Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
We’re reviewing the ads that we dread,
And the ones that held true.
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
We’re reviewing the ads that we dread,
And the ones that held true.
This week on “Impolite Banter,” we discuss Gorilla Glue and other unexpected PR moments: a guide to turning unexpected events to your brands and businesses advantage.
I’ve been thinking very much about how there are barely any good platforms to just catch up on marketing related updates in Africa.
So I thought, i’d start one. And who better to do this with than my good friend Didi, a marketing expert in her own right and just a really, really fun person to talk with. Together, we’ll be hosting a weekly, or bi-weekly (let’s face it, we’ll get a bit lazy sometimes) column here where we’ll dissect the week in marketing and talk about everything from released ads to new product updates, rebrands, influencer marketing campaigns and everything in-between.
We’re just making this up as we go along, but if you’re a fan of a good conversation and you enjoy checking out cool ideas, you should enjoy the read.
With topics ranging anywhere from “Nigerian women ask Nigerian men hard questions,” to “Why do fools fall in love,” “diaspora wars,” and a viral clubhouse chat room that had the salacious title “Dangote’s bum bum,” Clubhouse is fast becoming the hottest new social app and no one is having more fun with it like Nigerians are. It also helps that Clubhouse seems to be taking note of this and appears to be giving more invites to Nigerians than many other countries are getting.
From the COVID-19 pandemic to Big Brother Nigeria, the #EndSars protests and beyond, 2020 has been quite an interesting year for the world of marketing and branding in Nigeria and Africa at large.
In this final blog post of the year and ranked in no particular order, here are 7 of the most iconic and memorable moments that have played a role in pushing marketing as a discipline forward in what has already been a historic year in Nigeria’s marketing space:
I can’t help but think that some people– many people, take sadistic delight in overextending themselves. Far too many people exist in the intersection between humble bragging about how much they work and running on fumes stretching themselves for all they are worth– piling on one responsibility after the other until even the things they do really well start to suffer.
Brands do this too.
Over the weekend, Nigerian musician 9ice released an “apology” video asking fans to intervene in his 3rd marriage by pleading with his wife to forgive his infidelity.
Outside of my initial shock at the sheer manipulativeness of the entire situation, my next thought was just how dodgy it all was– the background music, the trademark patriarchal selfishness of the apology, the camera angles.
Bogus. Like many of the Black Friday deals you’ll be seeing this week.
With all the hype around Black Friday, you’ll be tempted to operate under the impression that every offer is worth trampling over fellow shoppers to get in on– both online and offline with retailers and grocers slashing prices to ‘rock bottom’ levels for one day only.
But research has found that that’s rarely the case.
A few days ago, I had a heated conversation with a friend.
The argument? Pitch fees or more simply, fees that advertising or creative agencies desire that clients pay as compensation for time spent developing creative concepts in a bid to acquire a project or account.
That debate filled me with curiosity: why are pitch fees such a contentious topic? does every agency that pitches for an account deserve to be paid for their time and efforts, even when they are unsuccessful? Or do clients not get any real value from these unsuccessful pitches and there is no actual business case to justify paying pitch fees?
To get a better sense of the answers, I asked four industry leaders in marketing (split across the client’s side and the agency) about their thoughts on pitch fees:
1. Whether or not you need to, pee before getting in a car. Even if it’s only a short drive, Lagos traffic will humble you.
2. Happiness comes and goes, so aim for contentment. This can sometimes be achieved with a cold bowl of yogurt and granola. Or a cookie.
3. Choose small consistent efforts over sweeping life-changing declarations.
In October 2020, young people across Nigeria did something they had never done before. They came out in numbers to protest.
The protests were centered around brutality and extrajudicial killings by the Special anti robbery squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police force but also brought forth conversations around bad governance, rising unemployment, corruption and impunity.
People were speaking up, and they demanded that the brands they patronised joined them. While speaking up came naturally for a few brands bolstered by more radical leadership teams, for most brands, schooled in regulatory inspired conflict avoidance and the traditional public relations practice of avoiding issues with even a whiff of politics, the discomfort was palpable.
Managing upwards or learning what your boss needs and delivering on that can be an even bigger success factor than being “good” at your job.
Here are 16 handy tips to managing your manager:
Thirteen odd years ago, in my final leg of senior secondary, my school got a new literature teacher– Mr Eden. Mr Eden was graceful. Even while wielding a whip, he talked and walked like little blue birds helped him get dressed in the morning.
In his second week in school, we had a conversation about writing influences and at the time, obsessed with detective and mystery novels, I excitedly told him how much I was learning about pain, ambition and betrayal and how these books helped transport me to an alternate reality. He looked at me with a knowing smile and said “Yes. But, can you truly relate with those stories?” and then proceeded to lend me three of his favorite books, one of which was Chimamanda Adichie’s “Purple Hibiscus.”
