After giving First National Bank an Onion some months ago for the “Steve” campaigns, I paid attention this week to the bank’s results announcement. Apart from making a lot of money, FNB has also won many new clients… probably due to Steve.
So, I do have to reluctantly conclude that perhaps it is advertising that works.
That it is effective, though, came home to me personally this week when trying to get stuff done through Nedbank. To cut a long story short, the bank was slow and didn’t seem to care when my wife went there to transfer money to our son, who is in France doing his Master’s degree.
Apart from the fact it took Nedbank almost a week to move the money, my wife was repeatedly left hanging (and anxious as only a mother can be) by staff who didn’t call as promised or send e-mails as promised. It was only her nagging which got it going, we believe.
In the midst of this, having just spoken to her on the phone (she was upset and I got angry with Nedbank), I heard one of those incredibly irritating Steve ads. And, much as I don’t like them, their message has apparently been worming its way into my brain.
Wasn’t there something in there that I remembered about being able to do foreign transactions online with FNB?
So, guess what our next move is going to be?
And I have solved the mystery: Steve works for Nedbank… and if he calls me I’ll hand over his Onion. At the same time, I reverse my original Onion to FNB and turn it into an Orchid. I still don’t like Steve and the whole campaign but I cannot deny that it works. So it deserves an Orchid.
Still in grumpy mode… and yet again, it’s about us at Independent Newspapers.
This week, in all our major titles across the country, we carried an impressive-looking supplement for the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition, which is being held this weekend in Pretoria.
The expo itself is a stunning show and will attract upwards of 120 000 people. The products and companies showing there, both SA and foreign, are leaders in their fields.
What a pity, then, that the supplement our Special Projects department produced was so poor. The content and the visuals – sourced from the manufacturers – was generally of high quality and interesting.
But the words we alleged wordsmiths strung together around them were, simply, rubbish. I gave up counting after I got to 17 mistakes in the main piece. Cutting-edge technology deserves way better than blunt-edged writing and editing.
This sort of thing gives us – newspapers in general – a bad name. This is at a time when we are trying to convince the world (readers and advertisers) we are a quality medium and that you will not find on our pages the drivel you find on the internet. So, we get an Onion.