My lesson notes on the Kalyppo craze: Will you attend my lectures?

Npp Manifesto Kalyppo1 File Photo

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 Source: Samuel Osarfo Boateng

A lot has been said over the last two weeks, regarding how a picture of Kalyppo sipping Flag bearer of a leading Presidential Candidate in the 2016 election, can turn into an unsponsored, unsolicited and yet a viral user-generated social media campaign for a Ghanaian soft drink company.

In this piece, I will not wade into the suavity or otherwise, informing the mischief for which a person may want to denigrate a Presidential candidate for sipping Kalyppo. In my view, an inquiry in this respect will not only be counter-productive to the purpose of this piece but as expectedly, same will open me up for the many vitriolic verbal attacks that have come to characterize Ghanaian politics.

In this piece, I am only driven by an intellectual instinct to share an opinion on the possible marketing lessons one can draw from this development that has seen an otherwise diabolic scheme turn into a drastic business returns, one which is not earned on a merits or by dint of any marketing investments but by a stroke of time and chance).

Forgive me for appearing religious but I cannot but agree with an assertion in the Bible that in many instances, the race may not be for the swift(Huge Investments or Strong Marketing or Communication Strategy) but time and chance plays an invaluable role in the fate that happen to man(in this case brands). Indeed, while the company bask in the glory of having an influential person with such as clout use their product, they must be minded to render thank-giving for this rare privilege.

While I am not privy to the Marketing campaign or the Sales figures of the company since the Kalyppo craze started, I equally cannot under-value the media mileage and potential returns that the Kalyppo craze portends for the company. The unpaid media space and spots that the company has been afforded in the mainstream media, additionally to freewheeling power of Word-of –Mouth in market places, churches, workplaces, campaign launches, and most importantly, an unending viral frenzy in various Social Media platforms, cannot be underestimated both in substance and symbol. At the very least, the Sales report at the end of the month, will be reflective of the good will that a singular gesture had engendered for them. For nothing at all, the voices and words of freelance bloggers, which I am proudly part, proves invaluable to the mileage that the brand Kalyppo has received.

In congratulating the company for being the greatest beneficiary of this event, I am minded to share my views on what this development teaches us about modern day marketing- (if my readers kindly deem this as anything worth drawing lessons from).

· Time Matters: A window of opportunity or adversity is inherent in the life cycle of any brand, however its image or reputation. What matters in this regard, is not how companies moves to either leverage the opportunities that comes with time or manage the adversities that arises in the life cycle of the brand. Fortunately, for the Kalyppo brand, what it is faced with is a huge window of opportunity.

Yes an opportunity not to only rake in more sales, but most importantly build affinity and enduring engagements, through content, with their existing or potential customers in order that the gains and mileage that it is currently enjoying may be sustained, post-electioneering period. Whiles they quietly cash-in on their sales, I will remind them on the need to anticipate and plan for a possible mischief that may possibly arise, in this period. Far from bustle the company’s bubbles, I recommend that an Adversity Communication Strategy must be designed, both in anticipation of any further mischief that could be hatched.(I am no prophet of doom but no one survives, underrating the possibilities of politicians in Africa).

· Demonstration and Not Just Appearance: Having marketed on social media for some time now, I have been compelled to enrol in the school of thought that hold that viral content may not necessarily translate into sales or worse still, have any positive bearing on potential buying decision. Whatever the case or purpose may be, all those who have joined the Kalyppo craze have almost done it within the context of demonstration, thus, sipping the Kalyppo the similarly as captured in the photo of their influencer. Demonstration brings life, animates and personifies a brand. It gives brands an active voice and not just a passive presence. It comes to me as no surprise that short videos and photos are said to be highly efficient social media format than texts. Marketers may want to explore many avenues to deliver engaging contents, emotionally.

· Influencer Marketing: I was surprised, while working on a research project for a client, to note that not much scholarly works on Influencer Marketing have been done with the African context in focus. Nevertheless, the sparse academic materials on influencer marketing, the role of influencers (which in many instances are exemplified in the use of celebrities, politicians, chiefs, academics and many opinion leaders), for the promotion of a brand or an idea, has not only exited for decades, most importantly the practice has not lost its place and relevance even in a fast-paced technologically-driven world. Influencers, by merit of the good will they carry, are able to transfer some of their existing good will onto the brands they are endorsed or influence. Indeed, what stands the Kalyppo craze from many of the influencer marketing that I have known is that fact that in this case, the influencer, was neither paid nor motivated to do same.

In this case, the fact that there is no evidence of monetary incentive to the influencer means that the influencer (in this case the Flag-bearer), will not have any personal interest to want to endorse a product. This is indeed the source of credibility to the brand. I will be looking forward to many unsolicited but effective endorsements of this nature.

· User-Generated Marketing: Since the Kalyppo craze came to noticeable attention; I have seen so many nerve-wracking photos, many of which have been shared and spread. Many young people have demonstrated immense creativity beyond that which could be anticipated by a creative team of the company. This underlies my view that creativity doesn’t end as content production ends. Essentially, Customers/ Consumers have become an inalienable part of the creative value -chain in the content production of advertisers. The fact is that customers have become both consumers and producers of content. Marketers must be alive to the fact and reality that customers want to be part of content production as it has been the case of media production, in recent history. Companies desirous of consolidating the gains in their communication and marketing efforts must realise that user-generated campaigns rewards creativity and diversity of their customers, besides forging lasting relationship with their customers.


Whatever becomes of this campaign, how much the company realises financially, however the goodwill the brand has enjoyed, what matters and should matter to marketers is the lessons that we need to learn and draw from this development.

Samuel Osarfo Boateng


Columnist: Samuel Osarfo Boateng