By Tofarati Ige And Kehinde Ajose
What makes a brand ambassador?
According to PR and Brand Expert, Kehinde Olaonipekun, ‘A brand ambassador should be someone who has achieved success in his or her field of human endeavour. A person chosen as a brand ambassador must be relevant and seen as an authority of sorts in whatever he does.
That way, the individual can rub the goodwill he has on whatever brand he chooses to associate with. Furthermore, the brand ambassador has to continually conquer new grounds so that this will translate to positive mentions for the brand he represents.’
With the above definition, it is not surprising that corporate giants are always falling over themselves to snap up worthy entertainment ‘brides’ to help push and project their brands above the cacophony of competitors’ noise in the market-place. In light of the foregone, we take a look at some music artistes who are brand ambassadors for top-flight companies, yet have not had hits in recent years.
What value, then, are they adding? However, we must state that this piece is not an attempt to ridicule or denigrate any brand or personality; rather, it is to echo and amplify the word on the streets. A popular artiste, Timaya recently shared the same sentiment; in his words, ‘There are some artistes that are brand ambassadors and they do not have any hit song.
If you mention Glo ambassador, Lynxx’s name on the streets, not many people, except avid music lovers, know him. It is safe to say that he has never had a mainstream hit, though some of his songs have been mild successes. They include ‘Change your Parade,’ and ‘Fine Fine Lady’ which many argue was made relevant by his collaboration with Wizkid.
It was recently rumoured that he has been dropped by Glo, but the telecommunications giant has neither confirmed nor denied this development.
In all honesty, the last hit Ego had wasn’t even her own song. She became popular as a member of the masked one, Lagbaja’s band. Particularly when she featured on the widely successful, ‘Nothing For You,’ and ‘Wherever You Are,’ Nigerians fell in love with her sonorous voice. When she left Lagbaja’s band in 2007, many expected her to re-work the magic on her solo career, but alas, the bird refused to fly. She has recorded many songs after then, but none of them has been a certified hit. She is a Glo ambassador.
Glo ambassador, Sani Danja is quite popular in the North, but for all intent and purposes, Lagos still remains the entertainment capital of Nigeria, nay Africa. As far as the average young fan is concerned, Sani Danja is an unknown name. Much attention is paid to youths when choosing music artistes as brand ambassadors because they form the bulk of these companies’ customers, and they represent the age-bracket that can be swayed by brand ambassadors to patronise goods and services. Based on these criteria, Sani Danja definitely does not strike a chord.
Talented rapper, Naetochukwu Chikwe aka Naeto C, who is a Glo ambassador, shouldn’t have made this list, if only he was consistent. In Nigeria, where the average fan is fickle-minded and forgets easily, an artiste has to consistently be on top of his game to maintain top of the mind awareness.
Naeto’s last real hit was ‘Tony Montana’ which was released in 2012. In today’s world, that’s almost as good as a century ago. Some believe marriage and fatherhood are the epicentre of the dashing rapper’s world now, and music has taken a back seat. He released a track ‘Helele’ featuring fellow Glo ambassador, Flavour last year, but it wasn’t much of a hit. Little wonder this artiste was dropped last week by MTN.
Born Charles Ezenwa Enebeli, he is Mavin honcho, Don Jazzy’s younger brother. Initially, many concluded that the modest success he achieved was due to his brother’s influence. But he proved critics wrong in 2012 when his songs, ‘Take Banana’ and ‘Goody Bag’ went on to become the most popular on Mavin’s debut album, ‘Solar Plexus.’ Sadly, those are the last hits the fresh-faced fine boy has been able to deliver. He is a MTN ambassador.
When the history of contemporary music is written in Nigeria, D’banj aka Ejanla (Big Fish) will definitely occupy a vantage position. Fondly known as The Entertainer, D’banj can best be described as a magician on stage because he brings the roof down whenever he performs. However, when was the last time Banga Lee had a certified hit? Many would say it was 2011’s monster-music, ‘Oliver Twist.’
Ever since he parted ways with Don Jazzy, it is an open secret that his musical fortune has dwindled. Most of the songs he has released since then have tanked terribly. He is currently a brand ambassador for Glo.
Bez is not your average Nigerian artiste. His brand of music is known as Alternative Soul which caters to the taste of a select audience. The Glo ambassador’s last major hit was ‘Stupid song’ which was released in 2011. He can rarely be found at major concerts across the country, neither does his music rank on the charts.
Praiz Ugbede Adejo A.k.a Praiz is a respected singer who came into the limelight in 2008 when he emerged 2nd-runner up on MTN Project Fame. Armed with songs like Mercy, Oshey featuring Awilo Logomba and Rich and Famous,one would have thought the RnB crooner who sounds like John Legend was on his way to becoming the next big thing,sadly the talented singer is still looking for that hit song that will catapult him to the height he desires to be. In 2013,Praiz signed an endorsement deal with MTN,which was recently renewed.
Once upon a time, internationally acclaimed Nigerian musician,Lagbaja was the rave of the moment. He headlined massive shows and commanded huge performance fees. Though Lagbaja still has the magic,he is yet to recreate the success he had from songs like Nothing for you, Konko Below etc.
The mask-wearing saxophonist who recently toured the U.S.A,signed an endorsement deal with Glo in 2013.Ever since,he has been performing his brand ambassadorial duties. He recently released the visuals of his song 200 million mumu which hasn’t been able to elevate him back into the minds of his fans.
In 2009, Modupe Oreoluwa Oyeyemi known as Mocheddah as a young rapper and singer gained massive attention when she delivered a brilliant performance on Knight House’s track Won beri. Her versatility and uniqueness made her a sought after artiste. During this period,she clinched an endorsement with Soulmate and went on to win several awards.
She left the scene,parted ways with her record label and her struggle for relevance began. The Ko ma roll star teamed up with Phyno in 2014 on the song Destinambari. Determined to create another hit song,she has followed up with songs like Tori Olorun and My time. In 2013, she was made a brand ambassador for Deal Dey.
Female rapper and fashion entrepreneur,Yetunde Alabi fondly called Sasha P by her fans, is one damsel who started as a rookie but has carved a niche for herself. When she shot into limelight,Nigerian music didn’t have much acceptability.
In 2011,she released hit tracks like Emi le Gan ,Work It and Oya. She was once a brand ambassador for Samsung and currently an Etisalat brand ambassador. In recent times,nothing impressive has been heard about her music. She seems to be focused more on her entrepreneurial ventures these days.