Santam vs Nando’s – Best advertising ever achieves win-win for all

santam vs nando's ad sparringI hate advertising, I’m a content marketing gal, I don’t like it when the sales talk is SO obvious and lets be frank, the way ads are made these days is boring at best.

Luckily I don’t see much of this type of advertising as I’ve stopped watching TV years ago. Occassionally I get them at the movies. But last week the best advertising ever reached me, so much so that I even take out the time to write a blog post. Well done Santam and Nando’s, your brands are now forever edged into my memory.

And I’m not alone. All of South Africa loved it when those two sparred via ads and on top of it only good came out – a Johannesburg Children’s Home gets now food delivered every last Friday of the month for a year.

There is lots to learn here. First of all, advertising to engage the users needs to be interesting. And lets face it, that first ad by Santam the “serious” one is actually one of the good ones, and not just because of Ben Kingsley. Here is the ad that started it all:



(In a funny twist Floyd the barman is Jean Teplitsky, an actor I happen to know and have been on stage with years ago, more reason for me to remember this whole story)

Nando’s, the well known and loved chicken fast food chain of South Africa is also known for their spoof ads. Much to the entertainment of the general public they have taken on all sorts of big names, even Fifa back when we hosted the WorldCup. So, here they come out with a spoof on the very Santam ad above:



Brilliant idea! Twitter lit up and that’s when I first heard about it – and of course went to watch. Lesson no 2: “traditional” advertising can reach a person who’s anything but traditional. So far so good, we had many of those in the past.

But then Santam decided to not just leave it at that and they came back, with a challenge:



We all held our breath to see what Nando would do…..



How brilliant is this! Including the stab at the insurer at the end. Love it.
What’s really nice about this story is that, we are ALL winners! The people who watched the ads, because they are truly and honestly entertaining. The children’s home who now get a bit of extra food. The two brands who added hugely to their brand awareness and lets not forget the added cool factor. And of course the two agencies who no doubt loved seeing this campaign go viral for both of them.

Take away for big agencies: don’t force it, have fun and be natural.

Take away for small businesses: don’t force it, have fun and be natural.

Seriously, I think this truly is the great lesson here – we’ll talk about something and share it with everyone if it either entertains, educates or inspires us. So next time you post something on the interwebs in the hope of getting some new clients down the line somewhere make sure it fits this criteria of entertain/educate/inspire.

By the way, I don’t think you can plan a success like that. But what you can do is make sure the best version of you always shows up to deliver. Then things like that can happen.

How can you entertain, educate or inspire your audience?