Many choose the liberty of joy over the shackles of gloom

By our News Team | 2023

Wars. Inflation. Infrastructure failure. In spite of difficult times, consumers are making a conscious decision to choose ‘Joy’.

The pandemic hit hard. Even as the world faced economic and socio-economic challenges, many lost their jobs overnight, the cost of living skyrocketed, and the hurt inflicted by humanity on itself increased inexorably, making the future seem bleak. 


Yet, some see beyond, despite the challenges and the bleakness, to redefine their expectations to view life for what it should be, rather than how others paint it. It is they who believe that a better personal outcome lies in their own hands, not in the hands of others. It is they who provide the impetus for the rise of the ‘Joyconomy’.

Consumer Attitudes

Many consumers are choosing the liberty of joy over the shackles of gloom. Photo by Wayhomestudio from Freepik

As Africans, we are no strangers to adversity. But neither are we strangers to finding joy and expressing who we are. Renowned Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reflects a vibrant and optimistic outlook in her works. 


Mia Couto, a celebrated Mozambican writer, is known for his optimistic storytelling. His novels are filled with magical realism, poetic language, vivid imagery, and a sense of wonder, with narratives that inspire hope and reflect the beauty of the human spirit.


As marketers, we recognise the power of brands that inspire and reflect the spirit of the times. Brands that align themselves with the hopes and aspirations of consumers become beacons of hope and catalysts for positive change. Prosperity and growth follow.


Brands that used the ‘Joy’ concept


For example, companies like McDonald’s are reimagining experiences to evoke a sense of joy and playfulness. McDonald’s introduced Happy Meals for adults, serving up a toy with popular menu items. This reimagining of a childhood experience taps into nostalgia and the excitement of discovering what’s inside, offering a playful and joyful moment for adults.

Similarly, the ‘What the Fanta’ campaign was a limited edition, mysterious flavoured soft drink that was designed to challenge consumers’ senses and taste buds through clues and missions in order to guess the mysterious flavour.

When all is said and done, brands that embrace an inspirational, upbeat and optimistic approach have the potential to experience better growth. While factors like product quality, marketing strategy and market conditions also play a role, the overall brand image and perception are crucial in attracting and retaining customers. 


Inspirational brands create an emotional connection with consumers, leading to loyalty and positive word-of-mouth. They differentiate themselves from competitors by offering unique and uplifting experiences. 

Read more about the consumer attitude of ‘Joy’ in the latest Strategic Marketing for Africa – the voice of African marketing and the official publication of the African Marketing Confederation (AMC). Read it online here. A print edition of the magazine is also available.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.