A timely ad…from an insurance company

Commercial break

Ad: “Protect your family”
Client: Madison Insurance

Madison Insurance has been in existence under the name Madison from way back in 1988 and has grown into a large insurance company with premiums of over 1 billion shillings. Located in Nairobi it has branches across the country offering both General and Life insurance packages. Madison Insurance is owned by Amedo Madison holdings which also owns Amedo Centres in Kenya.

Previous Madison advertising hasn’t been creative and their last advertising campaign was to introduce their new tagline and updated website. I t did feature a re-endition of a schools music fests’ coral verse recital. Most Madison advertising has centred on the use of stills which are then animated to tell a story, which is a cheap but not very memorable way to advertise.

In this new commercial currently on air we see a family and go through their line of activities across a normal day as the dd plays with the kids, the mum feeds them. We see them all happy and joyful as they interact together and we can decifer their interaction gives them great joy. As the pictures change the voice over expounds on the services that Madison Insurance has to offer for the whole family making sure that everyone is safe and well taken care off. The ad ends in the usuall fashion showing the Madison Insurance Logo and tagline “Stronger Together.”

This ad in itself is not anything worth writing home about. It’s not impactful communication neither is it captivating, with generic pictures of a black American family who don’t look a touch bit Kenyan enjoying their lives. The music is not too bad though it could have been more captivating so that people can hum along to it in the course of their day. That said, the placement of this ad was most defiantely brilliant. In the middle of conflict and controversy of politics and post election clashes Madison was reassuring the public that they were there to cover all Insurance needs. It was reassuring A Kenyan insurance Company, with the guts to stick with Kenyan’s through thick and thin…we need a whole lot more of those. Hats off to Madison Insurance!!!


Fair & Lovely…not to lovely though

Commercial break

Ad: “Career Fair”
Client: Fair & Lovely – Unilever

Registered in 1949 as East Africa Industries Ltd and changing its name to Unilever Kenya Ltd. in 2000, the company is today one of the leading manufacturers of food, home and personal care products with a strong market leadership. Unilever’s brand portfolio includes well-known brands such as BlueBand, Royco, Homecup Tea, Omo, Geisha, Close-up, Ladygay, Fair &Lovely, Sunlight among others.

Fair & Lovely face cream was launched in Kenya in 1993 to meet the need of women looking for a clear, gentle and flawless complexion. In their new Fair & Lovely ad, a young lady in school uniform comes on screen and begins to talk about this new Career Fair sponsored by Fair and Lovely. The scenes change as she goes through the different careers that will be discussed at the Career Fair. At this point, her uniform changes into a doctor’s costume then into an engineer’s costume.

Throughout the ad, the young lady maintains a very ‘serious, matter-of –fact tone’ that simply communicates about the new Fair & Lovely Career Fair. At the end of the ad, listerners are not sure when it will be held or why it’s a must for the young girls in Kenya to attend. The ad ends on the Career Fair logo then the Fair & Lovely tagline – world’s number 1 fairness cream.

A Career Fair especially targeted to the youth is always a good idea and any brand that is looking to have inroads into this market needs to have a unique way of entry. The Career Fair ad for Fair & Lovely doesn’t quite bring out the level of excitement needed to captivate and connect with the youth audience. As Fair & Lovely looks to increase their audience by getting their primary target market – ladies to start using the product earlier in life, the right look and feel of communication is very important to enable the target market to accept the brand.

The Civil society nonsense!!!!

Well in today’s Standard Newspaper the civil society are up in arms against a 42 member cabinet which was announced last week. They have taken the tag as people fighting for Kenyans against the political class which is out to imporverish them. I keep wondering what exactly is the role of civil society? Aren’t they just a rag tag collection of so called NGO’s who are being funded by different imperialist to advance thier agenda’s?

Is it at all times Civil Society should always be against the ruling class always looking to make thier voices heard over one issue or another. I really get tired of having to listen to them…im a Kenyan and i dont think for a moment they have my best interests at heart.

As a Kenyan it will cost me more but if that is what it costs to have services equally rendered to all kenyans then so be it. I just wonder if the likes of Maina Kiai, Cyprian Nyamwamu and Mwalimu Mati will ever see anything positive in Kenya. All they ever talk about are the negatives which is what is wrong with the so called Civil Society!!!!

As for Martin Shikuku, i do think he needs to retire go home and stay there. His claims on the cabinet are quite suspect and it does seem he was angling for a position. Maybe he will become a Permanent Secretary, though if he ever does that’s the end of that ministry!!!

A 40 member cabinet…hmmm though i like the fact that we have 7 women ministers

So yesterday after alot of talking and demands some realistic others unrealistic we do have a cabinet of 40 ministers and 52 assistant ministers

Well let me point out a few interesting things…

Hon Ruto has been made Agriculture Minister…which i dont think he is quite qualified for that job at all but after the violence that manifested itself in Rift Valley, Kenya’s bread basket who better to give the job of reconstruction than Hon Ruto who has been accused in some quarters of fanning the flames and planning the violence in those areas.

