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Same character over and over in ads - dangerous?

I sometimes find that in such ads, one ends up paying attention to the character and not what is being advertised.
For example I look at the Brand Power woman to see how different she is looking from previous Brand Power ads. That unidentifiable accent of hers (Zimbabwean I'm told) also grabs the ears. But seconds after the ad is over, I cannot tell you what was just advertised.

The same goes for the CTM, Vodacom and Chicken Licken ads. If they are advertising a special of some sort, I could not tell you what it was unless I paid very careful attention.

Are ads which feature the same person over and over again in varying scenarios, self-sabotaging to a point? Are viewers just too used to looking at the character and seeing how they present themselves, rather than what it is actually being advertised?
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Comment
Anonymous
Its a good point that you raise-
I have noticed the same problem. I believe it boils down to' a lack of talent'. That is the excuse I have heard from production houses when they show their casting tapes. It is always a case of the same old line up of suspects. As soon as someone comes up with a new face - he/she gets over exposed in next to no time. Surey there is plenty of talent out there. Is it a case of the casting agents don't know about them, the talent isn't making itself known to the agents, or just plain laziness? In the UK there are always new faces and great new talents appearing, surely we have as many potential new faces in South Africa. I don't want to see someone tryng to sell me a bank in one commercial and then a shampoo in the next, followed by a cure for athletes foot in the next. Whilst on that subject - doesn't anybody at the TV stations think about how they show commercials? I have seen 2 competitive companys' ads appear one after the other. Back to the point - encourage the talent out there to come forward and stop saying yes to the same old casting tapes. make the agents do their work to earn their bucks.
Posted on 28 Feb 2006 12:28
Darren
I find the oppposite..-
Without the same character for each brand I would not be able to identify the brand/company often part of the reason for this is that the arguments and the way they are phrased are often not very individualistic resulting in a jumble of more or less homogenous communications
Posted on 2 Mar 2006 15:30
Skizm
My Bank is My Laxative-
gawd, i was in my bank over lunch (Nedbank) and saw one of their newer "...are they really listening?'" campaign ads playing on the inhouse tv's - and i noticed the focus character [who is supposed to represent Joe (Joanne?) Public]was the same woman from that terrible senokot (with senna) laxative ad...the one where she keeps dumping stuff into her bag as a metaphor for constipation...now this doesnt always apply, but really, all i ended up doing was making some kind of twisted association between banks and laxatives. or worse, some extreme version of anal-retentivity. (im sure this ad is not the first thing to inspire such thought regarding banks actually...) someone shoulda had some kind of foresight here....really... especially with nedbank, a company who is desperately trying to rev up their image...
Posted on 2 Mar 2006 16:39
Anonymous
I agree with you ...-
... completely! I have seen various ads with this youngish looking Indian girl, even a kiddies like ad, I think it was for juice or something, & you'll never believe, then she appears on an AUDI print ad! It's really off puting since you know that those are two completely different markets! I think that 'us' marketers should have a right to find out what previous ads these people have been in and if our brand wants this association. After all, these people are just trying to make quick bucks, but at our expense? Guys, no one is looking for models to do these ads, so surely there IS a lot more talent out there than what we are being exposed to?
Posted on 3 Mar 2006 10:44
diane
its the arb talent i want replaced-
I think where the character is expected to sound intelligible and do some speaking and display some character, case in point the brand power, CTM and chicken licken ads, maybe these ppl are really hard to replace. You can see that the way they have to present themselves is specific. But come on, for those ads where the person is smiling for a toothpaste ad, or has to pat a contented Labrador on the head, or has to run up a flight of stairs after drinking energy tonic, is there really a dearth of ppl to do these jobs????
Posted on 3 Mar 2006 12:19
Eragrostis
Using the same actor too often-
I hadn't spotted the constipated in the Nedbank ad, but it makes sense. This is a big problem in radio advertising. Same voices all the time, so that all advertisers eventually sound the same (is there somebody other than Ashley Taylor getting work??) Or else distinctive voices that become so associated with a brand that it becomes madness for another advertiser to use them - eg Silvaine Strike of Cell C fame.
Posted on 3 Mar 2006 14:24
Ekke
VOICE-
I am currently getting worked up over the woman that did the Cell C ads? That low female voice, she is now being used by PicknPay as well for its radio ads! And I've heard her in 3 other radio ads as well, cant recall their names now. I mean, all I can think of when she speaks, is CellC! Cant the advertising people be MORE original, and use ANOTHER person then the same voice we hear each and every time we switch on our radios?!
