been focused on the campaign to save rhinos from poaching, another massacre has been unfolding, almost un-noticed... that of Africa's elephants, which are being shot out for their ivory...

By Brendan Seery 29 Aug 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Don't take this ad with a pinch of salt...

When a household name brand gets back in a TV ad for the first time in 20 years, you've got to sit up and take notice.

By Brendan Seery 22 Aug 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: How sour milk founded a sweet business empire... and how to Gupta a well-known saying

One of the greeting card platitudes that annoys me is the one that says: “You can be anything you want to be...”

By Brendan Seery 15 Aug 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Well done Santam! What could go wrong? And the wheels fall off for Renault...

I still think the logo of insurance giant Santam is one of the best. It is a simple yellow umbrella over the company name, which is in blue...

By Brendan Seery 8 Aug 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Don't text and drive... and beware of a shortage of sperm

You can talk until you're blue in the face to people about drunken driving and texting while driving...but, being South Africans, they'll probably ignore you...

By Brendan Seery 1 Aug 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Ocean Basket still sizzles, but Castle Lager ad goes flat

So, a man goes into a pet shop. “I want to buy a parrot, but it must talk...”

By Brendan Seery 25 Jul 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Share generously... but not with the idiot on the moon orbiting Planet Out of Touch

According to the latest TV ad for Mugg & Bean, every day we share five billion things online. There is no indication of who this “we” is. If it is South Africans, then we each share an average of 100 bits of information a day. That sounds way too high...

By Brendan Seery 18 Jul 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Kiss from a Rose gets an Orchid for DStv

Celebrity endorsements are big business these days, because brands believe that being associated with winners - be they in the sport or entertainment biz - means that sweet sound of ringing tills.

By Brendan Seery 11 Jul 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: When you don't need an excuse to down a burger...

...but you do need one if your attitude is “let them eat cake.” It's winter time and in winter many a young man's fancy (and that of slightly more mature ones like me) turns not to love, but to food...

By Brendan Seery 4 Jul 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: #MakeTime...for those you love. But, don't pass the buck if you're a big brand

One of the biggest regrets many people have - generally, as they sit down to take stock of their lives - is that they never made enough time for the people they love...

By Brendan Seery 27 Jun 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: There's no monopoly on capital doing good

When a brand does good for the society in which it exists, it can have powerful positive effects not only on its image, but also on sales...

By Brendan Seery 20 Jun 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: A well-deserved Orchid for this florist...

Despite the fact that we're all drowning in a sea of video - and despite the fact the advertising industry “clevers” will tell us that moving images are the future of humankind - still photographs or images still have the power to fascinate...

By Brendan Seery 13 Jun 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Nice catch, Nissan... but “Onion Capture” for Gupta rag

Kagiso Rabada may be the Destroyer-in-Chief for the Proteas cricket team (and the number one ranked one-day bowler) but he still has an innocence and naivety about him, which is appealing...

By Brendan Seery 6 Jun 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Remembering our dads as our heroes

With the #MenAreTrash campaign's angry memes swirling all over the Internet - and even into newspapers, radio and TV - it is interesting to be reminded that, much as we can be pigs sometimes, there are decent males out there...

By Brendan Seery 5 Jun 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: When there's no getting over that rainbow, a dog will still love you...

I was reading something the other day about being bullied in the workplace. It happened to me over a period of years and I had no option - because my family was young and we needed the money - but to stick it out. But it ate into my soul and left me feeling demeaned and worthless at times...

By Brendan Seery 23 May 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Capital can care... and it can make you think, too

Unless a media planner makes a fatal mistake, then one of the ads you are unlikely to see on Gupta TV - ANN7 - is one of the latest ones for Absa, in the campaign under the “Prosper” banner...

By Brendan Seery 9 May 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: The proper way to tell a story - for a brand and for consumers...

When it comes to marketing, I hate the expression “content producer” - the one which gets bandied around frequently these days as brands, or their agencies, start producing “content” for “consumers” on various “platforms”...

By Brendan Seery 2 May 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Don't hide away from reality... and know the difference between thunder and lightning

The best advertising is always based on a fundamental understanding of human nature - what the people in the marketing business call “basic human truth”. If you can tap into that, you don't have to waste any time explaining or repeating - everybody gets it first time around...

By Brendan Seery 25 Apr 2017

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