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Goodluck by D’banj?

Goodluck by D’banj?

It’s the evening of March 17, 2011. The day is winding to a close but not just yet. All of a sudden, twitter goes agog with news that there will be a ‘pro youth’  interview of the incumbent President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, hosted by the award winning Nigerian artiste, D’banj.

This came as an unexpected development to many, with its suddenness and the seeming strategic timing – 8 days before the proposed presidential aspirant’s debate organized by the coalition of Nigerian youth bodies tagged “What About Us?”  – slated for the 25th of March. It is not yet clear whether Dr Jonathan has agreed to attend this proposed debate. Many will recall that the Vice President, Mr Namadi Sambo, was absent from the March 11 Vice Presidential aspirant debate organized by the satellite television channel, NN24.

The interview, hosted by D’banj, kicked off as planned, and immediately, started to elicit numerous comments and reactions from viewers nationwide. A majority probably disagreed with the ‘kokomaster’s’ involvement in the whole plot, while others commented that he was quite reticent, asking just a few questions, compared with a typical interview host. Through the whole broadcast, it was clear that most technology enabled Nigerian youth (on twitter) were not impressed by the apparent campaign tool.

It is at this point that I attempt to engage in some analysis. My primary focus here is not the content of the interview but its possible strategic purpose. It is obvious that Dr Jonathan and his PDP comrades deployed this interview as a campaign tool targeting Nigerian youth. Despite seeing the move as lame, one cannot ignore the fact that there is a sly and cunning crew developing and implementing political campaign strategies for the ruling party. It looks like so many viewers got carried away with the questionable content and plot of the interview, taking sides and forming opinions about the host, yet, remaining oblivious to the strategy behind the interview and the targeted audience.

Who was the target audience? Was it the Nigerian youth?  If yes, many will probably condemn the effort concluding that it was unsuccessful in its ploy. Determining whether it was successful or not is hinged on what the intent was, who the real target audience was, and whether the goal was achieved.

By extrapolation, it can be deduced that GEJ’s strategists have conducted some form of market segmentation of the youth category, splitting them up into 3 possible groups – the grassroots (masses), the tech-enabled and upwardly mobile, and the apathetic. The grassroots/masses obviously hold the largest market share relative to the others, and it is this group that the campaign has targeted. While the tech enabled and upwardly mobile, twitter and facebook savvy category is busy ramping up support mainly via social media and networking tools, the incumbent is deploying his market penetration tool, via mass marketing.

As if that were not enough, GEJ’s strategists further did a careful selection of his interview host, choosing a well known and musically influential brand – D’banj. His strategist employs the concept of brand extension, to further penetrate this youth mass market at the grassroots, introducing the product – Goodluck by D’banj. Brand extension has successfully favoured many corporate brands in the past and present,  include Courtyard by Marriott, Fourpoints by Sheraton, Polo by Ralph Lauren, to name a few. This forms the second hinge of their campaign strategy – as association of brands to bring the product to the door step of the masses. The impact on the target market? Immeasurable. Even though many upwardly mobile youth still see the whole plot as a sham, they fail to realize that they are not the target. First it was a facebook president, now it’s a ‘youth’ focused president. So, say what you may, the campaign is working, and the product is selling – Goodluck by D’banj!

As the political front gets more captivating, it is left for the opposition to play its own card in this battle for the youth market share. Where there are strategies, there can be counter-strategies. Will the opposition launch a more successful product to mass youths at the grassroots? Or will the youth focus be limited to the tech-enabled social networking youth? Will there be an intense tussle over market share? Will there be a battle of the strategists?

Whichever way this wind blows, whether it is “Goodluck by D’banj” or “The Opposition by another”, one thing is clear – the youth matter!


33 thoughts on “Goodluck by D’banj?

  1. well analysed friend………the target audience which is not d facebook and twitter group will so like dis. Let us not also forget that a great percentage of the the tech enabled and upwardly mobile (lol) group dont vote…….For the opposition dey are not doing enough to talk to the masses. I am also sure the opposition will be quick to hide under d fact that the election was not free and fair.The question will be, did they do enough?


