Harvesting DNA of brand ambassadors to match endorsement
2018 was a pointer to this, as there was a significant increase in the manner at which consumers swung to social media for content, and Instagram, in fact, became one of the leading channels.
In 2019, branding turned to the human side and Nigerian brands keyed into this, with a lot of them endorsing music stars as ambassadors. The reason for this is not far fetched: the fan base they command. Many brands think that more followers lead to more impact.
Recently, when The Guardian queried Segun Ogunleye, Marketing Manager, 7Up Bottling Company, to know why some of the newly released commercials from the company are focused on music stars, his answer was obvious: they are influencers.
However, it is not always the case. In many cases, micro-influencers have a more engaging audience. Moreover, followers view influencers as “human beings like themselves”. Therefore, the endorsements made by them look like the advice given by a friend, not like paid content.
It is worthy to note that brand ambassadors are humans who once in a while behave in certain ways that may run contrary to the characteristics of the brand they endorse. Better still, they may inadvertently allow some of these anomalous behaviours to become public, and then the brand suffers.
Again, brands also struggle to identify and harvest those essential strands of DNA in ambassadors that will not just match, but enable consumers to draw a link between the endorser and the brand with them (the consumers) in the middle of this relationship.
The release of these commercials coincided with a musical show (sponsored by the same brand) put together by Dare Art Alade’s wave-making Livespot that featured hip-hop singer, Cardi B.
The Pepsi brand appears to have a retinue of ambassadors; so many that you wonder how they plan to manage and harmonise the varied differences in character, appeal, and manifestations into something that will represent positive collateral for the brand. The list is endless: Burna Boy, DJ Exclusive, Tiwa Savage, Wiz Kid, Teni, Davido, DJ Cuppy and so on.
Whatever, the world is in the era, where millennials are the majority of customers and the main target for companies. This is why branding has taken another turn. Millennials look at a product through the brand and its values. If you want your brand to shine you must be sure your values reflect the new generation and can stick to it.
For brand analysts, the main task is to understand your customers and create a strong community around your brand that encourages customers to engage in your promotional activities.
‘We got taste’, like every good brand campaign, tried to combine physical and digital experiences to create momentum.
A number of things about the campaign make it very outstanding.
First are the strong stories that were loaded in each of the commercials. They are the story of class, the story of aspiration, the success story of Nigerian music and taste. It is the story of youth, all of which can be attributable to the brand essence.
Secondly, it created very short commercials that are loaded with messages, so much so that you wonder how that would have been possible in campaigns that last within just 20 seconds. Squeezing ads into such a small time frame often leads to the voiceover act rushing the lines or it could result in some disruptive flows that chisel out critical essentials of the core messages.
The third factor that scores an ad high is the poetic rendition of the stories. This does not just make the ads catchy but also captures the essence of the brand ambassadors and transforming the same into the value propositions but speaks to the age-long suspicion that poetry is of African origin.
Whoever wrote the copy for the ads must be a great poet and was able to unravel the characteristics of the ambassadors that tied very directly with the essence of the brand, dovetailing to the campaign theme of “We’ve got taste.”
The one featuring DJ Exclusive, for instance, the ad takes the DJ’s name of Exclusive and poetically weaves into a creatively agreeable opposite, telling the people that while skills are ‘exclusive’ there is ‘inclusive’ taste in the bottle. It’s the same poetic extractions across all other manifestations of the campaign and with each, the ad succeeded in extracting the values of brand ambassadors and infusing the same seamlessly in its proposition.
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