Sunday, 1 April 2012

Shed A Tear For Zambian Adverts

            What ever happened to the Geza soap or Diamondale milk adverts? Today watching the commercial advertisements during the 19 hours main news on ZNBC or listening to adverts on the radio is a painful experience. I always fall short of simply turning off the t.v or radio until the advert has passed. There is no better way of putting this, most of our adverts are pathetic, lack creativity, annoying and it should be a criminal offense to subject us to such mediocrity.
            Advertisements are supposed to communicate a message in an effective manner. Companies usually hire creative teams to sit down to come up with their adverts. It could take months before they come up with a satisfactory advert that they can finally put on the airwaves. Even watching these same ads are such a delight. The ads leave you hooked, entertained and the message comes across spot on.  You only have to look at the caliber of adverts that are shown on DSTV to understand what I am talking about. Flip the channel to ZNBC and it feels like our companies are having a competition, to see who can produce the most pathetic advert of them all.
            It is not difficult to spot a Zambian advert. The ads are usually characterised with a jingle laced with terrible lyrics, actors who act stupid, accents that are so fake and concepts that a 5 year-old would not be break sweat to come up with. For example almost every detergent advert has a woman struggling to wash her clothes. Then she is seated, sad and acting helpless. Before lo and behold, her friend pops up with a solution of this magical detergent paste. Then they mechanically pose with the detergent paste in their hands. Honestly is this the best you can do? Malabishi.
            The people who come up with such adverts should be ashamed of themselves. It should be an embarrassment to let your company have such rubbish adverts on the television or radio. I would honestly like to meet the people who come up with such ads so I can throw an egg in their face for putting us through the torture of such adverts. No matter how hard I try my brain is failing to understand how someone can make adverts such as the Washa detergent paste, Daili Ndalama or even Best juice. I laughed when I saw these ads. I did not laugh because they were funny, I laughed because they lacked any creativity whatsoever. There was no trace of imagination, uniqueness or even an attempt to avoid being mediocre. I am considering filing a complaint with whoever will listen to my plea. I have been tortured long enough.
            I refuse to accept that Zambia does not have creative individuals who can come up with well thought out and developed adverts than what we are currently being subjected to. We do have the caliber of actors who are able to deliver a message across without being mechanic, plastic and stupid. We do have the production houses that can shoot international standard adverts. The problem is that companies do not want to spend the money. It is no secret that it costs money to make something of high quality. Perhaps in companies’ efforts to save, they use their accountant to come up with the ad concept, the receptionist to be the actor and managing director’s phone to shoot the video. Okay the last one is exaggerating. I hope you get my point though. If the advert is cheap what guarantee do I have the product is any better.
            Despite the chuff that is around there is a still flicker of hope in the advertising doldrums. I have been impressed with the Trade Kings’ Boom Powder advert featuring our very own Zambian coach Herve Renard. Even the Amigo crisps ads have been a delight to watch and so has the Diamond Insurance advert been great. So for those people, who have already subjected us or are planning to subject us to more trash, watch these ads and learn a thing or two.
            Finally, I will continue to wait for brilliant adverts that are worthy of my time to be made. The next time I turn on the t.v or radio I will be waiting to see or hear how far one can stretch their lack of creativity or if the last pathetic advert I watched has been dethroned from its seat by something far worse. In the end all I can do is shed a tear as the current ads continue to torture me one ad at a time.



  1. very well put, can we do a petition and have sanity, I have colleges who visit and you have to explain an advert to them. it better we just do word of mouth

  2. You are so right. It appears that most people do not understand what an advert is. Something seriously needs to be done, I think there should be a body to regulate what is shown on TV and maintain some standards

  3. Talk about it bro! Some adverts are so pathetic. It's like the point is who can make the most stupid advert not about an advert that can sell a product. Take the yokosa candle ad. which i find so annoying. Is it really meant to attract people to buy candles.....i mean who looks for a candle thats hard enough to beat a thief with? eh, now i am ranting. ha!!!

  4. Hi Anonymous, go ahead and rant! Maybe if we all rant loud enough something will be done

  5. finally someone speakink sense. OMG! the adverts in this country are so beyond pathetic,they are all about detergent pastes,kids dancing around,women going to the stream...the stream...seriously like this is the 1800's.companies shud seat down with their creative teams and come up with relevant Adverts of this time and age.