Who exactly are the Kenyan middle class?

A few weeks ago i was having an interesting discussion with a group of friends about the Kenyan middle class. Much of the discussion was drawn from this particular article that had appeared in the Daily Nation some weeks back which had attempted to explain who the Kenyan middle class is. The link to the article is as below

http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/lifestyle/Kenyas-new-daring-middle-class/-/1214/1537684/-/u6wmxj/-/index.html

I had big issues with the article, due to the classification of who we consider to be middle class. In advertising we would classify the Obure interviewed for the story as upper class or an A when you look at it from a social economic class classification. Unfortunately classification of a target audience using social economic class only took into consideration the income of the primary bread winner especially when households now have multiple incomes.The social economic classes were A, B, C1, C2, D, E.

Clearly using the social economic classes method of audience classification was not going to work especially with the growth in population and the rise of advertising in Kenya. So the Kenya Audience Research Foundation was formed and from around 2008, the Living Standard Measure (LSM) method of audience classification was introduced. LSM is a way of segmenting people based on their access to, and use of a wide range of products and services. A composite index is derived from a range of variables (products& services) that sum up the consumption and affordability status (and hence the living standard) of an individual. LSMs are a measure of affluence & development.

LSM explained

So a look at LSM shows that the middle class range from LSM 7-12 and that would range from upper to lower middle class. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the Kenyan middle class can be defined as anyone spending between Sh23,670 and Sh 199,999 per month. Africa Development Bank however classifies the middle class as anybody with an annual income exceeding Sh331,500 ($3,900) or who spends between Sh170 ($2) and Sh1,700 ($20) a day.

I am more inclined to go with the with the Kenya bureau of Standards classification for the Kenyan scenario meaning that the guy interviewed in the Nation article is actually upper class by Kenyan standards. I would actually say that Obure is LSM 14 -15. As explained by the future capital blog http://futurecapitalkenya.blogspot.com/2011/03/who-are-middle-class.html an understanding of the middle class is very critical as they are the engine of growth in any economy. How the will influence the upcoming elections though, is yet to be seen…

The quite absolutely fantastic Faiba Ads by Jamii Telkom Limited

Well i have been quite a big fan of Jamii Telkom and it wasn’t because of their advertising. They seemed to be the only ISP providing a good reliable internet solution with quite a number of very happy clients. So Jamii Telkom have embarked on an advertising campaign for their Fiber network in certain suburbs called Faiba. First i should say it takes a very funky and switched on company to call their Fibre Internet product Faiba, i love that name as its local and quite descriptive.

When the Faiba product was launched i do remember wondering why there were no TV ads for the same. I figured that was due to the fact that the product was new and availability was still confined to the Karen/ Lavington area. Availability now is quite widespread and you can check if Faiba is available in your area on this link http://www.faiba.co.ke

The ads done by Fatboy Animation are set back in the prehistoric days more like Flinstones, showing different browsing sppeds and the innovation that comes with Faiba. I like the sports car approach showing different modes of transport from before wheels to using a wheel, a cart with wheels to showing innovation by using a dinosaur to pull a cart. The Faiba option is shown as a sports car which is the fastest option available.

The other options show how fast downloads are and one guy communicating with his wife via Skype while the other one is sending him smoke signals to capture his attention…

I like this campaign as its funny and quite memorable. The Agency behind it looked to be having alot of fun while working on it and it shows. Kudos’ to the Faiba team for a fantastic campaign.

Was Kenya Dairy Boards TV ad picked directly from the Evian award winning roller babies campaign?

The Kenya Dairy Board is a statutory body established in 1958 through an Act of Parliament, the Dairy industry Act Cap 336 of the Laws of Kenya. The Board, which operates under the Ministry of Livestock Development, is mandated to Regulate, Develop and Promote the Kenyan Dairy Industry. It does count in its membership most of Kenya’s milk processors and has just launched a new campaign to get Kenyans to drink more milk.

