Back in February Coca Cola announced an endorsement deal with RnB crooner Banky W, selecting him as the face of soft drink Giants “Open and Win Promo”. That is the 3rd major endorsement deal Bank W in about 4 years. In 2008 he was the ace of the ten new entrant into the GSM market, Etisalat. Last year he was selected by Samsung alongside Sasha as brand ambassadors for their range of stylish mobile phones. Now, he has hit it with Coca Cola. Just how does he get this much endorsement? That’s a question I sought to find out recently. After all, he only has 2 albums to his name and not as much RnB hits when compared to the likes of PSquare, D’Banj or 2Face. He also isn’t such an awesome performer on stage and neither is he an entertainer with so many dynamics to his music. He also doesn’t have a major record label, such as Storm Music which can be a major influence in attracting endorsement deals. So what could be the trick then?
In cases like this, it’s always beat to find out from the brand promoters themselves why he is such an asset when it comes to endorsement deals. For Coca Cola, the brand manager had this to say when asked about his interest in Bank W “Banky W’s music has put so much happiness into the hearts and home of Nigerians. His positive energy and cool attitude are attributes that the Coca-Cola brand readily identifies with. We are happy to have him assist us in putting big smiles on our consumers’ faces”. So to Coca Cola the key ingredient is “positive energy and cool attitude”.
What about Samsung? Their brand manager had this to say “Banky W and Sasha’s blend of spirit and style, success and charm match strongly with the Samsung brand which prides itself on its innovation, style and superior products. Also, their dynamism combined with our brand expertise will help us present our products in different, innovative ways to consumers. We are indeed very proud and privileged to have them as our Brand Ambassadors”. So basically it’s about his “Style”, “success” and “charm” for Samsung.
On Etisalat, according to an article , the representative of the Media Outfit that handled the commercial said on why and how he was chosen “We contracted Cobhams Asukwo to do a sound track for a commercial and Cobams, being the genius that he is, suggested that the new voice to use will be Banky W’s, which we did use. Then, we decided to take it further because we had already developed a TVC for the sound track to be used and the main character for that TVC was supposed to sing the song in the commercial. So we thought, since Banky W has done an excellent job with the sound track, why should we get somebody else to sing on his behalf? He looks the part of the character we wanted in the commercial anyway. So Banky W became the face on the TV commercial. And that blew up from him being a character on the commercial to the face that hooked our target audience”.
According to the article, the use of Banky W attracted the youth. There was this chemistry and it further cemented the relationship between the Etisalat brand and the youth segment. So both parties came out winners in the deal. The article also went on to suggest factors such as “physical charm, charisma, credibility, acceptability, emotional connection between the celebrity and the target consumers are fundamental and cannot be waived aside – if brand owners must generate customers’ interest in their products”.
Going by the various reasons given above, its safe to suggest Brand Owners search for attributes such as “positivity”, “style”, ‘charisma’, sign of “success’ in selecting ambassadors for their brands. All these attributes are synonymous with what most people expect the youths to emulate. Incidentally, very few artiste in Nigeria fit that profile more than Banky W which is probably why he gets loads of juicy deals. Its no coincidence most of the endorsements are youth oriented. Banky W is also vocal on National Issues and is a well known activist on social and political matters. He is also very active on social networks such as twitter, attracting over 160k followers. His knack for dressing like a Gentleman on most social outings and media representations also helps promote his emulative status. If he continues at this rate, it won’t be inconceivable to anticipate more deals for the “young’ man.