It may appear absurd to compare it to the Super Bowl. However, a game show that receives 915 million votes from an audience of 309 million during a global pandemic is worth paying attention to.
Hey David, very good points you've made. Just a few thoughts I'd like to get off.
TL;DR - Superbowl (SB) has richer advertisers, SB dates are known 5 years in advance (there is permanence), American residents have disposable income, lack of proper analytics in the broadcast industry (E.g Nielsen).
One thing that makes the NFL Superbowl even more commanding is that it has some sort of permanence (a $100bn tv deal gives you that) and ad producers know before hand the exact date it is going to take place for the next 5 years*, so they are able to adequately plan for it. Death taxes, and the super bowl happening in February**.
Big brother on the other hand doesn't have an exact date every year, although they tend to produce and air the program around the summer time (I'm thinking to capture diaspora audiences). So it would be difficult for advertisers to properly plan production and delivery of ads (most ads on Big Brother come in the middle of the season).
Before I continue though, in terms of the build-up to the event, the NFL used to have 16 weeks to build up to the event and with familiar faces that stories could be spun around. BBN on the other hand introduces new faces each season and then those characters in turn need some time to develop and become their own person. There is a gradual buildup in BBN vs the show piece that is the SB.
I made mention of richer advertisers. Generally, the value of the American economy is larger than that of Nigeria (I use Nigeria because it is the primary market for BBN) however if you take a look at a random sample of 5 advertisers from the last edition of both events you get a better picture of the ad prices***.
I'll skip the bit on disposable income because I do not have sufficient expertise in economics to properly break it down without using anecdotal evidence.
Lastly, the source of DSTv's numbers are self-reported figures. Without an independent organisation properly reporting on viewership figures, a lot of media sales will require on how well the salesperson pushes the customer not the exact value they are getting for their money. That said, a lot of the brand managers I know, will try to pay the lowest amount possible (while looking to get the greatest benefit possible) and when you pair those two situations you get the price that is being paid. Organisations like Nielsen will help solve this issue but until then, let the best man win.
PS: Just to add though, the NFL Superbowl is a global broadcast by design while BBN is a regional broadcast under license of the show owners, so there is little they can do to provide official overseas channels if they were to increase their numbers and advertising appeal.
*Superbowl dates: https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/football-team/super-bowl-locations-2020-2021-2022-and-beyond
**The timing of the superbowl has been adjusted starting from the 2021 season due to a new collective bargain agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association last year that opted to include an additional regular season game which has now moved the Superbowl date by one week.
***Here's a list of SB advertisers https://www.businessinsider.com/super-bowl-2020-all-the-commercials-that-will-run-in-2020-1 and a list of BBN advertisers https://www.bigbrothernaija.net/big-brother-naija-2020-season-5-lockdown-sponsors/
As usual, this is brilliant. I always have my mind opened and fed whenever I visit this place. That said, I think you are indeed spot on. I am not a fan of BBN, but I have always wondered about the advertising potentials it has, especially since the fan base cuts across literally every possible demographic you can imagine - gender, age, income and even education. This is huge.
Your point about the storytelling quality, linked with the dearth of talent in the industry, brings us back to my dissertation which you graciously participated in. The talents required to creatively milk the potentials of opportunities like the BBN is simply short in supply. This is where much of the work needs to be done.
Your point about preference for "functionality over virality" (you captured the phenomenon in a way that is very novel to me -thanks for opening my eyes wider) is a very valid one. Advertisers must make a decision between having the maximum benefit NOW or the maximum that never stops giving over a long period of time.
need to look through this very closely again, first read won't do justice to how brilliantly written this is. One point to take away is how agencies need to work on improving the quality of ideas brought forward. Beyond this,
1. The dearth of accurate data limits the agency's output.
2. Skill gap between the golden years between 2001 - 2014 and now is huge. We assumed technology will bridge that gap but what happened eventually was different where you have tech-savvy gen-z guys not knowledgeable enough in marketing to know how to use those skills to bring forth winning ideas. Not sure how crash courses encouraging charlatans to migrate into the industry is helping this whole ordeal but that is a story for another day.
Need to read this again. I love this marketing industry and I am so passionate about it. Sharing this note of yours is simply amazing. Big ups man.
David, this is one of my best reads of 2021. This is ridiculously good. Big ups, man.
I hope that BBN’s producers get to see this (if they aren’t already aware of all these) and that when they do, they take note and take them seriously. They should be doing way better than they are with their ads, for a platform as big as theirs.
great thoughts here. my first thought was how does BBN compare to the almighty superbowl? but it makes sense and i like the narrative, but do I think the nigerian ad industry can compete with the quality of the superbowl? not now and maybe after a few years.
for a country where clients are tilted too quickly to the purchase part of the sales funnel, creative storytelling might just not get a big nod. it's essentially a big case of "is this idea going to drive sales? if not, we're not investing in it".
however, brilliant thoughts and thank you.
David boss your article breakdowns are always on point and Nice angle to see the BBN show from though I think not until recently has anyone ever noticed BBN from their ad value or impact perspective (thanks to the data being in their favour) but from the fact that some of their ads with repetitive nature have always been wack with the screen time also delaying viewers from watching their faves.
This is amazing. Loved the entire content and this has sparked some sort of introspection as well. Big ups David.
Good read and some good thinking in here