Since 2006, five Nando’s franchises have gone into liquidation, and a recent Herald article revealed that several of the current franchisees are unsatisfied with the current franchisor’s reluctance to invest in advertising.
“Once a year you might find a little bit of radio advertising, that's all. Things are being said that marketing is being done but we don't see it. You ask the public, 'Have you seen any Nando's marketing?' Nothing," said one anonymous franchisee to the Herald.
To fill this Nando’s-shaped hole in advertising, there seems to be no better place to find inspiration than in the motherland of the brand, South Africa.
So via the teleportation device known in the common tongue as YouTube, we ventured to the Southern tip of the second largest continent to see how the people living there approached the onerous task of promoting peri-peri chicken.
And what we found was a collection of parody-filled advertisements that poke fun at just about every aspect of South African life.
This controversial advert pointed out that Robert Mugabe might be feeling a little lonely without his fellow dictators in the picture any longer.
Nando’s also showed its solidarity with those who observe Ramadan.
South Africa is commonly referred to as the Rainbow Nation due to its diverse population, but this hasn’t stopped strong anti-immigration sentiment from rearing its xenophobic head from time to time. In this TVC, Nando’s reminded the public that every ethnicity currently living in the country has a history of immigration, and that the only “true” South Africans are the Khoikhoi.
Nando’s also engaged in a bit of back-and-forth ad banter with an insurance company.
Arguably the most famous of all Nando’s commercials is also the most controversial. This parody featuring a puppet named Julius (created in the likeness of then-ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema who was later ousted due to charges of corruption and for bringing the political party into disrepute) caused such a furore that the Youth League threatened Nando’s with militant action. The advert was later replaced with a censored version, presumably because Nando’s realised that chicken drumsticks weren’t the best means of defence against military force.
Given the political shenanigans that have been going in Auckland with Bevan Chuang, Luigi Wewege, John Palino and Len Brown, it could well be time for Nando's to take out its satirical barb in the New Zealand market.