Nigerian companies have been advised to consider fully integrating storytelling in their brand marketing strategies in order to really connect with their customers.

This advice was given by one of Nollywood’s leading film directors, Mr Femi Odugbemi, who was a guest speaker at this year’s Advertiser’s Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) forum and awards which was held in Lagos, Nigeria.

According to him, the art of storytelling and adverting/marketing are inseparable. In other words, storytelling has always been the language of commerce. Therefore, there is the need to fully harness this relationship towards building brands’ success; especially now that the market square of stories is now virtual, global and more immediate.

Speaking further, he said stories are important in the marketing process because it is not enough to just put up a product for sale without adequately telling the consumers what they stand to benefit.

 “It must first prove itself to be one of them with all the nuances of imagery and sounds that make our stories told interestingly. It must actively deepen the living experiences of consumers, its audiences. Brand stories must speak to the things that matter most to consumers; it must inspire and educate them. Brand stories must provoke and incite reflections and conversations around community, around service and around human growth and development.” – Odugbemi

Meanwhile, some companies are already embracing this new form of marketing. One of Airtel Nigeria’s recent ads is in the form of a series, depicting a newly wedded couple, the competition between the couple’s parents and the role Airtel’s products play in their lives; especially when it comes to resolving conflicts. The telecoms company has mastered the art of centring their marketing communication around stories that are relatable to Nigerians.

In the same vein, Nestle Nigeria Plc’s Maggi seasoning cube has a web series centred around it. This is an interesting web series which tells a captivating story whilst constantly pushing the product in the face of the viewers.

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