The Great Run 7…in memory of Amin Mohammed…by team Isabella the Fiat Panda

So over the past long weekend the Brandspark creative guys joined the Great run to Eldoret and back via Iten, Kerio Valley, Kabarnet and Marigat. For those who dont know what the Great run is… The Great Run is a mid to long distance driving event for any form of motorized transport. It is a chance for both driver and vehicle to cover hundreds of kilometers and take in some of the best roads in the country in the company of like-minded individuals. However, much as it is organized as such, the Great Run is not a form of Motorsport nor is it competitive. This is to ensure the highest standard of safety and obeisance of traffic regulations are observed, as the Great Run has been and will be conducted on public roads.

So the team at Brandspark decided to join the Great run this year and in we decided to do the journey in a rare car….A 2007 Orange Fiat Panda christened Isabella. I know everyone was asking if she was gonna survive the journey…but Isabella held her own.

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So the route looked as per the attached map

Great Run 7

So early Saturday morning, and we met up with all the other Great Run participants right outside one of the Sasini tea factories right past Ndumberi a few kilometres past Kiambu town. As the Great Run 7 was being held in honour of Amir Mohammed, a great man and one of the organizers of the great run, it was fitting that we had a drive by the scene of his accident saluting this great petrol head.

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We started the journey at around 9 and the trip took us past Limuru to Naivasha, Nakuru, Mau Summit and into Eldoret. In Eldoret we were welcomed by Team Chebarbaer and led to the governors office. The Governor Jackson Mandago graciously welcomed us and accompanied us to the childrens home we were to visit in Eldoret town. One of the main pillars of the Great Run is visiting a children’s home and in Eldoret is was no different. We gave out all the things we had and the Governor started an impromptu Harambee that raised 137,000/-. What more a local miller gave out a ton of flour to the children’s home.

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So after sampling the sights in Eldoret we retired to our hotel for the night, Hotel Comfy. Next morning we had been promised a drive on on of kenya’s most scenic roads. The road paases through Iten, Kabarnet, Marigat then back to Nakuru. The drive from Eldoret to Iten was quite nice on a very smooth road and we made a stop at the famour Kerio Valley View Hotel.

The Kerio Valley View Hotel, is an amazing hotel set on the top of the hill overlooking the Kerio Valley with view across to River Tambach and Lake Kamnarok. After a quick fill up with some freshly brewed coffee we were off to join our fellow Great Run 7 compatriots for a drive across Kerio Valley.

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And it was one amazing drive, a twisty tarmac road going down to the bottom of the valley with a view of an amazing waterfall up ahead. A great company of cars in which Isabella felt right at home in the hills, valleys and rivers of Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo counties.

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So you, yes you reading this blog…whats your excuse for not travelling and seeing our great country?

NIC Bank’s new corporate campaign

NIC Bank, one of Kenya’s tier 2 bank has a new campaign that is looking to build on the NOW campaign launched last year. The NOW campaign was to highlight the importance of time and how NIC bank is working hard to make sure that  you save time as you do your banking.

The current Asset Finance campaign built on the NOW platform, with NOW being the right time to pursue your dreams and ambitions with NIC bank. The campaign ad opens on a traffic jam, not an unusual scene in Nairobi which has currently been made worse by the counties experiment with roundabouts. We see a driver in a car completely exasperated by the traffic then pan to see his additional stress which is the fact that his wife is about to give birth. A young boy in school uniform walking home, sees the same thing and decides to do something about it.

He get’s his friends to help by getting car’s to move so the guy taking his pregnant wife to hospital. Seeing that the traffic is not moving as fast, they mimic the sound of an ambulance and the traffic parts. They run after the car until the hospital and witness as the lady is wheeled in just in time. As the husband turns to tank the kids the camera focuses on the young boy and the VO says ‘ you see a little boy who  wanted to save lives’ but NIC Bank saw the owner of a fleet of ambulances.

