Vodacom in Red Bulls Overkill
Red may well be hotter. It is possibly even simpler. Another thing that red definitely is becoming, in my mind, is annoying. Garishly, irritatingly annoyingly annoying. And Vodacom’s “is red” advertising campaign to promote their new corporate image and, yes you guessed it, their colour change from blue to red, is rapidly getting to that point.
Red may be simpler, but I for one am rapidly getting turned off by it. And that is probably not what the marketers were aiming for. This is what ad blocking software was made for!
Just how much red is enough?
Case in point is the screen shot that I grabbed a little earlier today. It’s from the sport24 web site, and tells the sorry tale of local Super Rugby franchise, the Bulls, doing something that the teams’ loyal supporters would never have imagined in their wildest imaginations: the team will forsake their iconic blue colours and wear red jerseys for their upcoming game against the Chiefs. And to rub salt into the red wound, the match is being played at the ceremonial home of all things blue and bullish, Loftus Versveld in Pretoria.
As is patently obvious from the screen shot, Vodacom have managed to cover every possible piece of available screen real estate with their new logo and that delightful, easy on the eyes shade of red that they’ve been harping on about for the past few weeks. Appealing isn’t it? Makes you want to dash out right now and invest a whole bunch of green backs on something red from the catalogue of dropped calls and poor signal strength that is the reality of Vodacom’s’ network in places in Jozi.
And there’s the rub folks. Rather than spending what is probably an obscene amount of money on telling us something that we worked out almost immediately, and on pissing a bunch of Blue Bulls fans off at the same time, Vodacom should be spending all that moola on sorting out their network issues and training their staff on developing understanding of the terms “customer” and “service”. Especially when they realise that all that ad spend on web advertising is wasted on people like me who routinely employ the services of ad blocking add-ins in my browsing. Here’s the same page screen shot a little later, with an ad blocker running:
About this much red is enough!
In all fairness, the post has since been updated with more information and an actually story to go with the single sentence that was its’ sole content initially, and Super Sports’ Brenden Nel does a good job of explaining the once-off marketing event.
Kudos though to the Vodacom marketing and sponsorship department for cornering an angle that RedBull Mobile could have milked for significant benefits. The Red Bulls doesn’t have quite the same alliterative ring as the Blue Blues, but it would make long term benefits.
The question of the journalistic integrity of a sport news web site posting a ‘news report’ on Vodacoms’ behalf without declaring that it is quiet possibly a sponsored piece is a secondary issue entirely. As a media outlet or publication, you get to choose whether you use a press release or not. With the amount of ad space dominating this page, I guess the decision to run the information was a lot easier for the sport24 editor to make.
If you can handle all the redness, you’ll find the article here: http://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/Super15/Bulls-go-red-for-Chiefs-20110428