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#OrchidsandOnions: Capital Legacy's will ad hits home

As someone who has been involved in a two-decade-long wrangle with family over some slivers of property in Ireland, I was immediately in sync with the latest ad for Capital Legacy, who are wills and estate specialists.
#OrchidsandOnions: Capital Legacy's will ad hits home

My fight with some of my father’s family arose because both my father’s brother and his cousin – single cranky old Irishmen in their 80s – died intestate, without leaving a will. Under Irish law, this meant my sister and I inherited (and should have) a quarter of both estates. And that was the beginning of a long, still unresolved squabble… and if you think lawyers here are bad, do not even think of dealing with small-town firms in Northern Ireland.

Everyone for themselves

Capital Legacy’s ad is a clever reverse-footage rewind back from an all-out brawl between relatives and siblings, right to the time it started, with the family lawyer (or some such) giving them the bad news that “he didn’t leave a will…”

In the absence of a will, the ad makes the point, it becomes an “everyone for themselves” scrabble to get rich quickly. Without a will – trust me, I know, – the way is open for any and all sorts of shenanigans by surviving relatives.

If you haven’t got a will and you watch this, the point will hit home. And there is a good chance of you remembering that Capital Legacy is a place which specialises in just this aspect of the law.

And you do need people who understand what they are doing – and what the pitfalls may be on using ambiguous language in a will. We’ve just updated our wills because the family has dispersed to the winds of emigration and it was a relief to get it behind us.

Capital Legacy’s ad is funny, but at the same time deadly (excuse the pun) serious and positions them in a good position, so the ad gets an Orchid.


The idea that you can have too much of a good thing doesn’t seem to bother South African marketing people. And, with the Rugby World Cup looming it’s predictable – predictable as Faf De Klerk’s box kicks, you might say – that we will get Boks popping up in ads everywhere.

While I recently gave SA Tourism an Orchid for their latest campaign featuring Siya Kolisi, it was because Siya is a natural in front of the camera and holds a position in SA sporting history that no one else ever will… the first Black captain of a sporting team to bring home a world cup.

I’ve also already had a go at Faf’s cheesy Speedo insurance ad and, perhaps in his defence, he is just playing it for laughs. But I don’t think you can say the same of some of the other Boks, who are as rigid, and uninteresting, as a set of goalposts on a rugby field in the various ads they’re involved in.

Pieter-Steph Du Toit looks bemused most of the time – again maybe because giant that he is, he is always looking down on others. But in ads for Engen (in which he is joined by Lukanyo Am and Willie Le Roux), he looks very much like a fish (or whale) out of water. So do his mates. The idea that someone might be pushed to stop at Engen and its convenience shop, as opposed to a competitor, simply because of the presence of the “manne” is, to me, ludicrous.

Ditto with the ad Pieter-Steph does for Gilette razors and Dischem, transforming from rugged rugby forward to smooth-talking business/coach/manager simply with the addition of a set of blades. It’s contrived and wouldn’t get me to cross the street from Clicks, where I buy my Gillette copycat blades for a third of the price…

Onions, then to Engen, Gillette and Dischem. I can see why you think throwing a Bok at a marketing problem constitutes a solution, but I don’t see it. However. I will be the first to concede that maybe my opinion is irrelevant because I am not the target market.

About Brendan Seery

Brendan Seery has been in the news business for most of his life, covering coups, wars, famines - and some funny stories - across Africa. Brendan Seery's Orchids and Onions column ran each week in the Saturday Star in Johannesburg and the Weekend Argus in Cape Town.
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