Terver: Hello, Hello Bantu’s!
Didi: Welcome back to your favorite YouTu… blog. Been a minute people!!
Terver: Smmaaaaassshhh that like button guys! Subscribe to the channel. Wait, doesn’t all this stuff typically come in at the end?
Didi: Ideally. But the Bantus’ know and love us, so they’d let this slide.
Terver: Err…Didi, are we gonna address the elephant in the room, or nah?
Didi: Sure! Guys, Terver lost the keys to the blog, that’s why we haven’t posted in months.
Terver: *Laughs in thrown under the bus*
So guys, in my version of the truth, what had happened was that after many failed promises of rotisserie chicken and fancy dinners, I decided that it was better to be alone than to continue my abusive relationship with Didi
Didi: Translation; “a ti lo, a ti de.” But the important thing is that we’re back!
Terver: *Rolls eyes* Fine! the Bantus have suffered enough and we’re back!
Didi: LOL! So what are we talking about today Terver?
Terver: Big Brother is coming back for its 6th season! And we’ve got a list of 7 things we absolutely DO NOT want to see from brands this year!
Didi: 6th? I imagined there had been many more episodes, Or editions. However you kids are calling it.
Terver: Seasons Didi, gosh….tuck your grey hairs in
Didi: Anyway, I’m really happy for all the Nigerian brands with enough funds to sponsor Nigeria’s most expensive reality show. But please and please, spend your money right.
What’s the first thing you don’t want to see from brands Terv?
Terver: That’s exactly it! The number one thing we don’t want to see from brands this year is spending money without a plan.
One of the reasons marketing sometimes gets a bad rap is because there are brand custodians who never have their eye out for ROI. It’s spend, spend, spend. They’ll be quick to tell you how Big Brother is Nigeria’s biggest platform and how being on the platform will be revolutionary for their brand, but they conveniently gloss over operational inefficiencies, product failings and strategic deficiencies that only get magnified with the attention the show will deliver.
Didi: Very true. Sounds like the headline sponsor of the last edition. The betting brand I believe. There seemed to not have any plan beyond poorly done ads.
Terver: You mean the “my team is losing…but i’m winning” guys! That one shocked me so much because just one year before, Bet9ja had shown a clear path for monetization and directly tying in the brand into the game itself with the BB Coins. And guys, this is a good example of when it’s okay for a brand to just copy. Not every time reinventing the wheel. Sometimes enjoy the “second mover” advantage and reap the rewards.
Didi: Yup, Bet9ja takes really good advantage of everything they sponsor; from movies to Football. It’s clear they work with a smart team. Which brings me to the second point. If you’re going to spend millions of dollars on a large platform sponsorship, why not hire a good agency to create something that properly positions your brand?
Terver: In fairness, Big Brother is one of those very very few platforms where an ad that’s so bad it’s ultimately strangely very good has room to succeed because the audience is super tuned in and attentive. But because there’s no blueprint to that, it’s smarter business to invest in getting a solid insight, weave some compelling storytelling and execute world class or at least standard production.
Didi: Samvita’s ad was so bad yet so good last year because the rules of storytelling were followed – keep repeating a word and it sticks. But this year, we want to see standard production at the least!
Terver: I mean why pay millions to be on a show only to merge stock videos together and lace text over it like the people are a joke to you? We don’t want to see sloppy ads this year. Clear messaging, standard production, a clear proposition, an even clearer call to action!
Now to thing 3
Didi: Fix your distribution before going on the largest reality show in the country. I’m pretty sure the goal of your sponsorship involves getting people to use your product on some level. So why is your app bad? Why can’t your car be found at dealerships nationwide? Just why?
Terver: I feel in my chest that this sub belongs to a ‘Made in Nigeria’ car brand
Didi: Somebody’s son. Yup!.But now that I think about it, this was also the case for Samvita to be honest. If you have ads all over talking about your product and conversations all over social media reinforcing your message, the least you can do is make sure that you’re present in every store. FMCG brands who are sponsoring should invest in getting premium real estate in both modern trade and open markets. Be everywhere in person, not just on our screens. That way you’re closer to pushing people down the convention funnel, not just getting everyone stuck in the awareness loop.
Terver: This is why you weren’t invited to Oba for the celebration of life Didi. All this violence.
Didi: Obi is my guy. We’ll chill when he’s back in Lagos. That one was for the masses.
Terver: Osheyyy! Extraordinary doings. Which sort of segways into point 4: Brands rushing to endorse Big Brother housemates as ambassadors!
Terver: So here’s the thing, I get it! Big brother singlehandedly churns out the widest net of new “Influencers” each year. There’s some wisdom to it even in that when the housemates come out, they’re very keen on endorsements and can be locked down at tidy prices. The problem however is that the bulk of brands, small businesses especially that rush to endorse these housemates don’t take time to really think about brand fit: like why a skinny person is endorsing slim tea or my personal favorite, when obvious crypto novices (very inauthentically) promote cryptocurrency.
Add to that the fact that it’s often too early in the heat of the show and even immediately after to really understand and appraise whose fans have staying power and who is just a fleeting attraction.
