Brands; the New Village Head

STORYTELLING IS THE TREND THAT BRANDS IN NIGERIA ARE TAKING VERY SERIOUSLY AND IT’S SHOWING UP IN THE ADS

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

As said by the Hand of the Queen (Daenerys Targaryan) who eventually became the Hand of the King (Bran the Broken), Tyrion Lannister said in the grand finale of the decade long series Game of Thrones, “What unites a people? Arms, Gold, Flags? Stories, there's nothing more powerful in this world than a good Story. Nothing can stop it, no enemy can defeat it”.

In many African homes or villages, the village head or the oldest person in the area is supposedly the best story teller as he or she tells the most mind joggling stories in every genre that brings everyone together. Till this day, the best stories I have ever heard, came from the tongue of a village chief and I know that isn’t peculiar to just me as I have met many others who share the same story.

As I said before, brands in Nigeria have begun to harness the power of great storytelling to deliver returns on investment (ROI) and achieve top of mind awareness (TOMA). Two brands that immediately come to mind are Maltina and Airtel, they are currently milking this playing field and achieving set objectives.

See below the stories they are currently telling around their brands.

Retelling the African Story

BY TAPPING INTO POP CULTURE, BRANDS ARE ATTEMPTING TO ERASE STEREOTYPES THAT BESET AFRICANS

martin-bekerman-391453-unsplash.jpg

Across Africa, we are seeing a number of forward-thinking brands attempting to rewrite the narratives the world have held Africans by. Retelling the African story has become imperative and brands are holding hands with Africans to effectively tell do this.

Long before I was born, there have been a number of stereotypes the world seems to attribute to Africa and truthfully those labels don’t tell the real African story. We are not poor or lagging, we are lions (courageous and daring) and we are consistently pressing towards the mark (heading for glory). Africa is beautiful and the world owes it to itself to see this. Little wonder why a number of brands have begun to make efforts to erase these unhealthy stereotypes.

Emirates in conjunction with BBC have decided to bring remarkable Africans together to retell the African story from the works they do. These are exceptional Africans who have attained a good feat doing amazing things all over the world and as such Emirates, BBC, and these young people have curated what they now call the African anthem.

Tafer Lager seized the opportunity presented in the form of a celebration of the Namibian independence to show us that “there’s more that connects us than divides us”. With the pleasant sounds made by Namibian drums, the brand shows the unity and love that exists in the hearts of Africans.

So as it is, brands are doing their bit in trying to retell the African story but the question I present to you who are reading this article is, what story are you telling? Does your story buttress the stereotypes or do they tell the real African story?

Selling the African Story

AFRICA FOR AFRICANS, TOLD BY AFRICANS, TO THE REST OF THE WORLD

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

Everyone loves a good story.

Whilst the global trend of story selling is very well underway, Africa will be selling the African story the African way, using every channel available. No one can tell our story better than us. Culture is important to us and we will not lose it to those who will choose to tell our stories for us.

“‘Africa Rising’, ‘Afrofuturism’, ‘Afro-optimism’, and the moniker, ‘emerging markets’ or worse, ‘third world’, are all terms that are in recent use to describe the current transformation of Africa in the eyes of the Western world, politically, economically, culturally, etc” – Bizcommunity.

I am glad that the world has begun to take notice of us and we are gradually changing the stories in their minds we incorporate culture into our ads.

Apparently, we tell the best stories.

Double Calling - A Nigerian Syndrome

NIGERIANS HAVE THE CULTURE OF SOMEWHAT DOUBLING THEIR WORDS AS A SIGN OF EMPHASIS AND OR EXPRESSION. WE LIKE TO SEE IT AS GIVING LIFE TO MERE WORDS.

Wait! Wait! Let me explain the topic, see I just did it. Apparently, Nigerians don't ever seem to think the use of one word is enough. I would like to support my own people and explain this behaviour by simply saying it is just for emphasis. Trust me, no matter how educated you are with your Univeristy Of Nigeria B.Sc and Harvard Masters, it is an unconscious habit, and if you are being sincere you are trying to recall a time(s) when you did it.

If you are non Nigerian, the probability that you just rolled your eyes and accompanied with head movements is high. Small Small sha. Oh! I just said take it easy or do it gently. I'm going to now try as much as possible and list out instances of such word usage and maybe add a Nigerian twist to its definition.

// Fast Fast: The normal way to express this would be "be fast" or" hurry up", but because Nigerians and impatience and their annoying counterparts who decide to be sluggish, fast fast is like a call to quick or speedy action according to the speakers time frame. 

// Now Now: Simply translates to mean immediately, at the moment, pronto; so if ever a Nigerian man tells you this words reconsider your actions we don't condone procrastination. Example, Ma can i go and buy the credit for you in 30 minutes, No go and get it now now.

// Wait Wait: Translate to standard English and you would be saying "hold on"; the only i can imagine this being used is during an all girl gist about boys of course.

Girl 1: Do you know, i just met this guy and he already wants to meet my parents

Girl 2: Wait  Wait (Hold On), isn't this the guy you met last week

// Small Small: Is an expression that mirrors the words take it easy, and also can mean why are you in such a hurry or impatient? So if you exhibit awkwardly impatient behaviours, expect to get words like madam (ma) or Oga (sir) small small nah.

Other ones include "quick quick", "today today". Having briefly said all this, I am of the opinion that we deserve our own indigenous dictionary to sell to tourists and IJGBs (I just Got Backs).  I can't seem to think of any other words. Could you help?