Reaching out through TV commercials


IN this season of upswing electioneering campaigns, media platforms have become veritable outlets for political parties and their candidates to reach out to the electorates. In conveying their messages through the media, political parties and their candidates  devise several gimmicks that they feel could successfully attract  citizens to their side.

  Unlike the political rallies, where the speeches deployed have been said not to be too edifying and lacking substance, the messages through the different media platforms have been pragmatic and insightful, especially those on the broadcast media. 

  With these convincing messages available on these media platforms, candidates appear to have positioned themselves  better for critical evaluation by the viewing publics, thus giving a fillip to the concept of personality branding. 

   Any successful marketing effort requires developing a product into a brand through a professional touch that endears the product to loyal consumers and enables it to connect with prospects. This also applies to personality brands.

  The 2015 general election is weeks away and the tempo to win the people over by the candidates is really gathering momentum. And as the different candidates put their messages across, it is daily becoming a herculean task and increasingly difficult to differentiate between the noise in the political space and the truth, as each politician or political group vies to shout the loudest in the bid to get the most attention.

  While this is happening, the gubernatorial flag-bearer for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has shown himself a cut above the rabble, keeping the discussions cerebral and cause oriented, especially, if it is limited to his commercials. So, it is evident in recent radio and television commercials released by his campaign organisation.

   In one of the TV commercials, Ambode rallies people of all walks of life to believe in Lagos as the place where each person can play a part and fulfill potentials, featuring an array of leading acts that include Desmond Elliot, Funke Akindele, MI, Banky W, Yemi Alade, Uti, youths, professionals, traders and artisans the commercial, deploying the word ‘believe’ from a new perspective.

  Showcasing leaders of tomorrow, professionals, artisans, parents, leading artists, traders, key opinion moulders from diverse ethnic backgrounds expressing their belief in Lagos for various reasons, the candidate merely agrees with them. His words, ‘I believe together we can build the Lagos of our dreams.’

     Displaying himself as a core democrat, Ambode rallies the people, singing, ‘I believe in the power of you and I. I believe together, we’ll fly. I believe in the power that comes from a world brought together as one.’

  In an emotive connect with the youth, particularly the students, the television commercial opens with an undergraduate focused on achieving potentials through academic success. In voicing her belief that this is possible in Lagos, she sings, ‘there comes a moment when my heart must choose on this great path I’ve chosen. Like a house that is a home. Sometimes I feel like it’s not enough and I know that we can’t give up. You’ve willed me to be all I can be. Now nothing can stop me.’

  Focusing on the coming elections, and encouraging the people to use their votes wisely, the young lady sings: ‘this is the moment we have dreamed of all our lives.’ She swiftly focuses on fellow youths with the lyrics: ‘We’ll be the change we wish from others; we’ll stand tall for what is right. And in my heart, there’ll be no doubt. The arms of the world will come reaching out; an embrace me to be all I can be! Now nothing can stop me!’

With this powerful delivery, she thumb prints her belief signing on with ‘I believe Lagos is the place, where I can achieve my full potential’ and is quickly joined by a professional, who also sings ‘I believe Lagos gives me the best opportunities.’

  The commercial has the message that Lagos is a city where dreams are made, as they are joined by an upcoming guitar clutching musician who jumps-off a Keke Maruwa with a rhythmic declaration, ‘I believe Lagos gives me a stage to conquer the world.’

  Traders and artisans take turns to express belief in the fact that Lagos is the city-State that each person can attain full potentials without let or hindrance. Driving home the message of continuity intelligently, the commercial harps on belief in youth development. There is a strong statement on the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos, which Ambode promises to strengthen if elected governor of Lagos, the commercial shows an Igbo man saying ‘Nna men! I believe Lagos is a place where you can come from your village and make it big!’ His Hausa brother choruses ‘Walai, I believe Lagos is a place where you can do your business and practice your religion with peace of mind.’

  Celebrities took their turns to express belief in their special areas ranging from arts, entertainment, youth empowerment, guarantee for children’s future, qualitative education, peaceful coexistence and individual aspirations. Banky W sums it in these words ‘I believe ain’t no party like the Lagos party. Turn up!’

  The commercial peters out with a strong message that sees all the actors voting with the professional delivering a verdict ‘I believe it is the difference in all of us that makes Lagos such a great place.’ Ambode emerges calling on all of them to join him in building the Lagos of our dreams, saying ‘I believe together, we can build the Lagos of our dreams!’ 

  This is a strong statement without a shred of the vitriolic innuendo clothing the presidential campaigns. Often in Nigeria when people use the word, believe, they refer to divinity but in this context, the politician touches the people, encouraging them to believe in a cause.

 No doubt, the commercial in connecting with the emotion of people appeal to what is often called the bandwagon effect in psychology.

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