Nigeria's Glo(w)ing entertainment industry: 19 years of strategic partnership – Tribune Online

ROTIMI IGE, in this article, writes on the continuous boom witnessed in the entertainment industry across Africa, especially in Nigeria and how it takes the unwavering support of one wholly indigenous Nigerian company, Globacom, to champion the cause of a revamped, prosperous, talent-driven sector.
The Nigerian entertainment industry has become the latest baby of the world. Its recent successes and world domination is unprecedented. In its music sector, its stakeholders are headlining the biggest music festivals and featuring the most celebrated superstars. In fact, this year alone, Nigerian music stars have been the toast of music events across Europe, America and other parts of the world.
Also worthy of note are the nominations and wins of notable world-rated awards by Nigerian music superstars.  For movies, the Nollywood boom has shocked critics owing to the quality of movies from Nigeria that have become cinema hits, grossing millions of dollars and winning grade A awards across the world. Its stakeholders have also witnessed comely interactions with other industries including Hollywood and Bollywood. These collaborations had brought better deliveries to the quality of stories and movies in general, and a better livelihood for those involved.
Other affiliate sectors, with the boom in the entertainment industry, have also benefitted immensely. Today, the Nigerian art community and tech space are enjoying more seed funding and grants, made possible by the opportunities presented for its drivers to shine.
These and more are success stories that have become the norm in the thriving entertainment landscape, now a multi-billion dollar one.  This  encouraging trend has by far been made possible  through  the sacrifice, determination, and singular exemplary adoption of the industry by an indigenous telecommunications giant, Globacom, to spur the chain of events now witnessed across the world.
The music, movie, art and literary societies that are prosperous today, about two decades ago, were endeavours considered for people yet to find their true calling because white-collar jobs were the most desirable. In fact, majority of those who thrived in the music and movie industry did it painstakingly from their hard-earned resources with little or nothing to show for their arduous tasks. Most actors lived in penury and could barely afford the affluence  portrayed in their movies. Many music artistes, who mostly moved to the entertainment capital of Nigeria, Lagos, lived from hand to mouth and owed producers. Many of them sought out the few record labels that were available then,  while a good number of them became pawns in the hands of shylock  marketers from the popular Alaba market, or ‘Upper Iweka’ in Aba.
However, all of these changed 19 years ago with the entrance of Globacom into the Nigerian and later, African market. In less than two years, its company executives analysed the various sectors that needed a boost and wholly adopted the entertainment industry with a mandate to turn its fortunes around. Today, that industry is a cynosure that the whole world is eager to associate with.
Glo, as it is popularly called, is regarded as the ‘home of celebrities’. This is so because no single corporate entity has engaged the array of entertainment heavyweights either as brand ambassadors, or featured actors/musicians in its many television commercials (TVCs) among others. Also included in the value chain are writers, presenters, wardrobe consultants, art connoisseurs and indeed every stakeholder in the entertainment business.  In fact, the biggest names in music, comedy, movies, football and  literary icons  across Nigeria and Africa have featured in either company’s commercials or on its outdoor campaigns.
Some of them include (not limited to) King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Osita Osadebe, Oliver d’ Coque, Professor Wole Soyinka, Yusuf Maitama Sule, Nelly Uchendu, Onyeka Onwenu, D’Banj, MI Abaga, PSquare. Yet others are  Richard Mofe-Damijo, Rita Dominic, Ini Edo, Juliet Ibrahim, Matter Ankomah, Davido, Wizkid, Flavour, Simi, Gordons, Basketmouth, I go Dye, Teni the entertainer, Broda Shaggi, Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Osaze Odemwingie, Joselyn Dumas, Michael Essien, Anthony. The list is simply mind-boggling.
With its commitment to supporting the then ailing industry, the company injected billions of naira into creating the commercials that featured these stars helping to market Glo brand and make it a household name. This partnership benefited these celebrities very well as it served as strategic public relations for their individual brands with immense financial gains. These gains reinvested, have turned around the fortunes of the pride of Africa.
Now, one may ask what makes this telecommunications brand’s commercials so special as to how it impacts people.  According to Keni Akintoye, a brand specialist, “it is easily attributable to their creative ability to inspire Nigerians to continue to strive to be the best versions of themselves, irrespective of challenges. If you take a closer look at the preceding statement, you will realise that the underlying theme there is motivation — a strong element used by advertisers to keep the audience enveloped in the artistry and message of advertisements”.
Glo’s messages to the public tap into a ‘champion mentality’ by casting successful Nigerian athletes like heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua and top footballer, Odion Ighalo and also celebrities and mentors like Don Jazzy, making empowering statements such as ‘I was born hungry for success, it’s the Nigerian way’ and ‘go further to convince any audience on the spirit of a true Nigerian. This is completed with sign-offs like “Glo: the heart of a champion”.
“This way, it is only natural to feel inspired after watching such sportsmen who are role models to many Nigerians, at home and abroad, cheering one on to keep up the pace. The inclusion of celebrities easily drives a message home when it comes to advertisements because of the semblance of trust that comes with such an influential person passing across stimulating statements”, Tola Wahab, a banker told Friday Treat.
Again, the authenticity that comes with the actual productions of the commercials makes them very believable.  Glo commercials are known for mirroring Nigerian street culture — something many love to see in Nigerian movies and music videos.

