So, Burger King changed its logo. Out with the new, in with the old. The new logo had a retro feel that is becoming the new order in recent brand identity revamps.
As marketers are won’t to do, we have been engaged in arcane semiotics about logo revamps like a coven of philosophical witches.
At the risk of being considered a Luddite – which I am not – I have to say I like the new BK logo better. Not because it is an awesome logo design but because it more clearly reminds me of what the company does. Burgers. The Whooper.
Not terrifying and petrifying felines like Mufasa or Shere Khan. But cats like Garfield and Puss In Boots. Cute, sneaky, disloyal and manipulative beauties. I’m particularly drawn to black furry cats. I like the outcast and maligned.
Why do I like cats? Cats live life on their own terms. They know they don’t have nine lives so don’t waste their time trying to please you. You are the one who wanted a pet, not them.
Also, cats don’t care about titles. Dogs can continue to be ‘Man’s Best Friend’. Cats don’t give a hoot. They understand that titles come with responsibilities. Responsibilities are for humans. So, you are not going to trick them into it with some title. They might chase down a mouse. But understand that it is because they want to do it and not because you expect them to. Back in the day, in the village, my grandma had three cats who never chase mice. These beauties just love to eat fufu and efo-riro and chill.
Can’t blame them. Egbado (Yewa) people make the best fufu in the galaxy. And my grandma’s efo-riro could make Netanyahu kiss Hassan Rouhani.
But I don’t have a cat. That is because I love to have a wife more than I love being divorced. My wife hates cats. For her, you can’t trust cats. Cats are gossips. They listen to your deepest secrets and spill them to the neighbours. And they are agents of witches and wizards. They expose your home to fiendish influences.
It’s all baloney, of course. Cats are no more capable of witchery than cockroaches are capable of holiness. But arguing that with cat haters is like arguing the merits of sobriety with a tippler.
We have a small white wolf in our home. Spin doctors call it a dog – an American Eskimo. But I didn’t start eating bony fish yesterday. It is a wolf. Only it is smaller and cutesy. Wanders from room to room. It’s pampered like William and takes a piss like Harry. My wife and daughters dote on this canine. They feed it before they feed me. Cuddle it more than they cuddle me. He enjoys the attention and then sneers at me.
I am going to poison the mutt one day.
Do you old geezers remember the horror movie, Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell? A German Shepherd bred by Satanists. The dog grew up to colossal devilry. Killed the maid in a fire. Possessed the minds of its owner. In the last scene, the frightful demon in the dog came out to perish the soul of the ‘actor’. The symbol of a crucifix seared onto the man’s palm saved the man. Dog bursts into flame and is imprisoned in hell for 1,000 years. That movie spooked me into my early teens.
The title of the movie is instructive. It was Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell, not Devil Cat: The Feline of Hell.
Anyway, I outgrew my fear of dogs. I realise that devil-dog movie was all phoney-baloney. Now, I love dogs. I am going to get me a big hairy doggo soon. Probably a Leonberger or a Giant Schnauzer. If only to scare the bejesus out of the frisky wolf in my house.
See how easy it is for people to change? I went from dog-indifferent to dog-liker. So, why can’t people outgrow their abhorrence of cats? What does a cat have to do to get some love from Nigerian women? Buy them hair? Help them lose belly fat?
The sad part is the missus has infected my daughters with cat-hate. They started out loving cats. I’d take them to a friend’s house and we’d go with tinned sardines and milk to feed the queen and her kittens. My girls loved feeding the pusses. They gave them names and were always eager to visit.
Once the missus discovered what we do in said friend’s house, she set about cooking our goose. Of course, it didn’t help that we purloined her sardines and milk for the visits. But as a good Christian wife, she ought to remember that love keeps no records of wrong. But cats make Nigerian women forget the Scriptures.
Or remember it.
The missus proceeded to indoctrinate my kids on the vileness of cats. And once a mother abuses a mind, it is tough disabusing it.
Once at a bar – beer parlour – I came across some despicable fellows who loved to eat cats.
Folks, I don’t care what you believe: if you can eat a cat, you can eat a human.
One of these repugnant fellows went ahead to describe how scrumptious a cat was in egusi soup. He particularly relished the paw. The cat’s paws grip the egusi and you pry them open and lick the egusi balls trapped beneath and around the pads. He said it was quite a heavenly experience.
I stopped going to that beer parlour.
