Commercial break

Ad: “Mpango wa Kando”

Client: National Aids Control Council

The National Aids Control Council was set up with a mandate to provide policy and a strategic framework for mobilizing and coordinating resources for prevention of HIV transmission and provision of care for the infected and affected. Currently the National Aids Control council works in conjunction with development partners, civil society, and the private & public sector. Previous campaigns by the National aids control council included the VCT centres campaigns, to urge people to get tested and know their status.

In this new campaign which has been running for the last 2 months, we open on a scene of a husband and wife watching TV. The ad comes on and we see a guy walk onto screen. It’s Jimmi Gathu, and he begins to talk about the fact that new research shows that most new HIV infections are occurring within a marriage. The ad catches the couple’s attention and they begin to watch with interest.

The narrator continues to explain the reasons for this; that many men in marriages have another woman on the side. The guy watching TV starts looking away obviously stung by those words as his wife gives him a very bad look which makes him even more uncomfortable. Jimmi Gathu, continues with his hard hitting message, indicating there is only one way to cut down on such infections. Married men need to stop having a spare wheel or another woman on the side. The ad ends with the NACC logo as the campaign sponsor.

The radio ads follow the same line and tone featuring Jimmi Gathu’s voice over, while the press ads illustrate a picture of a couple with their ‘spare wheels’ or lovers who also have picture of their lovers; the scene eventually builds into one tangled messy picture that captures the essence of unfaithfulness. The ads end in the same way urging men to stop having a lover on the side.

This campaign is very hard hitting and straight to the point. It gets the message across by using facts and uncovering common truths that no one feels comfortable to address. The fact that it uses Jimmi Gathu as an opinion former is very key because it helps the audience to connect with the facts. Jimmi is correctly positioned to discuss this issue in public because of his current role on National TV and also because he is married; so he knows what happens in marriage. He uses his credibility to appeal to other men to be more responsible and stop ‘mpango wa kando’ or ‘spare wheels’. It’s a very well written and directed ad, which delivers the message home with a punch.

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