onewild thought

A collection of our views, rants and thoughts on design, branding, communication, and any other thing we find interesting.

Trek ’97:The walk for a man who had death in his pouch.

I sat and listened as my colleagues recounted to me what really happened on August 11th 1997. Afterwards, i went on my own journey and found the Abami Eda in his life, his music and his immortality.

I know well of the story of the man that was buried that day; Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. He influenced entire generations from all over the world, He created something genuinely explosive; Afrobeat.

Afrobeat is boisterous and hearty, full of horns, poetry and staggered rhythm. It was born from a rebel in a time of rebellion and cried out anti-establishment ideology that spoke to the people of the hard struggling Nigerian grassroots.

Afrobeat started as a form of outcry, now it is the unofficial anthem of Nigerians and can be heard live in the cafes, bars, clubs and concerts of New York, London, Paris, New Orleans, San Francisco etc.

To everyone he met, Fela was a genius, a composer. Many have compared him to the likes of Beethoven and Mozart. In the early 70s, he built a commune which he named ‘The Kalakuta Republic’. He was an avid believer in the traditional african religions and often performed ceremonies during his shows at the African Shrine. Fela’s spirit ran deep and strong in the hearts of the people.

His funeral was preceded by three days of processions as his family debated where to hold the lying in state. Fela’s family did not expect more than 300 people to attend. It was attended by more than one million people and brought the city of Lagos, a city of more than five million people at the time, to a complete standstill.

The funeral was truly a festival, people cried openly in the streets and Fela’s records could be heard playing as though from everywhere and nowhere.

The lying in state was held at the open arena of Tafawa Balewa Square. Around the Square were giant signs announcing ‘BABA 70’ and a coffin, all of glass, was placed on a raised dais.

Nigerians from all walks of life and all ethnicities filed past in silence, there was no shoving or pushing. The man, even in death, held the world in silent awe.

After the ceremony, the funeral procession began.

Trek 97

 

Close to two million people trekked 28 kilometres in 7.2 hours from Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island to Fela’s home at Gbemisola Street, Ikeja, that’s like driving at 4km/hr on a Lagos road.  Imagine a car on an otherwise busy road moving at an almost snail’s pace. The length of Ikorodu road was jam packed and crawling for the amount of time to get from Lagos to London or leave earth’s atmosphere into space.

All businesses were closed, there was singing and dancing and the air was full of billowing clouds of Marijuana smoke. As Fela was lowered into his grave in accompaniment to a dirge blown on the Saxophone by Femi, his eldest son, a dusty rain started to fall.

The vault was sealed and guarded.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Abami Eda, Omo Eleniyan, the people’s president and the music he created as well as the life he led and principles he believed in represented the spirit of truth. He was the voice of the tired and trampled, a clenched fist and a voice raised in defiance.

I saw with new eyes and a freshly taken breath.

The man with death in his pouch lives on.

The Moonwalker

I reveled in the drama caused by Sterling Bank’s shady jab at other financial institutions. They shot for the moon and promptly issued an apology after landing. I and many other onlookers didn’t expect this as an aftermath to the trending post.

 ‘In shooting for the moon, men become stars’ Sterling bank landed on the moon and proffered an apology.

“Our apologies go out to all the banks -the likeness of whose logos & buildings featured in a post which we have since deleted. We remain committed to building an organisation that enables our youth find expression & we will continue to do this in the most responsible fashion.”

The apology appeared on the Sterling Bank social media pages on Tuesday. According to economic watchers ‘Nairametrics’, Guarantee Trust Bank reported the ad to the Central Bank of Nigeria after declining to address the post directly. 👀

In response to this, the Central Bank of Nigeria sent a letter to Sterling bank to;

“pull down the post from its Twitter handle, write and unreserved apology, through the same medium, to all banks whose logos and buildings you used in the advert and explain within twenty-four hours why regulatory sanctions should not be imposed on your bank”

 

The CBN named the post an attempt by Sterling bank to demarket other banks and alleged that the post was perpetuated in violation of the Banking and Other Financial Institutions Act whilst generating negative comments for the entire banking industry.👀

The public however, thought differently of the apology, calling out GTBank’s alleged snitching and applauding the poster #letusseegoodbrandadverts

In ‘Of Rockets, Bombs and Shade’   i explored how the ethics of the initial post were obviously up for debate. Subtle and even sometimes direct jabs through advertisement are commonplace in the international market. The Central bank of Nigeria has decided that this might not be a new direction in the world’s advertising industry but it is definitely not the Nigerian way (of banks at least).