By the way, do you know how they kill cats for food? They put it in a sack and smash the sack repeatedly against a wall till the cat dies. At other times, they tie off the sack and proceed to batter the poor thing to death. They argue it’s the only safe way to kill a cat.
Murder most foul. Only Bayern Munich is capable of such wickedness.
So, what myths and ideologies are holding you back? What are the long-held beliefs you are going to disabuse from your mind in 2021?
While you ponder on it, check out the two beauties below. A black Maine Coon and a Siamese. Aren’t they gorgeous!
Nigerians have the cruelest humour. We banter and satirize like no other. Pity such creativity seldom shows in our advertising.
In the last couple of days, Twitterverse has been awash with the alleged indiscretion of a bank MD. As expected of senior management, this good sir had spotted promise in a married employee. Since where a man works is also where he ‘chops’, an amorous relationship soon ensued. If the blogosphere is to be believed, this good sir had even sired two strapping kids from said adulterous relationship. Kids the husband of the unfaithful wife thought were his. Sadly, the good husband has deprived us of his side of the story, having succumbed to a heart attack.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked,” said my homeboy Jeremy.
That is Jeremiah to you.
But how Nigeriana seethed! You’d have thought we were a pious lot. Men wielded pitchforks. Women got on their brooms. The MD has blood on his hands. He has coveted Bathsheba and killed her husband. We want his head on a pike.
I am angry myself. The story rings home. A close friend was in a similar spot several years ago.
But I have a solemn question: what makes a child yours?
We’ll get to that in a bit. First the story about my friend.
Absolute bee’s knees, The Queen’s Gambit. Fictitious yet compelling. The brilliance of the scripting was you didn’t have to know how to play chess to enjoy the series. It was about chess but not only about chess.
Because I played a little chess as an undergraduate, I enjoyed The Queen’s Gambit more. Playing chess made me look smart. And when you looked like a gangster, looking smart helped.
The bloke who taught me how to play always rhapsodised about ‘grandmasters’ and ‘gambits.’ He knew more about Bobby Fischer, Capablanca, Karpov and Gary Kasparov than he knew his Fortran. Heck, I knew the Sicilian Defence long before I knew Al Capone.
Picture shows: Prince Charles (Josh O Connor) and Princess Diana (Emma Corrin)
I love movies and the big screen. I don’t mind sequels but don’t have the patience for series. I never saw an episode of Prison Break. Nor know jack about Jack Bauer. Same for House of Cards, Breaking Bad, Empire, Game of Thrones or Money Heist.
Yea, I’m that guy.
But two friends persuaded me to watch The Crown. Pleaded. If I enjoy British flicks and visiting good old Inglaterra, I must like The Crown, they argued.
Well, true. I do like fish and chips and bad weather. But dare I say some prolonged series about a musty institution was not my cuppa. I decided to give it a try nonetheless. One episode only. If it turns out to be a waste of my time, there’ll be blood and feathers.
So, Season 1, Episode 1.
Well, Season 4 couldn’t come soon enough!
Over several weeks I watched all three seasons. 30 episodes, I think.
The picture is glorious and the attention to detail obsessive. The casting and acting are ridiculously excellent.
It was a rollercoaster of emotions. One moment I am at the top of the Hills of Laughter and in the next scene, I’m plunged into the Valley of Despair. I loved the monarchy. Then disrelished them. Then sympathised with them. Then got mad at them again. Then loved them again.
Sigh. This is why I do not watch series. My feelings are fragile, easily yoyo-ed.
I am not a royal-watcher and hence not knowledgeable about the monarchy. All I know about them was that Diana died, William married Kate and Megan ferreted Harry away. End of. So I found The Crown illuminating.
And that is the problem. It is, in large parts, fiction. Critics have accused Netflix of traducing the royals with damning fabricated history. Britain’s Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, wants Netflix to make clear the series is fiction.
“I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact,” he said. “Netflix’s beautifully produced work of fiction should be very clear at the beginning it is just that”.
Of course, Netflix has said, no guv’nor, we can’t add a disclaimer to a drama, now, can we?
Says them: ” We have always presented The Crown as a drama – and we have every confidence our members understand it’s a work of fiction that’s broadly based on historical events.”
It’s easy to understand the outrage of monarchists and royal historians. All you have to do is watch Season 4. Chagrin galore. The treatment and disregard of Margaret Thatcher by the royals. The brood’s loathing of Diana. Prince Charle’s serial adulterous relationship with Camilla. Diana’s bulimia. Oh, you’d detest the monarchy I assure you.
Yet it is all fiction. Not until I came across opinion pieces on the show did I realise that.
