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.

He’s also a great role model for our youngsters and offers the whole country a glimpse of the better people we could be.

Watch him when the Proteas play in the ICC Champions Trophy in England and, when he is successful, you will see a sort of baffled delight cross his face. It’s delightful.

And, if you’re a big brand, you’d be jumping to take advantage of that. That’s something car maker Nissan have cleverly done – and timed it perfectly to take advantage of the Proteas campaign at the Champions Trophy.

It’s a pretty standard ad as far as sports-related executions go, but it is Rabada who elevates it to memorable.

We see a whole bunch of cricket fans – all driving Nissans, of course – arriving for a cricket match. But there’s something odd: why is the security guard allowing them special access?

They park, haul out the camping chairs and all the other kit you need for a successful match. As they set themselves up, the eager fans are listening in to the commentary leading up to the start of the match

And then the security guard throws the switch, which brings on the stadium lights. Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice. What’s going on?

As the camera pans back for a wide shot, we see they are all at an empty Wanderers Stadium, watching the game of the big screen.

Then they put in a video call to Rabada, who is about to play.

Somehow, the bowling hero manages to look as though he is genuinely enjoying the moment – as he does with his cricket – rather than being a mere actor in a commercial.

Well done, Kagiso. You get the first Orchid. Nissan gets the next for spotting his talent and making him their brand ambassador, while and their agency, TBWA, gets the third for putting it all together.

I do appreciate that The New Age newspaper and the other Gupta-owned spin machine, the TV channel ANN7, have to convey the propaganda which suits their masters and which helps divert attention from their masters’ friend, Number One.

But I couldn’t help but chuckle when I saw their ad this week (in their own paper – no real advertisers seem to frequent its pages) – for the “Fight for Financial Liberation”.

The last line read: “We need to break up the old guard’s monopoly control over the economy.”

This is, in fact, exactly what the Gupta klepto-network stands accused of doing: it’s breaking up the old guard monopoly and establishing one of its own, where billions in taxpayer money flows to them for very little effort.

When you write advertising copy, you must ensure that it cannot be misinterpreted and that it cannot be used against you, especially in a cynical, mocking way.

This ad fails that test, so it gets an Onion. And that’s no leek (heh , heh, heh)

  • This column now appears every week in Saturday Citizen

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