Coke’s ‘Naija Issa Goal.’ Dang!

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 good chaps at Coca-Cola have responded to Pepsi’s Naija All The Way campaign with Naija Issa Goal. And it’s badass.

The response reminded me of a quote from the British crime-comedy Snatch, written and directed by Guy Ritchie. The quote was from Turkish (Jason Statham) and was about disproportionate retaliation:

“ For every action, there is a reaction, and a Pikey reaction is quite a fuckin’ thing.”

A lot of people died in that Pikey reaction.

That’s what happens when you load Falz, Simi, Lil Kesh, Olamide, Slim Case and Naira Marley into one TV spot. They ‘killed’ it. And with it, Pepsi’s free run in our hearts and mind.

It’s a brilliant piece of advertising. It is entertaining, buzz-worthy and share-worthy.  I suppose this is what they call ‘snackable content.’

Shior. As if one can eat MP4 and MP3 files.      

But it’s not just a good piece of creative work. It is also good brand-centric work. Coke was not ‘slapped-on’ in the spot. It was woven into it. Trust me, that’s not always easy to do. 

With the video, Coke masterly leveraged its football assets off-limit to Pepsi: the use of the term ‘Super Eagles,’ the use of the snazzy Super Eagles jersey, the mention of ‘Russia 2018’ and the mention of the names of Super Eagles players, which included Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi (in your face, Pepsi!)

A useful way to judge a creative work is to look at it through the lens of RUM (not the moonshine, you tosspots!): Relevance, Uniqueness, Memorability.

The Naija Issa Goal campaign was relevant to Coca Cola’s brand promise to “refresh the world in mind, body, and spirit, and inspire moments of optimism.” It was also relevant for Coke’s effort as it has built an association around football through the years. The campaign refreshed and reinforced that association.

It is also relevant to the consumer because the target audience is into Naija hip-hop. The stuff of affinity-building. Win-win for brand and consumer.

The effort was similarly unique because it brought music and football together at an intersection everyone can enjoy. Even if you’re not into football, you’d be hard-pressed not to like the music.

We will probably forget the Pepsi spot and message immediately after the World Cup ends. Not so Naija Issa Goal. Because it is a pseudo-music video, the catchy refrain “issa goal” will likely linger long or find its way into everyday use. If it lingers, there’s a good chance Coke will linger in our minds too. That makes the campaign memorable.

I was waxing ever so lyrical about Pepsi’s Naija All The Way and I still think it’s a bloody good campaign. Stoked a fervour for the Eagles. Pepsi creatively muscled in on the Super Eagles and World Cup conversation (read the post here). But the Coke comeback is more entertaining, more memorable and more strategic. It is the response of a market leader.

To more important matters. Ahmed Musa issa goal!

By Odin, weren’t those two goals the best you’ve ever seen! Absolute beauties. We can’t be a country of 180 million and not have one person that can tame a Viking. 

Next stop Argentina. Maybe that pig is up to something after all.


2 thoughts on “Coke’s ‘Naija Issa Goal.’ Dang!

  1. Chief Nomad says:

    Hmmmm. My two cents is that the video truly ticks all the boxes of Relevance, Uniqueness and Memorability but i just don’t see how it benefits CocaCola beyond now. I say that because it had afterthought written all over it. You should see the original video to understand my point, where I thought Naira Marley, Olamide & Lil Kesh and the famed Nigerian jersey had already put in a decent shift and delivered on the song’s inherent message. Except you choose to see the remix as an upgrade, courtesy of Coke of course, where you had Falz, Simi (the only part I enjoyed) and Mr Real join the original stellar cast. I think the achievement is more for Nigerian hip hop than CocaCola. I’ll end by saying that if this were a battle (which I’m certain it is), then I’ll say the Pepsi ambush, which you previously wrote about was better executed and has more staying power but time will tell.

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