It is reasonable to believe only a few viewers of The Crown know this. That it is “an act of creative imagination” with a “constant push-pull” between fact and fiction, according to creator Peter Morgan.
And that shows the huge propagandising power of movies and cinema. The lines between truth and fiction become blurred. China and Russia are always villains. Brazil is all favelas. And Africa is one country and we all look and speak alike. A lie travels around the world in seconds before the truth has laced its boots.
What is true, what is fiction?
Damn if I’ll be trusting the TV or social media to tell me.
A couple of weeks back, I wrote a piece on the absence of comparative advertising in Nigeria. You can read the piece here.
A debate ensured on a WhatsApp group on the subject. Several people believe brands in Nigeria do in fact run comparative advertising. The advertising below was cited as an example.
Well, intelligent people of WhatsAppville, hear me. Hear me. That is not an example of comparative advertising. Here is why.
A comparative ad makes an objective claim against a named or unnamed competitor who is meeting the same need.
The operative word here is objective. The claim cannot be subjective or ambiguous. It must be verifiable and testable.
For instance, if Ariel runs an ad that claims 20g of its detergent washes 50 white shirts cleaner than 50g of Sunlight would, that would be comparative advertising. The ad mentions a competitor and makes an empirically verifiable claim.
Or if Honda claims that its 2.0L 4-cylinder Accord is 25% more fuel-efficient than Toyota’s 2.0L 4-cylinder Camry. That would also be comparative advertising.
False advertising occurs when a false or misleading statement is used to promote a product.
This is different from advertising puffery, although a fine line runs through both. Advertising puffery uses ‘puffed up’ or exaggerated language to promote a product. The claim is subjective and a matter of opinion.
Study.com defines advertising puffery as advertising or promotional material that makes broad exaggerated or boastful statements about a product or service that are subjective (or a matter of opinion), rather than objective (something that is measurable), and that which no reasonable person would presume to be literally true.
In this understanding, puffery does not give any express warranty or guarantee to the consumer.
So, when Glo says it is ‘Grand Master of Data’, that is advertising puffery. ‘Grand Master’ in what regard? Speed? Coverage? Market share? Glo doesn’t say. So, no reasonable person is expected to believe that claim. Glo can’t be accused of false advertising because it is merely making a ‘puffed up’ claim.
It is the same for the Budweiser advertising above. Budweiser is displaying puffery. No one will literally believe Budweiser is ‘king’ over Heineken. ‘King’ in terms of what? Taste? Sales? Ingredients? The claim in this particular instance is a matter of opinion.
Enter the perennial Virgin knee-in-the-groin on British Airways. The ad below was from Nigeria. Virgin Atlantic was introducing Upper Class Suite on the Lagos-London route. The defining feature was the length of the bed. It was some few inches longer than the bed in the British Airways First Class cabin on the same route. But saying its bed is 10 inches longer will be unimaginative. So it ran the ‘We are better in bed’ ad. Very Branson.
One of my best instance of advertising puffery is the war of attrition between Mercedes Benz and BMW. Boy, do those two love each other!
In the advertising below, Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Mercedes Benz was retiring. He says his final goodbyes to employees. He drives home. Then kaboom! A secret side of Dieter is revealed.
So, good people of Nigeria, I hope I have been able to convince you and not confuse you that comparative advertising is different from advertising puffery.
So, it is that time of the year and I was rummaging on the Tesco website for some Christmas feasting ideas. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of eating jollof rice and fried rice at Christmas. The birthday of my Lord and Saviour is too important for such trite fare. Oyinbo people know how to throw a proper Christmas feast. And they are precisely the folks I’ll be looking to for inspiration. So, to ‘Every little helps.’
Dudes and dudettes of Nigeriana, hearken to my voice! I see flashing clouds and hear the rumbling of thunder. Signs of new rain. And my nostrils doth pick up the sweet scent of dainty flowers sprouting all over the land. What wondrous change afoot!
But we must be careful not to pluck the flowers to make zobo.
What is it about a hairstyle, torn jeans and youth that makes a dude delinquent, a crook or a con?
I’ll tell you what it is. It is because we distrust people who are different from us. People who don’t dress as we do, talk like we do or incline their ears to our wisdom.
It is not a problem only the Nigerian Police has. It is a problem of the Nigerian society. Sometimes it is subtle. Sometimes it spits in your face and insults your father. I’ll share three personal stories.