A Onewildcard commentator argues that; while this type of aggressive advertising is not the ‘Nigerian way’, It should be. Ads such as the Sterling Bank poster provide social commentary and start conversations on what brands are doing wrong and how to better improve their services.

Another points out what is echoed by CBN and says that such behaviour is unbecoming of brands in the financial sector.

The implications of such apologies needs to be explored. I fear that the apology will bring about more timidity of expression in Sterling bank and other brands that are looking on. For ads, creativity naturally plays a huge role in effecting a campaign that is relatable and engaging to existing and potential consumers. Having to retract such posts surely has a debilitating effect on creativity and design confidence.

At the same time, even though it was tagged #bankwars, it was not and is not a fight. All brand communications are expected to be respectful and responsible and that must be balanced alongside the natural creativity.

Sterling Bank Plc says they are committed to a brand that enables youth to find expression and i applaud that sentiment. I and the rest of the country will continue to look on as the saga unfolds.

P.S.

“We need a fresh ideas, something out of the box, something out of this world.” 😛

Of Rockets, Bombs and Shade.

I was having a very mundane Saturday morning. It was calm and lazy because of the early morning showers when all of a sudden, notifications from social media started going off. I opened the first one and immediately ran off to get some popcorn because I knew from the first look that this was going to be good. 

Sterling Bank Plc had shaken the proverbial table in what has now been dubbed; The bank wars ( it even has its own hashtags) #bankwar #Thebankwars #bankswar.

This image was posted on the Sterling bank Plc social media accounts

‘In shooting for the moon, men become stars’

And invariably shooting down competition in the same breath. The poster features jabs at four different financial institutions.  The first, I deduce to be Access Bank from the well known arrows. In this case however, the figure shooting the arrows was completely off target. Following is a depiction of a very famous orange square which can only be GTB but to Sterling Bank it presents as a constricting prison. Then comes the mighty elephant of First bank and the stallion of Union bank. Both are presented to be just out of reach of the figure heading to the Sterling Bank moon on a rocket. Over the weekend, responses from Union, Access and First Banks came flooding in, further fueling the Sterling Flame.

Access Bank dropped the microphone with this fiery comeback

Union Bank serves shade with a dash of rationality

First bank addressed the ad curtly and succinctly by throwing it straight into the trash can.

Sterling Bank successfully threw a curve ball which no one expected and gained 4,000 new followers and over 3,000 likes in the process. I am certain that the next few days will largely increase the company’s Top-of-mind awareness. The poster pushed engagement so much that while it did in fact shade these other banks, it also brought the spotlight to them which they promptly utilised to their own advantage.  When all the laughs have died down, this ad will become a call to action and a reason to redress the issues of public perception facing Access, Guarantee Trust, First and Union banks. I am enthused that this ad managed to begin the discussion of what can be seen as the problems of service to all of these organisations, Sterling Bank included.

Take for instance, Sterling Bank’s lack of available branches

Or First Bank’s reportedly crowded and poorly maintained halls

To GTBank’s overwhelming bank charges

At the same time the ethics behind the post needs to be explored. Understandably, such bombs are commonplace in the international market; especially in the USA(Coca-Cola and Pepsi are a prime example). It remains to be seen however, if this is “the Nigerian way”. 

These types of interactions, however you feel about them, are important to humanizing brands. More importantly, it triggers interaction and opens up your audience.

Be Human 🙂

 

 

 

#OneWildRide

“… and the stars look very different today
For here am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can’t do…”

Space Oddity, David Bowie

If you’ve ever watched this classic animation, Heavy Metal, then you’ll likely feel a bit of a shiver when you learn that a car is cruising in space right now. Elon Musk’s latest dare-deviling elicits a deja vu about the opening scene of that movie.

That picture of Starman in the Roadster with the earth silhouetted behind him is an exciting pictorial representation of what 2018 should be; shoot ad astra, to the stars.

Last year Elon sent it out to us, the world, that the first thing that Space X will be transporting to space on the Falcon Heavy will be a Roadster. And on Tuesday, the car roared off into space on top of the Falcon Heavy, right at the same pad man launched to the moon in 1969. This is one of OneWildCard’s prediction for 2018 which you can watch HERE

Elon Musk himself and Space X have established themselves as clever deviants and all aspects concerning the Falcon X’s launch mirror this; the car especially.    The car, Elon’s Tesla Roadster, was used in replacement for what would have traditionally been a slab of concrete (the purpose of putting anything on a rocket is to check the weight transporting capacity) but nah, that would have been boring. The feelers of your interest won’t be excited if it had been a concrete right? The idea itself is depressing and not so stimulating for those who have crazy sense of imagination.