Prof Anyang Nyong the goverments fiercest critic and Danson Mungatana on of PNU’s most vocal MP’s in the same ministry for Medical services, an explosive combination that need to prove they can work together…that should prove to be very interesting.

Guess will be waiting and watching for those new ministers to goof, ministers of the likes of Otieno Kajwang, Mutula Kilonzo and Henry Kosgey. I just wondered if it made sense for the Ministry of Industrialization to be given to someone who is over 55 years of Age…

The goverment has 7 women which is also a new first in this country and i would say its a step in the right direction. Here is who they are

Seven women land top posts

Publication Date: 4/14/2008

Seven women were Sunday appointed to the grand coalition Cabinet, making it the highest number ever in the country’s history.

The appointments, made by President Kibaki, were close to the Government’s promise that 30 per cent of all public appointments and elective positions will be reserved for women.

The Party of National Unity nominated four of its female members to the Cabinet while ODM and its affiliates gave the rest.

Been tipped

Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Martha Karua retained her docket but now has more responsibilities – National Cohesion.

Ms Karua, the Gichugu MP, had widely been tipped to become the Deputy Prime Minister.

Taveta MP Dr Naomi Shabani also retained her Special Programmes docket. She was appointed early this year, when President Kibaki named his half Government.

And Nyeri Town MP Esther Murugi Mathenge was appointed, for the first time, minister for Gender and Children Affairs.

Also to make it to the new Cabinet was Dagoretti MP Beth Mugo, who has for a long time held assistant ministerial portfolios including that of Education in the Narc government.

Kitui Central MP Mrs Charity Ngilu also made it back to the Cabinet following her appointment to the Ministry of Water and Irrigation.

She replaced Mr John Munyes, who was moved to the Ministry of Labour. Mrs Ngilu, during the run-up to last year’s General Elections, was sacked by the President from the post of minister for Health after she switched her allegiance to ODM leader Mr Raila Odinga.

Another surprise inclusion to the Cabinet was United Democratic Party’s Dr Hellen Jepkemoi Sambili, who was appointed the minister for Youth and Sports. She is the MP for Mogotio. UDP is affiliated to the Orange Democratic Movement party.

Also appointed by President Kibaki was Aldai MP and former head of the Public Service Dr Sally Kosgei. She becomes the new minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology.

Dr Kosgei is a member of the National Dialogue and Reconciliation team charged with seeking a solution to the current political impasse facing the country.

Several women were also appointed to the assistant minister’s position.

They include Mrs Lorna Laboso, the Sotik MP, who is the assistant minister in the Office of the Vice President in charge of Home Affairs.

Mrs Elizabeth Ongoro, the Kasarani MP, was appointed to the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development as assistant minister. Runyenjes MP Ms Cecily Mbarire was appointed assistant minister in the Ministry of Tourism. She has also served in the Ministry of Transport in the same capacity.

Former Immigration minister and Marakwet East MP Mrs Linah Jebii Kilimo was appointed Cooperatives assistant minister, while Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, the Starehe MP, was appointed assistant minister in the Ministry of Housing.

Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti is the new assistant minister for Youth and Sports.

copyright Daily Nation 2008

And who do diplomats think they are?

Well i do get amazed by the European and American diplomats in this country who take every opportunity to impart their wisdom and position of their country on every small thing that happens here politically speaking. Yesterday they were on news calling for the cabinet to be formed faster and their threats on unspecified consequences of politians who stand in the way of a new cabinet.

Well the cabinet needed to be formed a long time ago, but who we kidding the American Ambassadeur and The British High commisioner dont care about you and me, they want to keep on interfering lending us money and charging us through the nose and keeping on harping about corruption when thier companies dont win contracts.

They are just imperialist who dont care about what happens to me and you…but how much influence thier goverments can exact on the Kenyan Goverment, making sure thier national interests are always considered above everyone else.

Sad they cant regulate what countries you can travel to since they do not and never will control the whole world, so if they deny you a visa to the UK or the US, take a trip to China, Turkey or Even Iran!!!

I want a new cabinet but every day the cabinet hasnt been formed i save a huge chunk of that 40 billion its going to cost me!!!

Our new Cabinet proposals…even civil society have nothing on us


Combines Roads & Public Works with Lands. That way, you wouldn’t have to worry about land allocated on road reserves, plus the land in the potholes on the roads will not go to waste…

Combines Internal Security with Health. Poisoning is a security matter. Food poisoning is a health matter. Both are internal. Whether within borders or bodies, it is covered!

Housing + Home Affairs. Why build a house and not make it a home…?

