Archive | July, 2010


20 Jul

Hello morning… now when does the fun begin….

When I left home 3 years ago I was looking for a fresh start. In my naivete, I saw it as an apportunity to have a fresh start. To breakaway.

Goodbye morning, sorry it had to end… I stayed just a little too long, now it’s time for me to move on…

3 years down the line, I was packing my bags once more. Looking for another fresh start. Back to where I had come from.

Hello yesterday, remember how it used to be….

Nairobi. Vibrant. Full of opportunity. Family. It would all be right. Right? Wrong.

Goodbye yesterday, I can’t take you with me….

So now I’m looking to breakaway again. Searching for the mould to fit in. I might never find it. But I’ll try.

They say I’m hopeless… as a penny with a hole in it

I might never meet the expectations of those who have faith in me. My parents. My friends. Maybe their expectations are misguided. But what’s the point of having a life if I am to live it for everyone else?

They say I’m no less… than up to my head in it….

So here I go, in pursuit of my destiny, whatever that is.

*Quote excerpts from Hopeless by Dionne Farris


Going viral: The OTHER lesson

18 Jul


Viral marketing is spontaneous, fast paced and subject to the whimsical fancies of your audience. In viral marketing, QUICK THINKING and IMMEDIATE ACTION are essential. Viral Marketing offers a brief window of opportunity during which your audience is focused on YOU and is hungry for more of what you have to offer. It is imperative that the marketer capitalizes on this window of opportunity, because it closes rapidly. TIME WAITS FOR NO MARKETER!

Just A Band was caught off guard with the Makmende sensation. They were unprepared for the sensational sweep of social media hype created by and for their concept. Before they could regroup and act, facebook and wikipedia pages had been set up, an ‘official’ website had been created, t-shirts with Makmende quips were steaming off the presses. By the time they marshaled their resources to respond to the sensation, the Makmende train had run out of steam. Makmende on the capital breakfast did not catch on. People had moved on.

What Just A Band lost was the opportunity to not only tap into a craze they had created, but to control it in their favor. As it was, Makmende became the spotlight of the viral hype. Few bothered to buy the 82 album that actually contained the Ha-He song that started the entire buzz. Makmende took center stage with pomp and flair, exited right and left Just A Band as, well, just a band.

In the case of Old Spice, Weiden+Kennedy were superbly quick on the uptake. They milked the Old Spice viral humdrum for all it was worth. Media relations was mobilized and the audience was given the “Making Of The Old Spice Ad” to chew on. They then took it to another level. They implemented the basic marketing principle of “Talk about you if you talk about me” Basically they mobilized celebrities via social networks and tailor-made spin offs of the advert addressed to these celebrities. The celebrities then hyped the spin-off Old Spice videos to their own audiences. Brilliant. Procter&Gamble (The owners of the Old Spice brand) gave them free reign to create and create they did. The Weiden+Kennedy team shot 87 videos in eleven hours. Isaiah Mustapha in these 20 second spots delivered witty messages to celebrities such as Alyssa Milano, Ellen DeGeneres, even to his daughter and the Old Spice audience at large.

When it comes to capitalizing of a viral sensation, it is important to note that quantity often takes priority over quality. This does not mean completely ignoring the creative value of the content you push, it simply requires the marketer to churn out as much as they can as best as the can while their brand is still going viral. Remember, the audience is in a heightened state of reception, they simply want more.


In true “Therapy, mukimo and sex” style (let me break it down for you so that it can forever and consistently be BROKE!), I find that one should relate viral marketing to a passionate romp/rodgering. Tease them until they want more. Then go hard and fast. Flip ‘em over. Leave them breathless. And when you come, bring the THUNDER along. Trust me, they won’t forget you.

Going Viral: Lesson One

17 Jul


Going viral is about AN IDEA, a concept that people want to and can easily RELATE TO. The main focus is not the product. With a good enough concept, I assure you, even pee cola can be sent the viral way.

Just A band’s product was the Ha-he video, their music. The viral focus was the concept of the superhero Makemende. The trigger that the audience related to was nostalgia of the youth. Their need to cling to a superhero. Kenyan’s love reminiscing. Many a long winded bar conversation has been initiated by the simple phrase “When I was young… heeeee!” The Makmende phenomenon allowed kenyans to revisit the good old days of their youth in unison.

The Old Spice product was the Old Spice Body Wash, the viral focus was the concept of quintessential masculinity. As I mentioned, I have no idea what Old Spice Body Wash smells like. From what I have picked up from the net, it reminds most people of their fathers for some reason, not quite the audience targeted by the advert. However the CONCEPT propagated in the advert is what went viral; the concept of power, dominance sexuality and wit. A concept that global audiences (roughly between 18-35yrs old) want to embrace.

Women want to BE WITH the man on the horse, men want to BE the man on the horse. Simple.

To be continued…

Going Viral: Lessons from OldSpice and Makmende

17 Jul


Just A Band arguably created Kenya’s first truly Viral sensation (One Right Honorable Sir Makmende) with their Ha-He video. Assuming that if you are reading this then you are no stranger to social media, then I’m sure Makmende is a term you know quite well, I won’t go into details.

Makmende, took Kenya by storm. Blogs were set a buzz, social media hummed with quip’s of the superhero figure “Makmende doesn’t cheat death, he wins fair and square.” twitteratti and facebook(aratti), Bloggeratti, international press, a Makmende wikipedia page,, national press.  Everyone wanted to give their two cents about Makmende. There was a fair share of “Borrowing” from the Chuck Norris and Jack Bauer invincibility ideology that had already been making social media rounds. But that didn’t matter. Kenyan’s took the concept of this sensational badass and ran with it. For about a week or so. The viral campaign was over as soon as it started.

Let’s shift our focus to a more recent viral campaign. Old Spice. A couple of creative chaps from Weiden+Kennedy put a sultry voiced former NFL player shirtless in a bathroom and backward on a horse and started the mother of all viral campaigns. “The man your man could smell like” The 30 second advert featuring Isaiah Mustafa was consumed by audiences worldwide like fire consumes brush. Social media, web forums and press alike have been agog with talk of this man, his steed and his scent.

I have no idea what Old Spice body wash smells like. I imagine it just reeks of masculinity, pheromones and washboard abs. Regardless, I want my man to smell of it. I also want him on a horse. And while he is at it he should stop by a boat and pick up an oyster with two tickets to that thing I love (k?thnx!).

There are two main lessons I feel advertisers can pick up about viral marketing from these two campaigns.

To be continued