In the newly launched Campaign developed by McCann Erickson we see babies in a bar ordering and drinking milk. The babies are dressed up in skimpy outfits much like one would while going out. The set up is a bar where we are shown different cocktails and different babies ordering milk. The ad ends with a dance as the babies who have been drinking milk that keeps them young perform for thier friends different dances. The ad ends with a shot of all the babies sitting by the bar drinking milk. The track playing in the background goes Do milk stay young…

The concept of the ad is quite nice the only issue i have with it was it seems to have been picked directly from another award winning Evian ad

So it seems the team behind the Dairy board ad used the Evian concept and all they changed was the setting from the street to a bar. I hear they used the Evian ad to present to the client, of course after editing out the place in the ad where they show the Evian brand. Is it that we couldn’t have come up with a creative idea a local creative idea? Reminds me of the old Spice ad and the Barclays bank knock off…

As Scangroup officially closes McCann Kenya this ad doesn’t do much for them as a creative agency. Anyway here are a few got milk ads

SAB Miller to launch Miller Genuine Draft

Well after my post last week wondering what SAB Miller was launching in December through Crown Beverages it now appears they are launching Miller Genuine Draft.

So what is Miller Genuine Draft?

According to Wikipaedia…

Miller Genuine Draft – Miller Genuine Draft (MGD) was introduced in 1985 as the original cold filtered packaged draft beer, which means that the beer is not pasteurized. MGD received the gold medal in the American-style Premium Lager category at the 1999 World Beer Cup. It also received the silver medal at the 2003 American Beer Festival. The concept for cold-filtered Miller Genuine Draft was developed by product consultant Calle & Company. Martin Calle evolved the concept from Miller’s New Ventures effort to launch a new dry beer at a time Miller Brewing was in danger of becoming a much-cloned light beer manufacturer. Originally introduced as “Miller High Life Genuine Draft”, the “High Life” part of the name was soon dropped. MGD is actually made from the same recipe as Miller High Life but with a different treatment. It was developed to give High Life drinkers the same taste in a can or bottle as they found in non-pasteurized kegs. It has 4.7% abv.

So i figure they must be launching the beer to fight Tusker malt and possible Heineken. So know i know why EABL has launched Tusker Lite and just today Pilsner Lite.

For the life of me i can figure out who the Consumer for Pilsner ICE is, anyone know?

Did KPLC really deserve an MSK award?

A question by Sunnywords on twitter brought up an interesting debate about the role of MSK currently known as the marketing Society of Kenya. In their last warrior awards KPLC, won 2 awards one for best rebrand of an existing brand and the second for a good corporate campaign. I know what you’re thinking KPLC, seriously? How did they even get an award?
The argument is MSK should know better, how do you award a company that consistently disappoints consumers, never delivers on the brand promise and is a big monopoly with no competitor thus no need to keep to any standards. From a technical standpoint KPLC did deserve the awards but in marketing isn’t the brand promise as important as the campaign or the ad?
The bigger question is what happened to MSK? The Marketing Society of Kenya was supposed to uphold the highest level of marketing but has been a limping association with no clear direction in the last 10 years. They even used to publish a marketing magazine called Sokoni quite a while back, but no more. You’d think with a council of who’s who in big marketing suites across the country the MSK wouldn’t be groping in the dark when it comes to matters marketing. Maybe it’s time to either restructure MSK or start an all inclusive new marketing association; While we are at it maybe there is an opportunity to also create an advertisers association as APA (Association of Practitioners in Advertising) is a dead association.
As for the APA looks like it did die a natural death, can’t remember the last time we held Advertising awards in Kenya.

Brand endorsement Advertising season…is it working?

So lately the Kenyan advertising scene has been down a certain road that is traveled on time and time again. Looks like every brand is going down the road of Brand Endorsements especially fronted by a lot of multinational brands. I don’t know what the fixation with Endorsement/ Brand ambassadors is but its become a bit too common of late. Is it working?

Unilever

Rexona – Wahu

Barclays – Maqbul

Airtel – Amani

Dettol – Judy Gichuru

PSI Mpango wa Kando – Jimmy Gathu

Others Include Samsung – Wyre, Harpic – Susana Owiyo & Nyambane, Tusker – Nameless

The Barclays Ultimate account ad – Blantant Plagarism or a case of Ignorance

So Barclays Bank yesterday premiered a new ad for their new Ultimate account which has a roster of benefits, with no fees at ATMs, a Visa card etc. The star of the ad is Maqbul Mohammed a Capital FM Drive show presenter. All things considered its a very well shot ad the only problem being its plagarised from the Old Spice Campaign. The Old Spice Ad won a Grand prix at the Cannes Advertising Awards and reports are it increased sales of Old Spice by around 300%. Its an iconic, ground breaking campaign. So as much as we do admit imitiation is the sincerest form of flattery, what this ad has done is blatant plagiarism of the idea and the script.

Is that even allowed or have we thrown creativity & honesty out of the window? I’m quite disappointed in Barclays, its no wonder i’m not a customer.