Been trying to find the words

The Nandos Portuguese Chicken withdrawal-patch pole-dancing commercials. That probably doesn’t make sense to anyone who hasn’t seen them. [link]

I have been slackjawed for the last fortnight since I first saw the ads. I truly thought they’d be taken off the air after the first night due to huge complaints, but no. I finally go to their website, and when I follow the ad archive links to ‘Latest Ads’ I come to a putative link but then it doesn’t go anywhere. I’m only hoping that it’s been delinked due to at least some viewer complaints.

Predictably, the ad is up on YouTube with the contributor comment “awesome ad from Nandos”. You’ll have to click to “appreciate” the irony of it all, and why I’nm lost for words.



Categories: culture wars, gender & feminism

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29 replies

  1. I saw it for the first time at the cinema on Thursday night. My initial thought was “are you fucking serious?”
    I like their food, and the whole patch/gum play is kinda nifty, but shit, they took a cool concept and twisted it back into crap. If it wasn’t so awful, that’d be some talent, right there.
    I’m not sure of it was helped or not that it was followed by the Yellow-Peril-o-rama that was the beginning of Pirates 3.

  2. I’ve seen it twice now, and yeah, speechless.

  3. the Yellow-Peril-o-rama that was the beginning of Pirates 3

    I haven’t seen it yet, but WTF were they thinking after the Cannibal Island outcry? Equal opportunity racial offense?

  4. ” ”
    Yep. Words fail.

  5. In short: Nandos seems to want to stop people buying chicken. Maybe it’s a tax dodge thing?
    In medium: if the target market for nandos is to encourage parents to bring family to the restaurant, how does the advertising using a stripper assist in convincing the average externally moral appearing parent to go to Nandos? It doesn’t.
    If this was a viral marketing, yes, it did get people talking. What a lot of people are saying is “Your ad agency is dumb. I like the food, I hate the ads, why do you hate me? Why do you want me not to buy your food?”
    I’m wondering if that’s a sock puppet on Youtube – creation date of the account is March 03, advert was uploaded on March 03, and the TVCs appeared around the 15th
    Also, the agency is CHE Melbourne. They apparently hire buzzword bingo players
    Said Jason Ross, CHE’s Executive Creative Director, “This commercial is an example of what can be achieved when you have a bold client, a clear brand proposition and a team of talented, passionate individuals who believe that great ideas can build brands.”
    Err, son. You’re talking cliche, and your clear brand position is currently being debated by a range of marketing bloggers, all of whom seem to be asking “What the heck are they trying to say?”.
    Epic fail for Nandos. Epic Fail.

  6. Stephen,
    thanks for adding some lucid analysis to the commentary. Until I read Ariella’s comment I was unaware that there was a longstanding addiction-patch campaign, which I have now caught up with thanks to YouTube.
    The addiction patch was a nifty concept, which they have now thoroughly torpedoed.
    As you say, Epic Fail.

  7. ”This commercial is an example of what can be achieved when you have a bold client, a clear brand proposition and a team of talented, passionate individuals who believe that great ideas can build brands.”
    This reminds me of the response I had from Channel 10 and Mars Food Corp when I rang them to point out the inappropriateness of screening the Big Brother / Starbust / golden key ads in the same week as the news included stories of risky surgery to separate conjoined twins.
    Of course! Now I understand – it’s ME that’s the problem. I’m just not clever/modern/bold enough to get the point of the ad.
    Even more reason to not watch the show or buy the lollies.

  8. the nando ad has me outraged.
    every time i watch it i get even more outraged.
    so far i’m up to eight viewings.
    i’m going to quickly pop out for some lunch – maybe a bit of portuguese chicken, i’m in the mood for some – but when i come back i’m going to watch it a few more times to see how much more outraged i’ll get.
    pretty sure there’s a lot of rage left in me. and it’ll be chicken-fuelled outrage.

  9. Said Jason Ross, CHE’s Executive Creative Director, “This commercial is an example of what can be achieved when you have a bold client, a clear brand proposition and a team of talented, passionate individuals who believe that great ideas can build brands.”

    Err, Jason, you didn’t achieve anything with me. I’ve seen the ad a few times and never registered it was for Nandos. Like most people I switch off during the ad breaks, and since I’m no longer a smoker nicotine patches don’t engage my attention. Seems to me your efforts are too clever by half.
    Oh, and I’ll be avoiding Nandos in the future as well.

  10. It’s astonishing how similiar “tom”‘s remarks are to some of those left at LP today in a post where I made reference to this post re the ad.
    The trolls today – no imagination. What happened to the crispy trolls we had before the war, eh?

