Search for:

#OrchidsandOnions Special Section

#OrchidsandOnions: Lekkeslaap gives us a lekker ad

To be honest, I cannot remember what we used to do, as a family, in the pre-internet times, when it came to going on holiday and arranging accommodation. Somehow, we found places - from chalets to beachfront apartments, to camp sites...which we managed to book and pay for without any digital assistance.
#OrchidsandOnions: Lekkeslaap gives us a lekker ad

These days, if we are planning to go somewhere and want to weigh up the accommodation options, it’s simply a matter of going online and going through the various portals – Air BnB, (generally for overseas trips, few and far between though they may be these days) as well as or for local places.

Viral ad

We’ve booked places on all of them and, surprisingly in this day and age of consumer disappointment, we’ve had pretty good experiences…and mostly fuss-free dealings with refunds (as we had to do with Air BnB over the pandemic).

Lekkeslaap, though, offers a particularly local offering and is one of our first ports of call when we’re are looking for an overnight stay to or from the coast in SA.

And they do have a wide offering, something which is emphasised in their latest video ad (you have to call them that these days, because these productions are no longer restricted just to the conventional TV channels). This one I have seen on TV as well as my new addiction, YouTube, and it has garnered enough views that it is also being shared virally. That will tell you that it has tickled the fancy of many.

It opens to two men sitting “oppie stoep” with koffie. They marvel that this is lekker (helpfully translated in the YouTube sub-titles as “nice” and blerry lekker(blerry nice). The conversation is all in Afrikaans but so simplified that even we linguistically lazy souties can get the picture.

One says to the other that they spent a weekend at a very nice place. But he can’t seem to remember where it was. So he tries to get his companion to jog his memory, asking him the name of the flower with thorns. That’s a Rose, he says eventually, in English.

Ja, daar’s hy. Rose! The first man shouts, where were we last weekend?

He won’t have been the first to forget his wife’s name…

It’s a funny gag but also gels with the punchline that Lekkeslaap promises that it has plenty of “mostly memorable” places on its site.

It gets an Orchid for its humour but also because it keeps the message simple.

Cynical exploitation

In the wake of the passing of Derek Watts, the well-known, hard-charging Carte Blanche journo, Nando’s was quick out of the blocks, posting a social media tribute which said he was “the only other person who grilled better than us."

#OrchidsandOnions: Lekkeslaap gives us a lekker ad

After it came out, I got a number of messages from people on social media urging me to give it an Orchid. But I must admit I am a bit torn about that.

Let me explain.

The link between grilling is quite clear – and quite clever. But I have to wonder if this tribute does not just stray over into the area of cynical exploitation by association. As far as I know, Derek was never a brand ambassador for Nando’s.

He would have been very good at it and it would have made sense to use him in a commercial for the brand… with an apron and chef’s hat standing at the grill, maybe?

Castle Lite recognised, quite late in Derek’s career that the lanky, laconic man would be great in a commercial. He demonstrated, too, that white men can dance…

I have to wonder, however, whether the Nando’s Tweet was not an attempt to make commercial mileage out of someone posthumously. If not, why not just post a simple RIP? Sure, Nando’s is known for cheekiness, but it would not – could not – have exploited the Derek Watts brand like this while he was alive.

To be fair, they weren’t the only ones who jumped on the Derek Watts passing for commercial gain… an outfit called Bird and Co put this on their social media account: “He earned his wings. Thanks Derek Watts for always chirping up.”

Sorry to disappoint those who believe the Nando’s post deserves an Orchid. I think it is cynical. So, it gets an Onion.

If you truly want to thank something for what they did, once they have passed, then keep your brand out of it.

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.

Let's do Biz