In 2018, while preparing our first BBNaija Report, we asked content creators questions about covering the BBNaija show and discovered something unique. While it was fun for them to report on all the happenings within the Big Brother Naija house, the business value of the show was more important to them, than the thrill of just curating all the exciting events happening on the show.
Given how much fans love the entertainment the Big Brother Naija show has to offer, a key strategy for media brands has been to give ‘free coverage’ to the show in order to attract fans of the show. This way, these media brands through their various channels – blogs, vlogs, and other forms, put premium BBNaija content in front of their audience leading to spikes in page visits, views and engagement across their assets. thus an increase in advertising revenue; a strategy that has proven it is here to stay for as long as the Big Brother Naija show continues to air.
For the Shine Ya Eye Season, the leverage game for media brands took an even more strategic form, with some of them creating dedicated handles to do show roundups and chats about the show, just like sponsors such as Bet9ja do. In some way, these media brands have become the biggest non-sponsors to benefit from the BBNaija franchise, once again proving just how impactful the show and the content it proves is.
Like the Olympics, where strict branding rules ensure that any brand utilizing the BBNaija brand assets have to be very careful and super creative to avoid infringements, brands who are unable to land sponsorship slots often task their marketing teams to get creative in finding ways to enjoy some of the show’s branding value.
For previous seasons, one of the simplest ways brands have leveraged the Big Brother Naija show traffic and brand equity has been through hashtags relating to the show, or trends around housemates. This way, by adding certain words to their posts, their marketing content finds room among conversations especially on Twitter, related to the targeted keywords or hashtags. Brands, mostly SMEs, which follow this route mostly try to showcase their products to users they hope to quickly convert and drive direct sales.
This year however, with the ban on Twitter in Nigeria, relying on just hashtags and trends to take advantage of the conversations around the BBN show wasn’t so effective, requiring brands to focus on other interesting approaches.
For a number of seasons now, non-sponsor brands have applied a mix of nostalgia and influencer marketing to get some value off the show. How? By using housemates from previous seasons for their ads, and airing those ads on newer seasons. This strategy has been utilized by non-sponsors, Get Fit for two seasons in a row, leveraging the personal brand of ex-housemate Tacha for marketing points.
As simple as this strategy sounds, it gives non-sponsors who apply it the opportunity to tap into the fan love ex-BBNaija housemates get especially when they are considered to be ‘making it’ after the show. What better way to tap into this than putting them back on the screens of those who watched their process.
Interestingly, this strategy isn’t unique to non-sponsors as sponsors of the show themselves tap into the brilliance of it. For the Shine Ya Eye Season, Guinness has ads featuring Season 5 housemate, Prince, Boomplay featured Season 5 Winner, Laycon in their ad series, while Hawaii Soap brand had the show’s only female winner Mercy Eke on their ad, along with Season 4 ex-housemate Venita.
Another approach used by brands is community leverage. Few weeks into every Big Brother Naija show, fan favourite become quite clear and provide brands an opportunity to tap into their budding fanbase using everything from their slangs in marketing copies to canvassing votes for them to show some affinity and even offering discounts for supporters who use certain housemate names as discount codes.
As everyone focuses on the direct revenue-generating moves, some other touchpoints such as the ideas the show sparks for budding entrepreneurs seem to be ignored. 34.8% of the show’s viewers and fans who we surveyed said that the show has been of benefit to them in terms of business ideas and revenue.
Even for ex-housemates, the BBNaija show has provided opportunities by giving some of them the chance to earn free publicity. For the Shine Ya Eye Season, ex-housemate Dorathy got the perfect opportunity to showcase her lingerie brand by offering them to the female housemates for free for their jacuzzi party. While there isn’t a perfect way to measure the immediate returns, the brand equity value definitely stands out.