Failure to launch! 10 ways the OK! Magazine event flopped

by Hauwa Gambo

The cover of OK! Issue 1

You’ve got to be tired of people going to events and coming back without the truth. Amazing! Excellent! Successful!, they crow – even when the world knows that just didn’t happen. This time, it was a bit too much.

How are we going to grow unless someone tells content owners and everyone else the whats and the what-nots to do? So, as part of my civic duty to the compatriots who worked hard to put this event together successfully – and failed – here is my top 10 ‘what-nots’ from the launch of the much talked about OK! Nigeria.  

The Venue

Being the venue where the last Women in Management & Business (WimBiz) conference was held, I really have no problems with Harbour Point. It’s certainly not trashy, and many from the moneyed crowd find its location and facilities very useful – just not for the launch of a luxury brand. And – hello! – you cannot to be stingy with money if you’re going to be running the most expensive magazine in town, can you?

The Food  

There is no way I am letting this go. You call us for a luxury N1-million-a-table event (let’s set aside the fact that they were selling(!) tables at their launch event; you will be hearing a lot about this N1 million, so gird your loins) and you dare to give us food from Sweet Sensation? Not hating on Sensation (a successful and proudly Nigerian brand) but seriously, you’re asking companies to pay 5m for a full page ad! How can you give me sponsored fast food after that?

The Tardiness

The event started late. And when it started, we were not even sure if it had started. There was a heady mix of tackiness and tardiness. For an international brand, this was disconcerting. Guests came looking for a certain higher standard. Instead, we met the same old disorganisation.

The Arrogance

Alexander Amosu, the publisher of this magazine, didn’t make a good impression on a lot of people when he blamed squarely “Nigerians” and “Nigerian time” for the lateness of his magazine (I wonder if he talked to other magazines about that? They could certainly have warned him). For a leader and a so-called mentor, it was disappointing to see him not ready to take responsibility for his own publication’s late arrival. It was disaster enough that the magazines did not arrive on time. To see Amosu arrogantly shift blame only made it worse.

The Cool Kids

You’d expect the Lagos jet set to be at the venue of the launch of this exciting brand – at the very least they are its target market. But you wouldn’t know it if you attended the event. Instead we were assaulted with an assortment of traditional rulers (and I doubt they coughed out the N1million), complete with hangers-on blowing horns in their honour. Was this the launch of a magazine on forgotten kings? It still doesn’t make sense to me.

The Performers

It hurts me to say anything resembling an unkind word about the very hardworking, very determined, very focused Goldie. But I would never associate the words upscale or luxury with our own knock-off Lady Gaga. It is not an insult. That’s just not her brand. If they were so broke (though how they can be I don’t understand? Did the N1million tables not sell? Shocking, that.), they could have got just one artist – maybe Darey, or even even Ego Ogbaro and her classy Indigo Band. Instead we found ourselves stuck with Goldie and Brymo and Davido. At a formal event. The groupie-naked-picture-leaking Davido? Okay.

The Competition

Bobby Brown is a washed-up artist in America; that’s the truth. On the 9th of March however, he owned Lagos – not just because of himself, but because all our other favourite artists joined him for the New Edition concert happening nearby at the Expo Centre. Did I ask where all the cool kids expected at Harbour Point were? Silly me. They ignored OK! and went on straight for the concert; which, by the way, we hear rocked for days. I should have followed them.

The Auction

What can be more embarrassing than trying to bid the first copy of your magazine at the launch venue and no one launches a bid? We almost wanted the ground to open and swallow us from the sheer embarrassment of it all? Why wasn’t anybody even planted in the crowd to fake-bid and save us that trauma? If that’s a sign, then I’d say it’s really ominous for the enterprise.

The Hosts

I haven’t seen them host a concert, or a club party, or a bar crawl recently – so I’d have to assume that they are still excellent at those things. Everyone knows that Freeze and Olisa separately are not the best choice for so-called black-tie events. They almost always club it up (forgetting how awkward the 40+ Olisa looks when he does that). Now, put two of them together? I felt I was at my college graduation dinner. Minus the hot ladies.

The Magazine

I mentioned this before, right? But it bears repeating. They’ve been talking about this magazine for a year, and still they couldn’t get copies in for the guests? Then to make matters worse, they promised to deliver the magazines to all guests (something that was obviously, even laughably, an afterthought) but didn’t even take down our addresses. So how exactly do they intend to send me the magazine? By Bluetooth?

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Comments (16)

  1. Pingback: House Of Black Ice » Dana Air, the Mavin album & other snoozers: See the Top 10 biggest disappointments of 2012

  2. Gosh…I laffd so hard I sort of peed small. Seriously, as a small magazine publisher I knw wat has to go into making a success of a brand in ths biz…unlike peeps lik us, I'd thnk wt al d hype dt d OK ppl had enuf money to make ths tite; Nigerian time or not.I wish them the very best in thr endevours (sincerely,wit loads of love)

  3. Na wa for you o. Darey is good, but for you to dismiss my girl Goldie? Or even Brymo/Davido? Who is Ego whatever's band? Is that like some old people music or something, I'm confused.

  4. Very well written… hilarious.

  5. That being said, i can now read the article…..LOL!!!

  6. LMAO!!!! The 'FAILURE TO LAUNCH' part in the title got me rolling…thats the only reason i clicked the story……Nice!!

  7. Hauwa!!!!!C ing as I was at the event myself and witnessed it all first hand, I must say U r C riously ON POINT!

    Pray tell, d copy of OK! on the slides at the event/ on the supposed goody bags handed out did not feature Abi/Funke….The main dish was Oprah(hmmmm!I thought it was OK!Nigeria?And anyway, did they as an after thought suddenly decide that it wasnt appropriate to have Oprah as the main dish?Certainly Mr Amosu needs to return to the drawing board…..Us Nigerians have since evolved and will no longer accept mediocrity!

  8. Hahaha!!! You killed this article! Truth served with humour!

  9. err @shola the article was 100% accurate? hmm.. i was at the event, artist came late (i don't think you can blame OK! for that), the venue looked nice… i got a nice gift for showing up.. the mag being sent to me promise was a little dumb it sounded like an after thought.. all in all the event was ok.. compared to d concerts i (and friends) have paid up to 500k for a table and had to beg for drink and pay for food.. it wasn't as bad as this lady says… i wonder why she so angry at OK! Nigeria…??

    1. Lande, the artistes were late….u dont think OK! should be blamed? who then?Yes i blame OK, cos as an international brand,and considering Mr Amosu knows what we Nigerians can be like regarding timing, he should have stipulated in their contracts that if they were late, they would forfeit their fee!Trust me with that, they would all have arrived on time.The event was ok as in it was fun if u had decent people on your table to joke and laugh with which I did….take note though 25k a bottle for champagne was not cool…why put it on the table?abso tacky!

  10. Rotfl @bluetooth, very interesting read. I hope someone learns a thing ort two.


  12. Hahaha. It comes as no surprise. If you had followed up on linda ikeji's blog, the lashing from comments alone was enough to let anyone know that the magazine wasn't exactly going to meet 'expectant' buyers. What with many upset over Oprah on the front cover for a supposed OK Nigeria mag.

  13. LMAO! I thought he announced on Gbemi's show that he was bringing the Oscars to Nigeria. buhahahahahahaha! all together wack brands!

  14. I have died laughing. Their supporters will soon come after you o. Anyway, what's my own? Their screw-up is our hilarity. Myl, I remember a certain YNaija launch had some of these same issues o, including the magazine not being there *okbye*

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail