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We are Still Thrilled by These Wins!

Koko Media is the Nairobi based in-house creative shop of Koko Networks that won 3 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze at the 2020 Pitcher Awards. The team was led by Max Ngari as Executive Creative Director before he ran off to join Dentsu/Isobar Kenya as the Executive Creative Director. We had a chat with Max to discuss their winning and to understand the operations of Koko Networks a bit more.

Max Ngari, ECD, Dentsu/Isobar Kenya

KOKO Networks operates in the clean energy and retail tech sectors with more than 500 staff in East Africa and India. Kindly tell us more about the operations of KOKO Media in Kenya and its achievements.

KOKO Networks was founded in 2014. After testing the concept, we officially launched one of our solutions, KOKO Fuel in 2019, intending to provide an affordable clean cooking solution to people who relied on unsafe cooking solutions.

Being a new entrant in the market and a ‘technical’ product too, meant that we needed to educate our target market on exactly how KOKO Fuel works. Only then, could they consider a purchase. KOKO Media, our in-house creative department, ensured that customer-facing content was clear, exciting, and engaging.

The success of the marketing strategy we implemented is evident. Within 6 months of launch, brand recognition was indisputable. This then led to product uptake.

KOKO has 3 beliefs which are technology to accelerate progress, imagination with no limitation and excellence for customers. How has technology been impactful to improve people's lives in your region so far?

We understand the risks and impacts of cooking with unclean fuels - one of them being indoor air pollution. In comparison to other solutions, we ensure that households that choose KOKO are enjoying a safe, affordable, and convenient cooking experience. The long term benefits mean healthier homes and a less polluted environment.

We have customers who switched from single burner LPG cookers before switching to KOKO and they were worried about the high costs of refilling their gas cylinders. They are now enjoying the affordable fuel bundles we offer, which start from as little as Ksh. 30. They are preparing more meals faster which means more time saved.

Our agent network is wide and fuel refilling points, known as KOKOPoints are easily accessible. This convenience makes their experience pleasant, which translates to happy customers.

You recently won 3 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze at the 2020 Pitcher Awards. This definitely proves that there's a creative drive in your company. Please share more about your quest for creativity and excellence.

We are still thrilled by these wins! They are the first of many, and the KOKO media team is motivated more than ever to continue to create kick-ass campaigns that are world-class.

We encourage team members to exercise their imagination which creates a space for original thinking. Even without a brief, you will find us huddled up, brainstorming. The majority of the ideas we have executed have started up as silly conversations, over lunch, or a coffee break. Rarely on our desks.

The results of your campaign titled "The Mum-Star Classes for KOKO Fuels was impressive. With over 45,000 views and 158,000+ engagements on social media. Tell us more about the strategy you adopted to place the brand ahead of other competitors.

While other brands focused on trying to sell their solutions on Mothers Day, we chose to tell a story that viewers could relate to. This approach increased their brand affinity, thus the tremendous results for an organic campaign.

At the end of the campaign, we wanted viewers to remember how they felt, and for them to be more connected with the brand. To date, these videos are the most popular on our social media pages.

What is your opinion on the challenges faced by technology companies to strive effectively in Africa?

It can be difficult to change how consumers behave. If a solution you are offering does not fit into their current daily lives, it will take a while for them to take it up, no matter how great the solution is. This ends up slowing the growth of tech businesses.

Data (in)security continues to be an issue. Without the right measures in place, the possibility of a data breach is high.

How can we merge technology, innovation, and creativity to improve lives in Africa?

By pushing the boundaries and continuously putting ourselves in the shoes of the end-user, before coming up with a solution.


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