“What is called Western Civilization is in an advanced state of decomposition, and another Dark Ages will soon be upon us, if, indeed, it has not already begun. With the Media, especially television, governing all our lives, as they indubitably do, it is easily imaginable that this might happen without our noticing…by accustoming us to the gradual deterioration of our values.” – Malcolm Muggeridge
Watch African American stand-up comedy for only a few minutes and you’ll realise it’s not what you watch with kids around. There is no two-minute period without the copious use of expletives. Communication is impossible in that genre without profanity.
Now, I don’t have a brittle spirit. Nor am I pharisaical. I just hate having to explain what ‘coochie’ is to a 10-year-old. I assure you it is no laughing matter.
How many times have you been told “you can be anything you want to be”? Or that “if you can dream it, you can be it”? You may have told someone too. Well, allow me to burst your bubble; you can’t be anything you want to be.
You can only be anything you’ve got the talent to be.
Here I am again thinking about an iPhone. The iPhone 12. I thought I was off that Apple grass. My last iPhone was the 6S. I used it till mid-2018 when I switched to the Samsung S9. Not too shabby, the S9. Good form and function. It’s my only phone at the moment.
But I didn’t switch to the S9 because I love Samsung phones. I switched because I was trying to prove to myself that I can stop being an iSheep.
Sometime in early 2017, I told myself I was capable of not lapping up every grass from the Apple stable. Why? Because an apple screwed up the universe, that’s why. We would still be in Eden kissing king cobras and swimming backstrokes with crocs if not for an apple. But here I am again thinking of inviting Apple to have another rummage in my pockets.
There are those who swear that the greatest human invention is writing.
That is nonsense.
It is tobacco.
So I believed when I smoked.
I’ve been clean nine years now. But I smoked for seventeen years before quitting. I know that is scarcely deserving of any recognition considering a friend’s grandpa smoked till his nineties. He died on his bed with a big smile on his face and a half-smoked cigarette by his side. He was our hero.
Derek Chauvin is likely the most popular cop in the world. He will consider himself unlucky. He was not the first white cop to kill an unarmed black man. Yet his name is the one on everyone’s lips. The reason why the country is ablaze. He will curse Gregory and Travis McMichael for killing Ahmaud Arbery. He will swear at Amy Cooper for lying and threatening to call the cops on an innocent black man. He will curse the Corona virus that has everyone strung out and killed more African Americans than any other ethnic group. These four incidences formed a perfect storm that conspired to ruin his life. You could feel some sympathy for the man. No one man deserves to be hated by all the black people in the world.
Lust of the eye. Pride of life. Instant gratification. A marketer’s best friend. We love that you have them. We tell you it’s OK to have them. To sate them. After all, you only live once. Humans have had those predispositions since Mrs Adams bit on that fruit. I imagine how the serpent hustled her.
Serpent: Yo sweetness, let me holla at you real quick.
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 this Dufus has to remind everyone we’ll check into the wooden Waldorf one day. Idiot! I shall not die but live to testify of the goodness of the Lord!
Well, I can’t help myself, can I? It must be the harmattan. Besides, what type of friend will I be if I don’t remind you that you will expire one day? I hope that day is a thousand years away, when you are full of years, wizened and lost all appetite to curse me.
After leaving New York, I visited Atlanta, Houston and Dallas. I have homeboys in those cities and looked forward to some R&R. My base on the trip was Houston. I had planned on visiting the Johnson Space Center in Houston, it being the 50th anniversary of mankind’s visit to the moon. But I was sidetracked by a few Naija owambes. On one instance, we drove four hours to Dallas to attend a wedding. Truth be told, it was nice to eat some Naija food after weeks of oyinbo food. But photography-wise none of those three cities were particularly interesting to me.
Few cities are as iconic as New York. When you think of America, you might actually be thinking about New York. Yellow taxis. Lady Liberty. NYPD. Manhattan. Hustle. The American Dream. But New York is more than iconic places. New York is an attitude.
“Most cities are nouns. New York is a verb” – John F Kennedy
Sometime in 2018, I watched CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interview Ronen Bergman on his book, Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations. In the interview, Bergman talked about how the Mossad, the Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security organ) and AMAN (Israel’s military intelligence) went about aiding perceived enemies of Israel cash in their chips early. Bergman explained that Isreal’s strong hand on its perceived enemies was borne out of centuries of Jewish persecution, the Holocaust and the Talmudic mandate:
“The Talmud says: ‘If someone comes to kill you, rise and kill him first.’ This instinct to take every measure, even the most aggressive, to defend the Jewish people is hardwired into Israel’s DNA.”
