As a former advertising copywriter I choose not to comment on the creative fiasco that is Cell C’s recently launched “Hamma Hamma” campaign. But as a green blogger I’ve had a couple of thoughts and questions:
How green is Net#work BBDO?
Strategically, the blunder went beyond the way in which the campaign was communicated; the very decision to give away 6 Hummer H3s points to a worrying lack of forethought and environmental awareness:
The use of non-armor-plated Humvees in Iraq earned GM’s flagship urban 4×4 brand some of the nastiest publicity available on the planet, while their fuel consumption and emissions performance leaves a lot to be desired from an ecological perspective.
Add to this the misogynist undertones of the gangster culture, where a pimp ride is a Hummer, and you have the one product you frankly should not co-brand with.
The Halo Effect with Horns
To those who can afford it, these ecological-disasters-on-wheels now probably appear far more appealing than before they were punted as the ultimate form of transport in this ad campaign – and compared with most other passenger vehicles on the road, their carbon fooprint is immense.
Driving your spoilt brat brood to school in a 3.7-litre monstrosity not only contributes to the climate crisis, but probably also causes your kids becoming insufferable pricks by the time they hit puberty.
For General Motors, this ought to translate into more sales, which in turn will result in more greenhouse gasses being emitted, with more and more rabid Hummer fans busting themselves to make enough money to afford these lifestyle icons. And they’ll get there, and they’ll fill them up and ride them empty each and every week; even if we hit R10 per litre for petrol.
Why couldn’t Cell C have given away Toyota Priuses or a number of Cell C scholarships?
Personally, I find Cell C and ad agency Net#work BBDO decision to use the brand’s marketing machine to fuel poor Joe Soap’s lust for bigger and better things crass and thoroughly offensive – almost as offensive, in fact, as Cell C’s service levels, which prompted me to terminate my contract and move to Vodacom after two years of frustration and anger.
I hate Mo the Meerkat even more than I hate “hamma hamma”, but at least their call centre tends to be available far more often. Feel free to comment if you share in this sense of outrage.
Oh, and welcome to 2008, y’all.
Filed under: advertising blunders, carbon criminals, cell c, climate crisis, GM, Hummer | 5 Comments »