Events of the past few days have got me thinking…
ONE – 1
The first was the Promotion of the ‘Selense Video made by Simi’; one of Nigeria’s most iconic and talented songstresses via a Twitter thread on the 25th of November, 2019 which she replied that earned me over 15000 impressions on Twitter! You can find a link to the video here
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The second was the ‘Abduction and robbery’ of my beautiful, beloved younger sister in the Government Residential area of Ikeja, the Lagos state capital, on the 27th of November, 2019 in an event popularly known as; “one chance” in Lagos State.
I made a twitter thread concerning this on the 28th of November, 2019 where I made a passionate appeal to our State Governor; Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu presenting his manifesto as a sustainable dais on which my requests should be granted. I got at most 300 and some impressions on this.
The third was the ‘return to the indigenous network; Globacom Nigeria‘, a network I have shunned for over three years and the subsequent ‘schooling of MTN NIGERIA‘ using the ‘shift in the purchase of Coca-cola’ products as a case study. MTN is a Telecommunications company that has been in Nigeria since the inception of mobile telecommunications in the country . The two twitter threads combined have garnered about 500 impressions.
Well, what do you think?
You would think that; because these two other issues concern the most vulnerable, because it concerned the ‘Common man’, because It concerned the ‘everyday person’, you will think, these three other tweets will get the most clamour and the most engagements, over ‘Simi’s Selense video‘ right? For where? Not at all.
THE EMERGENCE OF THE CULTURE
In recent times, we have witnessed the ‘deifying‘ of Human beings and would do anything to be associated with these ‘deified Humans‘.
These deified Humans are today referred to as ‘brand influencers‘, ‘celebrities‘, etc. and other fanciful names, with some of these Humans exhibiting or possessing no known talents!
What has this resulted in? Most people will do anything to become recognised by these deified Humans; a phenomenon people now refer to as; “Chasing Clout“.
On the first day, immediately Simi replied my tweet, my notification bell won’t stop ringing, my followers ‘jumped’, my blog got a lot of visits. It was the ‘Star dust‘ effect right?
Was it my first time of tweeting?
So, What happened? What was different?
A deified being reacted to something I had ‘tweeted about’. Why did she react? Was it because it was about her or was there some other reason?
Consequently, from this deifying of human beings and the clout chasers, the “Endorsement Culture” was born albeit naturally!
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THE ENDORSEMENT CULTURE
Anytime I am inspired to do something, I do it without questioning; “What if” because I mean; “what if not?”
I have made whole journeys on “what if not?” We all live one day and die the next. So, I do whatever I feel like doing and at anytime I want to do it!
- If I get positive reactions, Very good, I gain something
- If I get no reactions, I lose nothing,
- If I get Negative reactions? I block it out with my ‘vibranium‘. Bad energy stay far away.
But are many people like me? No
I have seen times when I had important things to do, even something as simple as retweeting something for me; People go; “mention this to this person. Speak to that person” when in fact we, the people are the voice behind these “hims and hers”.
Which great influencer is there without a host of fans and people who support them?
Vox Populi, Vox Dei
Many people are unwilling to start small, they want to begin business today and be as rich as Otedola and Dangote by tomorrow morning.
So, they consign the services of ‘pushing their brands‘ to these ‘deified Humans’ otherwise known as; “Brand Influencers“; many of whom have no other source of livelihood apart from “influencing for brands“.
Many of them possess neither a tacit skill in advertising, marketing and sales nor a core talent. Many of them have only but a controversy surrounding them and weigh in on this to CASH OUT.
Where has this left us the people? even poorer than we should be, because simple items that should be bought without much ado, have been consigned to the “High Profile Star Dust givers” and their egos must be massaged and fed! And who pays for all of that? You and Me!
I remember when I used to work at what used to be the biggest Online Store in Nigeria as an Online Sales Consultant, I was Top 10 across all the major Categories and the best selling Agent in Fashion in Nigeria out of a possible 50,000+.Tweet
I know my onions and know what needs to be done to push items for sale and the Online Store knew this too and took advantage of it and recruited more people like me.
We were not even paid specially for this, instead we were paid commissions based on the goods we sold! And should we flout any of the lay down rules; like selling to ‘out-of-bound areas‘, deductions will be made from our total monthly earnings.
Today what is the case?
That same Online Store has gone ahead to use the ‘Influencer Model‘ too. I do not know what effect this has had on the company as I do not work with them anymore.
CASE 1 SCENARIO
FIT NG (not real name) is a brand that is best known for its waist slimming belt. A very good waist slimming belt (of the same quality FIT NG offers) will cost something in the neighbourhood of 4000 to 6000 naira only. In fact, at $5 or $10, you will get a good fit on some popular websites. But how much does FIT NG sell their belts? Their waist slimming belts come in the range of 14,000 to 20,000 naira.
FIT NG hires only the best ‘influencers‘ time and time again; those with the ‘star dust’ and a ‘high powered sobriquet army‘ who would do anything for them!
