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Orchids and Onions: Case of a can-do

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

What do you do when life gives you apples and you turn them into cider…

Well if you savanna cider – and trying to deal with a demand that has doubled in the past year alone – you think fast and you can do it.

But can do it in the sense of putting it in a can, rather than canceling it altogether.

And to get the message across, Savanna and her ad agency, Grey/WPP Liquid, have put the brand “on trial”.

The People vs Savanna wanted to cancel the cider as fans became frustrated at not being able to get their hands on it.

It’s a clever little skit with a few minor caveats and the casting and acting are pretty good too for something that’s a commercial.

ALSO READ: Orchids and Onions: fast food chains integrating marketing and entertainment

In the end, Savanna’s ‘lawyer’ asks the court to allow ‘new evidence’… the new 300ml can of Savanna.

It’s a nice bit of fun and in keeping with the brand’s persona – that it doesn’t take itself too seriously (although the marketing and advertising it does are both seriously effective) – and it also gets the message across that consumers shouldn’t despair of not being able to enjoy the concoctions due to supply chain issues.

So Orchids to Savanna and Grey/WPP Liquid, and also production agency Seven Films to bring it all together so professionally.

It’s also a little reminder of the idea that when it gets tough, it gets tough… and it didn’t get much harder than the chaos caused globally by Covid.

Well done on the recoil. One of the truths of advertising and marketing is that the two cheapest forms of promotion are good customer service and a quality product.

When consumers get them – sometimes good customer service can even make up for product shortcomings – then they will come back… and you can use your precious marketing budget to “conquer” those who are not currently your customers.

Confidence in the quality of a product is why I keep coming back.

We have two Subarus at home and until now we believed in Defy for home appliances.

READ MORE: Orchids and onions: let consumers compare apples with apples

Our first was a chest freezer bought in the ’80s that matched my wife’s old Kelvinator refrigerator (given up from her mom, who bought it in 1956 or so).

That lasted more than 30 years until it was struck by lightning and even then it was repairable. When he finally gave up the ghost about a year ago, we replaced him with another Defy.

We also have a defy washing machine. So when we remodeled the kitchen four years ago, we went for a “fence” silver refrigerator with its clever electronic panel on the front.

In the past two months, that device has been picked up five times by three different repairmen and only the last one could tell what was going on. And his story was horrible.

The refrigerator, he said, was cheap garbage, imported from Russia. The steel used in the pipes rusts. The brown dust we occasionally saw blowing through the vents was powder rust.

In four years, in Gauteng† Worse, he said we wouldn’t be much better off with another brand.

There is no longer any production capacity for refrigerators in this country and they are all imported.

Most are of this horrible quality because South Africans don’t want to pay for quality.

Our fridge couldn’t even be sold in Europe due to the poor quality of the materials (the engineer also noted that the paint on these Defy fridges doesn’t even have an undercoat.

An equivalent refrigerator built to European standards in France would cost the equivalent of R23,000.

ALSO READ: Orchids and onions: being real isn’t easy

So that’s what globalization gets you… along with capital flight from the manufacturing sector in South Africa.

So Defy and the rest of the companies that do this sort of thing get Onions from me for cynical advertising.

Obviously, a long-term customer relationship is not something valued in our modern world.

I also wonder if there is aging built into products these days. I once told the people at Subaru that I wouldn’t buy another of their cars.

Startled, they asked why. Since there is nothing wrong with the existing one, I replied.

Later we did get another car – a Subaru† People asked me why I hadn’t traded in the old one… because I wouldn’t have gotten anything close to the value for me.

And there was nothing wrong with that. So, Defy, that’s how you build a long-term relationship.

You probably don’t care that you’ve lost me. But it’s sad.

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