Oh, for goodness sake, here comes this retard talking about death in January! We’ve just danced, sang and wined into a new year and…
After leaving New York, I had unmemorable visits to Atlanta, Houston and Dallas. I had planned on visiting the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, it being the 50th anniversary of mankind’s visit to the moon and me being a sci-fi buff. But I was sidetracked by a few Naija owambes. Truth be told, it was nice to eat some Naija food after weeks of oyinbo food. But picture-wise none of those three cities were particularly interesting for me.
So, right. To Uncle Sam.
After junketing through Europe, I flitted across the Atlantic to Gotham. The first city on my US jaunt.
New York may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but I absolutely love it in the city. Unpretentious, vibrant and doesn’t give a rat’s ass (which is ironic, given the huge number of rats in the city). New York wasn’t created for tourists; tourists were created for New York. In Gotham, everyone has places to be and things to do, and if you get in their way, well, you’re gonna know about it.
So, lets talk about Amsterdam.
If you are reading this blogpost, chances are you probably read the earlier post that led to it. However, if you didn’t or haven’t, it might be a good idea to. The link is here.
Amsterdam was the first point of call on my European jaunt. I had never been to Amsterdam although I had flown KLM severally. I was therefore looking forward to seeing the city.
So, here we are. Berlin.
The second city on my European jaunt. The first was Amsterdam. You can read about that here.
After spending two middling days in Amsterdam, I took the Deutsche Bahn IC train from the Amsterdam Centraal station to Hannover, where I changed unto the ultra-modern ICE Sprinter train to Berlin Hauptbanhof. Comfortable and fleet those ICE Sprinter trains. The whole journey took about 6hr 40m.
My chariot from Berlin Hauptbanhof to Munich Hauptbanhof was again the ultra-fast ICE Sprinter service. I clocked that train doing over 200km/hr at periods. We got to Munich in just under four hours.
So, on to Central Europe. To Budapest.
Just so you know, Hungarians hate it when you refer to Hungary as being in Eastern Europe. They are in C-E-N-T-R-A-L-E-U-R-O-P-E!
My train from Munich to Budapest was the Euronight sleeper train Kalman Imre. It leaves Munich Hbf at 23:00pm to arrive Budapest Keleti station at about 9 am. I’d booked a berth in a 4-bed couchette for a comfortable night sleep. Myself and a pleasant Swiss guy turned out to be the only residents of the cabin. Sweet.
On to the last leg of my European jaunt. To Krakow, Poland.
If this is the first post you are reading about my European jaunt, it might be worthwhile to read why I embarked on this 9-day, 5-city tour. You’ll find that here. You may then follow up with accounts of my trips to Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich and Budapest.
There is so much incompetence in high places it beggars belief. I mean, how difficult can it be beating Liverpool?
Barcelona had only one job to do. Not two or even a one and a half job. Just one. Beat Liverpool and get the life-long adulation of Jide.
I joined the Marvel fanboy horde and went to see Avengers: Endgame. I’ll talk about the movie itself in a second. But let’s linger a bit on the influence of America and Hollywood on our minds.
So, I went about some shutterbug business over the weekend. This photography hobby has taken over me like a fake aladura spirit. I’m smitten. I put on my camera backpack and went to Makoko.
Maths is a fraud. Centuries of exaltation and glorification are misplaced. Or why has a discipline that underpins all calculations been unable to come up with the formula for success? The equation to be oprah-rich? What’s the use of Chaos Theory, Euler’s Polyhedra Formula or the Fibonacci Sequence if it can’t tell you how to get some moolah into your pocket? We’ve been had by the likes of Archimedes, John Nash and señor Pythagoras.
Old age is not something I worry about a lot. Not because I have a pot of gold squirrelled away somewhere. My pot of gold is at the end of the rainbow. I know it’s there. All I have to do is beat everyone to the rainbow and dispossess the leprechaun guarding the pot.