My personal policy is to give the housemates 2-3 months (at least) after the show’s ending to give them time to unravel. This way we’ll begin to see who could be a brand fit; who would uphold the terms of the contract; who has decent management and a clear idea what they’re trying to achieve with their personal brand outside of “I was on the big brother platform” and then, we can sit down and talk endorsements. It might cost you a little more, but altogether is smarter for your brand when compared with the sunk costs of a brand misfit, a public falling out or worse, an Instablog post your brand could have done without.
Didi: 3 months sounds like a very fair period. Might even be a little too short. You’re sponsoring what would be a personal brand and technically not a “Big Brother contestant,” so you have to give them time to build that and clearly show their workings.
Also super important is for you to understand if their fans and the people they influence are also your target audience. You don’t want to sponsor an influencer that will ultimately have no impact on your bottom line.
Didi: I find it really interesting how historically, the winners of the show haven’t had as much staying power as the candidates that leave earlier but manage to figure out their niche
Terver: Precisely. Again, not all big brother contestants are made equal. The fan base is broad so you need to be clear what segment of the overall audience supports the contestant you’re endorsing
Didi: The moral of the story here is that brand custodians need to play the long game. With the exception of promotional campaigns, If you’re trying to invest in building a brand with solid positioning, take some time in identifying the best fit and best path.Which begs the question, are big brother Influencers mostly good for promotional campaigns?
Terver: I think it takes time to build a personal brand strong enough to carry the weight of a long term brand campaign and so i’d say for the most part, yes. They are generally best suited for short term bursts of promotional/tactical campaigns
And while we’re on the topic of suitability, the 5th thing we don’t want to see this year are fashion brands that are clearly OPP against the housemates who are clearly out to ruin these poor housemates who are simply trying their best to keep Africa entertained
Didi: LOL! Is this on the fashion brands though or should we really be talking about why Big Brother’s production team isn’t partnering with more noteworthy fashion brands?
Terver: Honestly, I can’t be bothered. But I know I can happily do this season without a repeat of these types of looks
Didi: Haha! What’s the 6th thing T?
Terver: Next thing we don’t want to see brands do this year is miss opportunities for a high quality conversation hijack. Granted, there are the sponsors who paid to be hypervisible on the show, but social media conversations are for the taking and this year, we want to see more brands take these opportunities
Didi: Louder for the people at the back! Be sure that you’re holding your legal team super tight so there aren’t any breaches but there are too many opportunities here: partner with the biggest commentators online, sponsor post eviction interviews, create content on owned platforms that ties into ongoing situations. I could go on and on.
Terver: Especially if you’re a smaller brand, you can be more agile and take more risk by newsjacking one or many of the trending topics that will emerge from the show. What i’d like to see marketing teams do is start early. Call everyone in your marketing team together, assemble a small social media war room. In the course of the 3-months the show airs, the opportunity will come for your brand to tap into a conversation and potentially have a spotlight moment of its own. You should be ready.
Didi: but but… Twitter is banned? and it’s the biggest channel for these conversations.
Terver: In theory yes! Which brings me to the final thing I’d like to see brands do this 2021, create content designed to be transmitted via Whatsapp.
Didi: Uuuhhh I like it. So shareable BC kind of content?
Terver: Yes. You know how we joke that nothing is truly viral until it’s been “forwarded multiple times on Whatsapp”? More brands need to get into this. It’s tough to measure, BUT we know that in the wake of the Twitter ban, the % use of Whatsapp stories has risen in Nigeria and designing your content to be shareable via BCs or in WhatsApp stories is definitely a way to go here. To do this successfully and at scale again you have to start early: penetrate these Big brother fanbase WhatsApp groups, know the key people, follow the key blogs, and again, be agile.
Didi: I’m actually interested in the execution of this; Identifying who these WhatsApp influencers are, how these stories get out, what the key WhatsApp groups per demography look like.
Terver: The key element to keep in mind is relevance to your audience – staying on brand is crucial, even when trying to tap into a trending topic. And on top of that, originality. The brands that will win are the ones that offer something new, something different, that are able to grab attention by hitting at just the right time with just the right message. It’s hard to do, but for those who will do the work and get it right, the benefits will be massive.
Didi: You know how the FBI hires ex-cons? Maybe brands need to hire some of the MMM/Disinformation guys to use their skills for good. They have the connections, they understand the needed sensationalism, and can be taught whatever else is required.
Terver: LOL! Okay, I didn’t see that one coming, but I guess if anyone can get a real buzz going, it’s those guys. Any final words Didi?
Didi: In summary, brands, have a plan. Think of the conversion funnel or loop; and ensure that taking advantage of this show is not just about the optics of being on a big show but actually has an effect on your business’ bottom line. From your product, to the ads, to your distribution, and engagement, ensure you have it all covered. You have 2 days to go, I think. 🌚
Terver: No pressure. Abeg 🙂
Ermmmm Didi, you’re really planning on wrapping this up without any comments on how you’re finally going to make good on all those promises of moist chicken laps and tender turkey wings?
Didi: From your lips to God’s ears dear.
Terver: *Sigh* Guys, remember to share with us in the comments things that are on your list of what you’re not trying to see from brands this season. We’ll be reading!