|Cell C’s impression of the South African public|
I actually feel a little bit sick when I think of the R160 million Cell C has recently managed to waste on South Africa’s Most Unsuccessful Rebrand. I can’t help but feel that Cell C, its agency and board think I’m stupid. There’s no other explanation for this incredibly embarrassing debacle that’s unraveling.
So there’s hype and excitement as Trevor Noah’s face is splashed across billboards nationwide, introducing the company’s new CEO (Customer Experience Officer). I see what they did there. We’re all praising Cell C for its realisation of the need for change and the importance of putting the customer at the heart of it all. And then the confusion sets in. The iconic red, white and dots are replaced by a black copyright symbol with a funny strip of rainbow beneath it. Huh? Surely someone, somewhere along this R160 million rebrand process would have looked into trademark infringement, especially where the iconic copyright symbol (©) is concerned. Rocket science, anyone?
And then the confusion turns into anger and disbelief as light is shed on the con that is Trevor Noah and his relationship with the cellular service provider. You see, we’re led to believe that Trevor had used his comedic platform to slate Cell C for its cuck customer service. Cell C is made aware of Trevor’s rant via social media platforms YouTube and Facebook and the cellular service provider decides to deal with the criticism head-on, admitting to its faults and endeavoring change. And we all think, “Wow, isn’t it great that this company is realising the value of social media and is using it to facilitate change through putting the customer first!” Click here to to see Trevor’s gig.
And then a little homework is done and it is revealed that www.telltrevor.co.za was registered in June, weeks before Trevor Noah’s not-so-impromptu stand-up gig which we’re led to believe was the catalyst for Cell C’s change campaign.
Sis, Cell C.
So you see, this is all one big bullsh*t PR exercise and slap in the face of the South African public and what grates me the most is Cell C’s new promise of transparency, which is exactly how they’re not handling this expensive brand disaster. So I guess Cell C isn’t really putting the customer at the heart of it all, after all.