Hang on a second! I’ve just had an epiphany!
In Nigeria, the leprechauns are politicians!
Howdy good folks! Trust January hasn’t met you in penury.
Oh, I like the sound of that! ‘January and penury.’ “ Save ye for the days to come lest reproach come upon thee like penury in January.” It’s a corny rhyme but I don’t care. It came in the moment, a gift from the Muse. I expect the expression to start making the rounds around pulpits and podiums soon. Remember you heard it first from moi!
What do you know, it’s the last day of 2018! How time flies. If you are not in prison, that is. Many good things happened to me this year. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, I made my first Creamy Shrimp Alfredo Pasta and I saw BlacKKlansman. Yes, it’s been a good year.
Behavioural scientists will have us know that the faculties that distinguish us from animals are capabilities such as reason, morality, inquiry, religion, aesthetics, aspiration, imagination, creativity, self-awareness, or self-reflection.
All that is great. But they are missing one essential faculty: stupidity.
That’s right. Stupidity.
A while back, a friend who lived outside the country told me he had met someone who knew me and worked with me in some…
They just had to do it, didn’t they? It’s in their blood, in their essence. To challenge. To inspire. To dare. It’s not a Nike ad if it pull punches.
I’m talking about Nike’s recent ad commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the Just Do It campaign. The ad headlined by Colin Kaepernick.
So, Google released the most searched terms in Nigeria for half year 2018. The list made for a distressing read. See for yourself:
Boda Moses is a goal,
You know Iwobi no dey joke,
Make we bet,
Tear your shirt,
See, Mr Referee say is a goal,
Super Eagles is a winner,
Coca-Cola is a goal,
Omo Naija is a ginger,
Jersey wan o ma le to.
If Pepsi thought it could steal Coke’s thunder, its blood sugar must be low. Coke was never going to be last in a two-horse race.
The Pepsi Naija All The Way spot is the shiznit! Check it out below:
Neat, isn’t it? It’s trendy, bouncy and pumps you up. Makes you want to believe in Nigeria again. The spot reminded us of one of the reasons we are Nigerians: bagful of self-belief and swag.
Well, yea, the Naija spirit also sometimes turn into snakes and make away with money, and may even ask bribe from an archangel. But this spot is not about all that. The spot rather reps us in a positive way.
Recently, a few Nigerian advertising agencies won ‘big’ at the African Cristal Festival in Marrakech, Morocco. Nigeria’s Noah’s Ark won ‘Agency of The Year’. X3M Ideas, DDB Lagos and Insight Publicis all had a decent showing too. There have been a lot of congratulations and reportage across the media.
There have also been questions about the prestige and worth of the African Cristal Festival. Some folks have therefore asked me to shed light on this matter, and on the subject of Nigerian advertising at the global stage.
The MTN ‘Blind Bride’ and the Guinness ‘Goodluck Obieze’ TV spots are the two best spots I have seen this year. They struck a cord.
Ah! What indescribable joy to rain on Manchester City’s party yesterday. The cheek! Fixing to be crowned champions via a derby win. Not on your…
I don’t fancy myself a serious writer. However, if there is one writer that has had the most profound influence on my rather facetious writing, it is Wole Soyinka. Of course, Kongi will probably be horrified at my farcical writing, but I don’t care. I love the man. We share the same birthday. And true love lasts a lifetime.
In the wake of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, I have thought about how much of my personal data is out there. Data waiting to be harvested by some sick psychologist or ethnographer and deployed to warping my mind. I like to think that I have an iron-clad mind. But at the rate I give in to pepperoni pizza, maybe having an ‘open mind’ is not such a bad thing after all.
Jimmy Kimmel in his opening monologue at the 90th Academy Awards remarked:
“…and thanks to Guillermo, we will always remember this year as the year men screwed up so badly women started dating fish.”
He was, of course, referring to Guillermo del Toro and The Shape of Water. Guillermo later won the prestigious achievement in Directing for same movie which also went home with the coveted Best Picture.
