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Brendan Seery

Orchids & Onions editor
Location:South Africa


Brendan Seery has been in the news business for most of his life, covering coups wars, famines - and some funny stories - across Africa. Brendan Seery's Orchids and Onions column ran each week in the Saturday Star in Johannesburg and the Weekend Argus in Cape Town. Contact him now on
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#OrchidsandOnions: A road traffic ad, which is... fine. And a soap one, which needs a clean-up

I know this is going to sound like a self-indulgent “house ad” but I must say that, since I have been working here at The Citizen, I have come to respect the newspaper's independence and the fact that it really has not been “captured” by anyone politically

By Brendan Seery 1 day ago

#OrchidsandOnions: Chicken Licken goes a long way to make a marketing point; but FNB should see its ares

Normally, I'd wonder whether a company that goes to shoot a South African commercial on location in Iceland has more money than common sense

By Brendan Seery 10 Oct 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Nissan Micra gets Active in the market - but enough of politicians' mugshots, already

Perhaps it's a bit early, but some experts have seen the first green shoots of a recovery in our struggling economy. Car sales - always one of the most sensitive indicators of hard times - appear to be picking up a little

By Brendan Seery 3 Oct 2017

Ford Kuga - how to get burned a second time on social media

It's surprising how things coincide, isn't it? I was struck a few days ago by a powerful and poignant commercial for eNCA for its TV news

By Brendan Seery 26 Sep 2017

Roll on, Volksie bus; but did KMPG do the right thing for its reputation?

My colleague Seelan was about to head off to Sun City this past weekend and take the Jeep Renegade we have as a test car until he discovered how little room there is in the car

By Brendan Seery 20 Sep 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: A bird's eye view of money - and digital Big Brother's view of you...

If you want to impress someone, or at least have a good chance they'll remember you or your product, then a piece of advice often offered is “Go big, or go home”

By Brendan Seery 6 Sep 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Feeling good about conservation... but peeved about Vodacom's mean data “apology”

While all our attention has been focused on the campaign to save rhinos from poaching, another massacre has been unfolding, almost un-noticed that of Africa's elephants, which are being shot out for their ivory

By Brendan Seery 29 Aug 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Don't take this ad with a pinch of salt...

When a household name brand gets back in a TV ad for the first time in 20 years, you've got to sit up and take notice.

By Brendan Seery 22 Aug 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: How sour milk founded a sweet business empire... and how to Gupta a well-known saying

One of the greeting card platitudes that annoys me is the one that says: “You can be anything you want to be”

By Brendan Seery 15 Aug 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Well done Santam! What could go wrong? And the wheels fall off for Renault...

I still think the logo of insurance giant Santam is one of the best. It is a simple yellow umbrella over the company name, which is in blue

By Brendan Seery 8 Aug 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Don't text and drive... and beware of a shortage of sperm

You can talk until you're blue in the face to people about drunken driving and texting while drivingbut, being South Africans, they'll probably ignore you

By Brendan Seery 1 Aug 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Ocean Basket still sizzles, but Castle Lager ad goes flat

So, a man goes into a pet shop. “I want to buy a parrot, but it must talk”

By Brendan Seery 25 Jul 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Share generously... but not with the idiot on the moon orbiting Planet Out of Touch

According to the latest TV ad for Mugg & Bean, every day we share five billion things online. There is no indication of who this “we” is. If it is South Africans, then we each share an average of 100 bits of information a day. That sounds way too high

By Brendan Seery 18 Jul 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Kiss from a Rose gets an Orchid for DStv

Celebrity endorsements are big business these days, because brands believe that being associated with winners - be they in the sport or entertainment biz - means that sweet sound of ringing tills.

By Brendan Seery 11 Jul 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: When you don't need an excuse to down a burger...

but you do need one if your attitude is “let them eat cake.” It's winter time and in winter many a young man's fancy (and that of slightly more mature ones like me) turns not to love, but to food

By Brendan Seery 4 Jul 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: #MakeTime...for those you love. But, don't pass the buck if you're a big brand

One of the biggest regrets many people have - generally, as they sit down to take stock of their lives - is that they never made enough time for the people they love

By Brendan Seery 27 Jun 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: There's no monopoly on capital doing good

When a brand does good for the society in which it exists, it can have powerful positive effects not only on its image, but also on sales

By Brendan Seery 20 Jun 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: A well-deserved Orchid for this florist...

Despite the fact that we're all drowning in a sea of video - and despite the fact the advertising industry “clevers” will tell us that moving images are the future of humankind - still photographs or images still have the power to fascinate

By Brendan Seery 13 Jun 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Nice catch, Nissan... but “Onion Capture” for Gupta rag

Kagiso Rabada may be the Destroyer-in-Chief for the Proteas cricket team (and the number one ranked one-day bowler) but he still has an innocence and naivety about him, which is appealing

By Brendan Seery 6 Jun 2017

#OrchidsandOnions: Remembering our dads as our heroes

With the #MenAreTrash campaign's angry memes swirling all over the Internet - and even into newspapers, radio and TV - it is interesting to be reminded that, much as we can be pigs sometimes, there are decent males out there

By Brendan Seery 5 Jun 2017

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