It’s going to be a retina-searing summer with Cell C… but there’s cynical misdirection from Coca-Cola

It’s that time of year again: summer is here so can the cellphone network ads be far behind?

I suppose the thinking is that people are more relaxed at the end of the year – winter’s behind us, after all – and they’re ready to party. And party always means – spendy.

So, there is always a bit of predictability about the summer cellphone network campaigns – plenty of energy and vibrance, lots of pulsating colours and sexy people. I am not the target market for this type of marketing.

However, I believe it will hit its target market – the beloved millennials – right between the eyes. And, for the moment, the summer network advertising which does stand out from the rest is a TV ad for Cell C.

Put together on a brief from ad agency 1886 and directed by Egg Films’ Slim, the spot hits all of the touch points. But it is really noticeable because the special effects, editing and use of colour give you the sense that it is almost in 3D and that the characters are about to jump out of the TV, grab you by the hand and force you to boogie (I hope someone still calls it that … ).

The theme is all about connecting which is, so the experts say, what life is all about for millennials, and about the pain and angst should that connection be broken or slowed in any way.


Cell C’s promise is that they will connect you and your vast community – and keep you connected. I think it gets across the message very well.

So Orchids all round: to 1886, Egg Films and the rest of the crew involved, including Exposure’s Rory O’Grady (who shot the ad), Keenan McAdam (art director) and by Joe de Ornelas at Left (who edited it), with a special shout out to Wondermerk for the filters and effects.

My retinas might not thank you, people, but I have a feeling Cell C’s sales figures might… Prize for Marketing Spin Bollocks of the Year has a good chance of going to Coca-Cola, which is taking heat in cyberspace for sneakily reducing the sizes of its drinks containers … while keeping prices the same.

First piece of marketing misdirection from the multinational soft drinks maker: “Market research showed that people were looking for sizes that suit smaller households.”

Second piece of marketing misdirection was that this desire by these “smaller households” was related to them being able to “control their added sugar intake”.

Clearly Coke has jumped on the sugar awareness bandwagon in a way which goes straight to their bottom line, while the product continues to go straight to your waist.

It is expected that soft drink makers will have to pay the government more if a tax on sugar is introduced, as has been mooted by Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

So, by making the containers smaller and keeping the price the same, you keep money for the good doctor as well as bolster your profits.

I have no doubt that y’all wouldn’t get away with that trickery in Atlanta, Georgia, where Coca-Cola is headquartered. So, a standard-size Onion for sneaky selling practices.

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