Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry, famed as the second most prolific film industry in the world by the United Nations has gained increasing recognition. Recent blockbusters such as Wedding Party 1 & 2, A Trip to Jamaica, 30 Days in Atlanta, Fifty, ’76, October 1, Half of a Yellow Sun, etc., seem to evidence this fact. It is fast becoming a film house industry with a range of titles which have successfully penetrated the international film house movie market, and on occasion collaborated with Hollywood.
The industry is recorded to produce about 50 movies per week (2013), between 1,500 to 2,000 films per year (2014), generating an estimated annual revenue of 590 million dollars (2013), creating over a million jobs, making it second to Agriculture as the highest employing sector (2013). The Nigerian film industry consequently contributes up to 1.3 percent of Nigeria’s GDP (2013) and is listed among the industries which boosted West Africa’s GDP by 150 Billion dollars as at 2014.
Above-the-line (ATL) marketing, with its huge spend, is losing grounds in its effectiveness in driving customer engagement. This is because at that level, the share of voice has become rowdy that there is some form of noise in the marketing environment. Customers also find it increasingly difficult to believe staged and well scripted advertising materials despite the effort and resources put into its production.
Experiential marketing on the other hand is increasingly gaining prominence with brand activations and direct consumer contact mechanisms. This style of marketing explores engaging customers across all senses (hear, touch, smell, taste, see and the mind/feelings known as the sixth sense) thereby making it more impactful depending on the marketing/communication objective. Experiential marketing is also relatively more cost effective, compared to the conventional style of marketing using ATL channels, depending on the reach and scope of the activation.
Although ATL, like conventional media versus new media, still has its place and relevance, it is important to examine how the thriving Nigerian film industry can contribute to the development of experiential marketing communication in Nigeria. How then can Nollywood contribute to delivering more impactful customer engagement in the Nigeria brands’ space?
A few thoughts on how to maximize this goldmine comes to mind with the 3Es concept:
Emotion, Events and Engagement.
This is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways to create a resonating, memorable effect on customers. Emotions such as love, fear, joy, etc. will stay with the customer almost forever. Beautifully, movies are created around emotions. Exploring the power of emotions through the right brand association can produce successful results.
Naturally, audiences are drawn to scenes and characters. Imagine a better way to create an effect around a product or service than arousing the desired emotion. Let’s take for example the Wedding Party 2 movie directed by Kemi Adetiba. The movie, which centred on a love tale, Nigerian weddings and adorable characters widely admired by the target audience, created a connecting experience around Dubai. What better way to make people have an experience of a city they had not been to or make them want to make a return trip than to take the audience on a sensual and exciting journey around the city; showcasing all its main touch points and attractions. The movie was able to create such a real experience of Dubai that a special vacation package was created in real life for the audience to share real experience as in the movie; exploring all locations showcased in the movie and standing a chance to hang around some of the actual characters.
Events have increasingly become a critical touchpoint for customer engagement. This is because the audience gets to interface directly with the brand; thereby bringing the brand to life.
With the large follower-ship of Nollywood across the continent and popularity of rising stars, brands have a distinct opportunity to influence customer brand perception through industry events and activities. It is also important to note that events are memorable as well.