Of Forbes, Lady Gaga and Enterpreneurship

‘What you get, is for a Living – but what you give is for Life!’ (by… I don’t remember who)

In context, this just means too many of us are busy fulfilling the former. Making a living at what we do best, but it ends with the individual. The latter… “Giving” is so much nobler. When you ‘give’ you are not just fulfilling a moral need you are also extending your hand by helping someone else, and ultimately helping society. I wonder how many (creatives) know this and if so, do they put it into practice?

Well, today’s market demands that we aspire to do the latter. The vogue in todays’ marketing world is all about ‘Impact Investment’ (I read it somewhere in Forbes 🙂 We are looking at a Generation G (Generous) world. *Altruism is attractive. Giving, sharing and caring are as much of a status symbol for many consumers as having the biggest, the best or the fastest. Consumers now crave institutions that can show some humanity and empathy; they want to have relationships with brands.* (www.trendwatching.com)

Indeed, consumers are concerned about social and environmental sustainability. Yet acts of generosity by corporations are still relatively rare given the single-minded focus on profit.

Therefore, it is by no accident that Squad Digital (a Kenyan cutting edge digital agency of Scan Group) recently were awarded the top 3 accolades Gold, Silver and Bronze at the 34th Annual Loerie Award for Daktari 1525, #BringZackHome and KenyansforKenya campaigns respectively. These are bombshell ‘impact investment’ campaigns and there is no end to the ‘giving’ seen by the sponsors and audience who made these campaigns a success. Kudos to the team and the hope is that brands start looking towards this school of thought, asap J. For more on these winner campaigns go to http://bit.ly/SpBKFs

Heck, even Lady Gaga’s fame is not accidental. What makes her so special is not just because of her art but also the way she interacts with her fans. She has perfected the art of forging an amazing relationship with her “little monsters”. (she has close to a whopping 10 Million fans). This blatant devotion to Gaga is over various things she endorses or says. Fans say she has been a inspiration in lots of ways…..Inspiration to loosing weight, to having more confidence, and even keeping to her promise to her father to leave the right side of her body tattoo free; many of her tattoo-stained fans are following in that direction.

Bottom-line is brands need to now look at the consumer critically. They need to start ‘humanizing’ their interaction with their clients for them to gain relevant meaning. In fact, brands must move beyond standalone CSR initiatives. Truly generous brands’ whole mindset, tone and behavior needs to go beyond the purely commercial. Even if the ROI might not be quantifiable, brands need to know that their generosity will be reciprocated and benefit their brand in the long run.

 And that is where Creative Entrepreneurship should be headed! Tafakari hayo…




Fate or Speculate?

About a fortnight ago I was passing Ops (Operations), then a colleague of mine just hollered out, ‘Teresa, just come kidogo I show you something?’

Well I walked by to his desk. In my mind, I intuitively knew it was important. Anyway as I approach, I see him and another colleague looking at some video…

I ask, ‘What is it?’ ‘Its just this guy who has a cool video I’d like you to see. Watch and let me know what you think?’So for like 2 min I watch this movie trailer clip that seems authentically Kenyan yet the quality of production looks like a Spielberg Hollywood blockbuster…

Brilliance. Half-Live pap. I immediately want to know who the director and scriptwriter of the film is as it has truckloads of potential. I ask, ‘ Whose work is this?’

‘It’s for some guy called Keith. He is looking for a media house or anyone who is interested in screening it’.

‘Wow, this is great work, he needs to at least show his work to Alison (film guru – the one for Mali)’. Yes, I happen to know someone, who would be able to give me her digits and I could forward it to him.
‘Man, he is good. Give me his digits?’So I quickly jot down the number and memorize the films name “ Love Taken to a Mysterious Place”.I also mentally note that this is someone I want to meet. A telephone call later and a pleasant young man picks and says he is eager for us to meet. Java, Upperhill, 6 p.m. (Mzungu time).

Fast forward to jana evening. I finally meet him. Keith Oleng. 27 years, suave, a biker (had the obviously sign of a biker, the protective helmet + leather jacket), his fluency of the English language reveals a finesse only acquired by one who has traveled far (over and beyond the continent ).

I am one and a half hours late and he doesn’t mind one bit. (Just to clarify, lateness is not one of my vices, Nairobi rain and Yaya jam is to blame).A freelance Creative Director, ehem! Core is Film. Dabbles with Music and in fact has already done the ‘Factory agency’ stint for 6 months (who hasn’t done that time) and is now out on his own. Shares his history, from the humbling Kakamega High – to the lofty New York Film Academy. What was there not to like?

We chat. Share. Connect. Negotiate. Inspire. Shake Hands and hope to work together. 2 hours solid. The intrigue is in the way 2 strangers can suddenly see things in the same lens. I even get an exclusive invite to an invite-only opening unveil and screening of the cool film. Apparently it will also be his birthday gig. ‘It’s gonna be a cool screening from inside an empty swimming pool, projected on the deep end’, he whispers. What a ‘loco’ idea! I am jubilant. Is it fate or is it speculation?

Time will only tell. Much appreciated Keith. There are young amazing Kenyans out there, doing great stuff. Africa is a Planet; no it’s ‘The Planet’ (with a capital ‘T’). Watch this space to catch the vibe.