Through captivating advertising on YouTube, Safaricom achieves 121% lift in brand interest for the new BLAZE Kenya platform

October 2016

Telecommunication company Safaricom launched BLAZE Kenya as a new platform to serve the millennial market. This demographic makes up approximately 60% of the national population, and forms 12% of Safaricom’s base and 12% of its customer revenue.


Launch new sub-brand to key target audience


Ran 24-hour masthead takeover on YouTube

Created YouTube TrueView ad campaign


Masthead achieved over 1 million impressions, surpassing industry benchmarks by more than twofold

TrueView ads achieved 59% lift in ad recall, 25% lift brand awareness and 121% lift in brand interest

The aim of BLAZE Kenya was to leverage digital to address the always-on and real-time demands of millennial consumers. To build the platform, Safaricom conducted research and consultation with members of the target demographic. From these cultural studies, the brand established three key values – belonging, freedom and success.

Belonging was tied to strong connections with online and offline communities and a desire to attain social relevancy. Freedom meanwhile centred on the ability to make personal, social and career decisions without being hindered by stereotypes.

Of the three pillars, success was the biggest value incentive for members of the target demographic, who saw themselves as tenacious and capable of breaking barriers to create their own unconventional interpretations of success.


"We chose to communicate to our audience through YouTube because of the reach."

-Muthoni Maingi, Digital Manager Consumer and Enterprise Business Unit, Safaricom

The brand built content that addressed these three values.“We chose to communicate to our audience through YouTube because of the reach,” explains Muthoni Maingi, Digital Manager of the Consumer and Enterprise Business Unit. “YouTube mastheads let us own Kenya’s largest video homepage for 24 hours to create an impressively interactive brand experience.” With over 1 million impressions, the masthead campaign outperformed expectations and beat the industry benchmarks by more than twofold.

In addition, the team also used Brand Lift Surveys to gain insights and optimise the TrueView campaigns. “The results were amazing,” Muthoni reports. “Our TrueView ads reached 1 million unique users at an average frequency of 2.5 impressions.”

Ad recall was 59% – a best-in-class result in Safaricom’s vertical – while brand awareness registered 25%. The activity produced a 121% lift in brand interest. “This shows that when you crack a consumer insight and leverage a brand on consumer needs and wants, audiences reward you with their attention.”

“They say it’s not just about what you say, it’s about how you say it. For a brand as significant as BLAZE, we needed a format that didn’t just deliver on awareness but on impact as well. YouTube Masthead delivered on both."

-Joanne Talma, Digital Media Manager, Bean Interactive Limited

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