The Wasteful World of Cell C?

A Colossal Waste of Money

Flicking through the latest edition of Marie Claire last night, the one with Emma Watson and her new pixie crop on the cover looking gorgeous, I noticed a rather superfluous and indulgent 4 page advertising spread by my favourites, Cell C. I paged through the spread and couldn’t figure out the gist of the campaign – it seemed like all the other Cell C fluff to me. And I carried on merrily reading my magazine. I was about to call it a night when I noticed that the last page of the campaign was abnormally thick, as though something had been hidden inside it. I ripped the page open [with difficultly] to discover what appeared to be a sound recording device of sorts. Huh? Had I been bugged by Cell C?

The answer is no, which I realised after I’d flicked the device around a few times, because out roared Trevor Noah and “Welcome to the world of Cell C, the power is in your hands”. Or at least this is what I think he said, because I could only get the thing to work once. So I hadn’t been bugged at all, I’d in fact fallen victim to Cell C  attempting to be cutting edge and innovative in their advertising, except the gadget didn’t work when I turned the page.

What a load of bollocks.

Wouldn’t investing this [now wasted] money into the community add more value to the brand? Imagine erecting pop-up phone booths across the country, allowing South Africans the opportunity to call loved ones for free for a day, or a week, or whatever. Or how about sponsoring Cell C communications bursaries at tertiary institutions nationwide? Just a couple of thoughts. Use them, don’t use them.

I’m sorry Ogilvy, but this ineffective spread isn’t very memorable, cutting edge or innovative at all. It’s wasteful. And it reminds me of those cheesy cards that sing happy birthday to you. Sis.

brandslut xoxo

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8 Comments


    1. I found the ad in the new Cosmo. The little device didn’t work in the magazine I have. My first thought: What a waste of money and space in the magazine. I tore the Cell C ad out as it hampered my peaceful reading. Wonder whose genius idea this was??


    1. “I’m impressed Cell C, my work here is done.” Do you think that this actually means that this silly recording was the swan song of this most-irritating-of-all campaigns?

      (Amen to all the other gripes.)


    1. If it worked it could be good… dunno who sold those devices to them… but it looks rather bulky and big. I’ve seen paper-thin devices that do the trick and work over and over again.


    1. Hasn’t the entire Cell C campaign just been the biggest load of crap? For the first time in history they have had a competitive edge (their new data network) & they choose to defile our consciousness with oversized images and gobbledegook from a gooney Trevor Noah.
      This has to rate as the worst ad campaign of 2010. I’m disappointed to see it’s in the early running for 2011 too.


    1. Many agencies have confused execution with idea and try to dress up a poor idea with gimmick. I have battled to find much merit in this campaign – It’s a very thin idea extravagantly executed.

      I haven’t physically seen the Marie Clair execution – but it sounds that its right in this category hoping that an over the top execution will save a nothing advertising idea.


    1. Oh my word, mine overworked! As in, everytime someone breathed near the magazine bloody Trevor Noah would give his two cents. Just ended up tearing it out. Ogilvy’s below the line seriously needs some work.


    1. I agree with you concerning re; putting those same funds to much better use. Its the same old story- we cannot deny that even the bad publicity gets us talking about them. They have our attention and their name is on our lips albeit in a negative fashion.

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