“AM Owambe Saturday,” short for Africa Magic Owambe Saturday, is one of the most relevant shows to come from MultiChoice in recent times. It is an idea that could only have been birth by an organisation that has decades of research and insight on the Nigerian consumer. “AM Owambe Saturday” is one show that will outlive the COVID-19 lockdown with the potential to enjoy as much popularity as the Big Brother Saturday night party.
Nigerians love to party and Banky W’s “Lagos Party” rightly says ‘ain’t no party like a Lagos party.’ Following Banky W’s release of that song in 2010, Nigeria’s event planning and make-up sectors exploded. Nigerian weddings and parties became grander and more colourful. You only need to watch “Nigerian Top Weddings” or search #SaturdaysAreForWeddings on Instagram to get the picture. The hashtag has become just as commonplace as #MondayMotivation.
With the COVID-19 pandemic creating uncertainty, fear and restricting social interaction through imposed lockdowns, brands and businesses have sought ways to ease the impact of the pandemic on their consumers giving corporate social responsibility a new meaning. Thus, for a country such as Nigeria whose people thrive on socialisation, MultiChioice Nigeria couldn’t come up with a better idea than “AM Owambe Saturday.”
Nigerian’s miss their parties aka Owambes. The number of #throwback Owambe pictures posted by Nigerian celebrities on Africa Day (25 May) this year was unprecedented. Interestingly, it is an idea which MultiChoice had always campaigned. But this year, the response was unprompted and took on a life of its own. As such, a house party is a perfect idea to lift the spirits of Nigerians in these dark times.
Food and drinks go with Owambes. “AM Owambe Saturday” is a great opportunity for the lead sponsor, Indomie, a brand of Dufil and a missed opportunity for the beverage companies.
Though noodles are traditionally not a Nigerian meal. Over time, Dufil has succeeded in influencing culture, making Indomie Noodles a Nigerian staple food. Indomie has become loved and trusted by millions of households. Sadly, the Indomie challenge has watered down the “AM Owambe Saturday” show. Sharing entries for the Indomie challenge on-air, that is, plates of food or individuals holding packs of Indomie whilst dancing makes the show tacky. All of that consumer engagement could have been done on social media.
Brands in Nigeria really need to begin to apply event marketing or product placement tactics as they ought to be used. Subtle, and not overtly in the audience’s face.
Whilst it is understandable that lots of businesses have been crippled and Dufil needs to continue to boost sales, creating an emotional connection with its consumers in this time of crisis could have been reason enough for Indomie to sponsor the show.
And as for the show host, Tee-A would have been a perfect fit. If you’ve seen him as the master of ceremonies at an Owambe, you will understand. And the edition in which he featured as a guest has been a favourite so far.