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More Advertisers Buy into Reality Show to Leverage Their Brands



As advertising spending of companies continue to dwindle, advertisers resort to reality shows to engage consumers with their brands, writes ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI.

Going by recent reports from both local and global ad rating agencies, Mediafacts published by MediaReach OMD Nigeria and Nielsen, a global research firm, advertising budget has continued to take a dip year-on-year.

The growing rush by advertisers to reality shows platform has revealed the effectiveness of the shows to engage consumers and perhaps, create high top-of-the-mind awareness for brands in Nigeria.

In their report, Mediafact stated that media investment fell by 11 per cent in 2012 while Nelsen revealed that ad revenue dropped in second quarter of 2011 in 16 out of 36 global markets, and this was regarded as the first significant decline since the third quarter of 2009 report when adspend fell in more than half the markets monitored at the height of the global recession.

While these reports have become a sensitive document for advertisers and brand management consultants, industry player have continued to search for where ad money would deliver return on investment. With growing complain by newspapers, billboard owners of declining ad insertions, TV reality shows franchisee are smiling to the banks.

In a latest move after succeeding in engaging huge consumers via its Malta Guinness Street Dance, Guinness Nigeria have bought into a new reality shows, Nigeria’s Got Talent, which started last year and initially sole-sponsored by Airtel Nigeria.

The show is produced by Rapid Blue Format, a global trendsetting and independent production company, but now with a local franchisee in Nigeria to tap into multibillion naira advert budget for reality shows. However, beyond the façade of the excursion into talent discovery, Guinness Nigeria has seen the show as a potential point of engagement to promote the premium products from the staple of Guinness, Malta Guinness.

The Director, Marketing and Innovation, Guinness Nigeria, Austin Ufomba said that Malta Guinness’ decision to sponsor Nigeria’s Got Talent is because the show embodies the passion of the brand.

Also, Coca-Cola has designed Coke Studio Africa, a new and exciting music television show, to sustain its brand awareness and leadership in the continent where it features musical icons from each participating country to bring every market into consideration.

The Brand Manager, Colas, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Mr. Olufemi Ashipa, said Coke Studio through Coke Studio, fans will be able to access content from the show on the new Coke Studio Africa while the entire episodes of the show will also be available on the Coca Cola official YouTube channel as viewers across the continent are expected to win various prizes including autographed posters, coke studio kits and branded merchandise through the show.

According to a senior lecturer, marketing, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos, Dr. Peter Iyiegbuniwe, “That is a new trend in the marketing communication industry in Nigeria. It is fast becoming a platform to engage consumers because of its entertaining features. It can be used to stimulate the desire of their target market.”

A brand analyst, Mr. Tomi Ogunlesi, said Nigeria as a late adopter of reality and games show, has got to wait after eight decades after an American, Allen Flunt had popularised the concept.

According to Ogunlesi, “It seems we’ve been late adopters, however, over the past decade in Nigeria, the association of brand names with popular television shows has become a trend on the ascendancy, particularly by companies and brands in a quest to increase their market share. Flipping past channels on both terrestrial and cable TV channels these days, the sheer avalanche of reality shows that is aired assails one. Contemporary television programming has clearly become incomplete without them, or so it seems!”

Flunt launched the first reality show on radio as Candid Microphone in 1947 before he later shot it as theatrical films in 1948 and named it Candid Camera. Allen’s trail blazing concept was later recreated over the years giving birth to legion of world biggest TV reality shows in America and Europe which most Nigerian brands have either bought its patents, localised or adopted in its original form to promote their brands as a result of the success it has recorded abroad.

Among the world biggest series of reality shows after Flunt’s ice breaking effort, are Big Brother, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Dancing with the Stars, Fear Factor, Got Talent, Iron Chef, Just the Two of Us, Pop Idols, Project Runway, Reality Circus, Single Moms, Star Academy, The Amazing Race, The Apprentice, The Bar, The Biggest Loser, The Farm, The Surreal Life, The Voice, The X Factor, Top Model. But the common trend in Nigeria is the adoption of this world renowned shows as more of the local ones both independently or corporately produced bear semblance of those originated from developed countries.

And it is very hard to differentiate those claimed to have been created locally from the foreign ones which attests to an expert saying that “think global, act locally.” STARGAME by Nigerian Breweries, Maltina Dance All bore credence to this. Also, a Missouri Western State College researcher, Dr. Erika S. Pontius stated that “Television’s effect on viewers is a subject that has been extensively studied in the last 20 years and whose impact extends farther than most people realize. However, the researcher said recently that a new fad in television has surfaced and it appears to be taking over.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Iyiegbuniwe said for any brand-sponsored reality show to make the desired impact on consumers, “it must be localised. It must reflect the culture and values of the people. It must not be offensive and must be of quality standard in production.”

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