Kim Penstone

It's all in the mind

2005-02-02 07:55

Advertising is a funny business. Not funny dodgy (although, I guess it can be!), nor funny haha! (although it can be that, too).

But more funny, roll-your-eyes-into-the-back-of-your-head, nod-your-head-slowly-while-saying-yaaa-okaaay. If you know what I mean.

Take the latest campaign for First for Women Insurance. A neat idea, sure. A campaign that's caught my attention, and so worked for the client, absolutely.

But I can't help myself. Every time I hear the radio ad, about "someone who looks after you in your time of need, someone who understands your unique concerns", I think of the Archers Aqua man - he of the bulging muscles and limited clothing allowance... "something for the ladies!"

The very last thing that comes to mind when I think about "catering for a woman's needs" is insurance. Tampax, sure. Flake, without a doubt. But the Archers Aqua man above all.

So I'm now mulling over the Archers Aqua man, and my mind wanders a little further... (no, not there, although, on the odd occasion I guess... but let's keep this column clean, shall we?)

The Archers Aqua Man

The Archers Aqua man makes me think about sugar, and I'm wondering how on earth a marketing mind decided that a product that seems to contain an entire sack of sugar could be aimed at women - despite the fact that the sack now has a tiny little hole, for some of the sugar to escape...

It's bizarre, before the "now with less sugar ad" hit my small screen, I hadn't really thought about how much sugar an Archers Aqua contained, but now I can't look at one without seeing that really big sack!

Despite this, however, a friend of mine still insists that beer is more fattening than alcopops (what I fondly refer to as tart fuel) - it's his humble opinion that drinking one beer is the equivalent to eating two loaves of bread.

Two loaves of bread? That's a lot of bread. Note to self: check with dietician, sure that I read in the Fairlady that one glass of wine was the equivalent of one slice of bread...

Wine. Now that's just what I'm going to do when I get home. Pour a glass of wine (dilute it with some soda, though, as I'm getting worse and worse at handling my liquor). Then I'm going to sit on the patio, and quaff to heart's content.

Although... I did promise myself that I'd go to yoga in the morning, and wine and yoga don't mix, not even a little.

The things we do

So scratch the wine. I need to pick up dog food on the way home anyway, so I may as well pop past the house and pick up the dogs, take them to the vet and get them inoculated so that the kennels won't turn them away, and then pick up dog food at the same time.

Oh, and then there's that dry cleaning that I need to pick up. And the trousers that I need to drop off, to be turned up (my husband has short legs). Did I bring them with me, or do I need to pick those up when I pick up the dogs?

Nope, they're here. So maybe I'll take those first, and then come back and pick up the dogs? Or should I try and squeeze in a quick shop at Woolies? We've run out of sundried tomatoes, and I was planning chicken salad for dinner, and it's not the same without sundried tomatoes...

So. Dry cleaners, Woolies, home (don't forget dogs), vet. Then wine. Oh no, I decided to scrap the wine, didn't I? Oh scrap that. Let's scrap yoga, I need the wine.

And forget the soda dilution thing. Who cares about the slice of bread? So I won't have toast for breakfast tomorrow.

Tomorrow. Oh yuk. A whole new day of work. Definitely need that wine!

A funny business, advertising

So where was I? Oh yes. A funny business, advertising. They try to sell insurance, but end up promoting wine.

There are a couple of lessons for marketers in this really long tale:

1) Just the thought of insurance brings on the need for a stiff drink. Insurers should skip the advertising, and rather provide their salesmen with bottles of booze to serve with their contracts. It might help dull the pain.

2) Alcohol suppliers have no need to advertise during drive time. My subconscious will twist a message for brake pads into the need for a glass of wine. Ditto one for panty liners.

3) Women have only one "unique need" - it has nothing to do with insurance or the Archers Aqua man. If you've come up with a way to squish more than 24 hours in a day, we can talk. If not, keep your mouth shut.

  • Kim Penstone is not an alcoholic, although she does enjoy a good glass of wine. She also has nothing against insurers or insurance brokers, but would recommend that the latter take note of her predilection for wine when next requesting that she sign over her life savings. Failing that, she'll accept the secret for creating an extra hour in the day.

    If you're interested in the more serious side of marketing and advertising, you can find that on www.marketingweb.co.za.

    Send your comments to Kim

    Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

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