South African fast food giant Nando’s recently released a TV spot promoting their 6-pack meal ahead of the Christmas season. Although the spot is rather funny, as it uses the deep metaphor of connection to poke fun at our basic need for relating to others, it has also drawn much controversy.
The spot mocks Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe by showing him reminisce about happy moments he supposedly enjoyed with fallen dictators, including Colonel Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, and Idi Amin, among others.
Following widespread threats made to the management of Nando’s Zimbabwe franchise, and intense criticism from media analysts and viewers, the fast food outlet was forced to withdraw the spot.
Although the spot successfully wove in elements of relevance, humor and a universal deep metaphor, it goes to show that sometimes creativity comes at a price.