Last week, news broke about John Boyega stepping down as brand ambassador for fragrance company, Joe Malone London, after the company reshot and recast an advert he conceived, directed and starred in with a Chinese influencer for use in Asian markets.
While Nigerian Twitter had a good laugh over how the Nigerian in Boyega jumped out in the concluding part of his statement with the sentence “I don’t have time for nonsense,” across the world, public sentiment was split.
Shopping is my guilty pleasure. Very few things get me going like the thrill of discovering new places to eat, online vendors, bookstores, etc and being able to find the item(s) in their product line that serve me best.
Two days ago, I tried to get some brownies online and went scrolling through a baker’s Instagram feed only to discover that there were over a dozen variants. As I moved from option to option, analysing each flavour with its catchy color and deliciously sounding name, I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to try and ultimately ended up exiting the page without making a purchase.
Over the weekend, Erica, one of the most talked about housemates on the Big Brother Nigeria show had an alcohol fuelled outburst that culminated in her disqualification from the house.
While I think of myself as a passive watcher of the reality TV show, as a fan of human and consumer behaviour I was keen to see two things:
How she would handle the fallout of the nights incidents the morning after
How her team of social media handlers would control or at least contain the narrative.
The events that unfolded the morning after included an in-person apology to the housemates and a (now deleted) post on Instagram that was in equal parts apologetic and defensive.
Do I think Erica should have apologised? Yes and No.
This past week, I realised that one of the few things we all have in common is that we experience the days of the week quite similarly. Most people can’t stand Mondays. Friday is so loved, it has an entire acronym (TGIF) dedicated to it, and all the fun things are reserved for Saturdays and Sundays.
But you’re all wrong 😌. All those days are fine, but none of them is truly the best day of the week.
The best day of the week is Thursday.
Why Thursday? Because by Thursday, you are past the mid-week mark and are on the slope into the weekend. It’s the sweet spot where your week turns around, holding all the promise of the weekend. It’s humble, understated excellence.
Like days of the week, social media engagement tactics are not created equal. So I thought it’ll be interesting to reimagine some of the most popular tactics for improving online engagement as days of the week, ranking them from best to “i’d rather not.”
Every once in a while, I have life changing epiphanies.
Here’s my most recent one: after years of struggle, I have finally figured out how to eat cookies in bed without making a mess.
The trick? Break the crumbs into bite-sized pieces while they’re still in the box. Then and only then should you pop the biscuits into your mouth- allowing you a regret free snack in bed.
Like regret free cookies in bed, I break down the “Things no one tells you about being a first-time Manager” into 18 bite-sized pieces in this blogpost.
As kids, we’re obsessed with fitting in. Our deepest fears are centred around being left out and we make behavioural, fashion and even lifestyle choices to gain the approval of our peers. This continues well into our teenage years no matter how many times we hear the words “just because your friends are doing it, does not mean you should too.”
And then as we approach adulthood, almost overnight, the script flips and the most backhanded compliment you can give an adult is implying that they’re not special.
I like to think that brands are like people. At inception brands are happy just for the chance to play in the category, fulfilling the same needs that the competition does. However, as they reach maturity, in an ideal world the best brands shed their “me-too” skins in pursuit of unique brand personas.
But a quick look across industries will show you that far too many brands are failing to grow out of “me-too” marketing. Colloquially termed ‘copycat’ marketing, the “me too” strategy is as big a problem for green horn brands as it is for even the most established brand names.
Last week, there was a viral tweet about the “poor” quality of ads airing on Big Brother Nigeria. According to the poster, with all the money spent buying media placement, the brands would have done well to invest in better quality advertising.
As a marketing person with an advertising agency background, my first instinct was to strongly agree. As a conscious “anti-hearder”, my next instinct was to think “but an ad can be so bad that it becomes a cult classic and ends up actually being really good!”
Getting the best out of your influencer marketing efforts
The career woman’s guide to self promotion
Or random advise to young Marketing Managers
The surprise and delight strategy is burning a hole in your pocket and i’m here to tell you to stop.
To be in marketing in Nigeria is to surrender to an infinite loop of using the words “Not sales, marketing…”
In my early days as a strategist, I was obsessed with interrogating celebrity worship culture. Particularly celebrity worship culture fueled by controversy. It seemed asinine to me that the more problematic a public figure behaved, the more likely people were to tattoo their faces to visible body parts, scream uncontrollably and have complete meltdowns at the sight of them.
Can controversy be a tool for business growth?