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Nigerian Celebrities and Brand Promotion
Various blue chip companies in Nigeria, operating in various sectors such as manufacturing, telecom, banking, customer service, come up with new concepts that will put them ahead of their competitors. The post-independence era (until the 1960s) has seen a steady influx of both local and international companies into the marketing sector eager to compete in the Nigerian open market championship. An annual event held to determine which companies’ products/services have grown the most in the Nigerian market. The companies’ performance was assessed through the profits posted during their annual general meetings. Some of those who started the race are still in contention for gold, while their rivals have fallen by the wayside.
The competition to dominate the Nigerian market is getting tougher with each passing year and companies have implemented various marketing strategies “in and out of the box” to steal the market. For example, companies regularly use promos to entice customers to buy their products and ultimately win outrageous financial prizes and consolation prizes, game shows/lotteries, where juicy financial packages are awarded to customers who participate and follow instructions. to become rampant. These ‘over flogged marketing strategies’ have led some to look in the direction of celebrities (especially in the entertainment circuit) as the sales-reload needed to push them far ahead of their competitors.
In the public eye, celebrities are seen as a rare unique breed of homosapiens who walk with an aura of greatness and possess a golden touch capable of turning the ordinary into the extraordinary in a split second in their chosen careers. They have the power to make their fans stare by igniting star stroke syndrome. They easily excite the crowd in trying to catch a glimpse of them, and some suffer a nervous breakdown in their necks. This phenomenon is best described in live concerts performed by popular artists when the crowd goes into a frenzy, with children of course shouting their names (if they are children) and shouting “I love you X”, surprisingly shedding tears and sometimes passing out. . Exit or nearly exit with very little physical contact with the stars or otherwise.
Posters of these great men and women holding financial batons are kissed and interacted with by fans who hang them in a corner of their room and dream endlessly of how much better they could have been together. Loving them, worshiping them, idolizing them, thus making the good Lord jealous. Celebrities naturally have the power to influence consumers to switch loyalties to endorsed brands because of their popularity and to keep such advertisements lingering in their memory data banks. On a broader scale, celebrities like James Earl Jones endorsed “CNN”, Catherine Zeta-Jones “Elizabeth Arden” and Pepsi continuously used international top rated footballers and artists to promote its brand.
In Nigeria, before 2007 the concept of using celebrities to promote various brands was at its lowest level. Advertising companies on the payroll of competing companies gleefully used “unknown faces” to try to get potential customers to buy the products they were pitching. Maintaining customer loyalty through electronic media (mainly TV) or initiating cross carpeting for use of displayed products.
4 Reasons Celebrities are of little use to promote a brand in a few days
1. Ignorance: Most advertising practitioners were not familiar with the concept of using celebrities to promote brands. They were only hired to advertise, to show their clients’ products to viewers, which they did. They were not deeply involved in any marketing strategy to outcompete competing companies’ brands.
2. Indifference: Some were apathetic, adopting a dismissive approach to the concept, as they believed that the use of celebrities had no effect on the quality of advertising, so why bother using them?
3. Unwillingness to spend: Most clients were not willing to pay the fees required to engage the services of celebrities to promote the brand in advertising (which was not as expensive as it is today). Only a few acceded to the request and eventual use of celebrities such as the now defunct Universal Trust Bank (UTB Ad: Chief Zebrudaya and Jegede of the New Masquerade TV series fame), Visin Eye Drops (Regina Askia), Morning Fresh (Bimbo Oloyede). ), Panadol (Ovularia, Akpena from TV series New Masquerade), New Elephant Blue Detergent (Chief Zebrudaya, Samanja)
4. Less Competition: There existed a handful of companies producing competing brands in the same sector. In the 80s we basically had two well-known competing brands of products drawn from different sectors like detergents “Omo and Elephant Blue”, soaps “Lux and “Cussons Imperial Leather”, soft drinks “Coke and Pepsi”, cars “Peugeot and Volkswagen”. On the other hand some Companies created unchallenged brands like Okin Biscuits, Peak Milk, Maltina, Rob, Thermocool Fridge/Freezers.
The game has now changed as companies eagerly part with cash to ensure that celebrities are effectively used to promote their brands through electronic media (still mainly TV) with large viewership and in some cases even print media.
