Since time immemorial, advertisements have always been one of the easiest ways for any media platform to make money. From newspapers to television and digital media, adverts have always been a revenue point for any media entity with a followership. And thanks to the influx of corporate bodies into the Nigerian entertainment scene, artistes have been converted into vehicles for product marketing and communication. Lucrative brand endorsement contracts are signed and juicy cheques are handed to the artiste whose reciprocal duty becomes to promote the product through any means necessary.
But where should the line be drawn?
D’banj’s Emergency is no doubt one of the biggest audio and visual highlights of the year in Nigerian music. As a revival attempt for the modern afrobeats king’s career re-vamp, fans excited by the Fela-inspired audio expected nothing short of brilliance in the video. But the bland advert placement by Slot Nigeria in the first few minutes of the video almost left a bad trail for what would have otherwise been a great music video in its own wholesomeness.
This is not the first time artistes forget to leave their brand endorsements on the billboards. Wizkid has repeated the same odd ad placement with his Star Larger beer endorsement where an entire scene from his Jaiye Jaiye video was dedicated to displaying a huge truck filled with crates of the beer without any connection to the theme of the song or the plot of the video. Lest we forget Olamide’s infamous Lagos State Government I Love Lagos eulogy released earlier this year with heavy partisan and political undertones.
Consequently, fans are being force-fed shoddy advert placements that are not only done in poor taste but also leaves the audience feeling exasperated towards the product being shamelessly pandered for extra cash.
In other climates where artistes are similarly signed as ambassadors for products and companies, their adverts are either restricted and marketed as such. Or subtly placed in the face of the audience without disrupting the aesthetic value of the music video. Drake’s Hotline Bling video, for example, has the rapper holding two Apple iPhones, signalling his affiliation with Apple’s music streaming service. A solid advert placement that served it’s purpose without being imposing on the sensibilities of the audience. Nigerian artistes should similarly either avoid bland advert placements in their music videos or they should discover more creative ways to do it.
What do you think guys?