Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Are You Zero Grazing Your Children?

Sometimes when I look at some disinfectant TVC I get so angry. What do you mean there are germs everywhere? I am not saying there are no germs, but they are not everywhere. Unfortunately we have been brain washed to the benefit of these products.

I think some of our children are reared like the broiler chicken. Indoors, lots of junk food, limited space to walk, artificial lighting and modern gadgets. Those too are experiences, but we are all sure what the products are.

I am happy I was born in my generation where I was allowed to graze freely. The things we did can kill the today’s zero grazed child. We ate some gum from a tree I have no idea what is the English name. And it was such a delicacy. We dug beetles from cow dung by urinating in their holes to force them out. We fished tadpoles thinking they were fish. We made mud slides during the rainy seasons. We ate the roadside stones when it rained just because they smelt aromatic. Oh, and we didn’t die.

I know things have changed. We don’t have forests or rivers or even space to let our children, we cannot trust them to roam around and we are too busy. When was the last time you played with your children? Outdoor?

We are limited I know, but I still believe it is a parents responsibility to create moments and experiences for their children. It is so unfortunate that most of our children have never seen a cow giving birth, or even a cow being milked. They can neither make fire nor make tea. They have never seen a tadpole leave alone a frog. It is a sad thing.

With all our excuses, we are lucky as a country that we can give such experiences to our children if we made deliberate efforts. A friend of mine Emanzo is doing such a great work with his Bush Culture Programs. And I agree with his concept. That unless we do something and create some of  these experiences for our children, they will never understand why environment is such an important things and they may never ever understand life as they ought to.
So this coming holiday, do something with your children. And if you need help, you can always contact me to help you create experiences for you children, experiences that will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

Friday, March 9, 2012

What Is Your Claim?

If you look at brands they have a communication tagline. This tagline is what we call a claim. Now I was musing about it and I realized human beings do have taglines too. Why do brands have taglines?

Taglines are a condensed representation of the values or attributes a brand wants to be perceived as offering to the target audience. Unfortunately some of these claims are not realistic and neither are they true. But marketers know if they feed you with a claim over and over, your mind starts to think that it is a true claim and we start as we seek to fulfill the created demand and thus we end up consuming the brand.

Let us look at two big brands in Kenya and see what they claim to offer.

OMO : This is a detergent that aggressively fights for her market share. In the recent past they claimed that Dirt is good. Obviously that is a lie if dettol is to go with. Anyway, they would show kids learning how to ride bikes or learning how to play football and as they fall, they would get a badges of honor and that is how dirt is good. In the same campaign they used footballers (Samuel Etoo) to endorse the brand. Who doesn't want their kids to succeed? According to OMO let your kid get as dirty as they can, that is the way to succeed. In my words, let your kids get as dirty as they can, you will only end up using more OMO for the meantime. By the time you realize dirt aint good and your kids cloths are something else, OMO will have come up with another claim... Fights Dried In Stains... who is laughing now?

Let us look at another brand

Coke: Always Refreshing. Life gets monotonous and boring for most of us. And as we engage with what we do we get drained and dehydrated. Knowing water is the best beverage to hydrate, Coke tells you to get refreshed always and so they model that bottle adorned with ice cold sweat that makes you crave for one. That is the claim that water no matter how healthy cannot beat so easily. And that is why it is easy to grab a cold soda over a cold glass of water. Then realizing that people are becoming more health conscious, BRRRRRR came in the picture. We want something exciting to shake us from the inside. And that campaign was a success. And before we realize there is nothing BRRRR about a cold coke, they came up with now what is here... open happiness. Now what is this? Ok, this is fantasy. And subconsciously we are looking for some open happiness... Something liberating, something beyond. Are we still talking about quenching thirst? You tell me...

In a nutshell, that is the power of a tagline, a claim.

Most human beings unfortunately do not have a conscious claim. But of yoy stick around a person you will hear something they say way too often.. Let me sample a few, life is hard, life is boring, I can't do that. I wish I was... I wish I had, If only, I will be happy when... Someday I will...

I believe your claim whether conscious or unconscious will define what you offer life and how your surrounding configure themselves for you. As earlier said, a claim may not be true, but as we consistently engage with it, it starts defining so many things for us.

Having thought about this, my claim for this season is living a great story.

So, what is your claim?