Turns out it’s hard to be the Last Dictator Standing. A new ad for a South African fast-food chain featuring Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe dining all alone while pining for best buddies Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Mao and P.W. Botha has become a YouTube hit.
The ad, created for Nando's by the Johannesburg-based Black River FC agency and directed by Dean Blumberg, shows the African dictator reflecting on happier times with guys long gone from his block.
The video quickly went viral, gathering hundreds of comments on YouTube from enthusiastic fans, some laughing and others booing the poor, lonely dictator.
“It's too funny.”
“This killed me… this is the funniest thing I have ever watched!!! lmao!!! Whoever came up with this idea is an amazing person!!hahahah”.
“This made me feel sorry for him!”
“Who else felt a little bit sorry for Mugabe with no friends?”
Some clearly believe it won’t be long before the politically-incorrect piece is removed from public view: “How long before they take this off air….? It’s AWESOME BTW!” writes TheRalfZer0.
The ad shows a lonely Mugabe sitting at his empty dinner table when his mind drifts off into memories of a time when he could take trips to the beach with Saddam Hussein or play water pistols with Muammar Gaddafi.
At the end of the video, the African dictator is shown all alone at Christmas, but a voiceover brings hope, saying, “This time of year, no-one should eat alone.”
The dinner scene has clearly whetted appetites for a sequel.
“I really wish that there might be a full version of this with all the worst dictators of the 20th century,” posted Ericsakata.
For others, the ad struck a raw nerve.
“Trust me, coming from one of the people kicked out of Zimbabwe by Mugabe, it does bring out some emotions. But at the same time it is a really good ad and is very funny, and makes you think that soon someone will realise that he is just as bad as all the others, worse than some of them, and even though Zimbabwe doesn't have oil or precious compounds, and the buyers of the diamonds don't care where they come from, there’s a good chance he will go soon. But the damage is done :(,“ wrote Danlemes.
Nando's is notorious for its controversial ad campaigns. One television ad in 2000 showed a blind woman being knocked unconscious when her guide dog deliberately leads her into a pole and then proceeds to eat the chicken the woman has just purchased.
This ad caused an uproar among people concerned that it might offend the blind. However the blind people themselves were quoted in the media as finding the advert amusing.
Another ad featured a blonde causing a scene at a restaurant because her burger did not come with fries, when in fact she cannot see them because her prominent bosom is blocking the view.
Nando's is a fast-food restaurant group originating from South Africa with a Portuguese/Mozambican theme. Founded in 1987, Nando's operates in 30 countries on five continents.