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#OrchidsandOnions Special Section

#OrchidsandOnions: Old ballies wake up too late

Save Early: Orchid for telling youth best of life must happen sooner rather than later
#OrchidsandOnions: Old ballies wake up too late

Once upon a marketing time, smoking cigarettes was what the “In Crowd” did. Aspiring to emphysema and lung cancer, as we now know... yet somehow smoking is not declining.

Peter Stuyvesant’s marketing was, excuse the morbid humour, deadly effective. Smoking these fags, so they promised, was not only “your passport to smoking pleasure” but opened the doors for you to the world’s most glamorous, hedonistic playgrounds.

Many can still remember the old Peter Stuyvesant ads, so ’70s… and even the jingle rings bells.

That’s why the latest ad for Coronation Fund Managers – it’s been around a while, to be honest – will instantly resonate with what we would call “mature audiences”.

But, because of that, I do have to wonder a bit about the message of the campaign, which is targeted at the younger generation, who may not have been alive when the original ad was flighted.

That said, though, the ad is slickly produced and funny.

It is a carbon copy of a Peter Stuyvesant lifestyle ad, with the exception that the characters are no longer slim, sexy or endowed with bountiful hair. They’re all “old ballies”... all trying to live the life of the “jet set” (remember that phrase?). Back in those days – before the advent of local-cost airlines – you really had to have a bit of money to go flying.

Yet the pensioners still try to relive a youth that perhaps they never experienced (more about that in a moment): they drive in an open convertible along a gorgeous coastline (but at barely above walking pace because, well, old). They visit remote waterfalls, watch the beauty of the Northern Lights (and fall asleep – reason see above). They snorkel with the dolphins on the Great Barrier Reef, and look washed out and old when they surface. They boogie in the disco... and perspire.

This high life is clearly, no country for old men (or women).

And that is the point of the ad. You could be enjoying all “Your Best Life” if only you get going early in investing. Good things, it says, come to those who invest early.

So, get going and invest now… while you can enjoy it.

It’s a great message for many in this country – who, even in the toughest economic times since the Depression – are still spend-thrift and live for today without a thought about the future.

My only comment is average families are only really able to enjoy whatever wealth they have accumulated when they’re older. Other things – like building lives – take precedence to living your best life. That’s why cruises are loaded with pensioners doing what they couldn’t years ago.

However, if you don’t at least try to save, then that’s all moot.

And that’s the point Coronation makes so eloquently.

Orchids to Coronation and its agency, Ogilvy, for effective marketing, but also a new spin on an old classic.

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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