Nando’s South Africa have released a new advert yesterday featuring the actors impersonating some of the most hated dictators of recent times including Robert Mugabe, Muammar Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, P.W. Botha and Idi Amin. In the advert, Mugabe reminisces of better times when the other aforementioned rulers were still alive.
The ad is polarising opinions online and undoubtedly offline too. Have a look at the spot below and leave your thoughts in the comments section below:
There will be many viewers of this advert that argue who argue that it trivialises the terrible things these men have done and the lives lost at their hands. But shouldn’t these dictators be ridiculed? What is more awful: this 60-second TV spot or the fact that Robert Mugabe is allowed to continue serving as the president of a formally prosperous country which he has since brought to its knees?
I believe that with laughter comes perspective and laughter can serve as a way of deconstructing and unmasking the things we fear most. It is a weapon which many people greatly undervalue. This advert ridicules the deceased dictators of old and scathingly maroons Mugabe in an empty room with no one around. Whilst I do feel that the copy narrated at the end of the advert does go someway to trivialise the message to an extent, the executional aspects more than make up for it.
Was it made purely to get banned? Is it engineered as a piece of viral communication? Are there are further underlying political intentions? Or are Nando’s simply using dead dictators to sell chicken?