So, the ordinary man who wants a ‘size 22 waist’ or who just wants to ‘chase clout’ and be featured on FIT NG’ instagram page will purchase a waist slimming belt at four times (4X) its original price because of the endorsement culture.Tweet
CASE SCENARIO 2
Then, comeS the Skincare gurus.
I could easily model for any of these skincare gurus judging from how lovely my skin is; glowing skin I attained using traditional D.I.Y. methods. I could model even in bikini as I am a one tone beaut through and through!
So, these gurus get people who already have this very lovely skin to model for them and sometimes deceitfully lure people into purchasing these goods.Tweet
I remember my short glean with Mecran Cosmetics.
Chai! Mecran carried a whole Toke Makinwa o! You don’t know how much I love Toke‘s skin! I loved her skin so much and I sort of like her person (the one she portrays online), so I believed that if Toke endorsed a brand, it got to be good.
The set was 25,000 naira for a bar of soap (about 50g), serum (about 50ml), body cream and face cream or something I don’t really remember. I paid that money o!
Their mantra was; “give your skin that perfect finish” and I thought; ‘why not? let’s do this’! What did the cream leave me with?
I have pictures, but I will not share.
I like Toke, very nice somebothy, I shouted out to her, she never replied me but, Mecran refunded me in full. I don’t know what became the fate of Mecran after then.
I believe if we are to put a face to this endorsement culture; the ‘deifying of human beings’ the most appropriate face will be that of Bobrisky. If you do not already know who Bobrisky is , a simple search through Google will inform you.Tweet
Taunted as Nigeria’s male Barbie and the foremost Nigeria cross-dresser; the Endorsement culture contributed immensely to Bobrisky‘s astronomic rise to fame and his subsequent wealth.
With the Preeminent Anti-Gay law in Nigeria, Bobrisky while cross-dressing, managed to stay relevant by telling the world that he has a ‘bae‘ who caters to his every need. Whether this is figment or reality or a figment of Bobrisky‘s hyperactive imagination, is yet to be determined after having Bobrisky in our full glare for over three years and counting.
In a bid to demystify Bob, Bobrisky has climbed to the higher echelons of society and now rows with the ‘Creme de la Creme‘of high society, even though he never fails to reference his humble beginnings.Tweet
Bobrisky has become oh so relevant, that not a day passes without at least 70,000 people visiting Bobrisky‘s Instagram Profile where he has over 1.5 million active followers, he attained 1 million followers even when his Profile was ‘Private’, a feat that only a person with Bobrisky‘s status and willpower can attain!
Bobrisky uploaded his profile visits last week and it showed he has had close to 400,000 visits in just a week. On my most followed page on Instagram, I have had just 19 visits in the past one week!
Call him a fire dancer, make up artist, fashionista, number 1 hustler, heart of Gold, forgiving Spirit, loyal heart, Philanthropist (even I have slid into Bobrisky’s DM before to have a share of this cake he was always sharing. lol. Did I succeed? No). You may call Bobrisky any of these names and you will not be wrong as almost everyone that has encountered Bobrisky has had one of these to say about him.
So what’s the catch? Why are people so drawn to Bobrisky and his magnificent Profile?
Bobrisky has become a sort of enigma. Won fe mo idi abajo Bob ni and Bob has never stopped at anything in giving them a show! I think Bobrisky is a fantastic entertainer that has kept everyone in suspense over a 3-year period over what appears to be a tall tale.Tweet
He has managed to remain relatively scandal-free by keeping a relatively low profile and only closely associating with those he trusts!
And how has this benefited him in the endorsement culture?
Those who do not mind been embroiled in the controversy surrounding Bobrisky have flocked to his page to endorse him on everything ranging from soaps to creams to real estate to hair, mention it and Bobrisky has a cut!
Bobrisky has grown to be so wealthy, that he can be seen flaunting his house located in the high-brow Lekki area of Lagos state, driving the latest cars around town, using the latest cellphones, travelling out of the country at will and has even floated his own beauty company; Bob Cosmetics.
You know, yesterday, I saw a post about Wizkid. The headline read; “Wizkid steps out of his 2019 Range Rover…” In my subconscious, I went; “and so? even Bobrisky drives a 2019 Range Rover”.
Bobrisky has become so ingrained in our culture, that we see him, even when we don’t want to see him. What’s the allure?
Bobrisky‘s fanpage alone has gathered over four hundred and ten thousand (410,000) followers on Instagram.
Are you still deluding yourself that Bobrisky‘s fame and money has come from engaging in L.G.B.T. activities?
Last week, Bobrisky announced that his prices have gone up! So, If you need him to ‘push your hair brand’ for six months, you had to come with an upward of 4 million naira or it’s no deal.
Do you think the brands stopped flocking Bobrisky because of that? No!
Bobrisky has the ‘image’, it’s the Brand Endorsement culture.
Of course, this has left a trail of “Bobrisky wannabes“, but that’s a tale for another day
At the end of the day, you got to buy hair of 16,000 naira at 35,000 naira or more because the distributor has handed out 4 million naira to an Influencer.
This is the culture we have found our self today.