DA’s advert ‘has made it less uncool’

2014-04-20 06:00

The DA is “just not cool enough in many respects”, but its controversial Ayisafani TV advert is changing that, says advertising commentator Sarah Britten.

The advert, which features the DA’s Gauteng premier candidate, Mmusi Maimane, was banned by the SABC – something that both Britten and brand guru Sylvester Chauke say was a “gift” from the state broadcaster to the country’s biggest opposition party.

Read: DA ad back on air - for now


“In its simplest form, banning the ad created more interest in it,” said Chauke, chief architect at DNA Brand Architects.

“So the minute [the SABC] banned it, millions went on YouTube to find it. You think you are trying to calm it down but instead you drive it more. There was more interest and engagement in social media, as people wanted to see it.”

Britten, a strategic partner at the ad agency Soap, agreed.

She said the DA was “smart” to use the expression Ayisafani, which means “It’s no longer the same”, because this created an easy Twitter hashtag that has trended on the social network.

“They are trying to create a meme, cool stuff, that people take on and make their own,” said Britten.

But never mind the controversy – is the advert any good?

“I was impressed with the production value – it’s slick, filmed in an interesting way and uses an interesting creative device,” said Britten.

In the advert, Maimane speaks to his own reflection in the mirror.

The presentation got the thumbs up, but the messaging was a little cluttered, she said.

“Traditionally, in advertising, you should get one message out. The DA has crammed in four of the ANC’s weaknesses. But they’ve ended on the right message, of jobs – that’s what people want.”

Britten said the ad was a move away from the “Clientèle funeral plan approach to advertising” in which politicians simply address the camera.

“[It uses] a fairly American approach,” she said.

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