Here’s aBig Bang Theory: Use just one credit card

Without wanting to sound sexist, have you noticed that women will watch movies over and over…and over again! And, woe betide the mere male who tries to wrest the remote control from She Who Will Watch Notting Hill For The 17th Time…

Yet, lately I am finding myself happy to watch reruns of Big Bang Theory, still one of the finest comedy series of recent years.

And I couldn’t help notice during the ad break on The Comedy Channel that the latest TV ad for Capitec Bank slots into Big Bang Theory like it was made for it.

For those of you who don’t know, one of the central themes of the show is the romance between Penny (smoking hot, blonde, would-be actress) and Leonard, a lactose intolerant, glasses-wearing, socially inept Geek. And, in the background lurks Leonard’s genius, –but even more bereft of social skills – room-mate, Sheldon.

There are plenty of times in the show when Penny (who eventually does succumb to Leonard’s charms and later marries him, thereby giving hope to Nerds everywhere) does have to show Leonard how to cope in the Real World…the world, that is, outside computer games, Star Wars and Star Trek and physics research.

The Capitec ad sits perfectly in that space, as we see an attractive blonde rolling her eyes in disbelief as her somewhat nerdy boyfriend fishes out a handful of credit cards, explaining that each one is for a different payment.

How stupid is this guy, she seems to be asking.

No sweetie (to quote Penny), that’s not how you do it. Just use one card for everything. Just use Capitec. Across the room, another geeky guy nods in agreement with her: How can someone miss something so obvious? Not quite Sheldon but close enough.

The ad makes the point that Capitec is not only effective, it is also convenient – because you don’t end up paying all those fees for all those different cards…money which, if you had saved it, may have enabled you to buy the pizza, instead of watching your girlfriend do it with her Capitec card. (Take-out evenings are a regular feature of Big Bang Theory).

But it is the placing of the ad which really makes it stand out. So Orchids to Capitec…and to the agency who made it (let me know – and the media agency which booked the airtime.

I can see exactly why private enterprise is quietly making a fortune out of the services which should be delivered by government departments. Would you trust any important documents to the SA Post Office? I didn’t think so…

So, courier companies like DHL offer a fast and reliable way of moving documents around the country and around the world.

DHL also sends you a text message the day before delivery, alerting you.

We were more than impressed, we were stunned, by the combined efficiency of DHL and the British passport authorities when my wife had to renew her British passport recently.

She sent off the documents via DHL (which has the contract) on the afternoon of January 4. They were delivered in the morning on January 13. Absolutely true story.

We were highly impressed by DHL – the documernts had to go to the UK and back after all – and will certain use them again if we have important items to send elsewhere. Delivering (literally and figuratively) is the best (and cheapest) form of marketing.

And DHL is doing just that. So an Orchid to them.

And, how about that service from the Brits…you people can have an Orchid too.

Unlike many whingers out there, I am not one of those who jumps on the anti-South African Airways bandwagon, because the airline still has some very good people within its ranks and those people deliver service which is up with the best in the world. (There are quite a few who don’t I grant you that…)

So I was quite interested to see an ad for the new Business Class in the Airbus A330-300, which is the aircraft SAA is introducing to its fleet.

All very classy, all very luxurious.

The problem is twofold: the copywriter for the ad should be fired, so bad were the words accompanying the visual.

It was full of rubbish. Here is an example: “The new fleet is testament to our commitment to improve every journey and go to uncharted territories” Really, if I were getting on an aircraft to fly somewhere, I would far rather the crew knew where it was going…to territories which actually have been charted. MH-370 anyone?

Doesn’t anyone think? Rule Number One in advertising: never allow your message to be interpreted in a way which could damage your brand.

But the icing on the dodgy cake was the sub-headline: “Our new A330-300 signal a new luxury in flying”

Somebody clearly doesn’t know the difference between singular and plural.

It should have read: “Our new A330-300s signal…” or “Our new A330-300 signals…”

But I am not going to blame this on the copywriter alone. Who on earth checked this drivel at the ad agency? Who on earth at SAA checked this and signed off on it?

That sort of basic language sloppiness (and after all, English is the language in which SAA does business) makes one wonder where other incompetence is creeping in.

Onion for SAA. A pity I don’t know who the agency is – you get one, too. But I’m pretty sure you won’t own up.


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