President Uhuru Kenyatta and his main rival Raila Odinga have launched multi-million blitz, ring fencing political strongholds and making last pitches in swing areas, with 14 days to the August 8 General Election.
While there had been a general lull in media adverts usually associated with the campaign season, the two teams told the Nation that they had saved the best for last and would this and next week unleash the best of campaign advertising on mainstream and alternative media.
Mr Odinga has already started running a clip on TV on why he is the best candidate to correct what he espouses as misplaced priorities by Mr Kenyatta.
“Join me now on the journey to take back Kenya.
“Together, you and I can remake this country, so that this time: Kenya belongs to all Kenyans,” Mr Odinga says in the TV advert also uploaded on his YouTube channel.
And to maximise the number of people that watch their rallies, the two main political groups have resorted to live streaming them on Facebook, Twitter and later uploading them on their websites and individual YouTube channels in a full-blown battle for the hearts and minds of Kenya’s 19.6 million voters.
READ: 19.6m Kenyans eligible to vote
On Sunday at State House, President Kenyatta went live on Facebook to speak to his three million Facebook “friends”.
READ: Uhuru talks to his Facebook fans
He appealed for a second term.
“My action plan will transform the progress we have made over the last four years into real benefits for all Kenyans.
“Over the next five years, my government will create 6.5 million extra jobs, especially for the youth,” President Kenyatta said in the live feed broadcast by three TV stations.
Conversely, Nasa said that it will start a massive media campaign to shore up its support base as the electioneering period enters the home stretch.
With two weeks to the D-Day, the opposition is keen to maximise on its campaigns through adverts that will run in selected radio, TV stations, and social media platforms.
They also plan to conduct roadshows, erect billboards on major highways and print out T-shirts in the hope that they will create the momentum that will propel them to victory.
The strategy is designed to reach out to the youth and undecided block of voters in the hope that they can make a difference in the coalition’s anticipated first round win in the August 8 elections.
According to Nasa chief executive Norman Magaya, the coalition is targeting the radio platform because of its reach and access.
Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s communication advisor, Mr Salim Lone, confirmed the launch of the campaign, saying the team had identified the areas they hope will be strengthened through the outreach programme.
“We know this is a game and we are confident that with the support we have, these adverts will give us a major breakthrough in our way to victory,” Mr Lone said.
Jubilee, on the other hand, which has the advantage of incumbency and which has been running massive TV adverts under the Presidential Delivery Unit – on what they have done over the past four years – said they will also unleash adverts on TV and radio.
“Our advertising as a party has been structured and packaged taking cognizance of the importance of each media and we should be going to a lot more TV these last days,” Jubilee secretary-general Raphael Tuju said.
“During the voter registration drives, we did a lot of radio shows and social media – all dependent on the target results.
“Now, with the elections here, we will structure these a lot more looking at what we want to achieve and the specific media penetration,” he said.
Another Jubilee media strategy has been vernacular and regional radio stations, with President Kenyatta doing at least eight live radio interviews.
On Saturday, Deputy President William Ruto warmed up to the Kalenjin with a live radio interview beamed by two vernacular radio stations.
Mr Odinga, on the other hand, had once done an interview on Radio Maisha, with his team saying there were more planned for him.
On Sunday, Ipsos is expected to release an opinion poll on the presidential election.