How Can Nollywood Help Brands Activate Better?

Updated: Nov 8, 2018

Nigeria's film industry has built a global reputation as a prolific producer of Indigenous African stories. While not yet comparable to Hollywood and other national film industries, it has witnessed a rapid development in technical competencies as well as the growth of other specialist areas. EM investigates how Experiential Marketing agencies can take full advantage of Nollywood's growing ecosystem.

Kunle Afolayan Is A Respected Nollywood Film Maker

With the meteoric rise that the Nigerian film industry has witnessed in recent years one would expect that it's influence would have seeped into other various aspects of life and practice beyond the entertainment and cultural value that has been unleashed on the imagination of Nigerians. The industry has within it an abundance of talented creators who invariably have skills to offer where ever story telling and communications might be required.

The film making industry provides a rich eco system of creative writers, producers, cinematographers, lighting specialists, set designers, editors and directors to mention a few prominent roles. These specialist skill areas are brought to bear on projects as creative ensembles of crews working with the cast of actors to produce creative artefacts for the screen. The project based nature of the craft implies that they might be available for hire for other forms of creative expression, particularly during the slack time.

It would seem that the branded experience industry has not taken full advantage of this potential in recent times, particularly as effectively as the creative/advertising industry might have. It is understandable that the film producers, directors and certainly talented actors may be counted on to bring a branded story to life with the added benefit of lending their celebrity status to the campaign to boot, but we would like to see more constructive use of this talent pool within the live and branded engagement industry as well. The events industry already is good at tapping into musical artistes for shows and concerts, or using celebrities for guest appearance and amplification through the use of their social media currency. There are other areas however where more could be done. We offer a few suggestions:

Branded Installations

Nollywood set designers are becoming proficient and versatile in their ability to establish contemporary and distinct sets with little budget. These kind of skills are useful for staging, sets as well as branded installations that help activate brands using multi-dimensional and multi-sensory platforms.

Story Telling

The challenge of the experiential marketer is to tell the story of a brand's news, offer or promise using all senses other wise referred to as multi-sensory. To accomplish this most times, the creative team has to understand the customer journey and match that with an imagined world or physical or virtual destination that will evoke the required cognitive, affective and behavioural triggers which deliver the required experience. This is a major endeavour requiring not just skill, but most times sheer talent to connect with the human story at the most human level there is. Eliciting raw emotion is the holy grail of the creative story teller and the ability to deliver this through the crafted story arch is their training. Bringing their skill sets into the design and planning of events, activation and experiences will be a valuable collaboration.

The Experiential Marketing Industry has Yet To Take Full Advantage of Nollywood's Competenticies

Multimedia amplification

Several brands have played with the idea of dramatising skits using a popular comedian or celebrity. The associative benefit of the celebrity on the brand's meaning and identity is understood (even though one sometimes wonders about the appropriateness of the choices made), however, the use of those who operate behind the camera is in one's view sometimes even more important than the act. The use of new technologies and processes particularly across the small and micro screen have become important repertoires that brands must now have in order to tell impactful stories across integrated and blended platforms. VR and AR for instance are predominantly technology solutions to enhance story telling requiring great technical skills behind the camera as well on the computer. Editors and vision mixers, colourists and visual illustrators are now able to tell compelling stories requiring less of the principal actor.

Production Management

Nollywood is famous for its productivity if not its quality. Yet we have seen the production values rise steady even though one is keen to seen how high tech genres like science fiction can still be attempted. The management of budgets, resources and time in delivering the film in the can is a major accomplishment that Nollywood can teach other creative service providers. Every one will agree that there is no better time to tap into this than at the current time when budgets have been significantly scaled back.

In the final analysis, the experiential, events and branded content industry must see how it can collaborate more with Nollywood to improve the quality and and efficiency of branded story telling and communications.