There’s the story of the plumber who arrived to fix a leaking faucet in an old man’s house. This was after the old man had tried for several hours to stop the drip-drip of the tap and failed.
Because PR is mostly about making the news, public relations firms all over the world are rethinking the old models of their practice. The lines between advertising, experiential events, and media activations have disappeared. The reasoning these days is that you could conscript any of these other areas of mass communications to gain profitable media attention, a lot of which may also be free and worth millions of dollars.
Lindaikejisblog.com is no longer on Alexa’s top 10 list of sites in Nigeria. For about a decade it was there at the top and only got pushed down when the likes of Naij.com first burst onto the Nigerian media scene. At the time, you’d also find Bella Naija and YNaija on the top 10. Now, none of these blogs are in the top 20. So what happened to Linda Ikeji?
Suleman Momoh’s mark is everywhere. It’s more popular than the official brand Nigeria icon (Good People, Great Nation) that was forged in 2008 in the kiln of national politics and force-fed with a portion of the budget that should have left normal people constipated for days. Even the Dangote group, probably oblivious of where the artwork came from, prefer to stamp this exact ‘Proudly Nigerian’ ‘logo’ on their goods.
Did you know? …That Ayeni Adekunle, at one point in his young adult life, lived in a two bedroom flat on the backside of Lagos? Dude was dead broke, they say. There were even some months when, for him, to squeeze out N4000 to fuel his baby blue 1989 Mitsubishi Galant was to him like a moth pushing a wrecking ball.
A tiktok video went viral last week that spontaneously got some major celebrities vexed. Here’s a quote from the video: “AND THESE PEOPLE (MARIAH CAREY AND NICK CANNON) ARE AWFUL. I HAD TO DEAL WITH BOTH OF THEM SEPARATELY. SHE IS AN ABSOLUTE DIVA AND HE IS AN ABSOLUTE DIVA AND I HOPE THAT NO CAST MEMBER HAS TO DEAL WITH THESE MONSTERS EVER AGAIN.”
I asked a friend the other day what he thought of Senator Dino Melaye’s new house—the gilded one whose photograph the Kogi politician recently posted on Instagram. My friend, who is reputed to possess an excellent taste in aesthetic design, said, Nah, it’s too loud.
Recently, Tecno signed Grammy nominated afrobeats superstar Wizkid as its first celebrity brand ambassador. Behind the reported multimillion naira deal is SBI Media, a fast-rising seven-year-old media agency. In 2019, the same agency had helped Syinix and another Nigerian star, Ahmed Musa, find common ground and work together. Rotimi Bankole, 39, is the founder and CEO of SBI Media. For a man who runs one of the youngest media agencies in Nigeria, Bankole wields more influence than has been reported in the trade publications. Through its long-running work for Transsion Holding, his company manages over 50% of the marketing spend …
One afternoon in 2005, my boss and I stood in the vast newsroom of The Guardian and watched time whizz by. It was 4,5pm-ish. The reporters were back, as usual, sliding across the glazed floor, nearly crashing into the concrete, to rush their stories to the typists and graphic designers who would set the pages for the next day. At this moment, my eyes were locked on a certain senior correspondent—there was something about his tie.
He doesn’t even know it, but Naira Marley is a cult leader. All of a sudden, there’s an army of Nigerians all over the world calling themselves Marlians. They follow the philosophy of the Great One aka Afeez Fashola, who is only 25 years old. Their doctrine, it appears, is smoke a bouyant amount of weed, rage against the authorities, have a lot of sex, and secure the bag aka naira.
“There’s nothing we won’t see in this world,” they said. “This small girl of yesterday is our CEO. What does she even know?” The staff didn’t like it when her dad brought her to run the company. Some of them are as old as her grandfather. They knew her when she was a little girl and used to run around the office in diapers. Now, she’s their boss.
When we were boys in the 90s, we liked Shabba Ranks. You don’t know Shabba Ranks? Okay wait. His dancehall was beautiful but Shabba himself was ugly. And I say that with all due respect.
Okay, that’s reckless hyperbolism. My grand arrival in that famed continental magazine was anything but sudden. That story took me all of three weeks, plus a couple of extra sleepless nights—factoring in interviews, research, transcriptions, rewrites, edits, and reverts. But one day, just as I languished in one of those Lagos traffic jams on Alfred Rewane Road, Ikoyi, I saw Ayeni Adekunle and Steve Babaeko on the cover of Forbes Africa and I was like, Wait, that’s my story.
Every time I send an idea to any of my friends, I cross all my fingers and say 300 hail-Mary-mother-of-Gods. As I proclaim, “Hey, check this out,” I put a fake smile in my voice and ask like everything’s cool. “What do you think of this one?” While I tiptoe around my room waiting for their feedback, my head screams: Damn, I have gone and done it again. Shouldn’t I know by now that nobody wants to see another hot new brainwave from me!
I’m deeply honoured to be named to the grand jury of the New York Festivals Advertising Awards. Which is a super big deal.