Home Featured Mums Mummy Stories The ‘Chips are Stupid Without Aromat’ Ad Has Upset Many Kenyan Moms

The ‘Chips are Stupid Without Aromat’ Ad Has Upset Many Kenyan Moms


That Aromat Ad!!!

I am a fan of television, especially between 7pm – 11pm because that’s when I get to tune in to the news bulletins – the Swahili one and the English one, and in between watch the local productions which I love very much – mainly those on Citizen TV.

Naturally, I get a sample of ads during this ‘prime time’ where products and services juggle for that coveted viewership.  I’ll not bore you with the phenomenon of ratings and ad spots and the hefty prices advertisers pay to advertise their products or services during ‘prime time’.

My issue is with the content of some ads.

I will specifically single out the Aromat ad that has been running over the last couple of days –more so around the hours I am attuned to television.

The ad implies that ‘Chips are Stupid’ without Aromat.

Like really?? Stupid?? Really??

I wonder, why use that kind of language to communicate to mass audiences about convincing them to buy a (your) product? I am not in the advertising industry, and I don’t know the processes of getting and ad from the creative guys, to final approval by client, to having it aired in television stations, and the bottom lines, but I just seem to wonder how many people that ad passed through before it was finally certified as ‘fit and perfect to air’.

The ad has definitely rubbed many moms the wrong way. There is even a Facebook page called ‘Parent’s Against Aromat’s Chips are Stupid Advert’. And that’s just one forum where mothers are expressing their deep disappointment and disgust. There are many more.

So what exactly is irking these moms?

The use of the ‘stupid’ in the ad.

As we raise our kids, one of the greatest lessons we teach them is how to address people with respect. We tell them to use the right language as they talk to others. We tell them not to use inappropriate words. The way I know it, the word ‘stupid’ falls in the category of words not to be used in any conversation –whether by an adult or a child. Teachers and religious leaders (such as Sunday school teachers) help us reinforce some of these lessons.

So for them (and we) to see the word ‘stupid’ being freely used on national television –whether during prime time or off-peak, is quite disturbing. A few moms have had their children point out to them that the Aromat ad is using ‘bad language’. The kind of language that their mothers and their teachers emphasize should not be used.

Now, I would like to say that I do know that it is our responsibility as parents to guide our children in the right direction, instilling values and principles in them in the hope that they will grow up to be model citizens. I am also not ignorant of the fact that this is the real world, and our children probably come across other inappropriate words as they go about their daily lives because we cannot be with them 24-7. Some of our children use public transport to and from school, and it would be no surprise to know that they have heard worse.

But it does not go to say that it is okay that words such as ‘stupid’ should pass unnoticed when used on national television –during general viewing.

To the people over at Knorr, I can tell you for a fact that many mothers are terribly upset by that ad, and it has left a bitter taste in their mouths (pun very much intended). And by the way, aren’t most household items –more so those to do with the kitchen, a woman’s forte? Aren’t most moms responsible for the household budget? Yet ‘stupid’ is the kind of language you are using to appeal to us to buy your product? SMH.

I heard somebody argue that the use of the word ‘stupid’ in that ad was not meant in a bad way, that it meant ‘stupid in a good way’. I still have no idea what good stupid means.

Then again, this is advertising. I hear an advert is considered very successful if it evokes strong emotions by the audiences, and if it generates conversation. If people are spending time talking about it, sharing it on social media, and creating Facebook pages about it, then it is a good thing.

So Knorr, if those are the benchmarks of a successful campaign, then your ad has been successful no doubt.

I hope you will now move on to the next level of addressing the concerns of hundreds of parents, especially moms who are terribly upset by your ad.



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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


  1. Stupid in itself is not a bad word, it is not bad language, it is the context of its use that differs.

    I think with this ad the context in which stupid has been used is a jocular one, ie chips lack something in this sense it is stupid but if you add aromat it…..

  2. The media industry is redefining decency in every aspect from dressing to use of abusive language! at least who ever directed Teacher Wanjiku show on Citizen TV saw the verbal bullying that went on in the classroom and listened to people’s opinion. This Aromat advert is another moral degrading advert, the shujaa books for children attached to the staurday magazine (in the daily nation) are another Kiswahili killer and so are most of our swahili shows which speak sheng and then we expect our children to learn and master swahili and use it to communicate, to be respectful when we are telling them calling things stupid is okay, dressing in revealing or very tight and short clothes is okay in front of many people because sex sells? …watching for the 22nd century generation…

  3. I am yet a mum, but i WILL NOT buy the product thanks to the language….maybe the advertisers r from a background of using foul language, such that the ‘stupid’ word is probably the most polite they would think of…..I imagine the havoc they think they are causing when kids refuse to eat and so the product has to be bought….well, i would not buy it….and would warn my children (when they come), that that man needs to be prayed for 🙂

  4. Stupid IS a bad word and in this case should have been left out. There are sooooo many other words that could have been used instead of it. That the advertizers would come up with an ad like that goes to show the laziness and mediocrity in our culture. I’m certain Aromat has inspired only a handful of people to buy their product. There are several products I have sworn to never buy, just because I hated the advertisement. And aromat is one of them.

  5. I am happy to comment that these ads from aromat are THE WORST I have EVER SEEN really kwani our brains are shrinking apart from mums my 4 kids HATE those ads.Even the target market the kids cant identify with the copy.Did they consult or they thought wow brilliant ad let’s air it.

    AM 100% for banning those ads they are a disgrace to our intelligence as Kenyans period

  6. I am a creative and that’s one of the most successful campaigns. Just like a popular politician has most haters and lovers alike, applies to such a campaign. Everyone knows the campaign and whether or not it’s loved by all, it drives sales 300% up, that’s good news for the client. One day I saw a kid with his mother and they were buying milk at the supermarket. The mom said lets cross over there and buy maziwa..the kid jumped and said ‘usiseme maziwa, sema ng’ooooooombe’ they laughed off and bought Molo Milk….now however you may hate someone calling maziwa ng’ombe, it made someone buy it…

  7. Alex, plz jump out of the box and wake up to smell the coffee.. Halloooooo!!! Can you even have the gutts to compare the two words, lave alone products?? ”Your a creative”.???? What exactly did you want to say?? No wonder whatever it is makes you reason that way. Pole braza..

  8. I am in research and I can tell you for sure that the fact that you have noted this ad makes it a success! Again from a researchers point of view, this was not only a successful ad, but it’s success was based on its length and content, it’s short, catchy and passes the message. For every one of you who hate it and the language, 99 people like it, and that’s what matters.


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