FNB – Stick to Steve
So it’s official FNB’s ‘you can help’ campaign is possibly the biggest waste of money in South African advertising history. After meetings between the parties at Luthuli House, First Rand CEO Sizwe Nxasana has apologized for the advert and the contentious videos removed from their website.
Advertisers use controversy for one simple purpose: to get people talking. The advert might be pulled within a short span of time but the exposure gained through post ad, workplace and gym discussions is priceless to any organization. For example PETA is known for their outrageous adverts that push the boundaries of the acceptable. In 2010 PETA released a ‘veggie love’ advert during the superbowl claiming that vegetarians have better sex, but viewers were left wondering with what? The woman in the ad was seen holding broccoli in one hand and rubbing her breast with another in a very suggestive manner. This controversial advert got people talking weeks after it was aired.
Controversy does come with a price though;you got to be willing to stand by your work. The ease however at which FNB was willing to grovel at the ANC’s feet was the most appalling element of this whole ordeal. Whether these kids were paid or not (as the New Age claims the kids were paid), the determining factor in this campaign would have been FNB’s courage to stick with their campaign through thick and thin. See, if your adverts are going to descend down the road of controversy then you must be willing to take the hits as a company when they come (and they usually do).
Creatives are only creatives when they are granted the freedom to express themselves without confines but the men in suits must also stand by them when the heat is on. I only hope that this situation of a boy called FNB trying to be a man doesn’t hinder other creatives from pushing the boundaries of the norm. Stick to Steve ads FNB, they are far more comfortable