I’m absolutely delighted with Black Panther. But I’m not getting carried away with the gushing about Wakanda.
Look, there’s no way Nigeria and many African countries are going to turn into a Wakanda very soon. Not with reptiles and apes stashing away money.
By the way, that’s some real Snake In The Monkey’s Shadow stuff.
There’s only one reason man eats fish. We eat fish because we can. Fishes are dumb and we are smart. We are at the top of the food chain and we take whatever we want.
I therefore don’t take kindly to anyone who tries to rearrange this balance. Boston Dynamics may think it’s a cool company. But I’ll tell you what a cool company does; it doesn’t make robots that can open doors!
Come June (or thereabouts), beer drinkers in Nigeria will have a new brewski to add to their repertoire:
“This is the famous Budweiser beer. We know of no brand produced by any other brewer which costs so much to brew and age. Our exclusive Beechwood Aging produces a taste, a smoothness and a drinkability you will find in no other beer at any price.”
Yes, “The King of Beers” will be competing with other suds in the land to help tipplers wet their whistles.
Aside from his use of an obscene term, I really do not understand the rage on the continent when President Trump referred to our beloved patch as ‘shithole countries.’
Emmanuel Macron yesterday said he shares the outrage of Africans on the disparagement by President Trump.
If by ‘shithole countries’ the man meant countries groaning under the weight of corruption, nepotism, abuse of power and disregard for rule of law, the social contract and the human condition, then he clearly wasn’t talking about the African continent.
I have always suspected that I was special but didn’t know exactly how. Now, I have a fair idea. Boy, am I one cool glass of water!
Now, don’t be hating. Turns out every human being is special too. That includes you. Yup. You are just as cool a glass of water as I am.
Only I am a chalice and you are a jug…
I never quite enjoyed marijuana. It made me appear smarter than I really was. Which was odd because marijuana was supposed to dull the senses. But how else could I have understood e=mc2 or known who killed John F Kennedy?
I know the Good Book says in all thy getting, get understanding. But once you start accepting the logic of square circles, you are on very dangerous grounds, my friend. Luckily, the other part of me – the part that abhors walking naked and collecting trash – had a more strident voice. A voice emboldened by years of chaste parenting and institutional morality. So, I didn’t quite take to marijuana.
Not every brand has a story to tell. A story that is meaningful. That is powerful. That stirs something in us. A story is hardly…
In case you just crawled out from under a rock, Dove’s done another clanger. It ran an ad on Facebook where a black woman removes her brown tees ( an allusion to skin colour?) to transform into a white woman. The interpretation by many is that the ad depicts white skin as being superior to dark skin. Dove has been accused of being tone deaf and the ad racist.
Not so many folks like President Mugabe and President Trump. Not me. I’m their biggest fan. I’d give anything to be in the presence of their awesomeness.
I like the two for different reasons though. For President Trump, I like that the office of POTUS hasn’t sobered him up. After all, he was Donald John Trump first before he became President Trump. Man is determined to be Donald John Trump with or without Air Force One.
I used to be an iSheep. When Farmer Jobs and Farmer Cook called, I’d bleat eagerly to the stable. I’d give my precious wool for a new patch of grass. But I’m done eating those grass. Done frolicking up and down at the news of shiny new toys from 1 Infinite Loop.
Don’t get me wrong. I still love Apple. I’ve owned three MacBooks, one iPad and five iPhones. It’d take some meanness to forsake old friends. I’m not the type to walk away without looking back. It’s just that there are more important stuff in my life right now. Like Manchester United and pepperoni pizza.
A few months ago, the Minister for Information & Culture announced the government was going to ban the production of Nigerian movies, music videos and reality TV programmes outside the country. Such ban was to help grow the creative industry in Nigeria and to create jobs.
Said the minister:
‘It is Nigerians that pay for the consumption of these products and therefore they must be allowed and encouraged to participate in their production.’
