BrandArena: August 2011

Monday 29 August 2011

Google TV is to Be Launched in the UK

Google is to launch an internet TV service in the UK. Google TV that has been available in the USA for more than a year allows users to switch between television and the web on the same device.

Google TV is an entertaining service that allows people to search all of the content on the TV and the internet by using a single click, switch between the TV and the internet on the main screen without having to adjust any cables and use iPhone or Android smartphone as a remote control. Voice search will also be available.
A wide range of applications, e.g. Twitter and Amazon will be the first to appear on the set with the Android market eventually arriving on the platform early next year. Integration of TV and internet means that viewers will be able to watch material from catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer and ITV Player on their main TV screen as well as use web search engines. A special version of YouTube in high definition is also provided on Google TV.

The key element of Google TV is a search bar. It brings together all the information, programs, internet, and media surrounding whatever users search for. The search bar makes a TV guide unnecessary and helps to enrich any programs a viewer might be interested in by offering online info.

In May, Google signed an agreement with Sony to launch the internet TV. Devices powered by Google TV now are Sony Internet TV and Blu-Ray player, and Logitech on its companion box. It’s not known yet whether Google will expand the Google TV in Europe. Probably, the company will wait until the launch in Britain to get feedback from users and broadband TV services.

Airtel Begins Search for Rising Stars As Camps Open in S/West, S/South

Telecommunications giant, Airtel Nigeria has officially kicked-off the search for the next football super-stars just as it has announced the commencement of open football camps in key cities across the South West and South-South parts of the country.

According to Airtel, the skill tests and regional contests of the Airtel Rising Stars football tournament will hold across eight locations in Nigeria, including Lagos, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Jos, Ibadan, Benin and Port Harcourt.

The Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director of Airtel Nigeria, Deepak Srivastava said the regional open camp will help guarantee that every young talented soccer player in Nigeria gets a chance to showcase his or her skills to leading scouts and coaches, adding that Airtel is committed to taking its search to the furthest parts of the country in a bid to realize its vision of empowering talented boys and girls who are under the age of 17.

Srivastava added that “Airtel Nigeria is preparing for the official start of the Airtel Rising Stars football tournament across the country as the registration process has now been completed. The tournament promises to be exciting and challenging as over 5,000 teenage boys and girls have applied and are ready to pursue their passion for football to the next level.

“At Airtel Nigeria, we are committed to creating a powerful platform that will play a crucial role in transforming talented youths in the country. The Airtel Rising Stars is one of such initiative and we are confident that the programme will add real value to the lives of our youths,” he stated.

Further selection will see the very best stars going to the Institute for Sports Science in South Africa for training and development. The competition will produce three boys and three girls who will be selected to attend the soccer boot camp in South Africa along with other Airtel Rising Stars winners from the other countries in Africa.

The tournament is currently underway in 15 countries in Africa with up to 3,000 participating teams. “What makes Airtel Rising Stars different from any other football tournament is the sheer scale and grandeur of this initiative. The tournament is being played by thousands of youth across the continent – it is really quite spectacular”, explains Andre Beyers, Chief Marketing Officer, Airtel Africa.

Relevant ministries and institutions who oversee sport administration in Nigeria as well as the local football associations, are cooperating with Airtel in order to ensure that all boys and girls, under the age of 17, who are passionate about the game will have the chance to test their abilities in the sport.

Thursday 25 August 2011

Cadbury Launches New Bournvita Campaign on Facebook and Google

One of the leading beverage company in Nigeria, Cadbury has just launched a new campaign on Facebook and Google for the new look Bournvita. Guess what they called it? The New Bourn Identity.

The campaign slogan which is a play on the American block-buster movie
The Bourne Identity
shows the popular chocolate drink reshaped and reborn in an exciting, elegant and reliable handy jar.

The Facebook application of the campaign ad is one of the best animated designs we’ve seen so far. It displays the Bournvita jar on the spotlight with camera flickers coming from the skycrappers on the Lagos Island.