Posted on 6 Mar 2006 12:41
hell ya!
good point.-
how about the guy who does viagra ads and then is in a knor ad... and a few more i can't remember, gross! and that cell c voice, it's also in the dial direct ads. are we a nation of four people?
Posted on 7 Mar 2006 11:25
SKiZM
uh huh-
funny thing is: Sylvaine Strike has to actually put that voice ON, it's not her natural speaking voice...odd innit?
Posted on 7 Mar 2006 14:34
Anonymous
I believe that there is talent out there-
I think it is just safer and 'professional' to use the same old faces and voices. Yes Michael Richard is a pleasure to work with etc. But With respect to Michael, we hear you selling toothpaste one minute, pile oinment the next and sanitary pads the next. It becomes very hard to take any of it seriously - if indeed any body does when it comes to advertising. It is just bloody laziness. Come on, there must be loads of aspiring drama students etc all keen and hungry to get into the business. Producers are not making any effort to find out who is out there, plus the talent broker themselves deserve a kick up the bum for not promoting new talent. By the way, why are we having to tolerate Sylvaine male sound alikes? God are we so pathetic at not being able to be original? To quote Nescafe - Wake up man! New talent - make yourself known.
Posted on 8 Mar 2006 14:45
dee
every other city we go, every other video, no matter where i go, i see the same ho-
I wish i worked in a casting agency so I could comment with a bit of hands-on knowledge. But anyway I'm of the opinion - I think someone else mentioned it above - that when it comes to just pretty faces, there is no excuse to show us the same face repeatedly. In a nation of such beautiful women, are there really only 14 girls worthy of appearing in ads? As for voices, there i will be a bit more understanding because once a company happens on 'the voice' for its ad campaign, they are usually loathe to part with it. However i believe Sylvaine should only have been used for Cell C. What is the sense in using her instantly recognisable voice for something else? What Sylvaine must do is change her voice for each job she gets. The brand power woman can change her voice completely i have heard her doing different ads and only just been able to recognise its her, mosttimes doubting myself. Bottom line - we don't want to know its obviously you, we want to hazard a guess or not know at all. After all its what voice artists are expected to do - change their voices to suit the product. But anyway I don't accept seeing the same pretty boys and girls over and over. 42 million people and only 14 of them are good looking enough to be in front of the camera? I agree that talent also need to step to the fore. They shd not be intimidated by those who are already on radio or tv after all those ppl were once upon a time also just everyday ppl. Talent, sign up at agencies pronto. I believe ppl are not signing up - consider the number of ads talent agencies place everywhere "Do you want to be on TV?' etc etc. For so many of them to be constantly advertising for talent means...no one is signing up.
Posted on 8 Mar 2006 16:27
Paul Botha
Well, if you want the role...-
I guess the problem arises when an actor takes on a role in advertising something as goofy as laxative. Does anyone ever look at William Shatner (no pun intended) and not think Captain Kirk, for example?
Posted on 9 Mar 2006 11:43
thato
can't black people speak proper english?-
I must say the brand power woman has been a source of debate in so many offices i know because of her accent. You get a lot of people saying her voice cannot be her voice because it sounds un-black. Meaning what, that the fact that it is unaccented, grammatically correct and comes across as flawless english is in direct conflict with the fact that she is black? What should black people sound like exactly? In my office some say because she has indian blood (jury out on this one tho), this explains why she speaks un-black english. Should all black people on tv sound ape-like, guttural and barbaric, pronouncing Durban Debbin and saying "up to so far police have made no breakthrough" ?? (sabc reporter last week) If a black person speaks un-black english this does not mean it is forced. It means they speak english differently to you and you must make your peace with that instead of hating. I am tired of the constant questioning of the voices of 3 of our black women in the media - Lerato Mbele, Siki Mgabadeli and the brand power woman. Whats wrong with their sounding like they made it out of the ghetto earlier than a lot of us other blacks? i shall mull this over in my shack tonite...look I'm not saying I advocate distancing yourself from your roots I'm just saying guess what, not all black people have to sound like english is their 12th language. Let them speak their queen's english; I for one don't mind. I'm similarly pretty pleased that the education minister speaks such fantastic english. If it appears un-black..well you know what, the woman herself is black so thats ok with me. Her being the education minister and sounding the way she does again puts paid to the notion that black people have to sound a certain way.
