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In matters of wooing the opposite sex, there was a time in my life (I started comparatively late, you see) when my mate Buffalo would scathingly say, of my moves: “If you were any slower, you’d go backwards…”
And there was a time when a young woman asked me: “Are you going to sit there and talk all night?”
The less said about that the better.
A bit of that came back to me watching a recent ad for Douwe (pronounced “Dhow” I now know) Egberts coffee, which all hangs around the corny old “would you like to come in for coffee”.
Thanks to legendary Casanovas like Buffalo, I eventually found out what that meant… We see a couple about to say goodnight. She, all blushing in anticipation, asks him if he’d “like to come up for some coffee…”
He asks: “What coffee is it?” – to which she replies “Does it matter?”
You can see on his face that look of disappointment of disbelief that another human being could care less about the coffee they drink. “Does it matter?” he repeats, unable to contain the incredulity in his voice. The ad cuts to what is obviously his apartment, as he makes himself a cup of Douwe Egberts.
Once you’ve had Douwe Egberts, the voiceover assures us, “you won’t drink anything else”. As he takes a sip, he smiles and says: “Yes, it matters.” It’s clever because it makes the assertion that Douwe Egberts is better than sex.
Pretty bold – but I’m sure there will be a few people who will try it to see. And that’s brilliant marketing. Orchid for Douwe Egberts, despite the fact I am a Jacobs Kronung man myself.
An aside, though.
When my son’s then girlfriend visited us some years ago from Europe, we would not dare to offer her even premium brands like Douwe Egberts … it would have been like urinating on her grandmother’s grave – at least that’s what her face said.
So we bought an expensive capsule coffee machine … which we hardly use any more.
And that is something that, judging from the stratospheric levels of innumeracy in South Africa, we are getting badly wrong in our education system. Mathematics, or its foundational forerunner, arithmetic, are the basis of all logic, I would argue.
Lack of maths awareness = lack of logic.
You can see it every day, from the people who believe 10 babies can be born without any witnesses or hospital records, to ministers who think calling it a “firepool” instead of a swimming pool will be entirely believable.
In saying this, I am well aware of the old saying that there are three types of journalists – those who can count and those who can’t.
I still have to marvel at the bare-faced cynicism – surely it cannot be plain incompetence or innumeracy? – behind an online campaign for Hello Delicious which, apparently (I say that because its website is still “under development”) is an online delivery service for special offers from restaurants.
Whatever it is, it looks just plain dof after its ad (see the photo) proclaiming “Half price Hake and Chips”.
Alongside a picture of said hake and chips (grilled or fried) was the text: “Was R120, Now R87.50”.
That is naturally not even a third off – it’s just 32.5%. For your “offer” to work, you would have to take 50% or R60 off the price, making it R60.
Stupidity or a deliberate “bait and switch”? I’ll leave that for you readers to decide.
But Hello Delicious, you get an Onion. And perhaps you need to order yourself a side of Counting Lessons … to go.