There’s certainly originality here, at least in one sense.
The decision by takealot.com to feature its merger with Kalahari in a TV commercial is… odd. Takealot.com CMO Declan Hollywood expressed a desire to “take a fresh creative approach and bring South Africans along on the journey with us”.
The ad itself, taken on its own, is of fair quality, with the romantic union of the two brand mascots a nicely accessible representation of corporate merging. Aside from the ‘first date’ setup being a somewhat frequently re-treaded premise for a TV commercial (nowadays, if you’re going to have a lonely character wistfully watching a romantic scene from a black-and-white film, you have to play it a little more ironically than that), and some rather confusing and unnecessary cuts back and forth between scenes, the ad is, for the most part, a decent piece of TV advertising that communicates the base concept of the companies’ merger reasonably well.
However, I cannot help but wonder at the necessity of riding an ad on the back of this deal. There’s a reason company mergers are usually kept to the boardroom: its relevance to customers is limited. Oh, sure, there’s always that emotional connection to brands that many customers have; but the merging of corporate names generally means at least one of them being delegated to, at best, a footnote in the brochures.
Perhaps it’s not my place to judge Takealot.com’s marketing decisions. But with that said, I still have to question their ad’s presentation. Like I said, the ad itself, at least on the surface, is well put together; but its communication of its central point is less solid. It makes it clear that it’s about the two brands merging; but what it doesn’t quite manage to do is communicate to customers exactly why this is relevant to them. Other than the brief mention of the celebratory month of free delivery, the ad really doesn’t seem to communicate to customers exactly why they should care about these two brands coming together – the ad doesn’t clarify what this entails for the average customers, how it could make things better for them, how it should affect their purchasing decisions.
It’s a good ad, yes, on the surface. But it’s also the sort of ad that might make customers, after their brief initial chuckle, wonder exactly why it was shown to them. To many, it may well seem like an event that should’ve been kept to boardroom meetings was brought to their TV screens for 45 seconds; and some of them may well feel that it wasted their time. The average viewer does not like to have their time wasted; not even by a well-constructed, 45-second TV ad.
Review by Red & Yellow School second year copywriting student, Simon Hyslop.
Agency: M&C Saatchi Abel
Dean Blumberg – Director
Peter Carr – Executive Producer
Kathleen Browne – Producer
Gordon Ray – Executive Creative Director
Brett Burton – Art Director
Josh de Kock – Copywriter
Faheem Chaudhry – Strategist
Amanda Crawley – Account Manager
Bronwyn Henry – Agency Producer
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