Boom Time For Kalybos, Funny Face, Lil Win & Kweku Manu

Several corporate entities seem to have gleefully bought into the idea of using celebrities to promote brands and sustain campaigns. A number of actors, musicians, television and radio presenter, models and footballers are enjoying the benefits that come with being a brand ambassador. The latest trend for the telecommunication companies is to fall on comedians for their commercials in a bid to catch public attention and increase patronage. Vodafone Ghana hired comedian Funny Face to spearhead their Vodafone Red campaign. Under that contract, the funny man was used in television, radio, print and billboard commercials to promote the brand. Not long after that, MTN also signed well-known Kumawood actor, Kwajo Nkansah, popularly known as Liwin, as a brand ambassador for their ‘Aben Wo Ha’ campaign. The comical character dominating television, radio and print commercials for Airtel these days is Richard Asante, popularly known as Kalybos. Just as the vim in the use of funny men in commercials appeared to be waning, reports reaching The Mirror indicated that Kumawood actor, Kwaku Manu was on set shooting commercials for Glo. So is this just an era of popularity for the funny men or a period of savvy marketing by the telecommunication companies? Mr Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, a Communications Expert and President of the Ghana Association of Writers (GAW), in a chat with The Mirror on the love affair between the companies and the comedians, said it was common for commercial brands, especially those that needed high volume sales to survive, to communicate their values in ways that the public would appreciate. He pointed out that well-loved celebrities are among the people they usually fell on to help communicate their messages because such folks already have following. “Our first President, Kwame Nkrumah used comedian Bob Cole to send messages about taxation and good citizenship because he knew people loved Bob Cole,” the GAW president said. “So the current phenomenon is not exactly new. It does not necessarily say anything about us as a people and the way we love to communicate. It is driven by sheer commercial motive.” Whatever the motive, it seems the funny men of the moment have no problems with that because their bank accounts are beginning to swell.