Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Just a Brand

I started listening to Radio! Yeah that’s big, I have never owned a radio, or an iPod, or any gadgets in that pool, but I’m driving a friend’s car and, unlike mine, which survives on original cd’s of my favorite musicians, his car can receive several radio channels. So I listen to Capital in the morning (Chris Foot) and in the evening (Maqbul and Cess), and occasionally, the weekend football show on Kiss and Classic.

So, I have also been subjected to advertising. Subjected, because I feel like creative people have picked the lazy path and are dishing (with great colorful presentations) I think, thoughtless advertising that is nothing close to what I believe the basics of advertising are.

I’m not a creative. I am not in advertising. But I know a bad advert when I see or hear one. I once worked as a client service assistant at Express Advertising, but even that does not make me an expert.

Take the Toss advert for instance, a girl who sounds pretty excited talking about how the paparazzi has been following her around town, because she looks so fresh ( or whatever word they used). It could be a futuristic advert, looking forward to the days when paparazzi will follow around nameless good looking girls in bright clothes, possibly driving a Bugatti Veyron all over town in Manolos. Kenyans are not fascinated by celebrities, yet.

Then there’s the Minute Maid “pulpy ad”. Who uses the word ‘pulpy’ when buying juice, of whatever kind? Sigh. It's hard to believe that it is actually a coca-cola product.

There are so many such ad’s, just turn your radio on.

The reason an ad like ‘ Marangi’ or the Safaricom one that sounds like a prayer, or the Tusker one that had thousands of Kenyans sing as if they wrote the national anthem, were so successful, and memorable is because they were believable. I felt like part of the brand, even though beer tastes like soaked wood.

Right now, I love the CBA Bank ad that says, "remember to remember, do what you can to remember, ask your wife, sing in the shower, remember to open an account", ..etc..Love it, because it’s real, and it’s funny.

Some say it’s about budgets. The bigger the budget; the better the ad. I say; you have another think coming. Look at this Durex ad, it is one of my favorites.

What do you think the budget for that was?

Creativity cannot be boxed in budgets. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

So, Dear Creatives, you do a good job,mostly. But I feel that you are also working with clients who do not understand the value of their brands, otherwise they would demand better. I know about the late nights and the last minute rushes. I also know that that’s part of the JD. Just give us something to remember!

Then there's also the problem of little or no competition,an almost monopolistic advertising sector, and clients who insisit on what they want, no matter what. You can never really win, can you? then again , it is just a brand....

Dear Ladies...here's a treat for you, since we're talking advertising


  1. One unbelievable one is the YU tv advert, the guy has no credit but is taking his girlfriend to an Italian place? Really? I am not in advertising either but....I would have just said "5 minutes, Kenya Cinema" lol

    1. Hehe uko itabidi amewacha simu.

      Then the next time he is on YU network he says "Herrroooo baby"That really anys me.

  2. "...even though beer tastes like soaked wood."

  3. nice blogg...u forgot one ad "nose to nose, chest to chest, heart to heart..." how abt that..

  4. How abt the one for Molo Milk where the 'comedians' pay dowry using milk..who even does that?Nkt!The first one with the "Usiseme ma{s}iwa sema ng'ombe" tag was painfully ok{give 70%}but ths other one..sema..#LackOfCreativity


  5. The worst is the Airtel ad with the beeps! I keep asking, if they really had to do the beeps, si wangenunua kabambe na warecord beep zake?? Surely!

    LOL! The soaked wood, I agree!

  6. oh there's that 'doube double" ad that also drives me nuts...Thanks for stopping by, do come back! :-)

  7. Well said.There is also the family Bank adverts of Kabisa..I have just seen them on TV iam yet to hear the radio version but the TV version is so bad! Angie

    1. Yap agree with you. Some ads need some creativity while others are way top of the game.Like one on one mobile company of two guys talking and "dissing" the other on calling rates.Nice article though en keep listening to radio a lot its good too!