The ad ends on the tag…NIC Bank, because every story has a beginning…

I like this ad, its a nice ad with a very solid thought behind it. I do have some concerns though…

1. Before the ad starts, it has some powerpoint looking slides with text…i wonder what for.

2. The logo at the end has been superimposed on the ambulance, i would have placed it elsewhere.

So this is quite a good campaign, though the press campaign seems to be not well though out, too literal much unlike the TV ad.

It reminded me also of an excellent British Airways ad of yesteryears…


Tanzania reduces number of Kenya Airways flights…why do i think this will hurt them more than it hurts KQ?

So this week Tanzania retaliated to Kenya by reducing the number of Kenya Airways flights to 42 to 14 a week. Whereas this will hurt Kenya Airways i think Tanzania will lose alot more. Kenya Airways  currently is responsible for 80% of all the passengers flying into Zanzibar and over 50% of all the passengers within Tanzania. Currently Tanzania doesn’t have a national airline, with their only option being Fastjet the budget airline.

Well i do think Tanzania will need to soften their hardline stance especially once the ban begins affecting their tourism numbers as very few airlines would even consider increasing their flights to Tanzania and international airlines preferring to land in Addis Ababa or Nairobi to pick connecting passengers. Not all Tanzania’s agree with the directive with Zanzibar calling the decision, ill thought….

Travel start Kenya ad

So if you have been living under a rock, like i have you most probably haven’t come across this new ad by Travelstart.

I quite like it, really i do. Its witty, nicely scripted and Kevin Maina or to the youngings (Makmende), brings out the script excellently. What is travelstart you ask?


Since 1999, Travelstart has been providing the simplest way to book domestic and international flights online. Their mission is to make travel easier for their customers when it comes to searching, comparing prices and booking. Currently they are in

10 countries.

182 staff worldwide.

Thousands of flights booked.

Millions of happy travellers.

Having used their site, i should say its a breath of fresh air…

Killing the NIC Move Brand and why i think it was a bad idea…

I had a conversation with someone about move one of the most brilliant concepts/ products in Kenyan banking…and NIC bank killed it because it was too successful….

How now????? still pained years later…


NIC was incorporated in Kenya on 29th September 1959, when Standard Bank Limited and Mercantile Credit Company Limited (Mercantile) -both based in the United Kingdom – jointly formed the company. The company was amongst the first non-bank financial institutions to provide hire purchase and installment credit finance facilities in Kenya.
NIC became a public company in 1971 and is currently quoted on the Nairobi Stock Exchange with approximately 22,000 shareholders. Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited acquired 51% of NIC’s total shares through the acquisition of Mercantile in the 1970s and Standard’s shareholding in NIC in the 1980s. Between 1993 and 1996, BBK divested its shares, selling 38% of its shares to the public in 1994, and the remaining 20% in 1996 to the First Chartered Securities Group (FCS).

In the local market NIC Bank was very well known as the Asset Financing Bank which had be a large piece of…

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Remove roundabouts in Nairobi….replace them with????

One of the biggest stories this week was the Nairobi Governor Evan’s Kidero walked when his motorcade was caught in traffic. Clearly this was big news, very big news since as governor never walks anywhere. And his motorcade bullies the rest of us out of traffic daily. I think the governor should consider getting a nduthi guy, or as the uptown guys call them a boda boda guy to get him to the meeting on time. Mr Governor, the rest of us have to deal with the traffic and that’s how traffic in Nairobi is.

Now the idea of removing roundabouts, is a good idea, only if you have overpasses. This idea of replacing roundabouts with cross junctions, is a bad idea Mr Governor. If you don’t believe us please ask your counterparts in the US. I believe you should have a conversation with Mayor’s of major cities in the US. Anyway on to much better more positive news….

Nairobi, has been ranked 3rd in the Continent’s cities of opportunity report by PWC. The report ranked 20 African cities using 5 criteria’s

1. Current development or future potential
2. Location
3. The Opportunity
4. Must have or knock out factors
5. Time scale

The full ranking and the report can be found here….