The Morning After Effect: Afropolitan Vibes Is About To Blow

There’s something called the Morning After Effect. Nope, it’s got nothing to do with alcohol nor does it refer to athletic sex. It’s totally about music. Yes we realise that music is like an addictive drug for some people and many sexual encounters do demand a fitting soundtrack. But, for this special episode of our life-disrupting discussions, let’s consider the Morning After Effect of Afropolitan Vibes.

The morning after the monthly Afropolitan Vibes concert, our timelines are awash with selfies and groupfies posted by good friends and not so good ones who’d like to rub how much fun they’re having with their lives in our face. Beyond the showing off, however, I notice that the show pulls in a crowd that is quite special.

A large number of the guests belong to a group you could call a Quality Audience. They are employed. They are young. They are aware of local and global trends. Wherever they work, they are in the middle to top management. They have notable disposable income. They are the group to which you always want to sell something.

Yet, which is the point of this story, no brand is trying to quickly grab Afropolitan Vibes as a branded entertainment property. Wait, you’re asking, What the hell is Afropolitan Vibes? To which I say, get thee out from under thine rock.

Okay, here’s a short intro: In 2013 Ade Bantu organised a rave for alternative music enthusiasts in lagos. People loved it like crazy and since then, Afropolitan Vibes has has become the it event for the hipsters and YUCCIES (Young Urban Creatives). It’s where they hang out every third Friday of the month. You know how the fringe and certain sub-cultures become the cool thing that everyone wants to be a part of, yes, that’s what Afropolitan Vibes has become. And boy, does it thump!

Who hasn’t played there? MI, Sir Shina Peters, Orlando Julius, Falz, Burna Boy, Majek Fashek, Gaise, Davido, Simi, Praiz, Show Dem Camp, Timi Dakolo, IllBliss, Immaculate, Etubom Rex Williams, Salawa Abeni—everyone now wants to play at Afropolitan Vibes, sometimes for free! This means that the performers and ravers, can identify a community that, to belong, they’re willing to make a sacrifice.

Now, imagine the opportunities for subliminal messaging. In the context of fun and friendship, any brand can cleverly make itself a hero to this crowd. Asides from blatant display of OOH advertising materials, a sponsor could also get the guest artistes or even BANTU itself to weave brand messages into the show. That’s sly, I know, but hey, you’ve got to be smart about it.

What about brand activation and product sampling in a non-intrusive way—a way that won’t make the organisers look like a sellout?

As for digital dimensions, what if you had a deal to generate content from the event? Films, interviews, gifs, photos, audio recording that you can deploy on your other marketing channels.

Ade Bantu
Ade Bantu

But let’s leave all these for a minute. Let’s return to the Morning After Effect. As hundreds of pictures are shared from the event, what if, in the background of each one, there’s a logo? What if, as newspapers, TV, and blogs publish their own reports, there’s a sponsored image? Can you even begin to qualify the value in that reach?

I wouldn’t say that Afropolitan Vibes is a perfect show, of course. There have been a few issues with sound and stage transitions. Maybe some with lighting, too. But nowhere else in Nigeria do we have a live music event that’s dedicated to alternative African tunes and also gives room for popular jams of the day. If you say Felabration, remember that that happens for only one week every year.

Yes I know that some brand managers and CEOs like to invest only in tested ideas but how do you know if an idea will be a hit? Is it when people flock to it every month and you can’t even find a bad word spoken about it? Is it when it receives free media coverage (such as this one right now)? Is it when the producers are influential professionals with many years of experience? Is it when you have a captive audience?

True, Afropolitan Vibes isn’t a Lollapalooza yet. It’s not Cape Town Jazz Festival either. But have you noticed that the venue is already bursting at the seams because of the massive crowd? The next logical move for Ade and his crew is to find a bigger venue. If they want to stay on Lagos Island, may I suggest TBS?

The impressive thing about Afropolitan Vibes is that it has done so well without a corporate sponsor. It has been a self-sustaining project, although not an easy one I gather. It’s just that somebody somewhere will soon grab all the benefits of brand collaboration and if you’re in a position to be that somebody it for your company and you don’t….

In case you didn’t know, Ade (Odukoya) Bantu is that Nigerian-German returnee Pan-African musician, who founded BANTU with his brother, Abiodun.

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