In the same way, Globacom’s captivating branding symbols are equally stimulating. Through the years, Globacom has maintained its brand colours which are identical to the ‘green and white’ of the national flag. This seamlessly ties in a strong sense of patriotism in their commercials. It could even be argued that perhaps, the company’s indigenous origin makes it a mandate to remain true to our culture. Also, brand strategists posit that its brand slogans like ‘Rule Your World’ and ‘Glo with Pride’ contribute to the overall message that encourages every Nigerian to be patriotic and to win.
“The branding expression and attitude, as a complete concept, could effortlessly ‘ginger’ anyone to take charge of their situation and live their life, on their own terms”, Akintoye further averred.
It is perhaps for such creative television commercials and radio jingles produced by Globacom that at the 2021 Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival,  the company hauled 10 medals for Creative Television Commercials, Press Advertisements, Outdoor and best use of Digital and Social Media Content.
Glo also created unique events, concerts and comedy festivals across Nigeria that featured home grown talents thus making Nigerian music and comedy more widespread and accepted. Comedians like Basket Mouth, Seyi Law, Gordons, I go Dye etc were some of the names that Globacom made massive stars through its  comedy festivals across the country.
The company has championed investments in talent hunt shows for the last two decades. Shows like Glo Naija Sings, Glo X Factor won by DJ Switch in 2013, and more recently, Battle of the Year dance reality show are examples of how far the entertainment industry has come, with support from Glo. From these shows, thousands of youths have been engaged meaningfully and have in turn made their talent, hitherto untapped, a thriving multi-billion dollar industry. According to research, no other industry in the world currently employs as entertainment sector.
The company as a lover of culture, has shown this with its constant support for cultural festivals and initiatives. Glo has emerged the biggest corporate supporter of Nigerian arts and culture with its sponsorship of the Ojude Oba, Lisabi, Ofala festivals, amongst others. Glo has also championed the promotion of literary society, one of which is the “Evening With WS” event which remains unprecedented.
Over the years, Globacom has earned a reputation as Nigeria’s most innovative and customer-centric telecommunications company because of its world rated  products and services that not only make life easier  but also put subscribers  in control of usage by consistently deploying the latest telecommunications technology, while offering top-notch innovative products and services at the most affordable rates.
An uncommon innovation that other competitors have replicated was the introduction of GloTv, a top rated streaming service that offers Glo subscribers entertainment on the go. Powered by the Glo 4G technology and accessible through Android, IOS and web platforms, caters to exclusive use of an app that enables subscribers to watch movies, live television, shows and other favourite contents anywhere and at any time.
The telecommunications giant, while expressing excitement and confidence over the roll-out of the service, stated that “With the launch of Glo TV, our network will cater to the content preferences of Nigerians across different socio-economic groups and offer them an exclusive opportunity to experience best-in-class TV content.”
Through this, the company offers its subscribers first-class content to keep them informed, entertained and educated. Subscribers have more than enough options from different genres to choose from. Glo TV video content offerings include; Thriller, Action, Adventure, Crime, Nollywood Family, Comedy, Yoruba Family, Igbo, kids channels and Hausa Drama. Glo TV also offers exclusive content and premieres to the delight of its viewers.
“This exciting product is designed to ensure that access to television programming graduates from computer and television to include mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers and is available on the go and in real-time. We are playing a pivotal role in this regard so that as consumers globally are migrating into virtual worlds at an unprecedented rate and are exposed to newer opportunities, influences, and greater ease of doing business, Glo subscribers will also be availed the opportunities in the telecommunications market”, it added.
This shows that the company is concerned not only with promoting stakeholders of relevant industries, but also the consumers of the content created. All of these have, in 19 years, endeared the company to millions of subscribers spread across the country and Africa.

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