The point of an advert is to call attention to your brand/product, and inspire potential customers to part with some of their cash – in your favour. Many advertising campaigns around the world are spoofed – meaning that third parties take the brand campaign concept and use it to poke fun at the brand itself. Some of these spoofs develop a life of their own. Budweiser’s legendary “wazzup” campaign produced more spoofs than actual adverts. A little known fact, though, is that Budweiser actually funded some of the spoofsters, helping them to create a legend.
Ikea have done something similar with their “Elite Designers Against IKEA“.
ABSA spoofBut, now, in South Africa, we have some real fun. ABSA, the biggest retail banker in the country, has a new (fairly pretentious) campaign, in which breathy individuals exclaim that ABSA is “my rock”, “my hope”, “my future”, “my open road”. Well, a new series of spoof ads doing the rounds takes pot shots at ABSA, with pay off lines like: ABSA is “my elbow”, “my erectile dysfunction”, “my gay brother”, “my ringworm”, and the pay off line is: “My bank is… stoopid”.
Should ABSA respond? Methinks not. When Laugh It Off (a t-shirt manufacturer with spoof lines) took a potshot at FNB (another retail banker), the bank smiled and ordered a whole pile for their staff casual days. Other companies targetted by Laugh It Off didn’t (laugh it off, I mean) and took them to court. Laugh It Off hung tough, and in the Constitutional Court were recently awarded their right to freedom of expression.
For more on this story from Marketing Web guru, Kim Penstone, click here.

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