Over the years, advertising agencies have jammed our TV and radio sets with commercials and advertisements. Some of the ads make us laugh, some bore us; others are just annoying. Whatever the case, it’s about time we recognized the outstanding bulaango we’ve been blessed (and cursed) to watch and listen to.
The “False Confidence” Award
It goes to Mountain Dew and beer commercials. My niece is a commercial-freak. The kid literally knows every single ad that hit the screens since she was two, and is always reciting them. Ipso facto, I switch off the TV every time a Mountain Dew commercial starts showing; the last thing I want is this kid trying out weapons of self-destruction just to have an “Xtreme Xperience”. She’s already asked me to wheel her around Nakumatt in a cart; next thing I know, she’ll be ramming into heavy-cargo vehicles with a bottle in her hand, expecting to come out through the other end!
And with all those heroic soundtracks and slogans in beer commercials, the abracadabra is working. You see bu-broke patrons in nightclubs wearing the Incredible-Hulk look on their faces; they’re in the “Bell Nation”. It’s written all over his face: he actually thinks he is “big and bold with a heart of gold” and has the “heart of a king” just because he could afford a Pilsner bottle!! The youthful ones, who obviously comprehend the English in the commercials better, buy Guinness and start feeling- and acting- like Michael Power (naye where’s this guy?!)
The “Peer Pressure” Award
MTN wins this one. Ever since I watched a commercial where a Jajja’s diction was urbanized thanks to 10 free MB of internet that MTN had given her, my heart skips two beats every time I call up my granny- I half-expect to hear a “waddup” on the other end of the line- anti she uses MTN! There’s no telling what the tu-kids on Facebook have taught her.
The “Please Don’t Try This At Home” Award
Airtel and Warid Telecom tied here. I tell you, we need to regulate these commercials, somehow, before they drive us crazy. Kato Lubwama was lying- they are not kika; they are a wolokoso. If you doubt it, go to Serena and ask for a “discount on that discount”; you won’t even get the fis wizout a head– security will bounce you out, I promise.
Or worse still, lady, introduce yourself to the boys as “Nalumansi-hot-this-year”. Hmmm; unless one of them is a Kabaka fan, you’re on your own. You’ll buy own drinks that night.
Please don’t pull Warid’s Onesmus stunts on your land-lord, wife or mother-in-law. No-one in their right mind will make you their son-in-law because you have endless pre-paid calls (“free calls”, as we preferably call them).
The “Too Much Kelele” Award
There’s this record-breaking babe that does the commercials for local concerts on Simba FM, CBS FM and Akaboozi Radio; the one that featured in Wilson Bugembe’s Lengera Embaata. She can spend two minutes screaming Chameleone’s name: “Ba sebbo ne ba nyabbo, Jose Chameleooooooone!!” I suggest that she joins WWE and calls the shots there- she’s wasting “talent” here. Atte she seems to be a trendsetter; now everyone that is announcing concerts wants to tear our eardrums!!
Close in line comes the new Airtel commercial where this lady calls herself Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, secrets, an endless chatterbox, Leila, Airtel and ten other names. You’re right about one thing, lady; you’re an endless chatterbox. Eh!!!
The “Broken English” Award
UMEME and NWSC win this accolade. For years now, they’ve been WISHING to inform us of power shutdowns and water shortages. They’ve never actually informed us. “UMEME/National Water wishes to inform its esteemed customers….” They’ll possibly be wishing forever!
The “Who Does That” Award
That MoH campaign, “If It’s Not On, It’s Not Safe”, takes this one. They’ve got these very annoying radio commercials that make you hate sex, I tell you. The men and ladies try to give us the impression that they’re in bed, but they sound awful. They really make you hope you don’t sound like them.
The Creativity Award
In a nation led by a President whose campaign song was his own hip-hop rendition of a folk song, the award goes to none else. On that note, Betti Kamya, come next elections, we await your version of Njabala. I don’t know what Olara Otunnu will rap about (or where the man even is).
The “Who Are You Kidding” Award
Baale Francis’ commercial for UTL wins this one. I was feeling like Al Johnson in Love Don’t Cost a Thing that particular evening, only for good old Frank and his friends to show up on my screen and reduce me to Alvin Johnson!! Dressed in gladiator shades, a baseball jacket and cap, fitting jeans and sneakers, he rapped (yes, he did) about UTL airtime lasting forever. Seriously, Frankie, who are you kidding? Your lie is as stale as Aqua Sipi attributing Kiprotich’s success to their water.
Speaking of Kip,names like his, Kipsiro, Kiprop and Kiplimo give me the idea that we should all adopt the Kip prefix to our names- we might all win gold!! It would be fun to watch Maj. Kale Kiphura run around after Dr. Kizza Kipsigye!! That kind of drama is Uganda’s MO.