ZOL and TelOne Ad Wars

ZOL and TelOne Ad Wars

By Benjamin Juru

Brace yourselves, the ad wars are upon us and the gloves are seemingly off between ISP arch-rivals ZOL and TelOne.  The war emanated after ZOL had put a cheeky billboard along one of the major roads which mocked TelOne’s ADSL technology with the inscription Are you Disgruntled by Slow Links. Below is an image of the billboard.

Not to be outdone, TelOne replied with a blow in the press with the headline More Zimbabweans Online Love TelOne. Below is an image of TelOne ad.


They say, when elephants fight it is the grass that suffers but if such wars escalate to the price realm, this can only benefit the consumer and we’re quite excited about the prospects of that happening. As marketing analysts, here’s our take on this battle for supremacy.


1.       It’s not about pretty pictures but about quality of service

At the end of the day, it’s about a satisfied customer who’s willing to do repeat business and not really about who has the prettiest visuals. The ad wars are good but to the untrained eye, all they want is a fantastic service and these giants should shift their wars to enhancing quality of service. As a fellow marketer I understand the critical nature of achieving top of the mind awareness through brand positioning but please stop it for now, it’s about service, service and service.


2.       Demystify the technology

The ordinary consumer is looking for internet on the go or home internet, simple and not some ADSL or Fibroniks. While we appreciate the fact that these technologies have already been coined before we adopted them, it is paramount that we simply this to the ordinary consumer. If we can’t simply, then we need huge marketing investment in unpacking these technologies and educate the consumer on what it means and the differentiating factors thereof.


3.       Who doesn’t enjoy ad wars

On the other hand, we always enjoy these ad wars and it would be great if both TelOne and ZOL can employ on their “fans” to also join in on the fun and poke each other on social media through UGC. If this happens, we could witness a similar fight between BMW and Audi in LA, you can check it out here


4.       Best Creative

The prize for the best creative clearly goes to ZOL whose ad agency put a bit more effort in getting through the ABC concept. The TelOne ad only has attention grabbing copy but they could’ve done more from a creative point of view. ZOL wins the Nyangari School of Marketing prize!