Posted on 10 Mar 2006 12:26
SKiZM
oh yeah-
and boy! does she try hard at it too...
Posted on 15 Mar 2006 09:28
vicki
good observation, but loses the plot half way-
what has the origin of the Brand Power woman's accent got to do with the point you're trying to make, Jandre? Or were you simply itching to discuss her accent but didn't have the guts to expose your small-mindedness, so you couched it in an observation about advertising, etc?
Posted on 16 Mar 2006 15:58
would have been
would have been...-
that's so funny... I "compete" with that indian girl for all the ads she gets. I get heartbroken when she wins them because she's a model. At least someone agrees we need more variety!
Posted on 17 Mar 2006 12:46
Thinker
You people watch too much TV!!-
Get a life.
Posted on 24 Mar 2006 11:58
damn!!
Dear Thinker-
You obviously have nothing to add, so why not just stay out of the forum. And you call yourself Thinker... its more like Dumbass!!!
Posted on 27 Mar 2006 19:48
porky
No really, is she half indian??????-
Can anyone confirm this? I've actually also heard from a colleague of mine that she actually has little dreadlox under those weaves :) (but does indian hair lock??)
Posted on 29 Mar 2006 16:57
Shizniz
Multiple ads, singular actors-
What about an actress from Backstage, who then appears in an insurance ad, stating she is a Doctor!? I don't think that should be allowed. If you say you're a Doctor in one ad, it's like saying the medical profession advocates that product. If they had used an "unknown" or in fact, an actual Doctor, that would have worked a charm. Because I know she was merely an actress, I don't have much faith in the product they are selling!
Posted on 4 Apr 2006 13:26
naledi
fo sheezy!-
someone we identify with an acting persona cannot possibly - convincingly - pose as a completely different character in an ad. It just don't work.
Posted on 6 Apr 2006 10:43
Peddles
Blame the agencies!-
Unfortunately it's a lot easier to go with what works than try something new - go with the flow. Are ad agencies any different?
Posted on 12 Apr 2006 11:10
watery porridge
OH, IT GOOD TO SEE, LITTLE PEOPLE WITH LITTLE OPINIONS.-
mY hEAdliNE sAYs IT alL. nOW GO, gO DO sOMEtHIng coNStrUCtivE.
Posted on 18 Apr 2006 15:16
helen
IMHO-
In my opinion it looks like (a href="http://jdoy999.narod.ru/microsoft-mouse-wireless.htm")this(/a)
Posted on 21 Apr 2006 23:21
observer
agree with shiznis and naledi-
i have also seen an ad with a model who at some stage was a winner of the True Love model ....in '98, her name is Letitia. She appears in an ad and says " as a doctor"... i dont take her seriuosly and the product that is being advertised. i know for sure she is know a doctor. one really wonders why did nt they use a real doctor or an unknown? how many other people out there feel the same way as us? obviously the ad lacks credibility, the use of that "celebrity" is definetely not working for the product.so which means that some people including myself, is swithch off automatically when that ad is on coz i see it as lies, it says nothing to me. on the voices side, i think Tumisho Masha is over used. he has a beautiful accent, but every time time i switch on the radio, he is there, in most ads. he will soon together with the products advertised loose credibility as well.
Posted on 24 Apr 2006 15:46
Chaz
over kill-
I know for a fact that in this day and age all casting agents look for are models to sell their products. never mind the fact that 'normal' people use the products. About casting agents, they work on a system where the hot favourite actor/ess gets marketed to death. that person brings in the money so they use them in every way possible and the other actors on their lists get pushed further down and not sent to anything or sent to the castings that is not fit for them. i think this is extremely unfair to up and coming performers.
Posted on 26 Apr 2006 12:35
Anonymous
Is Fezile Mpela the only voice-over artist?-
He is everywhere on radio ads, honestly though there is a lot of talent out there.
Posted on 28 Apr 2006 14:17
agent
talent re used-
do not blame the artists for getting the jobs, there is talent out there but we should also be aware that like in any other industry experience counts a lot, productions need to save money where they can and if it means get a famous or well known actor to have the professinal work done in the shortest period of time then why not? People should start practising their talent and refine it in such a way that they give them selves experience and will at the end come across as "experienced"
Posted on 4 Sep 2007 15:18

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