    Posted by odepii | March 17, 2011, 11:38 pm
  2. Awesome perspective! I am no fan of the PDP but at-times i drop my cap for them, with their strategist with their divide and rule system.


    Posted by Esther Eshiet | March 17, 2011, 11:48 pm
  3. You can’t really say that they’ve been successful unless you have seen the effect of this “grassroot /mass” market strategy, more so you cant immediately claim they are successful except you are part of this demographic, which for the fact that you are here, clearly not (no offence :-)). Also, it is possible that even a portion of the target demo might have the common sense to see through this smokescreen of patronization just as we have, to say otherwise might be to look on them with disdain. I agree with your final analysis, that it is in essence primarily a by any means strategy to curry the youth vote and many people might forget about it tomorrow, those who it effectively (and successfully) targets will not.
    Nice write up.


    Posted by kidgidi | March 18, 2011, 12:04 am
  4. Good article. I watched the interview, and immediately I disliked Dbanj’s involvement. Well, this is democracy where everybody is freeborn. What I have discovered is that these politicians are using young stars to promote themselves and get to us youths. Youths, the main target. Well, that interview did not get me o bcoz I knew that it was based on the rocks of politics. So, we all know what matters – YOUTHS MATTER.


    Posted by Victor | March 18, 2011, 12:15 am
  5. I agree,strategy analysis,but I think this analysis is highly placed for this stategy. You are thinking intelligently for them.I feel it was targeted at the technologically enabled youth because publicity for the interview was via social media and text messages. They probably felt that the presence of dbanj will make us throw away our ‘thinking caps’ and calls for a debate and endorse GEJ. It is typical of the their campaign strategists to come up with ideas like ‘distributing buiscuit and rice and talking to the nigerian youth about ppl in the diaspora. They are getting this publicity because GEJ is in power. They’ve insulted us with this interview, shikena! Whether it was meant for d masses or the technologically enabled youth.


    Posted by Gbemi | March 18, 2011, 12:39 am
    • If PDP/GEJ are actually the enemy then it is a tad arrogant to say any one is thinking ‘intelligently’ for them. You’d rather they be underestimated? The interview was broadcast on STV which the elite youths do not actually watch, if the demographic wasn’t for the bottom of the pyramid,wouldn’t it have been more sensible to have shown it on a DSTV channel instead? I am guessing that the notification on twitter was added measure otherwise most of us would have missed the interview.

      Without a doubt,the PDP is better prepared for the April polls than the opposition(s). After all,rhetoric and morality alone have never won any election anywhere in the world.


      Posted by @Misterejiro | March 18, 2011, 1:21 am
  6. Kunle,

    Just read your article on the supposed interview of the serious contender for the most important office in Nigeria. It is laughable that the so called strategists have bungled this again. Wait a minute, it’s comparable to Obama opting not attend presidential debates anchored by notable hosts but choosing to organise a charade hosted by Chris Brown or Justin Bieber. Truly, GEJ’s advisers might have attended some MBA or marketing lectures and learnt about Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning. They might have learnt about brand extension but they have in this instance, applied it wrongly. They simply left out a very important factor, which is credibility.

    Surely, Dbanj has a very large following amongst Nigerian youths. But it is limited to entertainment; he makes us laugh and helps us forget our sorrows temporarily. After dancing to Dbanj’s songs with kokolettes at a night club, reality dawns on you when you remember that you would likely sleep in pitch darkness and sweat like a Christmas goat all night. Even if the babe decides to follow you home because you claim to be endowed, she would likely change her mind when she discovers that you are not endowed where it matters most (your pocket of course!). It’s just a continuous cycle of more frustrations for such a poor fella.

    The question is, which sane youth would take Dbanj seriously when it comes to politics? Nigerian youths are not naive, rather, they are sophisticated. There may be some initial excitement but it’s not gonna last for long. Most have seen American presidential debates and want their leaders to square up in serious debates before elections as well. Not this kinda comic relief organised by GEJ. Personally, I find it irritating and if I had the tinniest respect for GEJ, its finally come to an end tonight! All I see is desperation and lack of courage. When he goes on international stage, is he going to avoid seasoned journalists and request Snoop to interview him? That’s what you get when someone is absolutely unprepared for an office. All his life, he did not struggle to get anything. Someone please tell him to be a lion at least for once in his lifetime! Even if he loses in the elections, he’ll at least have the courage and feeling of being a goal getter.