Energy + Science & Technology. This was a tough one because we wanted to put Min. of Water instead of Science & Tech, but water (H2O) has its own energy. ’nuff said. Can be renamed Min. of Kilojoules if powerful enough.

Education + Labour. Natural flow from school to work…

Foreign Affairs + Immigration + Regional Co-operation
Self-explanatory, really.

And now my favorite!
Transport + Agriculture. I’m feeling productive…

Environment + Gender & Culture. Gives a Kenyan touch to our surroundings…

Sports + er… Tourism. However, this will be on rotational basis. A chance for tourists to meet the athletes they admire so much, plus we can include Kenya Premier League games in the itinerary, thus resulting in big stadia ad more income!

Finance +, well, Water. Need I say more?

Information & Communication + Special Programs
That way, special programs can be highlighted, AND programming (radio and TV) can also be special…!

Local Govt + Ethics. So, the next time I give a local govt ordinance, I will consider the implications beyond the letter of the law.

Defence + Trade & Industry + Youth. What? Protect infant industries…

Livestock + Tourism (rotational). Rename livestock ministry Min. of Animals. Tourists like athletes and animals. Rotate tourism between Sports and Animals.

Justice & Constitutional Affairs + Fisheries. Simple. Anything fishy is referred to the judicial system, and the high court has a statue of a boy carrying a fish…

All under THE MIN. OF COALITION & COMBINED EFFORTS (formerly Planning & National Development).

copyright Yafesi 08 

Only in Kenya – Obama beer

Long before he became a top candidate for the Democratic Presidential ticket, Senator Barack Obama was inspiring a particular brand of prideful Obama-mania in Kenya, the birthplace of his late father, Barack Obama Sr., and the current home of his paternal grandmother. If the senator wins the nomination and even the Presidency, many Kenyans will be clinking glasses filled with a beloved product here that has hitched itself to the coattails of his fame and success: “Obama” beer.

Known officially as Senator Keg but as “Obama” by drinkers, the barley-based beer is marketed specifically by its manufacturer—East African Breweries Limited, or EABL, a subsidiary of London-based Diageo—to low-income consumers who have few options for a safe, affordable, and legal beer.

EABL’s corporate affairs director, Ken Kariuki, says it was purely coincidence that Senator Keg launched in November, 2004, the same month that Obama won his U.S. Senate seat. But the connection is far from lost on Kenyans, who are intensely proud of the politician and his roots. “Obama is the man, and his family comes from my province,” said Nicolas Adero, 26, who was recently found in a Nairobi bar downing several glasses of Senator beer from a plastic dispenser that resembled a bong. The beer sells for about 30¢ a glass.

Home Brew and Moonshine

Barack Obama Sr. left Kenya at age 23 to study at the University of Hawaii on an economics scholarship. In Honolulu he met and married fellow student Ann Dunham, Obama Jr.’s mother, but left when his son was two to study at Harvard. He and Dunham soon divorced and he eventually returned to Kenya, dying there in a car crash in 1982. Many people in the Luo tribe—Obama Sr.’s tribe—have named their children Obama, especially ones who were born after Sen. Obama came to visit in 2006.

Today, more than half of Kenya’s population of 32 million lives on less than a dollar a day. Mainstream Kenyan alcohol brands, like EABL’s top-selling Tusker beer which sells for $1 to $3 a bottle, are out of reach for most. Filling the gap are small-scale home brewers who have developed an array of low-priced spirits and moonshine known in Swahili as busaa and chang’aa. These informal products account for 57% of all alcoholic beverages consumed in Kenya. Cornmeal-based chang’aa often goes for as little as 13¢ per glass.

Unfortunately, these products often contain dangerous substances that producers believe will speed up fermentation—noxious additives such as fertilizers, battery acid, or formalin that can blind and even kill. In June, 2005, 51 drinkers died and a dozen were blinded from a particularly toxic batch of homebrew laced with battery acid in a district outside Nairobi. “The big challenge is that there are many players still selling illicit liquor and giving alcohol a very bad name,” says EABL’s Kariuki. “They spike and adulterate their products to give them more kick and end up with harmful concoctions.”

Hard to Keep Up With Demand

The threat to public health resulted in an unusual agreement, according to EABL: the Kenyan government would rescind excise taxes and, in exchange, EABL would sell a clean alcoholic beverage far below the price of other regulated beers. The beer existed before Obama went to the U.S. Senate, but only in bottles. The company launched the keg version when Obama won his seat.

Demand for Senator Keg has been surging ever since, and EABL is hard pressed to keep up. In Nairobi alone, distributors deliver 8,000 50-liter Senator kegs a day. Kariuki says in April the company expects to open a new production line in its Nairobi factory to boost capacity.

Eliza Barclay is a freelance correspondent.