Painting enticing portraits wins you fans every time

Comment on this story
ss malaysia

Not going to apologise if you think my bias is showing on these two Orchids which, even though they may be from my own newspaper, elegantly illustrate the power of the printed media to convey beautiful words and images… in a way which digital will never be able to.

The first is the picture (left) of the Tourism Malaysia ad which appears in our Travel section today. It is a serene, and enticing portrait of a country whose beauty has been crafted by Nature.

Great pic. Great copy. Great alignment with green issues in various ways.

It stops you dead. It makes you want to find out where this is – and go there to experience it for yourself.

Orchids all around.

The second Orchid goes to an ad on this very page. Unusual, I know, but it illustrates the power of the simple, yet well-written, word to get a message across. It’s the recruitment ad for M&C Saatchi Abel.

It speaks for itself and comment from me is superfluous, save to say that for me, after weeks of digesting diverse PR garbage and bad writing, it was a balm to my literary soul.

This is how writing should be: plain, elegant, nuanced.

M&C Saatchi Abel gets an Orchid for a clever pitch which does a number of things: it holds them out to be a fascinating and stimulating place for a creative person to work and, in the process, makes the point to clients (and potential clients) that these people know what they’re doing.

And, whoever wrote the copy: you have my admiration… and respect.

So much has already been written about the blasphemous Red Bull ad – featuring Jesus walking on water – that I am reluctant to comment.

But I will do so, but not from the religious point of view. Viewed from a marketing perspective, it is simply silly. To punt something and run the risk of alienating a sizeable chunk of your potential market is something which should get you clever pony-tails fired.

It may have generated lots of publicity – and that it was withdrawn instantly shows that it was a mere stunt – but that could backfire.

First, it is arrogant to assume that all consumers of Red Bull are young, cool atheists. Second, Christians are an easy target because they don’t burn things down when you insult their deeply held beliefs. Third, you may forget that not all Christians are dim and unhip – and you may well meet your match in one of them who knows how to play the media better than you do.

That someone was Catholic Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, head of the church in southern Africa, who urged all Christians to boycott Red Bull over the Lent period (not that much of a sacrifice really, given that the energy drink’s secret ingredient has been, all along, nothing more than publicity hype) – and donate the money they would have spent to a deserving charity.

For Red Bull: an Onion. For the Cardinal: an Orchid… for proving that coolness is not the preserve of the young and cynical.


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.