There is always some pretty amateurish radio advertising around, but the Fedbond ad that’s been flighted for what seems an eternity now truly takes the cake. You may have heard it: it’s the one that goes “nyum nyum nyum nyum nyum nyum” which is ostensibly the sound of inflation taking a bite out of one’s savings.
It’s childish stuff and the marketers at FedGroup need to question whether the commercial is doing the job intended or whether (more likely) it’s proving damaging to the brand.
I have written before about the dangers of alienating your target market through bad advertising – admittedly after this radio commercial commenced flighting, but really,
this ad is plain silly.
Advertising is costly (regardless of whether you’re advertising on TV, in magazines or newspapers, on billboards or on radio) and when you consider that bad advertising costs just as much as good advertising the question needs to be asked: why take to market something that is patently below par?
The marketing company responsible for Fedbond’s advertising stands accused. If this is the best it can do, it’s a pretty poor show. (Mind you, one can never be sure who came up with the idea: if it were the client, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time that a marketer has come up with an idea, thought it absolutely marvellous and summarily instructed its marketing agency to get it made. But if this were the case, the agency should have stood its ground and talked the client out of it).
Radio advertising in South Africa is often criticised and there are justifiable reasons for this. For some reason, it’s an advertising medium that copywriters seem to battle with. The result invariably are ads that either try too hard, attempt humour (and fail) or just fail to connect.
As copywriters, we love to write ads for TV, we love to come up with clever headlines for billboards and we love to come up with great ideas for newspaper or magazine advertisements. The moment we’re briefed to do something clever on radio, the shutters come down and we can’t think of a decent thing. (Well, some of us copywriters anyway).
Fedbond’s effort (a bit of a dog’s breakfast if you’ll excuse the pun) gives radio advertising a bad name, and the ad critics, if they needed it, even more ammunition to shoot at the advertising industry.
The bottom line is that Fedbond participation bonds may well be a fantastic investment delivering outstanding returns, and may well be the answer in terms of countering the negative effects of inflation. To listen to their ad however, one wouldn’t think so.
Because financial services advertising is serious stuff, I would have suggested a serious “tell it like it is” scenario, showing just how damaging inflation can be from an investment point of view. I daresay that there must be a number of professional and noticeable ways of communicating this.
Take it off, I say.