  11. Oh. My. God. What the hell did I just watch? Still, I’m in Austria where up-top nudity is pretty standard on billboards…

  12. The nudity on its own isn’t the truly offensive part. There have been other ads with scantily clad women where I’ve thought Hey, Objectification City but at least it’s amusingly tongue in cheek.
    Now, this series of Nandos addiction-patch ads have all had their fantasy features. But a poledancer going to work in a business suit? Closeups of her arse being shaken in front of a man’s disembodied hand full of cash? And coming home to have a June Cleaver night out at a chicken restaurant with her perfect husband and children?
    It’s way too far out there, and glamorising a profession women know in their hearts is dehumanising, for it to be amusing. It’s just crass.

  13. It’s totally bizzare. Who is their target audience supposed to be?

  14. Well I dont like anyones nudity in advertisements,and has probably made relationships harder to gain generally.Thankfully I dont watch TV I think women have a right to claim some objection to this,and the man in the tie isnt welcome in my house either.

  15. Well, I assume they think the target audience is busy mothers like me! And tigtog. And any other mothers in the room that I haven’t been introduced to yet.
    (At this point I’d love to say my poledancing days are probably over, but tigtog knows they never even started. She will fall off her chair laughing and hurt herself. So I won’t say it.)
    (edited due to duplicate comment posting – tigtog)

  16. (duplicate text from above comment edited – tigtog)
    It is bizarre.
    Although … these advertising whizz-kids might not be old enough to remember “Leave it to Beaver”, but the June Cleaver idea might be exactly what they were after. I found this on http://www.tvland.com
    A sensible wife, mother and homemaker, her cookie drawer is always full, the coffee is always fresh, and she never has a hair out of place.
    Well, I guess her drawers were about as full as they could be.
    Or perhaps the target audience is the husbands of busy mothers. There’s a thought.

  17. Mick: why the legions(!) of high-powered, career-oriented poledancers with large families – the classic fast food audience!
    (Agreed – the whole thing is a total WTF?)

  18. Now those last two posts of mine look silly – I wrote one and it seemed to disappear (the Snaffler perhaps?), so wrote the second. But here they are together after all!
    tigtog, can you delete one or the other, doesn’t matter which.

  19. Ha – we can have a phantom comment snaffler too! I’ll delete one, OMK.

  20. Actually, there were different bits of both comments I didn’t want to delete, so I’ve just edited out the duplicate sentences.

  21. O.M.G i cannot believe this advertisment. How low do the nando’s corporation want to go? It is a completely degrading, disgusting ad. And now finding out that its been on air for a while sickens me. How has this not been taken off the air, and showing it in the previews to a movies, let alone a family movie! Its crap….total BS!

  22. Saw this for the first time last night. Someone, somewhere has got it really really wrong. Nandos is off my list of crap food to eat.

  23. Don’t forget, Nando’s had that other outrageous ad featuring asylum seekers a few years ago…
    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2002/07/28/1027818485483.html

  24. Thought this might be of interest:
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/women-on-warpath-over-adverts/2007/07/21/1184560101135.html
    Good. Advertising Standards Board deserves a thrashing over their stupid decision.
    But should we be suspicious about the Herald’s inclusion of Nandos’ defence (”This commercial is intended to be humorous and a parody. It is proving extremely popular with our target audience, the great majority of whom understand and appreciate Nando’s irreverent sense of humour.”) yet again in its coverage of the issue?
    I’m not sure I like being reminded that I’m amongst the (alleged) minority who have no sense of humour, and are lacking in understanding.

  25. Either that or you’re simply not part of their target audience (“our target audience, the great majority of whom”) despite the ad depicting Nandos as a family restaurant. Seeing as Nandos was hardly on my radar prior to this ad, I suspect families aren’t really part of their target audience, that was just part of the narrative of the ad to intensify the contrast that made up the “humour”.
    I find it troubling that the whole article really trivialises the Women’s Forum concept of the Faking It mockazine (which sounds really interesting and which I must find out more about) by tying it so tightly to the Nandos ad protest.

  26. mmm (brain ticking over slowly clunk clunk)
    I think perhaps Nandos have unwittingly (or very cleverly) revealed the identity of their target audience. It must be *gasp* sexist men!!!! The “families” claim is just a sneaky cover!
    You are right, of course, about the way SMH has covered the magazine concept. They’d probably never have done the story if it was just about a good quality publication for intelligent women.

  27. I have spoken to so many people about this stupid advertisement. They all agree we will no longer be eating at Nandos. They have stooped to the lowest level. What on earth has food got to do with strippers? Advertising idiots trying to be too clever. I have a sense of humour and I can see irony in advertising but this is not clever. It hopes by putting an advertisment like this on television it will promote business. What is the saying… “any publicity is good publicity” but in this case they think they are marketing toward idiots. I can catagorically state I will never eat at this restaurant, nor will my friends. I hope they go out of business.

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