Kim Penstone

When ads (and yoghurt) go bad

2005-04-19 13:04

There are few things in my life right now that annoy me as much as yoghurt. Yes, you heard right: yoghurt.

That unassuming breakfast accompaniment that (I imagine) the vast majority of South Africans simply eat and forget. I mean, it's not like it's a life-changing food (like chocolate, for example).

Nonetheless, every time I see a yoghurt or yoghurt-related product these days, I break out into a nervous sweat and back away quietly.

I've even abandoned my staple Woolworths fat free vanilla. And I'm having to eat my Special K dry. It's not great.

So I have to speak out, in the hopes that someone will hear, and yoghurt will regain its rightful place in my life (which, I might add, is to be eaten and forgotten!)

The reason for my angst is advertising. Bad advertising, to be specific.

See, there are still many proponents of the theory that any advertising, even if it's bad advertising, is good. And that it simply doesn't matter how you get your name out there, as long as it's out there.

'I'm not convinced'

First and foremost, let it be known that I'd rather gouge my eye out with a blunt, old-yoghurt-encrusted spoon than eat a single teaspoon of Vitalinea.

And my yoghurt brand of choice is fat-free, so it stands to reason that I'm in the potential target market.

It's the ads. You know the ones, with the incredibly annoying, completely smug thin person, who swears that the brand is part of her secret to staying in shape?

It was prefaced by that even more annoying, not-so-thin person who tried to hide her yoghurt brand upon seeing another annoying smug thin person eating Vitalinea...

Aaargh! (I've just taken a bite - okay two bites - of a chocolate that I don't even like, in protest. And I'm on diet.)

Then there's Danissimo. I apologise in advance if I've spelt that incorrectly, but I'm afraid that's the risk you take when you give a brand such a stupid name.

And, on top of that, when you couple it with that ad! That man, whose wife is having an affair with yoghurt! Picture out, please!

But wait, there's more. I don't have children, but if I did, I know that they'd be banned, on pain of death by bacterial infection, from even trying Danao (again, the spelling, but you know my feeling on that).

It might be super healthy, even super tasty (although I very much doubt that), but I can imagine few things worse in life than having two children bouncing the "smooth/good" words around my kitchen for even half an hour. I'd show them a damn good hiding with a very smooth wooden spoon!

Wow. Sorry about that. I clearly needed to get all that off my chest! I had no idea I could get so passionate about a dairy product.

But that, I guess, is the power of advertising. So now imagine if I liked it...

  • Kim Penstone is not normally this passionate about dairy products - except for chocolate Nesquick, without which she could probably not survive. She's about to throw four single servings of fat free vanilla yoghurt in the bin.

    Send your comments to Kim Penstone or discuss this column now in our debating forum.

    For the more serious side of advertising and marketing, go to, the site which Kim runs.

    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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