With The Ticket, an international TV commercial produced by the Guinness Nigeria and shot in location within Nigeria with local talents and crew, the excuse of poor environment and lack of proper facility to shoot and edit TV commercials mouthed by certain multinationals to do such projects outside the country could no longer hold water, writes CHUKS NWANNE
WHEN the invitations to the screening of new Guinness TV commercial, The Ticket, were given out to media men, there was little or no detail on what exactly the brewery actually intends to achieve with the new advertisement. No doubt, Guinness has acquired a strong reputation of producing classical commercials that provide consumers with extraordinary experiences.
From the epic, long running Michael Power campaign, through to the recent award-winning Sky (My friend Udeme is a great man), Scout (…give a man half a chance and he take it), and more recently Guinness The Match, the brand has shown some level of creativity with their advertisements.
Notwithstanding, to most journalists present at the screening held recently at the Protea Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, this could be another invitation to celebrate foreign creative minds, especially South Africans; this has always been the case with multinationals in Nigeria when it comes to shooting commercials.
From the opening scene, the commercial looked very much like the usual foreign work, except for the yellow buses in the package, which is considered a trademark of the city of Lagos. But as the tape rolls further, capturing Lagos bridges, with the usual hustling and bustling scenes typical of Lagos, the picture became clear; this is a TV commercial shot in Nigeria, with Nigerian cast and crew.
At this point, the media men adjusted their sitting positions, with their eyes fixed on the screen with rapt attention.
As if still in doubt, some of the journalists requested for a replay. But instead of just a replay, the ever-curious journalists were served the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba versions of the commercial, which according to the company, is a deliberate attempt to celebrate the culture, tradition and ‘can do’ spirit of an average Nigerian.
In the end, it was a resounding round of applause from the journalists in approval of the initiative that is expected to change the face of advertising in Nigeria.
For the first time ever, the brewery firm is launching a brand new TV campaign filmed in Nigeria, starring real-life Nigerians and using Nigerian dialects; Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo – a fitting representation of the diverse people of the country.
Tagged The Ticket, the commercial, which is already on both local and international channels, narrates the authentic story of a young man’s typical journey into manhood. It was shot on location across Nigeria, from the bustling streets of Lagos to the rural countryside of Epe and Mojoda.
To accurately capture the vitality, energy and communion at the heart of Nigerian communities, the film features a combination of professional Nigerian actors as well as people taken from the streets of Nigeria and invited to star in the TV package. The Ticket, according to the organisation, is a testament to the enduring special relationship between Nigerians and the brand. It is a milestone for people across the country as it celebrates that special greatness within each and every Nigerian.
“The power that resides within all to shape their destiny and fulfill their dreams evident in the sentiment that we all share… tomorrow will be my day.”
In the commercial, the Nigerian hero (Chris Obi) is a man, who has stepped up and risen to life’s challenges. His story is narrated through the eyes of a younger brother (Akinwande Daramola), a man who is himself on the cusp of greatness, reflecting on the inspiration that he gets from his older brother, who has gone ahead to the city to make a better life for himself.
This sentiment resonates with people all across this land and is captured by the brand with such sincerity, power and raw beauty that accurately portray the power that epitomises the Nigerian people.
To Chris Obi, a professional actor from the South Eastern part of the country, “it is a real honour to be in any Guinness commercial, but this one is special. The relationship between the brand and Nigeria is one built on mutual affection, respect and admiration. As a proud Nigerian myself, it was important to me to capture the soul of what makes Nigerians great.”
For the Oyo State native, Akinwande Daramola, who plays the role of the younger brother, “When Guinness told us what they were doing, I knew I had to be involved. It was a-lifetime opportunity, so, I gave it my all. The story is one that every Nigerian man, will relate to, that of becoming a man, showing actions that demonstrate you are ready to take your seat at the table of men. The statement is such a beautiful expression of what that moment means and I am proud to be a part of it.”
Donald Onuoha is a commercial bus driver in real life, who plays the role of a driver in the TVC. “I have grown up watching great adverts from Guinness. It is a brand that I have always admired and it is a great honour to be part of this campaign. I have never acted before. Every day, I get up in the morning and drive my bus from Obalende to Oshodi. For me, this is a massive challenge but it has been an amazing opportunity to show the world what I am able to achieve and the potential I have.”
The Ticket has a creative touch of award winning Nigerian filmmaker, Femi Odugbemi. Trained in Film & TV Production at Montana State University, Bozeman, United States, he worked as Film & Radio Producer at Lintas Advertising and later as Associate Creative Director at STB-McCann, Lagos, the CEO of DV Worx Studio has written, produced and directed several documentaries, dramas and commercials.
His screen credits include Like father, Like son (a TV sitcom); Who do you Love? (SFH talkshow); Who wants to be a Millionaire? (Nigeria’s most popular gameshow); the recent “Lagos Lottery TV Gameshow,” the international documentary, Life in Lagos for CFI in France; Metamorphosis (a musical documentary on the life of the legendary Nigerian musicologist, Steve Rhodes); Bar Beach Blues, a multiple-awards winning film; and Maroko, a political full-length feature.
His current works include TINSEL, MNET’s first soap-opera produced in sub-saharan Africa, and his new documentary, Bariga Boy.
Speaking on the project, the Marketing and Innovation Director, Guinness Nigeria, Ruairi Twomey said, “the hearts of the people of Nigeria and Guinness have been entwined for centuries. In recognition of this, we have produced a TV commercial that is a testament to the innate greatness of all Nigerians. It is a tribute to the people and culture of Nigeria and an open expression of the adoration, admiration and genuine respect that we have for its spiritual home.”
With the success story of The Ticket, there are indications that the era of shooting TV commercials meant for Nigerian market abroad will soon become a thing of the past.
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