With well placed words and design, Elon turned the launch into a classic case of cross promotional marketing. People are talking about this. Why? It’s unusual, it’s daring and let’s even throw a nod to the dissenting party and say it’s outrageous, nonsensical, even a thousand times eye-roll worthy. Yeah, all that. But people are talking about it.  Now, people are reminded that a car can cruise in the space, with music of choice on blare volume. If you’re wondering why I used the word “reminded”, know that Elon’s car is not the first to be in space. The Apollo Lunar Rovers already took that medal. But hey, when we’re talking about a car that’s going to be cruising in space for a while, the Roadster is it. Plus, it’s carrying the names of 6000 Space X employees’ names on a plaque which is awesome.

This is not the first time Space X is doing something so badass and non-conforming. A wheel of Le Brouvere cheese was launched along with its Dragon spacecraft’s first flight. Always, Elon seeks to raise the bar, to do “something unusual, something that made us feel” (Elon Musk). Can we agree that this is the spirit of real branding and marketing)? So when next you’re designing or marketing a brand, look to open a damn of feelings (good ones!) at best or a burst of opinions at least.

Hey, do you know you can get a ride on Falcon Heavy for as low as 90 million dollars? Before you protest, compare it to the price of the SLS which is 1billion. Start dreaming about that one wild ride.

#OneWildSeries: One Wild Jump

 

Death-defying. Stunning. Incredible. Terrifying. Bombastic…

These were some of the words used to describe the Red Bull Stratos Jump by Felix Baumgartner. And truth be told, that jump was all of these words combined and more. How else do you want to describe a jump from the edge of space?

Red Bull is one energy drink that is known across the whole world.  As a child, I remember listening with awe as an older boy talked about how muscles will pop out of our arms immediately we drink the contents of the can. The only thing that kept me from daring to go ahead was my mother’s painful thorough whipping that rendered butts useless for days and his little caveat; we might become so filled with energy that we will run mad. Although this was an extreme view of what the drink can do, a lot of people will agree that it is a true energy drink that ‘works’.

It’s not for nothing that Red Bull spends boggling amounts of money on marketing and branding. Worldwide, the drink has come to be associated with daring, with pushing the envelope.

The Stratos Jump was a very daring (and expensive) marketing move for Red Bull. How can millions (over 52million) watch a human can of Red Bull charging through spheres and not be converted into  Red Bull fans? The exposure that the jump gave the brand across all platforms is stunning in its entirety and would have taken tens of millions of dollars to get that same amount of exposure using normal adverts.

Felix jumped from the stratosphere for a total of 9.09 minutes, free-falling at supersonic speed for 4.22 minutes of that time. That’s scary, especially for someone like me who is height-unfriendly (that’s a cute way of saying I’m scared of heights).

Of course it wasn’t a top of the hat decision and stunt. Preparation and training were going on for 5 years after the idea was conceived and approved in 2005. Felix himself has been skydiving for Red Bull since 1988 but this was a major.

The jump went ahead to break 5 Guinness Book of records feats, one of which is the Highest Freefall record. Owner,  Dietrich Mateschitz claimed it wasn’t a marketing stunt, “if this were just a marketing gimmick it would never work”. But hey, a few percent jump in profits doesn’t hurt right?

Click right here to read more on the Red Bull Stratos jump. What daring stunt have you pulled before? Comment in the box below.

 

Oh Yes, We Are.

 

Once again, with the recent poster exhibition at the London Transport Museum, we are reminded of the understated recognition of women creatives. You might be surprised to learn that they are actually many, these women, and quite a number of them have made ball (and ceiling) breaking contributions in their niche.

At the said exhibition which was to celebrate the female designers who designed posters for the Transport for London (from as far back as 1910), some women’s pictures could not be found. Reason? They’ve had their faces faded into the worn out fabric of history leaving just a pitiful whisper of their person and works.

This is not good and we have decided to do something about it. We’re starting the #BallBusterWoman series; spotlighting creative women around the world who have shattered all levels of normal and ordinary in their fields. We hope this will in a way, bring to recognition these women and their works while inspiring those coming behind.

For today, we recognize the Poster Girls whose works were exhibited at the Museum. Sadly, most of their names have been lost. Among those whose works are on exhibition are:

Sandra Fisher

Gillian Ayres

Dora M Batty

Laura Knight

Edin Marx

Mabel Lucie Attwell

Mary Koop

Sheila Stratton

Dorrit Dekk

Carol Barker

Jennie Tuffs

Louisa St. Pierre

Ruth Hydes

Arnrid Johnston

We hope you’ll enjoy this series very much.

