“Product placement of life”: Idiare Atimomo lists 2013’s top branding moments – and points to the future

by Idiareno Atimomo

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2013 was quite an eventful year for many brands. It was one in which regulatory environments; the spending power of consumers and the rising influence of music had created a market that would only reward bold, clear and engaging brand campaigns. Some brands came to the party with big guns while others played safe and will noticeably find themselves on the back foot.


I will highlight 10 campaigns that I believe stood out in a compelling way.


1.     “I don port o”: This Mobile Number Portability (MNP) campaign by MTN featured “Saka” a popular actor who had been a regular face in adverts for Etisalat Nigeria. This campaign was widely acclaimed for the feat that MTN scored of luring away a known face used by its greatest competitor. Featuring a catchy jingle and a funny video and phrase that went viral pretty fast, this campaign helped MTN with some strong points for brand awareness. However statistics coming out of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has shown MTN being the net loser in the MNP war with most of their customers porting to Etisalat. In the light of this, how successful was this campaign you may ask?


2.     The Indomitables: You just have to hand it to the guys at De-United Foods. This campaign that included stickers of the “Indomitable” cartoon characters in packs of indomie turned most children into ardent sticker collectors. Many fridges, walls and even car screens are currently plastered with the stickers…talk about a brand taking over! This was a good one, pretty sticky (all pun intended)


3.    “You need a new bank”: The Diamond Bank brand campaign featuring Bovi the comedian was a well received campaign in 2013. A clear “sub” at some of the other leading banks in the land, it helped tell the untold story of Diamond Bank as a true supporter of businesses and individuals. Any surprise then that this campaign is reputed to have led to a massive account opening spree across many of the bank’s branches? That’s a very successful campaign right there.


4.    “Go Down Low” : Etisalat Nigeria sampled this song by Olamide to communicate a lower tariff plan. The accompanying TV advert and radio jingles were very well received and I can confirm helped the speedy adoption of the tariff plan with considerable increase in the company’s revenue. The massive airplay deployed for the campaign also helped Olamide’s brand awareness go truly national. Win win anyone?


5.    “Music in a Bottle”: The Star brand was on a music rampage in 2013. First they rolled out a unique mobile app with exclusive video releases, news etc, they continued with their usual Star Trek music train and then topped the year with a new bottle design tagged “The Rockstar”. This brand stayed on theme in great execution. The question though is whether it was wise to put a significant mark up price on the “Rockstar” bottle over the usual Star bottle. Consumers didn’t look so enthusiastic to pay that premium in the busy yuletide shopping rush.


6.    “Fall Yakata Sale”: The good folks at Konga ran this heavy digital campaign promising massive sales slash on select items to coincide with the Christmas rush. The sales really went “Yakata”, along with their site! Reports of site crash and unfulfilled deliveries put a slight dent on this campaign but it was a good effort and should help them plan better for a future massive sale.


7.    “Live Lumia”: In the smart phone wars, Nokia seemed to enter 2013 on the back foot. The guys at Nokia decided to fight their way back and they did it quite well with the Live Lumia campaign. From hash tag reward campaigns on twitter, creating short TV commercials with music VJs and the simplicity of pushing just the name “Lumia”, Nokia scored a hat trick with this campaign in Nigeria in my opinion, earning its place right up there with the iPhone and Android phones in perception of “cool” once more.


8.    Mansard means roof: Yeah, we actually didn’t know Mansard means a “roof/cover” but the good folks at Mansard crafted a TV campaign that they used to communicate the name change from GT Assurance to Mansard Insurance. It was clear, not cheesy and pretty direct in associating making a roof sign (the new logo) as a stamp of protection in different life scenarios. I have it on good authority that 2013 has been an amazing financial year for Mansard. Did the name change or the campaign itself produce these results? Chicken or the egg? ‘All na food’ if you ask me.


9.     “Step Up to VIP”: The Johnnie Walker campaign was pretty neat. It featured a drive of a lifetime with 2 time Formula 1 champion Mika Kakkinen and some lucky customers in a Caparo Supercar parked at the Lekki and Ikeja Shopping Malls. They topped this with an exclusive after party with Wale, a US based rapper and then draws to win 5 BMW’s (the ultimate driving machine. Whats so special about this campaign? I love when a brand stays on “theme”…how better to keep moving than in a BMW?


10.Product Placement of Life: This year we saw music videos being used to drop brand cues in form of product placement. From KCee’s feature of a Tecno phone in “Limpopo”, Sean Tizzle’s “Komole” video that featured bottles of Guinness quite conspicuously in a party setting to Banky W’s “Jasi” video that featured an “Aristo” washing his hands in the up market Ciroc brand from the Diageo brands stable. Could product placement be a trend to look out for in brand campaigns for 2014? In the ‘band wagon’ times we are in, I can bet my money on that.


If morning tells the day, then 2014 will be a fun ride!










One comment

  1. Good work.

    Regarding the Johnnie Walker campaign i had wondered if an Experiential Marketing Campaign as such wouldn’t have an adverse effect on the JW brand?

    Being a ‘Spirit Brand’, they (Spirit Brands) don’t, or as i thought, shouldn’t do hard sell (sales promo / experiential marketing)? In all i think the Campaign was well executed. Didn’t know about the BMW angle though till i read your article.

    The MTN Campaign was beautiful creative work and a good comic relief but MTN being what they are and have been i knew that witty thrust wasn’t good enough to stem the exodus of dissatisfieds as the MNP opened the flood gates, lol

    I gat health concerns about the indomitable stickers, good thinking but i have it somewhere at the back of my mind that magnetic substances don’t go well with edibles and also in close proximity to human body for long periods. Don’t know if i read that somewhere. Were / are they magnetic stickers? Found them in my Indomie packs but simply trashed them, lol.

    A pity for Konga, next campaign should be ‘Get it up’ and hoping that ‘ll revive them, lol

    Nice write up…… Great Marketing in 2014!

    Kind regards


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