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You cannot watch anything on Kenyan television for more than ten minutes and you not interrupted, at least twice, by an advert. The common adverts asking, almost endearing you to pick your phone and download a ringtone. In fact, the musician/artist of the song may even be standing (awkwardly) in front of a badly chromed background that will be distracting you with its flickering lights telling you to get your phone and dial *669# for instance, to get their song.

Then there are other adverts that still employ the use of your mobile phone to hook up with the partner ‘of your dreams’ anonymously! That does not even make me understand how the chatting will happen. But anyway, thy promise you a significant other.

I saw yet another of a young man, who says they got a job by sending a text to some six digit number and here they are to give a testimonial. Particularly targeting the many unemployed youths who are fortunate enough to have mobile phones with airtime.

And as if this cajoling (marketing strategy) is not bad enough, there are other adverts in the same family that tells you that you need to know the meaning of your name! Check whether you and your partner have a future a.k.a the online love calculator, to meet and chat with the love of your life…or to get inspiration messages!

What they do not tell you though, exclude are the terms and conditions of subscribing to these services. The trick here is, they have them alright, in their less than a minute advert but in faint tiny fonts that are barely recognizable. This is the part where they hide the costs and other nitty gritties…the devil is in the details, no?

Sincerely, as a potential consumer, I want to know what I need to part with for these services. How much does it cost me? So, without this clear, I get least interested of their products.Besides, I figure with advanced technology…very few people download the tunes. Why? In this age of Bluetooth sharing, cable transfers and online FREE downloads…why would anyone be willing to pay over kshs 60, for instance,  for a tone, when they would use the money instead to buy internet bundles and get the whole A-L-B-U-M.

But then again, considering that these adverts are slotted during prime time, when there is a lot of viewership which simply means that these adverts are pretty expensive to have them run, it racks my brain. How would anyone pay an incredulous amount for an advert that may not promise optimum returns? Seeing how persistent they are, is it possible that in this murk there are willing buyers? That there are people who actually subscribe, download the ones and in turn keep the adverts on our screens?

Whenever the adverts begin, I objectively peek whether the adverts Invite, Inform and Remind me of the product.

Was I Invited to consider getting the ringtone?No. Why should I if I can have it blue toothed?

Did it Inform me about a mobile service? Yes it did. It told me that at my convenience…by simply dialing some numbers I would be enjoying a new tone, know how far my love journey would go et al.

Lastly, was I Remind (ed) me of the brand. Well, honestly…these adverts have been numerous and I am not too sure which number I should be calling. Not sure which one is for relationship tips, tone, free airtime. As a potential customer, I am confused on who does what and most importantly…for how much.

Needless to say, I still stick to getting my tones online, same for inspiration messages (or in books). However, out of curiosity (could this be a reason why some of the adverts thrive, out of curiosity??)…anyway, I tried the love calculator…here goes:


Would you try these service?