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viagra dosage geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>It would be surprising to find anyone in this country who hasn’t seen these adverts from Fresh Cuts. You have billboards, full color advertisements in all the major papers and full color commercials on the television. The general theme of these adverts is a bunch of beautiful, young people in beautiful, young clothes doing what the beautiful and the young do have fun with one unique feature or aspect: They are having fun with all kinds of meaty products, sausages, pastrami, beef, chicken, salami, fish, all of which look delectable and delicious.
The message Fresh Cuts is trying to send out is simple. No activity is truly fun without it being done while you eat meaty products, fresh cuts meaty products.
I love adverts in Uganda, there’s such a wide spectrum of them from the brilliant to the downright dumb. They came in all shape and sizes; they get to you in all forms of ways. Everywhere you go, you are hit by adverts and persuasive messages all trying to get you to buy something.
THE ADVERTSING INDUSTRY IN UAGNDA
Advertising is defined as the art of persuasion and the form of communication for marketing used to encourage and persuade people to do a certain action from buying a meal to deciding who your president is. Advertising has grown to become a major and important industry in the country. Twenty years ago we only had two mediums of advertising namely government owned broadcasting mediums and billboards but today the industry is spoiled for choice from SMS broadcasting, Social Media networking, television, newspapers to flyers, events you name it. There’s no limit. The industry has particularly benefited from developments in technology and the encouragement of creativity in the industry.
I think the trend really began with Warid Telecom. The mobile telecommunications provider which is part of Dhabi Group first came to Uganda in 2008 in a telecommunications industry which was already fiercely competitive. Their advertising strategy was inspired if not utterly entertaining. Soon the television screens were filled with Warid adverts which were funny and involved people and situations intended to entertain and amuse. Warid’s adverts were more than just adverts, they were sketches or little funny movies and we loved them. Warid is one of the two major telecommunications companies in Uganda and has one of the most vibrant advertising departments in the country. They must be doing something right.
ADVERTSING AS A MIRROR OF SOCIETY
The trend in many adverts today is to concentrate on fun and quality even in an economy that isn’t quite that. Adverts still flood our minds with images of beautiful women, beautiful clothes, luxury goods and a world; no matter how imitative of life, that is completely unrealistic from the real thing. But it does give us an idea of what we as a society hold as important.
Ugandans are a fun loving people and we value the idea and prestige of quality to an extreme and our adverts mirror that. They are hazy mirrors of everyday life something that Advertisers are very aware of. Notice the trend in adverts to put middle class people at the focus, people who struggle and work every day to survive, who have loves and hates and who in this particular economic environment are more unwilling to pay for a product unless they are persuaded to do so.
THE IMPACT OF ADVERTSING
Other than the most obvious impact of getting you to buy things, adverts have a deeper, sociological impact over the country. I was watching TV with a niece one night and this advert popped up involving a scantily clad young woman rubbing lotion over her body. My niece a few days later then told me that she wanted to be just like the girl in the advert so that she could be beautiful. It is okay for a child to want to look up to someone else but it isn’t right for them to think that beauty can only be defined by what you see on television. Young men and women everyday are bombarded with adverts for products they don’t usually need which put ideas into their heads that happiness depends on belonging to a certain social standing, having a particular look or owning a particular thing and we encourage the trend in the name of commercial independence and success. The themes of many adverts are also worrying. They focus too much on sex without consequence, wealth, immediate satisfaction, greed, all of which are attributes more and more Ugandans find more and more okay.
Maybe it will change, maybe we’ll have adverts about doing good, adverts that don’t exaggerate, that encourage right thinking and right behavior but I don’t think that’s going to happen any time soon.
Until then enjoy your sausage.