Monday, March 2, 2009

Originality and Creativity: Status...idle

I don't understand why we have such bad and boring adverts aired on our local television stations. I sometimes wonder if this is depictive of the Kenya we have (as opposed to the Kenya we want). According to Mystery Shopper public institutions should be smart and creative (amongst other things) however, even private institutions sometimes fail to be smart and creative. I mean if an advert is supposed to influence or persuade someone - a potential customer to buy a certain product, then the ones I have been watching on TV are doing a dismal job. They are often so uncreative that I watch them thinking of how they can be improved. To this day I only have four adverts that I like; Sunlight bar soap (an old one that was aired years ago and is no longer being aired); the colorful Vuka-2 advert (the newest one for the Vuka product from Zain), the Auto Assured advert of a man removing a spec of dirt from one of his car tires with what seems to be his wife's tooth-brush and lastly; the Eveready Battery Advert, where a certain night watchman ties his torch (flash-light) on string which is hanging from a tree and leaves it on all night, hops onto his bicycle, goes to his home to sleep then goes back to the house he works at in the morning to ‘sign-out’ of work.

All sectors private or public, all industries small or big should think out the box and be innovative. This would improve competitiveness in the business environment and stop this current practice we see where new products seem to copy old existing ones in terms of branding, colours and even names. I guess their aim is to try and confuse people into buying the new product but I don't think this is a good marketing strategy. Examples? Blue Band margarine; a product by Unilever that has been in the market for many years, new entrant; Bidco’s Gold Band notice the word ‘band’? Need another example? How about Cadbury’s Drinking chocolate? New entrant; Raha; uses very similar packaging down to the colour! I am sure there are many more products that have fallen victim to this sad phenomenon. What’s that about??? Where is originality, creativity and innovation??? This is definitely not the Kenya I want.

1 comment:

  1. Turns out Unilever took Bicdo to court in 1999 over the Blue Band (Unilver) and Gold Band (Bidco)margarine issue claiming the the defendant (Bidco)had since 1999 infringed on the "Blue Band" trademark, which had been registered for over 50 years. The final judgment of the case was delivered in February 2004 with the judge concluding that "there is no satisfactory proof that the same words "Gold Band" or "Bidco Gold Band" so nearly resemble the registered trade mark of the plaintiff's product (Blue Band)as to be likely to deceive or cause confusion in the minds of the public."
    Therefore dear consumer it is up to you to be careful and vigilant when shopping to ensure you are not 'confused' by other 'similar' brands. Coping and counterfeits are real problems in the Kenyan market.