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 port of call on my European jaunt. I had never been to the city although I’d flown through Amsterdam Schiphol on several occasions. I was therefore looking forward to seeing the city.
So, here I am. Berlin. The second city on my European jaunt. The first was Amsterdam. You can read about that here.
From Amsterdam Centraal, I took the Deutsche Bahn IC to Hannover, where I changed unto the ultra-modern ICE Sprinter train to Berlin Hauptbanhof (‘Hauptbanhof’ means ‘main rail station’). Comfortable and fleet those Sprinter trains. The whole journey was some minutes shy of seven hours. By far the longest train journey I’d been on till then.
So Munich was the third city I was visiting on my 9-day, 5-city Holocaust jaunt. You can read about my visit to Berlin here and the visit to Amsterdam here.
My chariot from Berlin to Munich was once again the ultra-fast ICE Sprinter service. Just like the train service from Amsterdam to Berlin, you simply get on the train without a check-in. That means, you get to the train station, locate your train, get in your coach and sit pretty. Now, I believe that you are not a jerk and will not be nursing the idea of a free travel at someone’s expense. I advise you to perish all such thought now. At some point during the journey, the conductor will come round to check for tickets. If you are caught without a ticket, the train will be stopped, you’ll be put on the tracks and run over.
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 left Munich Hbf at 23:00pm and arrived Budapest Keleti station at about 8:00 am. I’d booked a berth in a 4-bed couchette for a comfortable night sleep. A pleasant Swiss guy and I turned out to be the only occupants of the cabin.
On to the last leg of my Holocaust 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.
Done with Budapest, I chose to take a bus to Vienna. I would then take a sleeper train from the Wien Hauptbanhof to Krakow.
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.
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!
On my way home yesterday, I was listening to Classic FM. I heard, a rather preposterous report: an epidemic of female underpants theft in Nigeria. Grand theft of what we call pata or p-a-i-n-t in Yoruba.
Yup. Female pants are being purloined, shanghaied, abducted and misappropriated all over the land. This making away with underpants are sometimes surreptitious. At other times it is brazen and at gunpoint: “your pant or your life!”
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.
Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) and Moana (Auli’i Cravalho), the title character in Disney’s “Moana.” Credit: Disney
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 capacity. He told me this chap had remarked about me: “Jide was a brilliant guy. A good person. But he was sometimes difficult to work with.”
Remember the movie Ghosts of Girlfriends Past? Where the sins of your past douchebaggery come to haunt you? Well, I was nothing like the philandering and Class-A insensate that Mathew McConaughey was in the movie, but still, I knew there were times when my colleagues must have felt like feeding me to a T-Rex.
Maybe to three T-Rexes.
The irony of it was that I wasn’t aware that I was being difficult. I thought I was doing my job. Doing what the job required.
Which is why I’m doing this post. To help someone out there check if they are on their way to the Jerk Hall of Fame or already awarded. Hopefully, it will help you avoid being that guy or babe.
So here are a few pointers. You may be difficult to work with if:
1.You are combustible too often. Anger isan undeniable human emotion. It may even be helpful. But if you explode at your colleagues or anyone too often, whatever the reason, you may be a difficult person to work with.
The dangerous thing about being quick to anger is that it loosens the tongue (or the pen) to say things you shouldn’t have said or act in ways you might regret later. Anger is good. But wrath isn’t.
2. Impatient with colleagues. People assimilate information or ‘get it’ at different rates. It doesn’t mean they are a doofus. If you think you’re smart or brilliant, I assure you that there is someone smarter and more brilliant than you are in your field or company. I have a hard time understanding Quantum Physics and Astronomy, which I’m interested in. Some guy at NASA may think I’m a dolt but I’d like to sit and hear a presentation from them about making people buy what they really don’t need.
Be patient with people.
3. You think you are indispensable. The feeling of being ‘untouchable’ could lead you into giving subordinates and colleagues a hard time. Please get this into your head: NO ONE is indispensable. Steve Jobs died and Apple became a trillion-dollar company.
Try not to believe you are indispensable. It’ll make you more human and humane to colleagues.
4.People don’t want to come to you. If colleagues don’t want to come to you for help because you are often technically and practically unable to help, that’s understandable. But be wary if they don’t come to you because they think you are a jerk. It is the same if a guy was assigned to you and he weeps and calls his wife to tell her he loves her.
No matter what you may have heard, you need more friends than enemies in your life. Folks whom people tend to gravitate towards tend to be better managers and hence, assume leadership positions quicker and stay there longer.
