She pokes her head
With bated breath, testing to see
If she’ll be permitted
Or better still
Totally ignored to just be
The bulge that she is
Why can’t she be left alone?
Free to remain her round self
As Nature willed it on her and Earth

It’s a hard life
When all she wants to be
Is unfettered and loose
It’s a hard life
When she’s the one to blame
For neither fitting into an 8
Nor the elusive 6-pack

It’s a hard life
When she can’t prevent being filled up
But she’s expected to not blow up
It’s a hard life
When after everything she has taken in
She is looked upon with pure loathing

It’s a hard life
To be the one with all the ugly names
The reason for the term: bodyshaming
It’s a hard life
When she can’t sit contently on your laps
As you take a seat…Like a rat sits to savour cheese

It’s a hard life
When I just want to be left to roam your waistline
But I’m restrained with a GIRDLE and chaffing to be free!

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Quote  —  Posted: August 16, 2016 in Ad opinion.

shells

Image Credits: http://www.rentokil.com

Nigeria…You poor fragile thing
You were but a delicate soul from inception
With seams so weak, they come unravelled
By a mere glance, at your delicate joinings.

Nigeria…Raped, brutalised, and violated
By custodians and strangers alike
You are but a shell of yourself
Your very essence squeezed out
By callused paws of the perverse
You’ve been thrown into bed with

Nigeria…envy of distant lands
Endowed with all the right curves
You make kings drool
And Queens scheme for a piece of you
So they made you bleed
For your blood is gold to them
And they, self-absorbed
Forget that it is your very life

Delicate though you are
Yet you challenge the proverbial cat
For you have lived more than nine lives
And squeeze though they may
You live on still
With hope that one day
Your blood will no longer be gold

Then…maybe, just maybe
This seemingly eternal rape will stop
And your spirit will return
For it has detached itself
From this pain of a life
Leaving u but a shell of yourself

Quote  —  Posted: August 14, 2016 in Fiction, Nigerian Context
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cocacola image credits: http://www.tooxclusive.com

The theme song for Coca Cola’s current global campaign: Taste The Feeling, seems quite sticky as a lot of people can’t stop literally humming the ‘No I cant stop…’ lines.

The most fascinating part of it was the local adaptation to the multicultural Nigerian market with so many variations featuring local talents like 2Face, Simi, Chidinma, Adekunle Gold and many others singing the theme song with sprinklings of yoruba, pidgin, hausa, igbo dialects.

Coca cola’s brand building strategies constantly make it to marketing and business classes and textbooks across the world. They have always been remarkable and no doubt contribute to the brand’s success despite frequent litigation, market fragmentation and other challenges.

A consistent lesson is that of their international marketing strategy. Core elements of the brand have remained standardized across the business globally. However, communication campaigns frequently have these local variations which keep the brand connected and in sync with its local consumers and makes it a market leader by a wide margin. It is an enviable position that other brands can aim for by putting to practice lessons learned.

On a lighter note, why not sing along with Tuface, learning can and should be fun!

Coca-Cola – “Taste The Feeling” ft. Tuface  

Quote  —  Posted: July 29, 2016 in Ad opinion.

Blake is really cool and Tricia likes him so much but she hates the plaque buildup in between his teeth spoiling the cuteness of his oh so beautiful smile.

So how do you tell a grown man you are crushing on to clean his teeth more often without hurting his feelings?

But then, it’s probably not about how he brushes, since listerine ads suggest that brushing is only half the job. So she decides to get the other half done using the listerine men.

Slide2 Slide3

Listerine ads really should get some credit for information, influence and persuasion and this currently running one is no exception:

Quote  —  Posted: November 3, 2015 in Ad opinion.
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Photo credits: Ads of the world https://goo.gl/j2ebnr

Photo credits: Ads of the world https://goo.gl/j2ebnr

What struck me when I saw this was ‘wow,a pair of damaged lungs’.

I’m guessing that was what you thought too. Well, like me, you were wrong. It is actually an ad for World Wildlife Fund (WFF).

The visual captures the nicotine/lung cancer campaign strongly, but it sure does justice to the wildlife conservation message too.

What are your thoughts on it? Don’t be shy to share. Join the party in the comments section.

Quote  —  Posted: October 22, 2015 in Ad opinion.
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According to David Aaker, The third risk to your brand’s relevance is that your brand has developed a negative, a reason not to buy.

Telecommunications significantly grew the customer care service industry in Nigeria and it set the standard  for customer service delivery for so many organisations. A number of them took trainings and poached staff directly from telecoms to grow their customer service and telemarketing units.

Like it or not, Customer service is very integral to relational marketing, marketing beyond transactions.

The telecoms market leader in Nigeria has always been MTN and its claims to leadership is reflected in its achievements. MTN is the first telecom company to gain the acclaimed IiP Gold accreditation which is quite interesting considering that company reviews of MTN on websites like glassdoor.com questions their claims to global best practice people solutions and policies. Is this accreditation a clear case of the one-eye man ruling in the city of the blind?

The MTN brand has come to be known for a lot of negatives stemming from either poor service delivery or contract staff issues or COO-country of origin issues or false brand promises. Staffing issues have been up on and off again in recent months. Especially with gist of staff being managed by an indian company notorious for long hours, low wages and ridiculous schedules like clocking out at noon for your morning shift and clocking in again at 6pm same day for another shift.

