Written and published on The South African Magazine: 27 June 2016.
For the first time since 1993, I felt a certain rumble in my belly this past week. It wasn’t the the dodgy butternut soup I’d had at lunchtime, but rather an old familiar friend which I thought I’d buried a long time ago. The friend that tugged at the hearts of so many South Africans in the early 90s when we were all faced with 1 big change ahead.
So how ironic to sit here – a South African expat now living and working in the UK – contributing to this economy, this culture, this commercial growth plan – and to once again, feel the same unease that we felt all those years ago – when faced with something so big, something so unknown – that despite what the media reports, and the politicians falsely promise – almost puts us right back to where we were in the early 90s in South Africa.
Make no mistake – I never left South Africa for a better life. I didn’t choose to leave because I’d had enough. My life path ended up this way due to a very happy cross-cultural relationship. But so many of my friends living in the UK, did. They left out of fear. They left out of circumstance. They left for a better life. And now – we all sit with the same unease. Brexit.
Amongst subject conversations with fellow-South Africans this weekend, were those of leaving for Canada, weighing up a Zuma-nation vs a Non-EU Britain and hopeful petitions for a second referendum. There are couch-politicians name-calling those who didn’t vote in the same way and referring to them as racist, idiotic nazis. There are others who didn’t bother voting, but are now signing petitions to u-turn a result of a democratic process simply because they don’t like what they are hearing. There are those who, after they had voted, started to research and clarify what the EU actually was.
We know that change isn’t easy. And there are many of us who may feel disappointed, frustrated, even angered by the results of this ‘process’ – but there’s one thing that stands firm for me.
We are South African. We are, each of us, born with a culturally-rich desire to do, desire to achieve, desire to succeed. We are overcomers of turmoil – we are problem-solvers and fixers. We get the job done, and we know how to live – no matter of location, circumstance or standing. Yes – we may already be packing our bags, heading for the hills – or we may be burying our heads in the sand until all of this fuss blows over – but whatever it is, there’s something inside each one of us that instinctively reminds us that we can do this.
The sun will still rise tomorrow. That deadline that’s looming, will not move. The beer you have in the fridge will still be cold ready for that braai you’re planning.
So get busy doing.
Who doesn’t love a good contra ad? You know the sort – those adverts that slowly start to unravel a strangely familiar and coy bubbling in your stomach as you watch and realise the gently aggressive contra-message they’re trying to broadcast.
There are so many of these out there – many that often go unnoticed because you haven’t seen the original.
But we’ve found just a few that you may not already know about.
When Mercedes Benz brought out this 1991 advert of a car smoothly zipping around the infamous coastal road in Cape Town, South Africa, those who saw it were left speechless with a sense of awe and wonder at not only the storyline, but the warm-hearted, loyalty-rich advertising that sprung out of it. The background to this advert is that a chap had been driving along this road, naturally in a Mercedes Benz, but had lost control of the vehicle and plummeted over the edge and onto the rocks below at the edge of the sea. He miraculously survived – and thus a major advertising campaign was born.
Here’s the advert:
However – as always, in good tradition – BMW wasn’t to outdone – and soon released an advert showing a BMW making its way along the same piece of road – but instead of going over the edge, maintains its pace and stays en route. Of course, they just had to throw in the tagline at the end, which signalled the start of a new type of brand war.
But it would appear that it wasn’t only BMW who was hot on the heels of the Mercedes Benz marketing team. We may all recall the more recent advertisement that Mercedes Benz released where they used hens to demonstrate their “magic body control”.
Here’s the advert
And no sooner had we fallen back in love with that Diana Ross song (but this time only associating it with chickens), but Jaguar decides to release their contra-ad showing that they, too, aren’t scared of a bit of brand rivalry.
Rivals of a completely different nature – and not necessarily the types of rivals we’d expect – but, and we must admit, a bolshy move from Aldi. As most of us are aware, the fight for the best Christmas advert comes around like clockwork – where retailers battle it out to create the most evocative, thought-provoking, tear-inducing advert possible, which instintively are shared (laboriously) all over social media where again, we reap all types of opinion, love, emotion, frustration, and in my case, irritation. It obviously works – because what they have released, causes some type of reaction, making their brand stand out – and therefore we buy (usually).
But in 2015, we saw a different set of rivals come to the fore.
John Lewis is always synonymous with their beautiful Christmas Adverts. And in 2015 they launched the #ManInTheMoon campaign.
Here’s the advert:
Not too long afterwards, and a little more understated than what you’d expect from someone going up against a retailer like John Lewis, Aldi (the budget chain retailer) decide to show that marketing skill and expertise has got nothing to do with the price of the products you sell.
Here’s their version:
So – it does leave one to ask. Who’s the real winner here? The one that came up with the follow up or the one who is being followed?
We leave that to you.
When we speak about our “Content Services” – people often think it’s this blanket statement that covers mostly marketing blurb, and self-proclamation. But here’s a little fact that you probably didn’t know about us.
Fresh Brew’s founder, Katy Roberts, also has extensive ESL Teaching experience – having lived in Taiwan for a couple of years, teaching English to learners of all ages and all abilities – from A-a-Apple through to business negotiations in a bank. Just recently, Katy was asked to pitch for a project where the purpose was to create a set of lesson plans for ESL teachers and to come up with new and interesting ways to teach a vocabulary set, a specific grammar structure and to enable learners to be equipped in real-life conversational scenarios.
Fresh Brew is not just about creating what we think works – but very much about creating what you need, to drive business, towards YOUR business.
So – in the interest of sharing and caring – here’s a lesson plan (LessonPlan_BookingAHoliday ) she drew up a few years ago for a specific class looking to develop their conversational ability in a particular situation.
Along with the lesson plan, she also created the comprehension test, recorded an audio interview and created the vocabulary test cards required.
If you have a specific content requirement – but just don’t have the time – get in touch. Whether it’s a white paper, or a blog, an invitation or a Press Release – we can help create that for you.