Is there something in the water on the ‘client side’? Something that turns good people into ogres? An agency guy crosses over to the client side and then haunts dreams and kills libido. What gives?
I have drunk from the water on both sides and I share my thoughts on why the relationship is often fraught. It might seem I’m taking a piss and desecrating otherwise torturous experiences. That’s the problem these days: everyone is too sensitive. Too little perspective.
If you had one shot
Or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted
In one moment
Would you capture it
Or just let it slip?”
Eminem – “Lose Yourself .“ (Soundtrack for “8 Mile.” )
If you haven’t seen Hidden Figures, you should. It is a biopic about African-American female mathematicians working at NASA during the Cold War and its very public expression in the Space Race.
Can employees be as fanatical of their company as football fans are of their clubs? Be the company’s biggest advocates and cheerleader? I once knew a company whose employees hated the company. The work or the company didn’t fill them with pride. They hid their ID cards when they were in public. You would too if customers often beat you. Some of those customers could knock the Earth out of orbit with their blows.
Right now, most football fans are scouring sports sites for news on which players their clubs are buying next. They watch YouTube videos to see the rumoured players in action. They debate and bicker over prospects in WhatsApp groups.
Myself, I swear by Manchester United. Best football club in the world. Sir Alex should have been Prime Minister. Scholesy. Could have saved America loads of money and located bin Laden with a pass. And that De Gea. He can save a marriage.
That Etisalat Nigeria must rebrand is obvious. The UAE’s Etisalat Group has pulled out of the company and written down its value in it to nil. It says Etisalat Nigeria only has a few weeks to use its brand name. Presumably, if Etisalat Nigeria wants to keep using the brand name, it must pay franchising fees. That must be at least a couple of million dollars yearly. We are not aware that this option is on the table though. And if it is, taking it up will be unwise for a business that owes creditors over $680m, the source of its current troubles.
No disrespect to the good chaps at Honeywell, but there was a particular Honeywell Wheat Meal commercial that made me want to slash my wrist every time it came on. Not least because it always seemed to come on when Manchester United was losing.
So, I’ve seen Alien: Covenant. I don’t like horror movies much. What is the logic in paying to scare yourself? I love to laugh more than I love to cry. Besides, living throws enough horrors at you don’t have to pay for it. But some people don’t just get it.
People like scientists. They just love to screw everything up. I was doing just fine in 1352, eating my mango and without a care in the world. Then they showed up with all this knowledge and inventions. Now, I am truly naked without my phone. So what if science took us to the moon? Sex takes you to the stars. And it doesn’t cost $200 billion!
When I was at the agency and promoted Creative Director, it meant a lot to me. Why, that was the next best job to putting a man on the moon. Right up there with folks who separate conjoined twins or open skulls. ‘Creative Director’ sounded knowledgeable and sophisticated. Sounded like I knew the secret formula to creating happiness. Of course, these days, just about everyone is now a ‘Creative Director.’ Tailors, carpenters, hair stylists. They should all be thrown in jail for desecrating a hallowed title. What do they know about pain, anguish and fortitude? The ‘Creative Director’ who sew my last attire should have stuck to the brief.
“Look out for the people who look out for you. Loyalty is everything.” – Found Online
I came across a YouTube video in which documentary maker Louis Theroux set out hoping to meet ‘MC Olu Omo.’ MC Olu Omo is the Treasurer of NURTW in Lagos and also the Chairman of the Oshodi chapter. According to popular opinion, he is also the Capofamiglia of ‘Oshland’ (Oshodi). The He-Whom-All-Fears. Goon Potentate-Over-Oshodi.
Brave soul, that Louis. There are some deaths that can’t kill a black man. Like those arising from bravery. Per the late Chinua Achebe: “It is from the compound of a coward that we point to where a brave man used to live.”
