I was looking through the old Kenyan Adverts of the 1990s for today’s TBT feature and I have come to one Not-So-Startling conclusion. The more things change, the more they remain the same. My reason for saying this is due to the fact that though the resolution and video quality of ads have kept improving, the message that the ads contain have remained relatively the same.


Take the old 1999 OMO Fishmonger Commercial:


This ad is quite well done and speaks to the need of the customer in a practical and compelling way and it was a hit in its day. But if you zoom 10 years later you get relatively the same thing in the same brand’s Commercial:


The similarity in the theme of two videos point to the fact that products are not an end in themselves. They point to a greater end which is Human Need. The times will change and products too, but the need will still remain. People will continue needing clean clothes and nice looking hands and therefore, commercials will always show those features even as years pass.

You can see Evlyn Wambui’s inquest into the kenyan advert scene here

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