Consumers canât tell you what to do. They can tell you about their experiences, and maybe suggest improvements to your idea. But they canât directly guide the creative process. Thatâs our job. That is why we must be able to translate the messages we get from the consumer. Because the answer is not lying out in the open, it must be mined. This requires looking beyond what mama mboga says and deriving what motivates her, even when she doesnât know what that is. It requires connecting those motivations to plausible new creative solutions that will satisfy her needs.
Above all we must believe in local solutions. They always work best. According to a research by Consumer Insight, despite the globalisation trend, with companies enforcing a "one sight, one sound, one brand" strategy, locally conceived and produced advertisements continue to be the most recalled and loved adverts in the country because of their local touch.
Creating new ideas is easy. Making the right connections is hard. But itâs the only way to engage the consumer wittily, gracefully and intelligently. And as Bill Bernbach reminded us, "Advertising doesnât have to embarrass itself in order to make the cash register ring."
âThe writer is a Communications student at the University of Nairobi