Cell C recently published the letter they sent to the executives of Nandos in which they responded to the restaurant chain’s latest advertising campaign which parodies that of Cell C.
Nandos began airing their radio adverts last week and made the television commercials available through YouTube on Friday.
The advertisement features Kagiso Lediga, a prominent local comedian which is cast as the new “CEO” of Nandos, similar to the way Cell C introduced Trevor Noah.
Both companies used the ambiguity of the acronym CEO (which usually stands for “Chief Executive Officer”) for humorous effect with Trevor Noah being the “Customer Experience Officer” and Kagiso Lediga calling himself “Chicken Excellence Officer.”
The parody kicks into a high gear when Kagiso talks about Nandos 5Gs, clearly a stab at Cell C’s highly contentious “4Gs” campaign.
In the advertisement Nandos explained that “5Gs” stands for “5 Great Sauces:” Mediterranean, Lemon & Herb, Mild peri-peri, Hot peri-peri and Extra Hot peri-peri.
Cell C’s 4Gs acronym expanded to “4 Great Speed” and “4 Great Service.” More recently Cell C also started using “4 Great Savings” as an expansion to the acronym, referring to the low launch prices of their data offering.
When first asked how they felt about Nandos using a parody of their marketing campaign, Cell C’s real CEO, Lars Reichelt, said that it amused them. He said that Cell C would also send both Nandos CEO as well as the Nandos Marketing Director “Speed Sticks” (their HSPA+ USB dongles with data included).
“Nando’s campaign gave us a real chuckle, we love the ads and it’s great to know that our initial campaign is inspiring creativity in other companies,” commented Reichelt. “I trust that the Nando’s executives will enjoy their new super-fast internet connection and that they will consider adding ‘Speedchicken’ to their menu.”
“With the festive season and advertising clutter approaching, we wanted to provoke debate and create awareness in a fun and light-hearted way,” commented Sepanta Bagherpour, Marketing Manager at Nando’s.
“There’s a lot of talk at the moment about CEOs – both real and fake. And there’s a great debate about whether it’s really possible to offer 4Gs service in South Africa and the possibility of changing a company’s corporate identity successfully. As a brand rooted in social commentary, we have a lot to say about whatever is topical and in the news, so we thought we would have a bit of a laugh with this.”
Cell C sticks it to Nandos
In a tweet posted at 14h34 on Monday 29 November, Cell C published the official letter they sent to the Nandos founder and two executives.
For the sake of accuracy (and entertainment) the body of the letter is reproduced verbatim.
We’ve heard your ’5Gs’ ad and we think it’s great!
We certainly like the fact that we have provided you with the source of your new campaign, and congratulations that you too now have a new CEO, or ‘Chicken Excellence Officer.’
Because we are so confident in our network, which really provides WHOOOOOSH data speeds, we’d like to give you, the Founder, the ‘real’ CEO and Marketing Director each a super-fast Speed Stick, which includes a SIM card and 60GB, (5GB a month) yours free for 12 months! (Just remember to RICA at your nearest Cell C store to get it activated)
We will watch with interest as your campaign unfolds, and if your Chicken Excellence Officer ever needs assistance from our Customer Experience Officer, give us a call!
Nandos, we’ll be watching you, like a chicken!
This must be the only Nandos marketing campaign (in recent memory, at least) that has been met with so little backlash from either the subject of the parody or consumers.
Cell C’s official response to Nandos << Comments and discussion