We would like to believe we are social capitalists with only a few existing in a ‘man eat man’ philosophical worldview. We think our lives a decade ago was less affected by the greedy individuals who now make us focus on material wealth. The reality however is that our culture has been shaped over a longer period of time and we are probably just responding to messages received half a century ago. What is all this about? Adverts!

We started singing along and mimicking characters in adverts since we were young, depending on the level of exposure of course. Here are some of my personal favourites, both old and new.

OMO Advert

This advert, other than showing between the nostalgic ‘OMO Pick-a-box’ show on Sundays, would be played between shows like Utah Ramayan. It featured this lady (God rest her soul. I don’t know how I got to know that she passed on, but I did) who would sing of OMO’s praises.

‘Inaondoa madoadoa yote, Inaondoa uchafu wote…’

If you can remember this advert verbatim, you have been brainwashed since your tender ages. Don’t worry, it was bound to happen at some point, with another product.

KIMBO Jingle

There was this comparatively more recent KIMBO advert that featured a fisherman returning to his wife in the evening. I can’t remember all the details (not my strong points) but I do remember the jingle. It was simple…’Pika kwa kimbo’. The words might be similar to the current one but the tune was different and sounded more night-time appropriate and had that African family feel to it.

Always Coca-Cola

Coke has changed its slogan over time, making it more relevant to the times and swaying millions of customers in the process. One of the ones featured under this was the one with the bottle top as the main image. Inside the image would pop up different items, from food to fabric cut-outs of words, of course being ‘Always Coca-Cola’.

TOSS Radio Spots

Who doesn’t know Miss Babes, Mad Mike, Msakhulu, Peter (the one on a blind date), Sam (the one whose workmates like his tie-dye shirt) and of course the Form One who has done a couple of years, repeating the same class…and shirt. I used to listen to the radio in the early 2000s to hear these adverts. They were/are hilarious and that copywriter deserves an award. Kenyans love his work dearly.

So, don’t pretend to be an independent thinker when clearly your choices have been influenced over and over without your knowledge.