#OneWildTweet: That Time A Tweet Got Tweeple AND Non-Tweeple Hopping.

 

We love anything that bombs away all forms of boxes, exploding in our faces. Wild things. Wild people. Wild events. For these, we have started the #OneWildSeries.

Just as we’re about to go a-hunting for a subject for this week, we stopped short and said “hey, how about that tweet that got everyone buzzing earlier this year? Skipping it will be blasphemy!” You probably know about it (if you haven’t this might just make your day) but you definitely haven’t read about it this way.

Here goes:

One bland day like that, while everyone was busy busting balls, there came this seemingly ordinary tweet about a badass picture of Rihanna and Lupita from 18000SADGAL (bless her obviously not so sad heart). At first it all seemed like a joke that will die out. Then some Tweeple jumped on it and before you can blink twice the thread went viral.

But still it was all just some people having fun with their imaginations until the two sucess veterans pitched in, saying they’re down for it. That’s when everyone went all excited. Even then, there was still the back end thoughts that it was a joke, albeit a very interesting and exciting one.

Then shit got real when Ava DuVernay and Issa Rae got in on the action. That’s when it began to look something is really going to come out of it. Sometime later, confirmations were made that it’s actually going to happen. And that’s how a film was born out of Twitter. Production begins in 2018, not so far now right? Netflix, sharp guys, are already on board.

We all know Riri works the hell out of all she does (and looks real good while doing it) and Lupita… an Oscar isn’t isn’t something you get playing mediocre. So all bets are out that this film will be worth the while.

This goes a long way to show how crazy opportunities can pop up at any damn time with all the right context present. So hey, always be ready to hop; your wildest imagination might just become reality.

Fela

The Fela Paper Review #OneWildThought

 

You know those days when you give yourself excuses not to rise up from the bed? When you ask yourself,  “what’s the worst that will happen? Okay I get fired, but I have savings…” Today is one of such days.

I got to the office bleary eyed and in a foul mood. Is it just me or the time when you feel like hitting people is when people around you are overly cheerful? Like my colleagues, one was laughing so cheerfully I had to grit my teeth to have some control.

As I stepped in with my sneakers, I saw Yinka and Moriam bouncing about in tandem to Fela’s ‘I no be Gentleman’.

“Am I missing something or you people just want to be annoying this morning?”

“Who is playing Fela?”

“I’m the one oh ” answered Moriam,  “or should I turn it off? “

“Of course not”

I rolled my eyes and slagged on my chair.

Boss had gone for a meeting.

“…E be say you be colonial man

You don be slave from before

Dem don release you now but you never release yourself…” sang Moriam.

“Oya talk true, he talk sense abi he no talk sense?”

I had no choice but to laugh and immediately my bad mood lifted and the sun shone through.

“He talk sense! “

“Ehehn! Even today, his words are still effective. Take this Colonial Mentality for instance… I swear, I just love his songs”

Yinka jumped in “one the best songs of his, in my opinion is Overtake Don Overtake…”

“I love that one too” cut in Moriam “that man is a religion. You’re either in or out. And he gave some hard knocks. Imagine if he’s alive today”

“It’ll be bloody!”

“You two, you know we get work ba?” I dropped that deliberately.

Yinka turned to me with a frown “we dey hold your hand? We’re working. Abi you don’t know today’s Baba’s day? He died today”

“Oh really? I didn’t… “

Suddenly Yinka clapped and we jumped. With his eyes twinkling in excitement, he moved closer and placed his hands on my desk.

“Hey! I’ve got an idea! How about we make it like he reviews issues…”

“How?” Said I and Moriam at the same time.

“Okay” he pulled a chair, “we make it like memes yeah. You know his pictures, he has many expressions that we can adapt to issues. Like, this issue of Etisalat name change, we can put a short note about it then his picture laughing… “

“Oh! Nice!”

I put on a straight face “still don’t get it”

Annoyed, he turned to Moriam

“You, you get it abi?”

“Yes I do, we can work with it” That Moriam girl, she doesn’t know anything about sticking up for your sex at all.

Surprisingly, we ran it by our boss and he loved it. Our #onewildthought.

This kills me but I do think it’s a great idea.

Below are samples of our #onewildthought. Let’s know what you think.

 

Fela Fela

Fela

Fela