Back To School Copy Cats – Myopic Marketing


Back to School in Zimbabwe, have you seen the newspaper adverts?  All great examples of the marketing myopia in Zimbabwe’s advertising industry. I’ve written about before, but in case you don’t know,  Marketing Myopia is what happens when marketers, brands or advertising agencies can’t think out of the very small box of their industry or strategic categories.

For example, look at the 3 adverts in this post, they’re all exactly the same – zero creativity. I imagine in my head that this is how these advert was designed…

VOICE Of BOSS: “Oh, so they want an advert for school uniforms? I know what we’ll do, put of picture of school kids in uniform. Next, put a school black board in the background and of course, “Back to School” – oh and the company logo. – we’re done!!”

VOICE OF REASON: “But Boss, isn’t that what everyone always does, EVERY YEAR? Won’t it make our advert less effective if it doesn’t stand out, mentions no benefit, no call to action, a boring and expected headline? What if we try a different concept? I know, how about a picture of a teacher and dog that -”

Boss/ Marketing manager/ advertising ‘expert’: “Shut up, let’s go with what everyone already expects. One more idea from you and you’re fired!”

I could be wrong, but then how else do you explain the fact that Barbours, Number 1 and Topics (there were more) all came up with exactly the same advert for their ‘back to school’ campaigns?

It’s not just these three companies either, it’s all over the place. Everyone copying everyone and no one standing out from the crowd.

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3 thoughts on “Back To School Copy Cats – Myopic Marketing

  1. well, it makes marketing sense because as marketers in different organisations we are not getting the recognition we cry for evryday because of such. creativity is the last thing on our minds, compare zimbabwean adverts and our neighbours south africa – its like we are from different continents. Still we dont learn , we dont want to move from our comfort ‘loss making’ zones!

  2. hahaha i got fired for being too ambitious and creative. Welcome to zimbabwe my guy. They want what they have always been doing and it doesnt develop @ all. If you cant beat them JOIN THEM

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