Nigeria: The wave of reality shows may be coming to an end

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2009 has seen the conclusion of many reality shows in Nigeria. Reality shows have become popular with Nigerian brands as a means of deepening the appeal of their brands. About five major reality shows were rounded off this month alone: Big Brother Africa, Amstel Malta Box Office, MTN Soccer Academy, Peak Talent Hunt, and The Debaters.

Big Brother Africa 4- although not just for Nigerians - was won by a Nigerian for the first time since it started in 2003. And this edition, the fourth since inception, had a prize money of $200,000.00 (N30 million), 100 per cent more than the former prize. Nigerian Kevin Chuwang Pam brought home that money. Big Brother Africa is produced by Endemol South Africa and broadcast by MNet through DSTV.

Amstel Malta Box Office, sponsored by Nigerian Breweries Plc, concluded its fifth edition recently with Ivie Aviomoh Okujaye taking home the star prize of a car, N2.5 million and a lead role in a movie. Amstel Malta is the brand that gives the biggest support to the movie industry in Nigeria.

MTN Nigeria just rounded off the MTN Soccer Academy, which featured competitors from Nigeria and Ghana. At the end of the 85 days of the competition, 16 year-old Arago Jamal of Ghana took home the grand prize, while Ineh Pope of Nigeria took second place. Courtesy of the sponsor, MTN Nigeria, Jamal won a Hyundai Tucson 4-wheel drive car and a one-year football contract with a local club in Ghana. This is in addition to a 14-day trial with an international club and a five-star round trip to the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa , sponsored by MTN. One wonders why MTN Nigeria would sponsor a programme for Nigerians and Ghanaians rather than for Nigerians alone.

Peak Talent Hunt was also concluded last week. It was the debut of the programme, and it focused on people displaying their skills in areas like singing, dancing, acrobatics, poetry etc. It was sponsored by Peak milk.

The Debaters, created by Inspire Africa, was rounded off at the weekend. It was its first edition and featured young men and women who groomed on how to debate. On a weekly basis, they faced each other, debating on a new topic.

Reality shows have become one good way of selling brands in Nigeria. There is no doubt that in the New Year, more reality shows will come on air. The danger in reality shows is that people most times enjoy the show and forget the brand behind the show. Therefore, while the reality show fad runs its course, it is important that brand owners and managers think of more creative and effective ways to drive their brands deeper into the mind of their consumers.

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