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#OrchidsandOnions: Windmills go green

True ad: Billboard turbines keep turning, despite loadshedding; Kudos for Nedbank, who put their money where their mouth is
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Sourced from The Citizen

If you’re going to claim environmental, or green credentials, you better make sure that you walk the walk, as well as talk the talk. And I think Nedbank (the ‘green’ bank) has been doing this for quite a long time.

We used to have ‘green’ cards, where a percentage of spending went to good environmental causes.

And the bank also put up a number of solar-powered billboards at schools around the country, helping to supply them with electricity.

The latest execution, this time by their agency, Joe Public, is more in the same vein for Nedbank. There is a huge billboard up in Sandton which asks: “Does your bank talk sustainable growth or walk it?”

What makes it stand out are the mini-wind turbines, which turn just like their counterparts out in the countryside, and which are in the latest Nedbank TV ad.

A colleague, who saw the billboard, said it deserved an Orchid - if it was powered in a sustainable manner.

I am assured by Pepe Marais of Joe Public that it is indeed as green as they could get it. There are solar panels on the billboard that charge hidden batteries - but in rainy weather, it does have to revert to the grid. Given that this week was Stage 2 load shedding, I guess Nedbank’s point about sustainability (against Eskom’s erratic and unsustainable coal-fired model) would have been elegantly made.

Orchids to Nedbank and Joe Public.

Online media fiascos

Do not take me for a technophobe who ‘doesn’t get’ the internet when I rail against the hideous incompetence and waste of money in digital campaigns.

First up: Discovery Bank’s team of social media ‘clevas’ decided to respond to a Twitter quip by Durban comedian Rory Petzer, who wondered why, at FNB, he was asked to phone the bank from the branch.

Why not try something new, they asked.

The problem with using your brand to cheaply piggyback on someone else’s social media creativity is that it can backfire, as it did with the first response, which ran: “We’re here for Rory’s jokes, not your adverts. You have enough of our money already.”

#OrchidsandOnions: Windmills go green

For not knowing when to stay out of social media conversations your brand didn’t start, you get an Onion, Discovery.

Even worse, though, was my cyberspace experience (nightmare?) trying to replace the Hisense TV remote chomped by the devil-dog. It took at least four days of back and forth with the supplier to discover they didn’t have any in stock. Fair enough.

I looked it up on Google and saw an ad for hardware supplier Leroy Merlin, which seemed to have the correct one (which neither Takealot nor Incredible Connection had). Right, said I, let’s get to the nearest Leroy Merlin.

On their website, I hit the ‘Get Directions’ button. In a logically run website (an important marketing tool), such a click would have taken me to Google Maps, showing the location of the store and requiring me merely to enter my address to get directions.

Nope. Leroy Merlin’s ‘get directions’ link (to all of their stores – I checked) opens up a Google Maps window that has your address as a car wash in Tembisa.

There is no sign of the actual store location. I kid you not.

How could this be put together by developers in the first place – and, even worse, how is it that nobody checked all the links on the site before it went live? It’s sloppy and it’s potentially damaging to the brand because I have to wonder about dealing with anyone who doesn’t care about details.

I went to Leroy Merlin in Little Falls after entering their address manually myself.

But, guess what? No remote of that type in stock and people there had no clue what I was talking about.

So, Leroy Merlin, you get an Onion. Why bother with a website which doesn’t work?

There were two silver linings, though: my brother-in-law Neil fixed the dog tooth damage to the remote and I also discovered that you can control a Hisense smart TV via a phone app (No, no one at the agents thought to tell me that, but then at least Google and the App Store worked.)

P.S. Despite the fact that the damaged Hisense remote was my fault (after all, dogs will dog), I didn’t learn my lesson and madam later found the DStv remote, which I had left lying around and which proved just as tasty.

*Note that Bizcommunity does not necessarily share the views of its contributors - the opinions and statements expressed herein are solely those of the author.

About Brendan Seery

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.
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