A well-deserved Orchid for this florist…

Despite the fact that we’re all drowning in a sea of video – and despite the fact the advertising industry “clevers” will tell us that moving images are the future of humankind – still photographs or images still have the power to fascinate.

More importantly, that ability to capture attention still works for advertising, because it is not the sort of fleeting wallpaper which flicks momentarily across the mind of a consumer. That’s why I love good print ads.

A good print ad will be simple, it will contain a basic human insight and will, in the best of senses, be humourous…because humour helps the human brain retain and remember messages.

It is good when you see an ad where all of these aspects come together. An example recently was a series of print executions we ran in The Citizen for NetFlorist. Now, this brand has always been about humour, some of it sometimes a little risky and risqué . A lot of its work has been done in radio and has attracted Orchids from me in the past.

So, to see it in print is a breath of fresh air. The ads didn’t disappoint on any one of the three criteria I mentioned.

nu netflorist1

The premise behind them is that people often regret things they say and do almost immediately after they have said and done them…but the apology process can take time and can even make things worse. So, what if you had really put your foot in it and someone (like NetFlorist) was able to come to your rescue with a personally delivered bouquet of flowers, or a gift, on the same day?

Both of the ads are laid out to look like text messages – the top one sent first (check the time) and the bottom one sent later, after the “whoops, I’m in trouble moment”.

One says: “You’re just like your bloody mother”

And then “kind, loving and beautiful”.

The other says: “I never want to see you again” and then “wearing so much clothing!”

nu netflorist2

It’s funny, it’s simple and it gets across the message that NetFlorist is there to save you from yourself…and who doesn’t need someone like that every now and then?

An Orchid to NetFlorist and its agency, FCB Joburg.

One of the most amazing things about the Knysna fire disaster was the role played by social media in keeping people informed and in getting out the latest news and images from what many described as “a war zone”.

I was one of those keenly following Twitter on the Wednesday night, because my sister-in-law and her friends live in Knysna. They were on holiday in Kruger National Park and were on their way home when the news reached them at their overnight stop at Gariep Dam in the Free State. The news was grim. My sister-in-law and her friends had both lost their houses – but friends had managed to salvage some possessions.

I still followed the feeds on Twitter, because I was also monitoring what was happening  so I could send through a late night update to our Page 2 story for Thursday.

But I, and scores of other users perusing the material under the #KnysnaFire hashtag, were angered by the regular appearance, in the feed, of advertising for an employment website called tolajobs.co.za

It was not only irritating, it also took up valuable communication space – space which was being used to communicate urgent information.

I do not know how the ads ended up there, but they were crass and insensitive at a time when people had died and homes were being gutted. A number of people turned on tolajobs.co.za and attacked them. That basically defeated the entire object of having the ad there in the first place.

So tolajobs.co.za, you get an Onion from me.

But there is a warning there of the danger of placing your ads simply in places where there is traffic. It can backfire badly. My guess is that this ad was placed with clever ad technology – the most prominent is “programmatic” buying – which looks for number and not context. It can badly damage a brand…

(My sister-in-law arrived home in Knysna to find her house had been spared and her friends’ house had been saved by her other friend. But that’s another amazing story…)

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