Some TV commercials more than others just stick – in your head and on your tongue – because the storylines are brilliant enough to help you form a core memory. Years after watching them, you still randomly remember them and can talk about them with your friends.
Several Nigerian commercials have passed the test of time, still, very popular even years after the campaign was running but still as relatable as they used to be when they were originally created.
One pattern all these commercials have in common is brilliant storylines that caught our attention back then and would have had the same effect on anyone if the commercials were to be aired today. From Guinness to Panadol, MTN, Peak Milk, and Baba Blue, the commercials used storytelling to capture an audience as well as ingrain the commercials in our memory.
In this article, we will look at 5 Nigerian TV commercials with memorable storylines, the year they were created, and the memorable part of the commercials that we still remember today.
My friend Udeme is a great man – Guinness
This advert tells the story of Udeme through the eyes of an old man who sees him as his friend. The man narrated the goals and admirations of Udeme to become a pilot, how he pursued his dream and succeeded.
While the story talked about Udeme, it also spoke to the young people out there on working on their aspirations and pursuing it.
When this TV commercial was created, it gathered lots of reviews. Some felt like the story was not strong enough while others thought it didn’t focus on the Nigerian market. While any of the two assertions could have been true, one other thing that is true about the advert was that the agency that handled it was intentional about the message.
One thing they were able to address in advertising was that human beings were simple and when you talk to them simply, you get through.
The TV commercial featured an elderly guy narrating the goals and successes of his dear friend Udeme. The man Udeme pursued his dream of becoming a pilot and succeeded.
Ooh Jerry (Sunrise) – MTN
Back in the days when mobile phones started to become a thing, airtime was gold, so many people had to find a way to spend less to talk to people they wanted to. MTN back then chose to give its users MTN XtraCool – a plan that helps users talk to their loved ones all night – and this advert did really well to pass the message.
It was relatable because the prepaid plan was tailored specifically for youths, and the advert used that story to pass that message, using the scenario of two lovers talking on phone all night long.
Ohh Jerry followed the story of two lovers talking all night long on the phone. In a romantic gesture, the male (Jerry) asked the female to go outside for a surprise and showed her the sunrise.
As much as the plan was for the audience to know that they could talk for as long as they want on MTN XtraCool, the romantic gesture in the commercial stuck more and got the desired effect.
Papilo, one day I know say you go make us proud – Peak Milk
If you are above a certain age in Nigeria, the line ‘Papilo, one day I know say you go make us proud’ won’t be new to you. Especially because it is linked to Nigerian star footballer, Kanu Nwankwo, also called Papilo.
At the time, Peak Milk had a deal with the Nigerian footballer and used that as a leverage for advertising. The goodwill the footballer has with the people was enough to sway the opinion of the audience about the Peak Milk brand, but with a sprinkle of aspirational storyline, the tv commercial was a winner.
The commercial tells the story of young Papilo who liked to play football, sent on an errand and displayed his football skills to a woman who was proud of him, hence the saying ‘Papilo, one day I know say you go make us proud.’
Oga Na Master – Panadol Extra
What sets this tv commercial apart is the ability to tell a story without saying any word. This musical commercial followed the story of a man who leads a group of workers. The story says the man was a diligent worker who did what was right with respect to his fellow workers, then ‘strong strong headache’ started to affect his productivity.
As serious as the message in this tv commercial is, the writers were still able to infuse some elements in it for entertainment, while making the ‘Oga Na Master’ line a memorable one.
Baba Blue, thank you. I no go do am again – Baba Blue
Creativity sometimes comes from thinking of things other people cannot imagine, like Baba Blue did with the ‘Baba Blue Thank You’ commercial.
This tv commercial tells the story of a man charged to court whose lawyer happens to have a cough on the day of his hearing. Baba Blue offered him a menthol sweet and his throat was cleared, helping him to win the case and get freedom for the client.
Following a serious tone, humor was introduced to the setting when the man acquitted and discharged thanked Baba Blue saying; “Baba Blue, thank you o. I no go do am again.”