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#OrchidsandOnions: Virseker goois lekker

Insurance: Afrikaans ad is bright, clever and razor-sharp; Haval reminds us of simpler times when vehicles were makers of dreams
#OrchidsandOnions: Virseker goois lekker

Ironically, in the week that newly elected ANC Gauteng chair Panyaza Lesufi was doing his best deflecting from our current woes by attacking the Afrikaans enclave of Orania, I saw a simple, striking piece of marketing communication aimed, unashamedly, at the Afrikaans-speaking market.

Virseker, which is part of the Auto & General insurance group, was set up specifically to cater for Afrikaans speakers.

And it makes a lot of sense: Many of these people are far from racists (many, in fact, are not white) and yet they feel somehow excluded by the ANC’s policy of affirmative action.

In particular, it is the fact that many companies these days will only deal with customers in English (or if you push, you may get occasional Afrikaans or an African language) – and people are fiercely loyal to their mother tongue.

That, in fact, is the common denominator among Afrikaans-speakers from the far-right to the left.

Virseker’s new ad features their target market in all its real splendour, from the coloured oke in the VW Beetle4 to the khaki-clad Boer, to the dolled-up tannie, with all kinds of other taal-gooiers in the mix.

It’s put to the catchy tune of some Afrikaans rap – but the lyrics are not so slurred and blurred you cannot make them out – which puts across the clear message: We will deal with you in your language. We understand you. And, for the elimination of any doubt, we will pay.

I like the cute little payoff and call-to-action line, which put some of our common argot out front and centre: Kontak ons nou, want nou-nou is te laat (Contact us now because now-now is too late).

It’s bright, it’s clever and has a laser-sharp focus on the target market. So it gets Virseker this week’s first Orchid.

Another extremely simple ad for Haval cars reminds me of the magic of cars... the ability to transport you, both literally and figuratively.

It’s a car which can make memories for a family ... those endless carefree days by the seaside when life seemed a lot simpler.

How to spot a trustworthy car dealership
How to spot a trustworthy car dealership

, Motus  11 Jul 2022

Haval’s ad is simply a family getting out of one of their cars and walking onto a beach at sunset.

The payoff line is simple: “Live. Love. Drive.” And that is what a car can be.

For reminding us of simpler times but also for pitching your vehicles as the makers of dreams, Haval, you get this week’s second Orchid.

The ad is also a timely reminder that, if you manage to get it right, emotion can be a powerful part of a buying decision. I still remember with fondness my old VW Jetta (probably still running around somewhere) and the years of family memories it helped us make.

Finally, I know this will be an unpopular choice for an Orchid, simply because the organisation in question has been taking so much abuse over the load shedding period.

City Power, Joburg’s electricity utility, has had to try and make do with the results of the broader national catastrophe which is Eskom.

None of the blackouts has been the fault of City Power – and even the tripping which frequently occurs on bringing blocks back on the grid is a factor of overloading systems doing things they were never designed for.

In all of this, City Power’s digital teams – both on social media and on its website – have been doing their best to keep us updated with the latest capricious change in stage level.

And, I think, they’ve been doing it pretty well – managing quite often to beat the various load shedding apps in terms of providing accurate information.

Anyway, people, I see you. And you’re doing a great job in trying circumstances.

When your social media communicators work like this – and when people realise the pressures they are under – then they are a boon for your brand, City Power.

Let them know that got you an Orchid this week.

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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