    To sum it up, brand extensions only work when there is credibility. It worked for Courtyard by Marriott, Fourpoints by Sheraton, Chaps by Ralph etc because they have credibility. This is something that Dbanj lacks both in politics and mass media. In actual fact, GEJ may now be seen as an unserious and cowardly individual. I hope the strategy team of the other aspirants are able to capitalise on this great blunder!


    Posted by Jay | March 18, 2011, 12:58 am
    • Well said, but u leave out a very important fact. We live in a society where credibility does not really matter. Till we change our mentality in this country and I mean the country as a whole not the Nigerians of facebook and twitter, change is going to be really difficult


      Posted by Jaidi | March 18, 2011, 5:19 am
  7. Kunle,your post 100% articulates my thoughts. The fact that the GEJ/PDP campaign team has a powerful team of strategists seems to be oblivious to a lot of the young elites who are condemning his run for the presidency,his refusal to participate in the debate and tonight’s interview by D’Banj.

    I worry because despite being weak,it appears as if the opposition has little or no political strategists working for them.

    Unfortunately,most of us on social media fail to realize that it is ‘real’ votes cast that will matter and not rants on Facebook,Blackberry Messenger or Twitter.

    Thanks for posting……


    Posted by @Misterejiro | March 18, 2011, 1:10 am
  8. i believe your article to be very condescending to the supposed target audience of this interview. you are portraying them as kids who only like shiny things. we are talking of jobless graduates, professional students and serial NYSC corpers. people who know where the shoe pinches the most. i am sure they would see this for what it really is- a very long political ad.


    Posted by sesan | March 18, 2011, 1:52 am
  9. also if he really wanted to reach out to your supposed target audience, won’t nta or ait be a better option. silverbird is perceived as an elitist terrestrial station. the “twitter of tv” if you will.


    Posted by sesan | March 18, 2011, 1:56 am
  10. Well, I haven’t seen the interview yet. I’m hoping someone will put it on youtube so people outside the country can watch it. But at first glance, i.e. going by reactions on twitter and Nigeria’s cyberspace as a whole, it didn’t do much to shore up Goodluck’s popularity with the youths.

    While I agree with Kunle’s market segmentation strategy analysis, I find the ‘grassroot’ youths notion debatable. If we are talking about youths of voting age in Nigeria, then it is safe to assume that they have some level of education and are able to use the internet, even if only in cybercafes. Perhaps that explains the choice of publicity medium for the interview. Perhaps it is also a pointer to the actual target audience. I don’t believe the brains behind the interview had such a sophisticated strategy in mind. It was what it seemed; an attempt to portray Jonathan as youth centric and for Dbanj; a business deal.Simple!


    Posted by Dupsieflashy | March 18, 2011, 2:46 am
  11. I agree with dupsieflashy. Most youths of voting age are cyber enlightened but then again, in d far reaching villages, access takes so long that life happens and these youth are unaware.
    The truth of this whole election thing is that only the pdp is involved in aggressive campaigning. The other parties seem content with a wide online followership…votes won’t happen online. Other contenders need to do more…more than debates (coz the less than average nigerian–who, sadly, make up most of the population–cannot comprehend all the ‘grammer’…they vote based on emotion and sentiment). If the opposition do not do more to win the sentimental loyalty of even the illiterate, uneducated and poor masses, youth and full blown adults alike, the pdp just might enjoy another 4 years of ruling, and this time, it would really be the ‘will’ of the greater majority of nigerians.


    Posted by dadiva tc | March 18, 2011, 3:18 am
  12. I couldn’t see the interview either, but from what I gleaned off twitter and fb, the whole charade did nothing to sway technology-enabled youth, who it appears are the intended target audience. The only winner seems to be Dbanj. I’m pretty sure his pockets were well lined in return for asking pre-screened questions. The publicity won’t do him any harm either.