I started out my career as copywriter writing obituaries. And if that wasn’t distressing enough, my parents constantly asked me what it was I did for a living again. Somehow, when they were paying for my education, they had imagined me in a suit and tie, poring over important documents and solving real world problems. They also didn’t imagine me borrowing money from them before the month was over. I tried to make them understand that had nothing to do with the job per se but a result of my lifestyle. But they didn’t know many bankers or accountants who were broke by the tenth day of the month. They loved me of course and would support me in whatever career I chose. But this sign writer or typewriter thing (copywriter, damn it!), well if it made me happy…
So, on May 1, my household downed tools. The missus would have me know that being a wife and a mother was work. Hard work, as a matter of fact. So in observance of Workers’ Day, she was taking the day off from most wifely duties. She pointed me in the direction of GTBank Food & Drink for the day’s feeding.
Outwardly, I made a fuss about the denial of my spousal culinary benefit. But the truth is, I am an epicure. A foodie. I’m the sort of guy you’ll find following MasterChef Australia and Anthony Bourdain: Paths Unknown. I consider cooking an art, a creative expression. Much like painting. But the good thing about cooking, quite unlike a Rembrandt, is that you can actually eat it.
I have been involved in a few projects where approvals depended on a motley bunch of people, most of whom had little knowledge of the project, what it entails or what success would look like. It was decision-making by committee. A consensus-oriented process that seldom leads to great work, at least as far as great advertising or marketing goes. One of such projects stood out.
Anybody who has named a child knows that choosing names for your offspring is very serious matter.
When my wife was pregnant with our second daughter, we were struggling coming up with an appropriate name for her. We wanted a name that was uncommon, was Yoruba, acknowledged God, and that would be easy for most of the planet to pronounce. Naturally, as the father and self-professed creative in the union, I had a significant role in coming up with the magical name.
So, I journeyed into the creative ether. After many visits and profound rumination, I had the perfect name:
“The most important element in advertising is the truth” – Bill Bernbach.
For a people with such an interesting culture, beliefs and attitude, it’s disheartening that a lot of our advertising do not mirror our lives and peculiarities. Let me regale you with an experience I had about thirteen years ago.
A chum was getting married in Jos so I flew into ‘J-Town’ with another friend. It was a Yoruba wedding. The ‘Engagement’ was on Friday and the ‘Church Wedding’ the next day. We’d flown in Friday morning. We were part of the groom’s friends to ‘prostrate’ to the family of the bride.
The Engagement was to start at 1 pm. We therefore had a little time to kill. My homeboy and I thought we might have a beer and then get a little sleep. It was going to be a long day. There was still a Bachelor Party to attend in the night.
Foul spirits must have been afoot that day because one bottle inexorably turned into five (Don’t blame us. It was December and chilly and our souls needed comforting).
I take strong exceptions to people fainting for petty reasons. Fainting is a very serious matter. You faint when a werewolf bears down on you. You faint when Sgt Rogers visits you. You don’t faint because Justin Bieber blew you a kiss. That’s preposterous. There’s a girl somewhere the dude kisses for good. Don’t waste your fainting. Keep it for the crucial. If everyone fainted for every flimsy reason, what’s left to do when you wake up to the company of Hannibal Lecter?
In most of Europe, North America and Asia, celebrities wield enormous star power. They are fawned on, have a cult following and idolised. A celebrity might bomb the wedding picture of some newly- weds and the couple would be over the moon. If WizKid bombs my picture, dude’s going to be paying!
The 2017 Academy Awards once again recalls the gulf between awards and results. Between creativity and market performance. None of the top twenty box office hits of 2016 made the nominations for Best Picture, the most prized Oscar.
Many creatives and advertising agencies see their works through the lens of a Cannes Lion or a D&AD Pencil. They live on Applausia, where every citizen aspires to awards. Problem is, the paymasters – CEOs and CMOs – live on Earth, several million light years from Applausia. On Earth, you are as celebrated as last quarter’s result, not by a bronze image.