I’m not saying you should try to please everyone. You can’t. But if you could be a little more pleasant, a little more helpful, a little less arrogant or a little more accessible, please do it.
5. You believe work should be impersonal. One of the Kool-Aid we have drunk and are still drinking is the belief that the workplace should be formal and impersonal.
Until such a time when Betty the AI or George the Algo are your only workmates, you will have to deal with Chi-Chi the mother of three and Bassey the Pious.
When we believe work should be impersonal, we lose empathy and sensitivity. When people come to work, we don’t know what they may be facing in their personal lives.
There was once a colleague, mother of four, who often came late to work. She was often distracted. It affected her work. The people she worked with were unhappy with her performance. She was put on Performance Improvement Programme, a prelude to being fired if there was no noticeable change in a short period of time.
HR called her in for a chat. She burst into tears and spilt all that was happening in her life. Her husband beats her often. The fella was out of job but needed to show who was still the head of the house. There was little sunshine in her life. When we heard her story, many were remorseful, mea culpa, for the hard time we gave her.
People go through stuff in their lives. Sometimes, really hard stuff. Don’t add to it in the workplace. Before you are tempted to scream at them, be dismissive of them, write them a query or fire them, take a step back to consider maybe there’s something else going on behind the crisp shirt or slim skirt. Be a human. Screw the rule book.
As for me, I have long reformed. I realised that if I wanted to get to the very top, I could not be someone people found difficult to work with.
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.
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 life, Pep! Even Liverpool dare not be that impudent!
Torturously, City will still win the league. Their third in seven seasons. A galling state of affair. I blame filthy lucre. It’s what happens when you give a Black Hawk to people used to warring with bows and arrows. No more justice in the world.
But there’s only one guv’nor in Manchester and he determines when a party holds. And it wasn’t going to be yesterday. Maybe they can have it against Spurs on 14 April. But there was not going to be any din in Manchester yesterday, except for anguish of broken City hearts.
Yea, that’s how far United has fallen from glory. Rejoicing at beating Man City. How the times have changed. But it is fitting that the only team to beat City this season at the Etihad is, you guessed it, Manchester United. The Manchester United.
And Paul Labile Pogba! My! I always knew we got that lad cheap. Perfect riposte to all the haters. Gary, you there? You are slowly but surely delegendarizing yourself at United. What was that about Pogba’s hair? Watch it, Gary. Thin line between hate and hate.
‘Blue half of Manchester’ my foot. There’s only one side in Manchester. And there’s the devil to pay for slights.
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.
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.
It’s barely four days into the new year and I’m already calling it quits with a New Year resolution. That’s a full month ahead of the time researchers say most people abandon their New Year resolutions. Great to start the year breaking records. Going to be an awesome year.
The Super Eagles have qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia (Whoop, Whoop!) Already, the Nigeria Football Federation has four major partners: Aiteo, TGI Group, PayPorte.com and Zenith Bank.
TGI Group (owners of Chi Limited/Hollandia) will be the ‘Official Food Partner’ of the NFF, PayPorte is ‘Official Online Store Partner’ (exclusive e-commerce retailer of Super Eagles jerseys) and Zenith Bank is ‘Building and Youth Development Partner.’ Aiteo pays the salaries of the national team coaches and is main sponsor of the Aiteo Cup and CAF Awards.
But how does sponsorship help a brand’s agenda? How does a brand team select who to partner with and derive value from the sponsorship?
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 another word for advertising, op-ed, a post or ‘content.’ A story is more timeless. More enduring. It transcends the medium.
When our grandma tells us stories, the stories capture our imagination. Inspire us. Or expound a value. Sometimes they just entertain us. But what the stories never do is leave us disinterested.
That is why storytelling involves craft. Craft just as important as the story to be told.
That is why understanding the audience is important. Why she gauges our mood first. Why she always seems to know the stories to tell.
It’s also why she never uses big words.
That’s why not everyone can be a great storyteller.
Motivational speakers tell us we can be anything we want. I disagree. I’ve tried to be Bruce Wayne. But The Joker couldn’t stop laughing. I can’t ride a bicycle to get away from a snail. Some things are just gifts.
Sure, rough gift or talent can be honed. But there must first be the gift.
Maybe if every brand looked deeply, they could find a story to tell. But then, they’ll need a storyteller to spot it and tell it.
Here’s to all masters of their craft. To everyone up all night honing ingot into Excalibur.
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.
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.