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Today’s adverts fall short of yesteryears creativity

KELVIN Mbewe.

Analysis: KELVIN MBEWE
THE media in Zambia is growing in terms of numbers and this has come with its own successes and challenges.In my observation one of the major challenges affecting media institutions in Zambia is the quality of materials broadcast, especially when it comes to adverts.
I have always been a fan of adverts because I appreciate the amount of creativity and time that goes into the development of a good piece.
In my teenage years I would wait for particular adverts just to enjoy the creativeness of the content.
I am sure those in my age group and the elderly remember adverts such as “Ndani apika nsima lelo?” a famous mealie meal advert.
Another one that was famous for its quality is the boom advert where a Rasta man was in the back of a van singing a song about how he feels fresh and cool after using boom while bathing.
These adverts were enticing such that everyone thought the only washing paste that existed was boom.
There was also the ‘bwanji Ireen’ sweets advert.
This type of creativity is rarely seen in adverts of today.
Lately, I have watched and heard adverts that de campaign the product it intends to advertise.
This is sad but true.
There are also some adverts that are really good.
I’ m particularly in love with the wild cat energy drink ‘Chilalya inshi’ advert because it is short and to the point.
There is also a new advert where two women are talking about slaying when it comes to their laundry.
I think these scripts have been well crafted and the delivery is on point.
These are the few good adverts that I can remember.
Most of the other adverts are literary hard to understand and a waste of airtime.
Some adverts encourage violence and have no proper structure while others are just too long and irrelevant.
In 2013 I had the privilege of attending a workshop on programme formats.
This workshop was highlighting components of good media content among other important issues.
Just like a movie or any other programme, the initial part of an advert or any media content must catch the eye or ear depending on whether it is radio, television or newspaper.
Secondly, the advert must have a big question which ought to be answered before the end of the advert.
It must keep the audience glued until the end. The audience must be looking out for what will happen next until the end.
This component is usually grasped in most adverts.
A good advert must also have twists and turns, and at the end of it must have a climax which answers the big question.
And despite having these components a good advert can be delivered in a song, report, conversation, montage, testimony, among other formats.
If the above components are properly handled, it becomes the birth of a good advert.
Most of the adverts that I see today are in conversation form.
There is nothing wrong with this; it is just that there is need for variety and creativity in the delivery of these adverts.
Today there are a lot of adverts, some good and some bad, but most of them are terrible.
I will not mention names, but am sure readers have noticed that some of them go beyond expectations by not only advertising a product but also advertising gender-based violence.
Some adverts are way too long such that the message is forgotten half way through the advert.
I think those that make adverts should take some time to listen to foreign adverts made by companies like Coca cola, Pepsi, and so on.
They can also take a leaf from old Zambian adverts.
One advert that one can learn from is where the late Danny Kanengoki (Souzande) and his wife where jealous of their neighbours’ ever looking clean laundry.
Sauzande and the wife had to smear mud on the neighbour’s laundry a sign of jealousy and once the poor neighbour noticed the mud on her laundry she smiled and said thanks to a bullet washing paste her clothes would be white again.
These were simple and straight forward adverts but done in a creative manner such that the message was clear and to the point.
Everyone in the house would sing or talk along while the message was being delivered.
Today most of the adverts have good messages, but I think they lack creativity among other components of a good advert.
The author is a Zambia Daily Mail correspondent.

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