We are in the BAFTA and Oscars month! My money is on Casey Affleck winning Actor in A Leading Role for Manchester by The Sea.
When I think about the Oscars, my mind inexorably goes to Nigerian movies. I’m full of optimism though. It’s now clear that if you make a good movie and with the right advertising support, you’ll make money. And when there’s money to be made, quality improves.
GT Bank is my favourite bank. I use it the most. Not that if Segun Agbaje needed a kidney, I’d give him one of mine. But it’s a bank with a cause. With a value proposition. I’ll tell you two stories.
A couple of years ago, I was in New Zealand, a country with a 12-hour time difference to Nigeria. I went out one afternoon to use my dollar-denominated GT Bank card at an ATM. It didn’t work. Tried it a second time. Zilch. A third time. Nada. Not good. Needed cash badly. And well, it was also embarrassing. I was the only black man within a 50-kilometre radius. A Nigerian. Spending an inordinate amount of time at an ATM.
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield.
There’s something decidedly hare-brained about jumping out of a perfectly good plane. A plane, if it isn’t obvious, is not a boat or a car. A plane flies. In the skies. With birds. There’s a reason we’re not birds. But man has never really been blessed with much discernment, have we?
Sky-diving was something I had always wanted to do. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a jet fighter pilot. You know, fly around the world and blow bad guys up. How I traded such altruistic aspiration for a life in brand management has got to be as mysterious as Po being the Dragon Warrior. Anyway, now that I have settled for a somewhat sedentary career, I thought jumping out of a plane might be the closest thing to feeling the thrill of being a fighter pilot.
But I had to battle a lot of monsters before my jump:
There must be something in the waters at Banana Island. It was just a few weeks ago that I wrote about Airtel Nigeria’s Lost TV spot and how different and refreshing the spot was from previous Airtel commercials, and indeed from category spots. Lost was a marker set down by Airtel against competition, and unwittingly, against itself. The next spot from the company was always going to draw keen attention. Will it match or beat Lost, or will it crash and burn under the weight of high expectation?
I’m a Christmas guy. I love Christmas. It’s my best time of the year. The harmattan. The lights. The carols. “Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen…”“Odun lo so pin O, Baba Rere…” The nice hampers. The dodgy hampers. The teeming malls. Bliss. Joy to the world.
If only brands and companies will give us some really warm Christmas ad. We really could do with some cheer in this country right now.
“Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.” – Maggie Kuhn
So, I attended the 2017 LAIF Awards, my old stomping ground. I hadn’t been to one in some time and I thought it’d be great to see what the advertising industry was up to these days. When I was at TBWA, advertising awards were a big part of the network and my life. A strong agency showing at an award helped the agency get on clients’ radars and in consideration for businesses. It also helped us attract great talents, both creative and non-creative. The Omnicom Group, the holding company of BBDO, DDB and TBWA amongst others, had always been big on ‘doing great work.’ That ethos is reflected in the consistent and strong showings of the BBDO, DDB and TBWA networks at Cannes, One Show and D&AD.
I have always felt that Airtel Nigeria TV spots were the least engaging amongst all Telco advertising in Nigeria. For a brand that has consistently been in the Top 6 of marketing spenders in that last five years, I’d say this was rather unflattering.
Well, not any more. It’s new TV advertising, ‘Life Without Data,’ seems to be grabbing all the attention, in contrast to the marooned protagonist in the spot.
Before the LIB hordes brandish pitchforks and light the bonfire, let me remind them that Halloween is past and that there is no just cause to shedding innocent blood. I fully recognise that no man born of woman dare profane the hallowed grounds of lindaikejiblogspot. I wish to assure all the site’s devotees – amongst whom are some very important people in my life – that my instincts for self-preservation are still strong and that I still wish to continue living. My intentions are not dastardly. You may therefore all kill the engines of your broomsticks and stow away your calabashes.