Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Advertising in Ghana: Innovation or Irritation?

Well this post is inspired by my visit to Accra Mall today. I'm using Email to Blogger and Gmail App doesn't allow HTML email so bear with me until I go 'online' to format links properly.

Advertising in some aspects is still in its infancy but since multinationals spend huge amounts on advertsisng we are now in an 'Ad Boom'. The question is where do we draw the line and when does advertising stop being innovative and starts irritating.

I think there's a thin line and I will leave you to personally decide but today on my way to the washrooms at Accra Mall I saw no less than3 ad 'systems' at work.

On the walls in the corridor were some wall-mounted ads (Ecobank had taken it), at the end of the corridor a guy was 'lurking' and handing out flyers.(He'd better watch out for germs). Inside the washroom above the urinal basins were ad spaces (face ads is the name of the company) and two had been taken by Marie Stopes ( Sexual, Family Health and Pregnacy awareness) with some STI ads. There was a bigger one showing a 'business card online printing service'.

My thoughts are that well if we're going to have such ads how about a little context, say a hygiene product or if you're a general business like a bank how about a "have u closed your zipper? We pay attention to the little details,bring your business and money to us" kind campaign. No context makes such ads a 'No Win' for me. For example, I need business cards so why didn't I copy the url or address, because I only remembered after I had washed my hands and left and then going back felt odd.

Another ad system at the Accra Mall is 'bluetooth advertising' (someone please try and tell) which excited me to no end the first day I saw it but my BalckBerry is probably preventing access (sob sob).

But thinking through I feel it has similar challenges to the Google SMS service as Tim Akinbo (@takinbo) stated in this blog post ( See my comments below the post)

I feel that 'tech' stuff in themselves will not excite people. Bring on the 'discount coupons' and you have a service. I will 'hack' my BB bluetooth security settings just to get '50%' off Levi's jeans! I'm even thinking of interactive ways of using the bluetooth like allow uploads of funny clips shot at the mall and display, sponsored by Nokia or something.

One person who may have something to say is Amos Anyimadu
(@AfricaTalks) who thinks Ghana is now the capital of 'ugly big
billboards' (via Twitter). I will pose the question to him and update with response.

What do you think? Any thoughts on advertising in Ghana?

Sent from my mobile device