Kenyans react after Arimis ‘new design’ goes viral

A side-by-side image showing the existing Arimis package (L) and the suggested re-branding package (R). [Courtesy]

An artist’s impression of Arimis milking jelly’s “new” package was on Wednesday met with opposition online.

A Twitter user, Suspect Ratio (@thetriggahappy1), took to the micro-blogging site to post images of the proposed new design, which deviated from Aramis's white and green livery.

In his design, Ratio gave Arimis a navy blue and yellow colour scheme, much to the chagrin of some customers.

“I did the unthinkable. I decided to rebrand your favourite brand (Arimis) as a slightly premium product. This is a passion project; I hope you like it,” he tweeted.

The pictures went viral, triggering a barrage of comments from customers, who were disappointed by the new Arimis theme.

Uncertainty on whether the petroleum jelly had actually rebranded lingered on, prompting Arimis Kenya to clarify on social media that the product’s packaging hadn’t undergone any reinvention, whatsoever.

“To all our esteemed customers and users of our products, we're not rebranding, the circulating brand is just someone's suggestion. We stick to our initial brands. Otherwise, enjoy the greatness of your skincare,” Arimis said on Facebook.

Prior to the clarification, hundreds of comments were posted on Twitter and Facebook, opposed to the rebranding.

Journalist Wayua Muli was among those disappointed by the “new design”.

“Dear Arimis Kenya, if this is really the plan and not just a social media rumour, please know it is a big mistake. Your true customers will not be pleased with this upgrade,” she said on Facebook.

Miss President competition finalist Waruguru Kiai said: “Ah! Ah! Those suggesting [the new Arimis design], can they stop suggesting. I nearly collapsed yesterday.”

Facebook user Charles Wainaina said: “Thanks Arimis Kenya for the clarification. We do not want any rebranding on this wonderful product. Hata hiyo ng’ombe msijaribu kutoa (Don’t even adjust the cow theme on the packaging).”

Myles Cicero joked: “Thank you Arimis [for maintaining the brand]. Most men are married to Arimis, especially the youth. Please. increase the quantity; we [now] need a 2kg-container.”

Another user, Fransiscah Simiyu, advised the jelly manufacturer to embrace “old is gold” adage, saying: “Let it remain the way it has always been.”

Chebo Nandi said: Hata mkiweka kwa gunia, we shall buy (Even if you package it in a sack, we shall buy.”

On Twitter, the reservations were similar to those on Facebook.

User Turbo Diesel, (@alexmwanzo), posed: “Why would Arimis ruin a good thing?”

Missy NC (@nc_missy) said: “The product was working. People were buying, [no need to rebrand].”

Arimis, a petroleum jelly originally meant for milking, has, over the years, grown into a household skincare product, stocked heavily in supermarkets, both in rural and urban centres.

The product, whose popularity has been organic, with minimal or no advertising, has been embraced by both men and women.

In July 2019, communications expert Mariga Thoithi commended Arimi’s for effortless brand acceptance.

“Arimis is an interesting example of the evolution of products. How milking jelly turned into people's choice petroleum jelly without advertising or intention. It's now stocked by all major supermarkets with the same milking jelly branding,” he said.