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Brother Ocholla Fever: How Corporates took advantage of the trend

By Ruby Mungai | October 28th 2015

If you own a Twitter or Facebook handle, I'm sure you know of the whole Brother Ochieng Ocholla saga. In case you don’t, it was about a certain Bro Ocholla that sent a rather naughty message, intended for the eyes of his lover, wrongly to his Whats App Prayer group. Someone on the group snitched, got the smart idea of putting it up online for thousands of people to read and the rest you say is internet browsing history.

As others were creating memes and making light of the issue, I couldn't help but notice how corporates came in to use the topic that trended for hours to their advantage. The topic was twisted and turned (some into very painful puns) to gain maximum attention by corporates. If you weren’t on the train *read cloud 9* with Brother Ocholla, then you were certainly missing out.

The Brother Ocholla topic trended for the better part of the day and was even number eight worldwide. Corporates creativity was tested, as each one of them tried their best to make a few new followers. Media houses, restaurant franchises, communication service providers even learning institutions were on it!

But you have to ask yourself how stable this strategy was? How malleable was it to just jump onto a trending topic for the sake of marketing? I bet they didn't consider what poor Brother Ocholla was going through and instead just rode on the trend to benefit themselves. So many brand names didn't even stop to consider how it would dent their corporates' image. Why wait for a topic revolving around ‘sex’ while there are lots of positive trends but never have I seen a show such as this. Learning institutions have absolutely nothing to do with ‘cloud 9’ matters, so I wonder why even they saw the need to use this.

Although it did keep things interesting on my Twitter feed, I believe that this added no value to most corporates and may infact have dented their image. Corporates have simply dipped to a shallow level where they would rather ride on a trend that lasts only a couple of hours than make an impact that could last longer...and that is the sad reality.

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