Look! Up in the Sky: It’s a bird. A Paper Bag. A Timeline

True story- You’re not ready for Timeline. When the Facebook Timeline was introduced, so many naïve, euphoric and easily swayed Facebook users rushed in to get it. In my head, I could hear the UB40 lead singer chime a familiar adage- only fools rush in. And so I sat back. Waiting for the torrent of complaints and curses from my friends who had flown into the Timeline web of showing how they are ‘with it’.

I could not understand why, just a few years back, friends were up in arms protesting on what was then called the ‘new Facebook look’. Now, if I had a 20 bob coin for every person I heard asking how they would revert back to the old version after changing to Timeline, I’d be swimming in then like Donald Duck Continue reading


Serendipity: Clean Water Straight From Dry Taps

While writing about Keringet’s new eco friendly bottle, I had a flashback on a campaign by Nairobi Water Company. And then over the weekend- I see Cecilia Mwangi (Miss World Kenya 2005) again endorsing how clean some water from a tap is. Do I call this a coincidence or serendipity? (Well, I just had to use the latter word for the sake of one of my colleagues)

But first, allow me to mention something to do with the water drinking habits of Kenyans. They (Kenyans) have this notion that drinking water from a branded bottle or a fancy water bottle that looks like a gadget from star wars is classy. If my observation here is far fetched- then someone explain to me why our dear ladies can’t keep these bottles in their bags; do they have to walk around with them as accessories? And what’s with them being luminously colored? As for the rest of us, we only seem Continue reading

When A Bank LOL’s and Smugly Smiles at You

The Commercial Bank of Africa unveiled its new look, some time in October 2011. I will spare the details of the rebrand since much has been said about it- including the most confusing television advert – how does time for more (their positioning line) tie up to the kid going through school and his absentee dad building an empire. Anyone with insights can share them since my colleagues too are still scratching their heads (apart from the one with dreadlocks). An article by Kalgas Time for more: lessons for non-profits on rebranding from CBA tried to explain it, but all I heard was not close to what the ad said.

Nevertheless, I still give a SquaredFactor thumbs up to how the campaign was executed- right from the teaser adverts to the online campaign. The rebrand culminated in the bank’s efforts as it sought to upgrade products and services to meet the needs of its personal, corporate and SME customer segments.

So yesterday, CBA launched a US Dollar currency credit card and its advert in the Daily Nation today had me crumpling the paper up. Continue reading

The Weird Responsible, Eco-friendly Consumer You Are

I’m impressed with Keringet. Early this month (March), Crown Beverages relaunched its Keringet bottled water packaging, and a refreshed logotype. The award-winning brand is keeping up with its 20 years unrivalled offering for premium, safe and hygienic water with a distinct natural taste. According to the MD as well as their print ad, ‘The new Keringet recyclable bottle is 20% lighter, stylish and the flowing lines feel just right in your hand while adding strength, stability to the bottle.’

I’m further impressed at how the unveiling launch was done- at a fitting event- the Blankets & Wine event. It is an outdoors affair in the sun, with a perfect crowd that falls smack  Continue reading

Reeling Back From the Lite Punches

Here’s the scenario. Kenyans, who definitely love their beer, Mututho and his school prefect ego with a timetable on drinking time/schedules, and the ever rising cost of living. Now, a recent research by Consumer Insight reveals that there is a shortfall in expenditure for alcoholic beverages. It reveals that 54% of imbibers are drinking less, while 23% have opted for cheaper brands. 12% on the other hand have decided to drop the frothy tumbler all together.

Now let me tie up the scenario with a simple question- with the per-capita consumption of beer declining, why is East African Breweries Limited (EABL) and SAB Miller—which has made a return to the Kenyan market through subsidiary Crown Beverages – throwing light punches (pun intended) Continue reading

101 Ways to Make Women Look Ridiculous

JIK- Really? 101 uses and all you could think about how to tell us about it using was with 101 women dressed like clown wives and a parody to a South African jig song!

I wonder how the advertising agency managed to convince the client (Reckit Benkiser) that this ad would pass the audience’s sneers and gales of laughter, especially with the ‘momo’ bug going around town. And what’s with the shot of these ‘momos‘ down on their knees sashaying their bums mid air? Way to get us thinking about 101 ways to use JIK.

I think South African ad agencies assume that whatever passes for them, will pass for the rest of Africa, but lets talk about them some other day. Flashback: I prefer JIK’s other advert with the naughtiest boy I know. Who, by the way, I think is not Kenyan Continue reading

When a Fact at Hand Secures your Big Break

So for my first post- which advert or campaign do I think meets The Squared Factor this week? You’ll agree with me on this one- the ‘Ready for Your Big break’ campaign by The East African newspaper. It is also the same campaign that for a long while, I’ll be using for others to measure up.

As a regional and weekly newspaper, we expect The East African to carry the recent and most weighty news and resolute analysis on politics and business that impact on the region. The newspaper has not failed to cut its image as notably the most authoritative on such matters, and it’s advertising has carried the same tone and message. The East African positions itself as the one source for facts backed up by research, exposing you to diverse perspectives to help you understand the East African region.

The ‘Ready for Your Big break’ campaign is currently running on both print and electronic media. The concept has been executed Continue reading

Reason Why I Just Had To Do It

I believe in advertising.

This is how I put it better- communicating towards a desired action in a creative way. Some time back in 2011 when I thought about starting this blog- it was a brilliant idea. It still is. As a cog in the communications field I wanted to give my two cents on the advertising we are exposed to here in the 254. But the notion stayed in my head till I shared it with a colleague of mine who is very persistent in seeing things done. So today, I gave in to her pressure, got a name for the blog and punched away at my keyboard.

So, let’s talk about Brands (Kenyan) and how they communicate: the good, the bad and the horrible of their advertising (campaigns) – and what contributes to why they come off as such.

I’m sure they could do with a fine comb running through them- The Squared Factor.