'Have you seen the new Nando's ad?'

The masters of brand response campaigns are at it again.

In South Africa the sentence 'Have you seen the new Nando's ad?' has become what can best be described as a meme.

At this point the Nando's marketing machine have gotten so good at capturing the emotional tone of the country, that the ads themselves have transcended their main function of being long-term builders of the formidable Nando's brand of chicken fast food outlets; and have become a kind of national pressure-release valve for our collective emotional psyche.

Feeling a little anxious about the upcoming elections? Nando's will certainly have a witty, EFF-ed up take on that. Loadshedding doing your brain in? A new kak-funny skit, pointing the proverbial finger at 'no power culprit #1', Eskom-ing soon.

Nando's have adopted 'our national chaos' as their brand response strategy.

So before you tootle off and Google it; here is their latest ad:

And not satisfied with just being there for our general bemusement, they have shrewdly coupled this laugh-a-minute 45-second TVC with a related promotional drive (for a full chicken and chips to share for R199).

What makes this approach so masterful is that Nando's could literally film any random, typically South African everyday scene and link it somehow to a chicken-related meal and they'd be selling products (moving volume) and building their brand (reducing price sensitivities) all in one elegant go.

When marketing 'gurus' go on and on about awarding brands like Nando's kudos on business radio shows for how great their creativity is (no shit Shurlock), what they're not really telling you is just how smartly-scientific their approach is. Nando's know how to maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of their marketing far better then most. They have got the balance in their channel strategy spot on; the understand critical aspects of salience and above all are doggedly-consistent in their advertising styling.

This is spine-tingling stuff people; we're excited.

Most of us will just laugh at the ad, but what this brand is doing subconsciously to our national worldview should actually be illegal.