List of Nigerian celebrities used in brand promotion:
1.Omo Detergent (Adesuwa Oyenokwe – TV Presenter)
2. Chivita (Jide Kosoko – Nollywood Actor)
3. Foreigner (Sunny Neji – Artist)
4. Peak Milk (Kanu Nwankwo- International Footballer)
5. Hollandia Milk (Ali Baba- Comedian, Julius Agwu- Comedian, Omotola Jalade Ekhinde- Nollywood Actress, Bukki Wright- Nollywood / TV Actress)
6.Lux (Genevieve Nnaji- Nollywood Actress)
7. Amstel Malta (Dakor Egbuson- Nollywood Actress)
8. Onga (Kate Henshaw- Nuttall- Nollywood/TV Actress)
9.Rob (Julius Agahuwa – International Footballer)
10.Harpik (Nkem Owoh- Nollywood Actor, Bukky Wright- Nollywood/TV Actress, Joke Silva- Nollywood/TV Actress)
11.La Casera (Ikponwonsa Osakhiodua- Radio Presenter)
12. Power Fist (D’Banj – Artist)
13.OK Sweets (Osita Iheme, Chinedu Ikedize, both Nollywood actors)
14. Mimi Noodles (Bukki Ajay – Nollywood/TV Actress)
15. Guinness (Two Face Idibia- Artiste)
16. Zayn (Brian Okwara- Mr. Nigeria)
17. Yoyo Bitters (Jide Kosoko – Nollywood Actor)
18. Damatole (Desmond Elliott- Nollywood Actor)
19.LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT REGARDING TAX PAYMENT (Kate Henshaw-Nuttall, Bimbo Akintola, Funke Akindele, (all Nollywood/TV actresses, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of Redeem Christian Church of God)
20. Malta Guinness (Basket Mouth- Comedian)
21. Etisalat (Banky W- Artist)
22.Glo (RMD, Joseph Yobo, John Utaka, D’Banj, Ego, Madam Kofo, Sunny Neji, Funke Akindele, Basket Mouth, Ramsey Nouah jnr , Monalisa Chinda- Richards, Ini Edo and more
It’s a fact that some consumers who are aware of the safe drooling in celebrities’ kitties aren’t swayed by the ads, and oftentimes celebrities don’t use those products, opting instead. Use products of competing companies or products made by companies in other countries that want to establish here. No matter how much advertising hypes their presence these days, endorsing products does not automatically give a “snail proof seal” to the sale of products. For one thing, it is fitting that the celebrity being used must ideally fit the brand being projected, otherwise known as “product fit”. So physical appearance, charisma, credibility, acceptability, celebrity and the spark of attraction between the target customers are fundamental and cannot be left aside to not only generate interest in the product but also to take practical steps towards it. It’s buying.
For example, the use of Nkem Owoh (male) in Harpic’s advertisement is inconsistent. As a rule in Nigeria, men do not clean toilets at home, as it is considered part of a woman’s domestic duties. So the target audience for advertising any toilet cleaning products is “Women”. The use of celebrities depended on the great success they reported as Nollywood stars, so they felt that their popularity would effectively promote the brand and boost sales tremendously. They may have realized that using it was a wrong move because women thought it was just an advertising campaign to get them to buy the product. As his step aside, the notable Bucky Wright came on board, though following her predecessor’s formulaic promotion. Women easily relate to her, and the stereotyped message becomes realistic, dispelling the earlier doubts about the product’s effectiveness, which lingered in their minds before the celebrity swap. Joc Silva has also taken over the responsibility of brand promotion along with monotonous advertising. Imagine using one for a diaper ad or to promote a range of baby or cosmetic products! No matter how good-looking the guy is, no matter how funny the ad is, it will turn into a split-second sideshow at best, which will be appreciated by the ladies.
Akin (Chinedu Ikedezi) and Pawpaw (Osita Iheme) while promoting “OK Sweets” would not have had the same impact if a “mature looking” celebrity had taken over. Children consider these two to be “child stars” they can relate to, despite being unable to realize their actual ages, or that they are “little men” who have lit up Hollywood life. Fan children happily accepted the products and persuaded their parents to buy the precious sweets.
“Etisalat”, a telecom company that made its debut in the highly competitive Nigerian telecom market in 2008, was faced with the reality of competing with three major players, “MTN”, “ZAIN” and “GLO”, although not under the rating of existence. Starcomms, Multi Links, Visa Phone, Reltel , Intercellular among others that can give them a run for their money. They had so far adopted marketing aggressively, with various advertisements spearheaded by unpopular faces promoting their brand through electronic and print media. A break could have come when the sensational R n B artist “Banky W” who made waves on the music front with the hit track “Ebutte- Metta” was roped in to promote the brand. His smooth velvet voice and closing lyrics “080,0809ja for life” did the trick. Nigerians loved the song and in different episodes, children and adults alike heard the “0809ja for Life Song”, which took the Etisalat brand to greater heights.
Celebrities can be used to introduce a new brand, break the cycle of sales stagnation that has so far tied down a product, and dispel rumors of nose-diving sales by competitors. The use of celebrities can sometimes have a devastating effect on sales where the celebrity endorses a brand and is seen using a competitor or causes a major setback in his/her business. The sole objective of using Nigerian celebrities in advertisements to promote the companies’ brands is whether the pre-set projected sales profits are achieved and beyond, coded on mysterious sales cards kept securely by the companies. Hands that adhere to the principle “For our eyes only”.
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