Poor funding, lack of clarity of purpose and insincerity on the part of government, have been identified as some of the reasons the various efforts at re-branding Nigeria had failed in the past.
Making this observation in Lagos at the Meeting of Minds forum, organised by Brandish Publications recently, some practitioners in the nation’s integrated marketing communications space, argued that unless some of those issues were addressed, the dream of effectively re-branding the country and making it attractive to foreign investors would remain a mirage.
Former chairman of the Advertising Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria (APCON), Mr Lolu Akinwunmi argued that one of such attempts in the past, the ‘Good People, Great Nation Campaign,’ which he played a major role in, did not make the desired impact due to lack of proper funding by the government of the day, among other reasons.
“For instance, at a time, we requested for N50million to set up an office in Lagos for the campaign, there was no response. I, as the chief executive officer of the campaign team was shuttling Abuja and Lagos, every other week, spending my money. I was never reimbursed.
“All these contributed to the little or no impact the campaign made then,” the former APCON chairman stated.
He also identified inappropriate nomenclature for the campaign, as one of the reasons it failed to resonate with Nigerians, while insisting that the campaign was rather attitudinal, and not a re-branding exercise, as erroneously labeled.
“Professor Dora Akunyili wasn’t a student of communication, but she is very brilliant. The critical error was to name that exercise re-branding. What she had in mind was something that would change the attitude of Nigerians and not about re-branding the country,” the Prima Garnet boss stated.
He also believed that failure on the part of Nigerians to see such campaign as a long term project that must be given a chance, instead of short term also contributed to its inability to resonate with the target audience.