It’s Official: If Germs Don’t Run Our Lives, Who Will?

A story is told of the boy who cried wolf. He was a herds boy (or so I was told) and on a few occasions (like three of them), he raised an alarm that there was a wolf preying on his father’s herd of sheep. On these occasions, the villagers came out in droves to rescue him and the sheep- but alas, there was no wolf in sight. Vexed, they went back home lamenting, asking themselves loudly in harsh tones why the boy would do such a thing. So the story goes, that when the boy cried out wolf again, the villagers paid no attention and they continued doing their thing- roasting maize, peeling potatoes, sipping way from their beer horns and such other things that villagers are engaged in. It happened that on this particular occasion, a wolf had indeed been spotted by the crier, and no one was around to help the silly lad. Suffice to say, the story had a sad ending, and the incident was used to caution other villagers who tried to portray wolf crying tendencies.

Now that I have taught my fellow urbanites a valuable lesson from the village, I think I should get to my next point. You see, it is the urbanites who are targeted by advertisers I’d like to call the wolf. These wolves have discovered that if they preyed on your sense of fear, then you will always be hiding behind their products. These wolves push medicated soaps to us. Think about it- growing up, germs still existed. Now we are told, that when our kids go out to play, germs are preying on them immediately they step out of the house, so when they come back home, they need to be sanitized. If we listened to these wolves hard, we’d have cattle dips for bathrooms- what with the dire need to tackle 99%of germs 24/7 and cleanse our kids. Is it a coincidence that the wolf crier was a boy, and so are all the kids in such adverts?

Here is a dossier on these wolves.

Lifebuoy. They tell of 10 infection causing germs. They have chosen Yvonne Chaka Chaka to endorse the soap as an ordinary mum, who is also a renowned vocal artiste who happens to know about some 10 germs. Among these germs we are told, there are those that cause diarrhea, dysentery, eye infection etc. And they each have a day after the other to infect the kid. Anyway, it so happens then, that Lifebuoy can eliminate these 10 germs, and that you should be afraid, Continue reading

Wherever There’s An Offer, There’s A Kenyan- Right?

For a few weeks now, two banks have been confusing me and my fellow consumers who have as little (or as much) as sh1,000  to put aside. Both banks are both green in color and you’d be forgiven to think its one bank running two different promotions with similar prizes. Confusing right? Thing is, these two banks are running promotions that are similar in nature- deposit some money in your account and you stand a chance of winning, among other prizes saloon cars, pick-ups, motorbikes and other worldly possessions that we hold so dear and use as a measure of how well we’re doing.

Bank one. Cooperative Bank- Ongeza Akiba, Imarisha Maisha promotion. The creativity behind this promotion hits more than two nails on the head at the same time. Coop Bank has taken different scenarios of how one can forego a quick, short lived luxury in anticipation for a higher, more satisfying reward. A quick run through of my favourite among them: A guy walks past a restaurant and see another digging in into a delicious meal with gusto.Image

He reaches into his pocket and pulls out  Continue reading

Stripping & Strategic Use Of Space For Maximum Visual Impact

Newspapers, magazines and the general print medium are among the most used form of advertising. Thing is, with the new/digital media creeping into the print domain, I can only hope to see more strategy in how ads are executed on print. Last month when CBA launched its US Dollar currency credit card the placement of the advert to introduce it was poorly placed and not thought out, especially with regard to the audience of the Money pull out magazine from Thursday’s Daily Nation. To avoid being redundant see the post here

The long and short of it? The pullout is targeted at SME owners, and stories carried in the pullout, more so the cover story, was about how SME’s face an uphill task getting credit from banks. Now, how do you go and tell the same audience that you have a US dollar credit card! Ironic right? It’s like rolling up your Range Rover Sport’s tinted windows when a street urchin approaches you in traffic for him to see his own reflection.

So the other day I saw a series of strip ads by Bank of Africa (as shown below).

This strategy of using a series of strips reminded me of those done by Cooperative Bank first I believe, when they embarked on opening branches in different towns (see image below). The strips are placed in a manner such that, instead of  Continue reading

Cry, The Beloved Last-Minuter

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Oh my, the last-minuter (noun: a person who literally waits till the last minute to do something). Allow me to recount a story of a last-minuter I know. For reasons of anonymity and best practices, I’ll refer to him as the Dreadlocked One. Now Dreadlocked is someone you’d call an incorrigible last-minuter.

Having lunch with him is grueling- when everyone else is getting up to go back to the office; Dreadlocked is hurriedly trying to gobble up his dollop of Ugali. When he okoas jahazi (Safaricom’s service that allows pre paid customers to access airtime on credit and pay later), Dreadlocked waits for an SMS reminder to pay back in due time- suffice to say he pays late, and ends up getting banned from the service for a period of 30 days.

So do last-minuters like Dreadlocked have a chance at salvation? Continue reading