Kwesé killed a lot of dreams... And gave us new ones.
There were people that dreamed of multi-choice living on forever. Others dreamed that ZBC would rise like a star and crush the competition. Kwesé killed those dreams. And gave us new ones.
Kwesé is not innocent. Far from it. The new Kwesé platform has drawn swords against the rainbow colored multi-choice. It has taken out the apathy that has dwelt around regional content distribution. It's locked up the normal way of doing TV, and it's given a douse of freedom and hope to a new generation of advertisers, consumers and content creators. But what does it mean for the Zimbabwe Media space?
But let's understand first, where are we now?
Locally produced content is as scarce as US dollars. It's there, but it might not look as good as you'd like it to. Quality is still being worked on and it's not like you can go to a content shop and get as much as you need to fill multiple local channels.
Advertising palettes are still getting used to the taste. Agencies are re-learning what it means to have presence on TV. The game has changed and many marketing gurus are still evaluating whether or not its worth it. Is it worth spending money on producing a good commercial. Is it worth buying the air time? Stats show that a product or brand with a captivating video is 97% more likely to convert a looker in to a customer, than a print ad or a write up.
Digital integration and Social Media. For the longest time people have downed the traditional Mahehu on advertising. Billboards and newspaper ads have been the sexy, feel good ideas. Recently social media videos and pages have skyrocketed the interest of brands, and the truth of the matter is that TV campaigns done right, still overpowers the digital reach of social media. It might cost more, but it has a bigger punch.
Government Regulations haven't helped in pushing for a digital world. Years have passed since the archaic giant of ZBC announced that it would quickly move to digital. In the parable of the tortoise and the hare, they are the tortoise with two broken legs. The regulations have put the rabbits in a maze.
Acting and presenting has never been regarded as a real career. Especially in the Zimbabwean education system. Those positions have been seen more like hobbies. Where are all the actors and anchors? They're untapped. Probably doing an accounting internship.
What does Kwesé really Mean?
Kwesé is going to provide a platform for media professionals and marketers to touch actively engaged Zimbabweans who are huge fans of content that matters. It means that a local idea, with local actors and presenters can actually test the audience and have a potential business case. Kwesé means that the once dormant industry can introduce blossoming careers. Local sports shows, talent and ___ can be showcased.
Creatives - the long lasting wait is over. Down the alley ways, at hubs and in garages can suck in a breath of fresh air. To get on DSTV and channels like MNET and MTV doesn't have to be the goal anymore. The Zimbabwe bureaucracy race is getting better, and the options for viewers and fans are far greater. Hopefully Kwesé has metrics and analytics so marketers can track the effectiveness of their commercials and their media buying.
So Who's Going to Smile?
- Marketers have a brand new audience who's got their dishes and decoders ready to go.
- Production Companies have tons of opportunities to get their stuff on something other then Facebook, whatsapp and youtube.
- Actors and Presenters are no longer victims of intervention or "What are you thinking" type conversations. We'll be able to see a few more celebs begin to rise (not the self proclaimed ones). People with personality and hopefully character.
With VR tech on the move and production getting cheaper, there's many ways that the industry could turn. We have even heard rumors about human like robots replacing actors. One thing for certain is that story will always be central to the industry, and no matter what. The methods will change constantly, but the best story still always wins.