    Posted by Tayo | March 18, 2011, 4:30 am
  13. You know what Kunle, I think we mystify jonathan and his people and attribute strategic thinking to what is actually a desperate grasping at straws by GEJ and his campaign crew. We thought he was being smart and all strategy like during the whole yar adua fiasco when really he was just going on along with the flow. All this analysis is just IMHO “overcrediting” the man and his team with the political sense that I don’t think they have!


    Posted by debola akinkugbe | March 18, 2011, 6:48 am
    • Finally, someone speaks my mind… There’s little doubt GEJ and cohorts av d upperhand due to the ‘shallowness’ and thoughtlessness of the average youth in our country but to attribute such deep strategic devises to them is definitely taking it too far!

      Having said that and going by the feedback from a few pple I’ve spoken to (and I refer to those who would fall in the grassroot masses group- who watch tv) the DBanj move might just be more of a suicide than any other thing…


      Posted by obadayo | March 18, 2011, 3:14 pm
  14. I didn’t watch the interview because I knew what PDP/GEJ had in mind. No offence but what does D’Banj know about politics and/or journalism that he’s interviewing our Head of State? It’s sad but this just goes to show that politics has turned to a popularity contest in Nigeria with the youths as the ‘crew’ or ‘posse’ of the politican with the most ‘swag’, a political Mr Endowed. It also shows the serious rift, the disconnect between the ruling class and the people they intend to rule, if they think we won’t fall for buy-outs with money then we’d fall for this? They have not the least shred of respect for us. There are entertainment figures who take politics seriously – Andreblaze, eLDee, BankyW e.t.c they were on ad’s urging people to vote on different entertainment channels, some them supported campaigns to Light UP nigeria and some continually urge the youth on to vote via twitter, FB e.t.c I’ve never seen D’banj do this (maybe he has, I just don’t know) so his credibility amounts to nought as far as I’m concerned!


    Posted by sande189 | March 18, 2011, 7:11 am
  15. The question is, which sane youth would take Dbanj seriously when it comes to politics? None not even my grandma if she was a youth. @kunle your article is on-point. I take this interview as another wrong move by the ruling party. Let’s see if GEJ will participate in the presidential debate & if he does, he better not hurt our ears like his wife did. However, I believe we(the tech enabled and upwardly mobile) can make a change.


    Posted by adewale | March 18, 2011, 7:15 am
  16. I could not agree more with dadiva tc. the Dbanj interview is consistent with the GEJ strategy of playing on sentiment rather than tackling issues head-on. Promises of more this, more that, as against intelligent plans to tackle the nations many woes. GEJ is not talking to you or me, we’re too few. He’s talking to the impoverished masses who only need to FEEL good about a candidate to cast their votes for them.

    What do we do then? talk to everyone u can! everywhere u can!

    Politics, at the end of the day, is a game of numbers. May the bigger team win.


    Posted by tayo fasunon | March 18, 2011, 7:16 am
  17. i live this.


    Posted by Mr C | March 18, 2011, 7:20 am
  18. @Jay, 100% well said!

    The argument against this grassroots thing is credibility. Dbanj has no credibility when it comes to serious matters, talk less of a presidential election! If it was Tuface, then I’d say okay, or even El-Dee, I’ll say okay. These are brands that people trust, people that have been speaking out since time. But then these guys are trusted because they don’t sell their soul to the highest bidder. Goodluck would win more actual votes by having a detailed plan for how he’s going to solve the electricity problem, including what he’s done in the past that we can look to as evidence. This would have gotten a lot more “mass-appeal” than dbanj, wearing shades indoor, at night, nodding his head incessantly to a condescending President.


    Posted by Roxy | March 18, 2011, 7:39 am
  19. If this interview was meant for the youths then I feell seriously insulted!
    D.banj? Surely they jest!! What happened to chimamanda or any other youth that has intellect? The whole interview was a sham and I hope everyone saw it for what it was.


    Posted by sunmisola omidiji | March 18, 2011, 8:02 am
  20. Personally I don’t think the Nigerian Youth which in this case are the main target are dumb! Yes we play & dance to DBanj’s tune but we’ll never see him as a politically inclined person! To us he is just DBanj an entertainer.A Dare Art Alade might have been better because of personality & knowledge. GEJ just lost a lot of votes I know.


