Which do like the most? What are the difference between them? Which is the most nutritious? These interesting questions have been asked and answered on several Nigerian blogs so I’m only being rhetorical here. These products are all very tasty and I’m sure they’re also quite nutritious, but they each hold different places in our minds for several reasons: taste, packaging, brand image, self-image, lifestyle etc. A huge part of how our opinions are formed, consciously or subconsciously, is due to marketing communications, especially advertising.

In my opinion, Bournvita was the market leader way back in the 70’s and even became the generic name for chocolate drinks in those days. Then, circa 1976, Milo burst into our minds with its ‘Milo! Clap clap clap clap, clap clap. Milo!’ headline and energy/athletic prowess theme. This seemed to have been targeted squarely at the pre-teens and teens of that time, and we were converted in droves; suddenly Bournvita didn’t quite seem be that tasty anymore and you’d rather have Milo, such was the effect on me anyway. 40 odd years on and Milo is till, to me riding that wave, as the young then are now parents and grandparents, who have introduced newer generations to their favourite chocolate drink.

Bournvita, in the last 3 or 4 years has made a very strong comeback. My perspective on the quality and taste issues relative to Milo are now a thing of the past, and they’re targeting the youth too.  Ovaltine, meanwhile, has, seemingly, always been there, not really competing but not giving way either.

There’s no advert more memorable to me than that simple, winning Milo advert of yore – well, alongside Joy Soap’s ‘Heeey! joy girl’, and the then Federal Savings Bank’s ‘Federal bank, savings bank, you can start your savings now with 10kobo’ 10Kobo? wow! Am I the only whose preference for Milo was shaped by that advert? Tell me your story.

So identify your targets clearly; keep the message simple; entertain; and ride the demographic curve.

Mind-share before market-share.