by Oma Areh
This was 2013, a year where we witnessed a corporate scrambling of the hitherto ignored entertainment industry by the PLC’s. There were meetings and rumours of meetings, frenzied bargaining and finally everything began to fall in place albeit haphazardly.
He reclined on a bed in a black tee and a long blinged-out gold necklace fiddling his smartphone and for all intents and purposes looking oblivious to the anomalies placed beside his bedside; a bottle of controversial champagne and a mug of none other than the child-friendly milk brand for which he was ambassador.
Who was the winner here? Not ‘premium’ champagne brand which ended up standing beside a white mug as opposed to a delicately carved champagne flute, or the milk brand whose target audience should be young mothers and children. People, the winner here was ‘Don Jazzy’ and his deep understanding of his audience and his skill in subliminally passing out three messages at once.
This was 2013, a year where we witnessed a corporate scrambling of the hitherto ignored entertainment industry by the PLC’s. There were meetings and rumours of meetings, frenzied bargaining and finally everything began to fall in place albeit haphazardly. There were multiple signings and the attendant announcement and viral conversation in social media and the blog-o-sphere. Big things appeared to be happening and the scramble continued across the telecoms industry until it appeared like there might be little left to grab.
This was one of the best things about 2013, the corporate understanding that artistes were much more than end of the year parties and yearly shows, they were brand machines with the ability to influence a whole segment of the youth audience in a much more effective way than all the singing adverts that populated terrestrial and cable TV.
In 2014, the trend will continue, however, this time, we hope that there would be a greater deal of specialization- Already Iyanya has shaken his waist into several endorsements from the widely publicized multi-million naira MTN, Zinox, Solo-phone and a few more rumoured to be in the bag. And then there’s M.I whose conscientious-luxe brand continues to grow in the wake of his coming album. From the huge responsibility as ambassador for the Smuggling of Migrants for the United Nations to the more viral Lagos state ambassador for Energy and the cutting edge ‘Chairman’ moves he has made to that effect. Banky also stands out exceptionally as Samsung ambassador.
This trend also brings good news for the gradually strengthening female sector of the music industry. There are a lot of products that would best influenced by influential women, from the regulars like Tiwa Savage, Omawumi, Waje and Chidinma, the circle would be extended to include other hit-makers like Seyi Shay, Yemi Alade and many more. At the end of the day, the winners would be the people who take the time to stand out while doing their regular work. Beyonce anyone?
Taking over the world
In 2013, when Omotola made the prestigious Time 100 list, some of us were shocked; well take a look around a second time. She might not be making that many movies, but she’s around Angelina Jolie-ing around Africa half the time and speaking against all manner of ills. Remember her storming the National Assembly? She’s one in all, from speaking against cancer, to tackling the government on ASUU. So look beyond the Omo-sexy, the fashion faux-pas and the debatable ‘Reality show’, this is a big brand in the making and the world is beginning to take attention.
In Music, there’s still 2Face and D’banj , Davido and Wizkid, Nneka and her army of world-wide fans to Bez and his steady infiltration of the global music market, the exportation of Nigerian music will definitely be bigger in 2014. The even bigger news is that mainstream Afro-pop music will break bigger grounds in 2014, the international awards have begun to sit up and take better notice of what is popular in Africa, from BET to Soul Train, and the MTV EMA’s the next step would be to make the Grammy’s finally acknowledge mainstream Afro-pop and the influence it carries, this might not happen in 2014 but in 10 years I imagine that there would be no choice but to. 2014 might be the year of many things in entertainment but the biggest of all would be the gradual growth and evolution of the artiste into a bankable entertainment brand.
Ifeoma Jennifer Areh better known as ‘Oma Areh’ is a Communication and PR strategist. She is the Head, Strategy and Communications, WildFlower PR & Company. A self-described introverted free-spirit, she enjoys reading, travel and delicately exotic cuisine. She is married with children. Catch Oma on plus.google.com/+OmaAreh or @wildflowerpr
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