In the Nigerian entertainment business a lot of celebrities parade themselves as brand ambassadors while they are actually endorsers.
Nigerian singer Flavour, 32, today (Wednesday, April 27, 2016) revealed he is now a ‘brand ambassador’ of Life Beer.
As part of his announcement Flavour shared a couple of photos on his Instagram account of himself with an executive of Nigerian Breweries. In Nigeria this is how ‘brand ambassador’ deals are announced-via Instagram.
In this part of the world it is rare to see a brand release a statement on why it has chosen a celebrity as its brand ambassador. Most of the communication if not all comes from the celebrity.
This puzzling style of announcing a brand ambassadorship deal is not the focus here. The centre of this opinion piece highlights the view that most Nigerian celebrities who claim to be brand ambassadors are merely endorsers of a product or service.
Let us first differentiate between the two. A brand ambassador is more than a spokesperson who appears in adverts for the brand. A brand ambassador is part of the persona brand he or she is representing. A brand ambassador helps create an emotional connection between the brand and its consumers.
An endorser is a popular person who is used in the ad campaigns of a brand. The deal is usually not long and when that campaign ends the endorser fades away.
With the breakdown above it is quite easy to see that most Nigerian celebrities are mere endorsers and not brand ambassadors like they claim.
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Brands in Nigeria use celebrities for their adverts and aren't really concerned that its persona with that of the chosen celebrity does not match. All they want is a popular face who has a nice smile to hold up their product on TV.
Banky W is a Nigerian celebrity who is a true ambassador of the brands he has dealings with- Cîroc and Samsung. Banky W who is the boss of EME is known to be attractive, trendy and sleek as well as innovative. It therefore made a lot of sense when Samsung appointed him as its brand ambassador. Samsung phones have the same traits with Banky W. There is a natural connection. Banky W has also integrated Samsung into his daily activities that it is hard to picture the singer without using his smart phone from the company.
Also, Banky W is a party animal. He is not called the King of the Lagos party for nothing. Banky W knows how to ball which fits into the persona of Cîroc- the Vodka drink made popular by another party animal Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs. Cîroc is synonymous with the celebration of the good life and who better to represent that brand than Banky W?
Examples of other good brand ambassadorship deals are Olamide with Guinness and Reminisce with Orijin. There is no need to highlight the bad ones. We all know them.
The issue is that a lot of Nigerian celebrities erroneously classify themselves as brand ambassadors while they are endorsers. In truth they are popular models whose faces are plastered on billboards across the country.
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