Airtel Needs to Rethink its Marketing Strategy Especially on UnlimiNET

Of late I am analysing almost every ad I see on TV or social media. Including product placements. I don’t know what is making me do this. Perhaps I just love the power of advertising. So I have decided to, once in a while (or every other day if possible), do posts that talk of or scrutinise the use of certain media or forms of advertising and their effectiveness. We’ll see how this goes. My first victim is Airtel Kenya. The marketing team over there needs new (and perhaps simpler) ideas for advertising.

See this, Airtel UnlimiNET is currently, and correct me if I am wrong, the only product that bundles together voice, data and SMS at once. And they give it to you (us) at very agreeable and workable prices. I wrote about it here when it first launched and very many people were excited and switched over to the Airtel Network. Not less than a few days later Safaricom, the green giant, decided to review its data prices. And that should prove to you just how massive the product from Airtel is and that it has the possibility of shaking up the market. But why hasn’t it? Why are people still buying Safaricom’s ‘twin’ bundles? Well you thought right: advertising.

Has any of you watched the Airtel UnlimiNET ad? Well but of course. It is on every channel. And my guess is millions have been poured for it. But is the ad working? Is it driving customers? Does it make you “feel it”? Does it sum up the Airtel product in a way that can make every one understand it and want to try it?

My answer to every question above is NO. Why?

The ad in itself, the “Si ununue Airtel UnlimiNET”, has no problems. The actors are on point and so is everything else. Apart from one thing. And this is just how I feel. Me. One person’s thoughts. The ending of the ad is its major undoing: “Talk, Text and Surf at just 50 bob daily”. Why you may ask.  This is why.

Airtel doesn’t have one product in the UnlimiNET bundle. Yet Airtel advertises just one product, the daily bundles at 50 bob. There’s daily, weekly and monthly UnlimiNET. And each of these have two sub-categories. So in total there are 6 products in the package.

Each package is not only sold at a different price, but also comes with different number of minutes, SMSs and data bundles. How many people know this? How many people would love the weekly or the monthly package? Or better yet, how many people would want the daily one at 100 bob?

Seeing my point?

The current ad as it is, does not outline to consumers the number of MBs, minutes or SMS they are getting to any network. It does not tell of the other weekly or monthly options or of how this package solves 3 problems at once. It doesn’t attract everyone; from the high school leaver, the college kid, the working or the big business men who waste lots of cash on post-paid.

My guess is the marketing team at Airtel Kenya is relying on you to dial *544# and then somehow learn about all the other options. How’s that working for them now?

Take a look at how Safaricom has advertised its ‘twin’ bundles. They have taken time to advertise almost each option. From the 25MB+25MB option to the 650MB+650MB. And you can be tempted each time you watch (TV or YouTube) or read their promoted tweets. Yet this is an inferior product.

Yes kizuri chajiuza but…

Tell me what you think of the Airtel ad below. Maybe I am the only one.


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