Absa ad has people hot under the collar

The beautifully crafted and produced television advert uses the voice of the late British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known for interpreting and popularising Eastern philosophy for a Western audience.

The advert seems to have left some people perplexed and annoyed.

Alan Wingfield, Head of Brand and Marketing Barclays Africa, talks to CapeTalk's John Maytham about the ad.

He stands by the advert and says it is a piece of work that they tested before running it at a concept level and the reception was very good.

There will always be commercials of a certain nature that I think will either drive some irritation or make people confused, but in the main the feedback we have had is overwhelmingly positive.

Alan Wingfield, Head of Brand and Marketing Barclays Africa

He acknowledges that from a research perspective, it takes months to get full data back on how the advert has been received.

He says they are very aware of the social and radio commentary and have had some negative feedback as well.

It is an a philosophical 'ideas' advert, and not everyone will relate to it, he agrees.

It is for our investment cluster, the division that sells unit trusts. it is that piece of our business. we wanted to position that we have an investment capability.

Alan Wingfield, Head of Brand and Marketing Barclays Africa

He says they want to show they can help people invest their money, and do it at a fairly philosophical positioning level.

He says the advert was aimed at the wealthy. The ad shows the difficulty and craft and the science involved in making the perfect bottle of champagne. The analogy with investment is the craft and science and thinking, as well as passion, is really what it takes to "crack this investment code".

He says no irony was intended in using the words of the philosopher.

He says they in no way feel that the negative feedback warrants the advert being pulled from air, though he says they always listen to feedback and take it seriously.

Listen to the conversation below:

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