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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

That 'ZAIN MY BUSINESS' advert

Advertisements for product and services no doubt a lot of the time play quite a big role in getting people to decide whether to go for the services and or products advertised.

A lot of time, the adverts may be more attractive and attention-grabbing than the actual product and service really on display. At other times, one may see a less than inspiring advert for a product that is really quite good. In Nigeria particularly among the GSM (global system for mobile communication) providers, I have always felt that MTN has the best adverts. I must in fact admit that there was a time when I was so irked by the difference (or rather disparity) between their adverts and their image that having just seen one of their really nice adverts, I couldn't help but exclaim something to the effect that the only thing they are known for is their quite good adverts!

The other telephone networks have over the time managed to get by with adverts that have in my opinion, not particularly been inspiring. Some of these adverts have been at best, just there while a few have barely managed to score average marks.

Zain has however been airing one advert for Zain my business on the radio in recent times. I find the advert a bit annoying and I think Zain should change the agency in charge of their account and or the people who approve adverts in their company.

The 'Zain my business' went roughly as follows:

A guy runs panting to his boss and says "boss, we can seal that deal now if we can get all the other people to agree"
BOSS: I'll cal everybody
GUY: How're you going to get XYZ in Abuja?
BOSS: (sighs heavily) that's true, I'll call him
GUY: And all the others?
BOSS: (another quite heavy sigh) yeess, I'll call everybody one after the other (this said as if weighed down by the enormity of the work ahead of him)
GUY: But that's a lot of airtime boss
BOSS: (bursts into laughter) don't worry, I use zain my business!

I am not sure what message the authors or creators of the adverts thought they were trying to pass across by the mannerism affected by the people in the advert but I sure thought there was a subtle attempt at insulting the listeners to the advert inherent in that advert. The insult is implicit in the guy's question to his boss "How are u going to get XYZ in Abuja?" To hear that question you would think we were back in those days when calls had to be routed from one quaint place to another. What in fact play on my mind every single time I hear that advert is that the call to Abuja will be routed through the Nigerian roads from one state to another until it gets to Abuja and since our roads are in a really sorry state, having to call someone in Abuja really should be a cause for concern! This is because not only will it take days before the call goes through, it might also suffer accidents and police extortion on the way! Now who wouldn't worry and sigh heavily at the thought of having to go through all that in an attempt to get some people to give a quick assent to a deal they've been praying and probably fasting for!

I got the same impression when the boss said he'll call all the others one after the other in a tone of voice that falls just short of mournful. The boss only stupidly (in my view) burst into laughter when the subordinate expressed the concern at the cost implications of calling all those people. One would have thought the boss would have from the beginning showed an eagerness to make the calls since he knew all along that he had zain my business which was supposed to make calls really cheap and affordable instead of affecting the heavy and mournful tone until the very last moment.

Well, just goes to show, we can't get it right all the time!

GUY: How are