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A clever print ad

I have this warm fuzzy feeling after seeing and reading through a very cleverly executed Virgin Mobile 'Stay Connected for Longer' print ad in the Sandton Chronicle of 24 August 2011, on page 27.

As I was paging through and scanning the articles in the paper, the headline of an article headlined 'Brothel to open in Parkhurst' caught my attention and, me oh my, did I read the article without blinking or what!

The article was well-written and straight to the point; I would have sworn it was a journalist who had been tipped off about this 'brothel house' story. It was only after I finished reading that I looked at the ad below, and the entire page, and realised it was actually an advertorial.

I'm getting into the Loeries mood now. This was an extremely clever idea, and if I were to use the Loeries five judging criteria, I would rate it as follows out of 10:

  • An innovative concept, bringing new and fresh thinking = 7
  • (Maybe it's not so new a concept, but at least it has brought some fresh thinking in how tactical placement could still be creative in how it's executed).

  • Excellent execution = 9
  • (The copy and the storyline were both believable and attention-grabbing, too. Impeccable.)

  • Relevance to the brand = 8
  • (Any brand could have done this, but Virgin Mobile's creative thinking deserves some praise.)

  • Relevance to the target audience = 8
  • (I bet everyone who saw this article, read it - yep, even you, Grandpa!)

  • Relevance to the chosen medium = 10
  • (Abso-bloody-lutely relevant!)

I never give full marks, anyway, as I think there is always room for improvement of creative thinking if people are pushed hard enough - and I'm mean like that. This grand idea could live in any medium by just tweaking copy to suit the target audience - even in Daily Sun.

Although, with this product, one may argue that one would assume that most people in Parkhurst would have mobile phone contracts. Indirectly though, I guess they are also responsible for top-up and prepaid for their children and domestics as well, but this argument is neither here nor there.

Well done to the copywriter; this is what I've been talking about. It's quite refreshing to see such an unexpected print ad after, phew... decades of lack of creative thinking in our print ads.

About Bonnie Ramaila

Bonnie Ramaila is an international communication consultant. She previously worked in the private and public sector as a communication expert. She runs a consultancy that specialises in bespoke communication for niche clients and individuals. Services include communication and media advice, facilitation, publicity and strategy development. She writes in her personal capacity.

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