Nando’s takes the micky

2010-12-09 00:00

FOR BETTER FOR WORSE mobile network operator Cell C’s campaign launching its new positioning and look remains very much in the public eye. But already, some would say, the Trevor Noah campaign is beginning to tire. From DJs to vociferous phone-in listeners, there’s talk of Trevor overload.

No trouble to Nando’s, whose agency – Black River FC – is always ready for a bit of cheek, this time in the shape of a parody of the Cell C commercial. When the cellphone operator launched its campaign it announced comedian Noah as its CEO (customer experience officer). After a video of him ridiculing network operators, Cell C went viral.

Back comes Nando’s ads, with its own CEO (chicken excellence officer) – who also happens to be a comedian. Kagiso Lediga delivers a twist to the Noah line, replacing “I’m watching you Cell C. Like a hawk,” with “I’m watching you Nando’s. Like a chicken.”

Another target is Cell C’s claim to be launching 4G technology. Somewhat disingenuously, Cell C claimed 4G stood “for great service, for great speed” and not for new generation technology. Vodacom and MTN accused the network of misleading consumers. Nando’s came back with a better riposte: An ad promoting 5G, which stands for five great sauces: Mediterranean, lemon and herb, mild, hot and extra hot.

The ad also has a logo that looks very similar to the new Cell C logo, which has been criticised for resembling the copyright sign. The Registrar of Trademarks rejected it provisionally for that very reason. Chillibush, a through the line agency, also claims the logo is almost identical to its new logo, launched last year.

Cell C hasn’t taken the assault lying down. Or in bad spirit. It sent USB speedsticks – which deliver faster Internet – to Nando’s, with a message saying it hoped the chicken brand would launch a faster chicken meal in future.

It had a similarly humorous response when the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ordered it to remove its 4G claim and logo. It covered up the offensive messaging with a sticker: “Best Mobile Broadband Service 2010 – awarded by”, pending an appeal with the ASA, so it can be easily removed if it wins.