    Posted by Fraulein | March 18, 2011, 9:00 am
  21. “The grassroots/masses obviously hold the largest market share relative to the others, and it is this group that the campaign has targeted.”
    1. I got to know ’bout the “interview” via twitter; the supposed grassroot he is trying to reach last I checked most of dem don’t know what twitter is not to talk of being on it….
    2. It was showed on STV (which is on DSTV). I for 1, that’s how I watched it..
    3. There was no light. Had to turn on the gen to watch it… Can’t imagine a relative of mine in my village in Osun, turning on the gen to watch GEJ’s interview.

    So really, who was he targetting?


    Posted by Deronk | March 18, 2011, 10:34 am
  22. I have read all your comments and I must say you have all spoken well. Nigerians are too quick to condemn people and it’s sad! Does anyone know when the interview was done? Could it be that it was aired at the wrong time? For chrissakes,…it wasn’t a live broadcast! Whether D’banj was nodding or not isn’t the matter. He was interviewing the president of Nigeria!and probably given a script! You can’t just run* your mouth! Why are we insulting and bringing him down? No one is perfect! And if he committed a crime by agreeing to represent us,…then going forward I guess it won’t happen again! Nigeria is a blessed country! While we keep praying for change,let our hopes not die! #LightUpNigeria#.


    Posted by Brutata | March 18, 2011, 10:39 am
  23. Kundun,

    It has been a plot from the on-set. D’banj claimed to have recorded a promotional campaign for GEJ free-of-charge and that he never collected a dime from anyone. He further stated this in a press release at the Koko Lounge (Yaba Centre)…the plot is simply, use what you have to get what you want.

    D’banj is about the money and fame not the country. GEJ is about the power at any cost.

    However, you will be surprised that the grassroots are no longer fools. Remember what happened at Kaduna that brought CPC to power. People are now hungry for justice, ever angry not to see the change we need!!!

    Goodluck by D’banj is a simply ploy by Mo,hits to make money and fame. Guess what…it worked!!!


    Posted by Fatherla | March 18, 2011, 10:40 am
  24. And D’banj had better watch it…. He should learn from SSP


    Posted by Deronk | March 18, 2011, 10:44 am
  25. @Roxx,what does D’banj wearing sunshades @ nite have to do wiv anyfn? Gusssshhhhh!!!! Pls,when u criticize,be objective!


    Posted by Brutata | March 18, 2011, 11:11 am
  26. Dbanj is losing popularity already. There’s a new twitter account http://twitter.com/#!/boycottdbanj, and there are calls to boycott his music


    Posted by Tayo | March 18, 2011, 5:44 pm
  27. You might have just hit a mine right here with your analysis, which I must say is spot on. I like the way you guys have re-illeterated the fact that the future of Nigeria lies in the hands of the ignorant youth and not the intellectual few. My thoughts are channeled towards the ever increasing divide between these two sects. We (and when I say “we” I mean the upwardly mobile intellectual elite), are constantly trying to distinguish ourselves with lifestyles that intimidate and eventually alienates the larger challenged populace. The effect? a channeled dependence on corrupted opinions and views of the likes of D’banj…… Just a shame really! (Fela you were a legend)


    Posted by Oluseyi | March 18, 2011, 9:08 pm
  28. Lovely piece kunle. Coming from a PR background, i could relate very well wit ur article. Some of d responses have been very intelligent, as for others, I cant say. Im yet to undstand y pple r quick 2 condemn D’banj? D guy is in show business, not a political activist, so what is our problem. GEJ and Dbanj r strategic marketers, each party tapping d others popularity to further their gains, thats good branding techniques. Most of us r here wasting our time…sum1 mentioned d fact dat d opposition isnt prepared….YES, dey r so fragmented, dey could as well shake GEJ now b4 d election bcos hes got d presidency on a landslide. Rather dan unite and form a formidable opposition, dey r campaignin wrongly. Tinubu is all over d nation abusing pple, Ribadu should be d front of his campaign, not Tinubu…I pity dis nation


    Posted by simply sam | March 23, 2011, 6:02 am


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