By Alice Olayinka
The pit-a-pat of calisthenics shoes of a lone male dancer pervades the hall heavily decorated in the traditional Glo green ensemble and bright Christmas lights. The quick, consistent light shoe-heel sounds get faster and more intense as others patters are added.
A high-pitched soprano hypes the opening hue of the lyrics before she is joined by other dancers who wriggle their elastic frames to the beats showing off their impressive skills. Their moves are steady and calculated while they equally pull a couple of stunts matching every of their gymnastic moves, each improving on the last. Other sonorous voices merge into hers complemented by a saxophone sound flowing to the lyrics of the evergreen Feliz Navidad Christmas song by legendary music group, Bonny M.
Feliz Navidad! Feliz Navidad! Feliz Navidad! Prospero ano felicidad….
As Christmas approached, leading telecommunications services provider, Globacom, unveiled some engaging and youth-savvy television commercials for the viewing pleasure of its existing and prospective customers and the general public. One of such advertisements is the Christmas Dream (Feliz Navidad), a Christmas season’s television commercial which not only seeks to entertain viewers and felicitate with them as Yuletide beckoned, but also geared towards re-enlivening their hopes and imbuing a sense of pride and optimism in them.
The dancing ends with a grand flourish from all the stage performers, confetti drifting down slowly through the scene. As a lone piece of confetti falls from above, he puts out a hand to catch it and the message on it is: “Merry Christmas”. The Christmas song closes with a voice which supplicates, “May all your dreams come true this Christmas”
The TVC is one of Globacom’s ways of concretising its renown as a world class brand which produces inspiring and ingenious commercials to make Nigerians and Africans proud while galvanising them to achieve their dreams irrespective of the challenges that may confront them. Globacom has sustained a reputation for employing the crème de la crème in the entertainment and sports industries to drive home its ideals and philosophies through its enduring television commercials.
Since inception in 2003, Globacom has been at the cutting edge of innovation, introducing most of the novel products and services that have shaped the growth of the telecommunications industry in Nigeria in the last 17 years. The company introduced per second billing in Nigeria when older operators told telecom users that it was not feasible. Consequently, Globacom made it much easier for Nigerians to get value for money by paying only for the exact time spent on calls. And, its commercials have always driven home the point that Globacom exists to make its subscribers Glo with Pride as they rule their world.
Another very interesting yet philosophical commercial is Heart of a Champion which features world heavyweight boxing champion of Nigerian descent, Anthony Joshua, and Nigerian famous producer, songwriter, singer and music entrepreneur, Michael Collins Ajereh popularly known as Don Jazzy. Both have been adopted as members of the ever boisterous Globacom family with their enthusiastic endorsement of the world class telecommunications firm.
In the TVC, AJ as Joshua is fondly addressed, is seen working out in a world class gym. His punches on the sand bag as well as his moves on the body-building canvass synchronise with Don Jazzy’s vibes on the console. it is a dramatization of the relentless repetition and infinite commitment that it takes to become a champion, just as Don Jazzy ‘loops’ different instruments and sounds to create a rhythmic backdrop for their vocals. AJ is seen skipping in the gym. Don Jazzy comes on as AJ asks “Are you ready for this?” to which the music producer responds, “Let me hear you AJ”.
“I was born hungry for success. It’s the Nigerian way. Oh yeah, champions stay hungry. Oh yes, Glo gets it big time. To want more, Champions go the distance, and they go further. Glo… Heart of a Champion!” AJ declares.
This commercial resonates with the enduring spirit of an average Nigerian, nay African who never backs down on his desires and dreams. Incidentally, Glo brand ambassador, Joshua recently knocked out Bulgarian challenger, Kubrat Pulev in the 9th round of the bout to retain his four world heavyweight titles. He displayed the same determination, resilience and ‘can-do-spirit’ he preached in the Glo commercial to overcome his opponent. Joshua retained his International Boxing Federation (IBF),World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Organisation (WBO), and International Boxing Organisation (IBO) boxing titles. Therefore, Globacom did not only inspire the people, it successfully motivated Joshua to victory, winning decisively via knockout.
This particular commercial is a direct allusion to the resilience of both Globacom and AJ- Joshua for putting his footprints on the sands of time as a global icon in boxing within a short while and Globacom for having remained in operation for 17years, thriving and breaking new grounds in spite of having come two whole years behind its competitors. Its resilience is the staying power of the telecommunications firm which has consistently towered at heights that others wouldn’t dare.
Another Glo commercial features street soccer at its very crude and very best. Unhindered, the round leather rolls and bounces anywhere it willed with a bunch of energetic kids chasing after it. It becomes a fireball, navigates streets and corners where okada and keke Marwa riders battle for road spaces with vehicles of varying shapes, sizes and models. The ball flows unfettered and even makes it to the teacup of an elderly madam who without let or hindrance head butts the ball back to the boisterous, local soccer stars.
Titled Proud Supporter of the Best Supporters, this commercial features Odion Jude Ighalo, Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a striker for English Premier League club Manchester United, on loan from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua of the Chinese Super League. The commercial seems to underscore the fact that it is possible to live and soar in spite of apparent pitfalls and hindrances. Ighalo features in another commercial, Life is Football where he waxes philosophical. “In this earth we grow champions, in this earth greatness takes root…dreams, they come alive. Football and life are the same… Keep your eyes on the ball…take your shot…Life is football”.
Both commercials celebrate a company which has over the years invested heavily in social responsibility causes, entertainment and sports; a company which sees life as a game that must be won in spite of vicissitudes, setbacks and obstructive ploys of others.
A major plus for Globacom commercials is that they tend to appeal to the lifestyle of the youth populace who appreciate style, street sense and swag while not alienating adults who have garnered experiences and have been toughened by the challenges of life and living especially in Nigeria.