What does the accumulation of these negatives portend for the telcom giant? What happens if the new acquisition/establishment of Natcom-Nitel grows a brand with the kind of traction the market experienced with Etisalat? Cost of switching (number change concerns especially) is almost nil, a customer has nothing tying him down to a network, save his loyalty.

But with MTN squandering its goodwill, what appears to be savings might end up being spent on retention activities and some extra spent on brand building. So the question remains why sabotage your brand? Why create brand damaging situations that could be avoided by prioritizing quality service delivery and staying true to global best practice in people solutions and policies.

Beyond brand management and at its core, there lies a very real need to protect the brand. Else why birth a brand if there will be no commitment to its preservation?

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Quote  —  Posted: September 15, 2015 in Nigerian Context
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Every time, we see brands seek expansion and revenue growth beyond their borders but not all of them succeed. So what makes most brands fail where others seem to be enjoying seemingly effortless success?

Yes, there might be issues with government policies, economic issues, environmental instability etc, which are pretty much out of the organisation’s control. But what about commitment? How committed is your brand to success in this new market?

A new western brand let’s say Starbucks launching in foreign markets, like say, Africa or Asia will enjoy some success and growth with its original line of products for some years. After a while, it stalls and when the economy is growing 7-8%, your brand is growing only 2-3%. The question arises ‘If more people can afford stuff now, why aren’t they buying your products?’

Kraft, a US food manufacturing company, asked this question in its Philippine market and searched for an answer by involving every member of staff in company-wide market research. People got creative and brought in ideas. Relevant product modifications were done and the brand had remarkable success.

The enviable success of indomie instant noodles is a direct result of the variation of noodles offered Nigerians being modified to the culinary preferences of the consumer here. If indofood, the Indonesia manufacturer, had done the opposite and just distributed their original products, the brand would probably be floundering by now.

onion-chicken-flavor-product

Today, indomie’s success in Nigeria is so phenomenal that it enjoys an eponymous name association and the known name for noodles is indomie to the average Nigerian consumer.

Is your brand floundering? Maybe it is time to take a new perspective on the situation. Use the comment section, let’s share opinions and perspectives.

Update: Came across an interesting example with LG’s mosquito-away and Gen Cool brands of airconditioning, adapted for markets in Indonesia and Nigeria. Gen cool airconditioner works with small generating sets and inverters, making it ideal for a place like Nigeria with power issues. Mosquito away is an airconditioner that repels mosquitoes.

Quote  —  Posted: September 5, 2015 in Nigerian Context
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Before now, there wasn’t much to being a celebrity save the fame. You still drive ugly cars (you aren’t even done paying for) and get harassed by your landlord, like every other person.

But today, celebs are joining the billionaire club every other day thanks to lucrative endorsement deals.

For brand freaks like me who have been taught that there are lots of ways to do marketing wrong and few ways to do it right, there is the need to understand what makes these things work (when they do).

So back to endorsements, let us examine the theory of fits. The theory helps understand what is considered when a brand is in the market with an endorsement deal.

Physical attractiveness/likeability e.g  Akpororo + Airtel   Slide2Celebrity/brand fit e.g Usain Bolt + Puma  Bolt on TaiAds

Celebrity/audience fit e.g Saka + MTN (MTN is positioned as a premium brand, my well loved Saka fits in the economy or mid-priced segment/audience)

Celebrity/message fit e.g Saka + MTN (reinforced the portability message)

Saka on TaiAds

Social network Donjazzi + Konga

Maybe I’m not entirely right, but I wouldn’t know until I’ve heard your argument. So let’s heat things up in here with new opinions and perspectives. The comments section will be a good place for that.

Quote  —  Posted: August 28, 2015 in Nigerian Context
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STRONG BRANDS VS WEAK BRANDS (2)

On my learning quest, I came across this and had to take a screenshot and share. What interests me in this picture is the strange irony that so many of our huge brands, here in Nigeria, actually have the qualities that describe weak brands.

With more brands getting actively committed to quality customer service, the Nigerian consumer no doubt has gotten more sophisticated and learnt to expect quality service delivery. But if with this growth, our brands still remain weak, with inconsistent service delivery, gaps between communications and customer experience, poor reputations, low retention levels, etc.

What factors could be encouraging this?

While we try and figure this out, we can celebrate the truly strong brands. They don’t necessarily have to be mega sized brands they just need to fit the profile above. So please, use the comment section and tell us about your strong brands and why you perceive them as strong.

Update: Feel free to use the comment section even if you aren’t sharing about a brand in Nigeria

Quote  —  Posted: August 26, 2015 in Nigerian Context
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Will a drastic decision to lock up all your cards and live only within your means for the next 30days make or break you?

How often do we get ahead of ourselves, and spend more than we earn? The world itself seems to be running on credit now and it feels good till the bough breaks.

Maybe you should experiment a little, like the One Rand Man. No cards, no loans, nothing. Just your earnings for the month.

Sponsored by Sanlam Investments, these series reveal the consequences of our financial habits and choices. This credit we have all grown lo love, how much is its love for us?

You can follow the journey of the One Rand Family as well, but I recommend you catch up on past series. Here is episode 1 of One Rand Man:

Quote  —  Posted: August 17, 2015 in Ad opinion.