Nando’s Ad With Mugabe, Dead Dictators Pulled in Zimbabwe

Chain cites threat to workers there

Zimbabwean strongman funnyman Robert Mugabe cavorts with other reviled world leaders—Mao, Saddam, Gaddafi, Idi Amin, P.W. Botha—in this amusing spot from the Nando's fast-food chain in South Africa. The commercial closes by cheekily noting that "at this time of year, no one should have to eat alone," as Mugabe sits glumly at an otherwise empty banquet table. All the other dictators shown here are, of course, now dead. Boo hoo! Nando's has pulled the ad in Zimbabwe, citing threats made against local workers by militants affiliated with Mugabe's ZANU-PF party. Naturally, that's generated global media coverage the spot would never have garnered on its own, and made it a viral hit with 600,000-plus YouTube views so far. Look for Mugabe and his ilk to grace ads of all sorts moving forward. The evil-leader theme has long been a marketing staple, and these types of campaigns are sure to keep coming … and coming.