In April 2011, Kraft Foods SA, the parent company of Cadbury Nigeria invested N8 billion in a new Bournvita manufacturing facility in Lagos.

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Facebook Catching up with Google+ by Changing Tagging Options

Facebook has finally introduced the long-awaited changes to its user functionality which helping users to avoid being tagged in undesirable photos. With this step, Facebook is close at Google+’s heels.

According to a report from Popsop, the changes will allow Facebook users to see who can view content on their profile page, and approve any images they are tagged in before it is visible to their friends, as explained the vice president of product, Chris Cox in his post on Facebook. He claimed that users will now be able to command who among their friends list can see their postings. It will allow users to create smaller groups of people from their main friends list.

The function is similar to Google+’s Circles feature, which allows a user to manage their contacts adding them to various lists, or ‘Circles’.

Users won’t be able to delete the photos posted by another user they don’t like , but they will be able to suggest other user that it should be removed in a quick and appropriate way. It’s a kind of turnabout for Facebook, which previously encouraged users to share the more the better.

Since the launch of Google+, Facebook has been seriously involved into improving its platform to stay the top social one. A week after Google+ launched with group video calls, Facebook announced a partnership with Skype to introduce video calling on the site.

According to the WSJ, Google spokeswoman said in a statement: “We welcome Facebook’s efforts to give users more control over their privacy because it helps to improve the overall web experience. With Google+ we’re creating a new and different approach to make sharing on the Web more like sharing in the real world.”

Facebook also introduced instant group mobile messaging earlier this month. The similar feature Google+ rolled out at the end of June.

All In The Name of Branding

Showing loyalty to their favourite brands.

Can you have this on your kid?

Google... A great brand!

Friday 19 August 2011

Excitement as Maltina Dance All Season 5 Auditions Come to an End

In what could be described as the most exciting family reality TV show in Nigeria, the fifth season of the Maltina Dance All (MDA) regional auditions lived up to its billing as the curtains finally fell.

During the auditions, the judges selected people who would represent their respective families at the Maltina Academy in August. MDA is a unique TV reality show where families strive to outdo each other through the mastery of various types of dance steps ranging from Wazobia, Jive, Pantomime, Samba to Salsa.

This year’s regional auditions took place in Abuja, Enugu, Port-Harcourt, Ibadan, Lagos and Benin and were undoubtedly memorable in the hearts of millions of Nigerians by the excitement and buzz surrounding them. Season 5′s MDA auditions featured an unprecedented number of contestants across the 6 regions where the auditions were held. Contestants came out in droves displaying their dancing skills in intense try-outs.

The first day of the auditions witnessed a contest within the four different age categories of 5–12 years, 13–18 years, 19-30 years and 30 years and above, where contestants had the chance of winning Honda Generators, Samsung TV sets and Samsung Home Theatres. While the second day, only dancers between the ages of 18-30 years competed to qualify for a place in the MDA Academy.

The auditions, which took off in Abuja and Enugu simultaneously, were filled with thrill and excitement. In Abuja, The ultra modern conference hall of the NICON Luxury Hotel played host to some of the best dancers across the nation’s capital. At the end of it all, the judges picked Bukunmi Olukitibi, Emmanuel Atunonwu, Esther Dare, Pius Apeh, Patrick Dare, Chinonso Omeire, Paul Odigie and Onome Utogo as winners for that Region.

Enugu presented an electrifying and charged atmosphere for the auditions. Muyiwa Osinaike, veteran dancer, choreographer and one of the judges said that the Enugu auditions this year were better than past years’. This he attributed to better awareness and more mileage for the event. The eight finalists comprised of four young men; Ezuika Justice Chinedu, Chimezie Patterson Emeka, Achor Ifeanyi George, Nnajiofor Obinna Onyekachi and four young women; Anosike Sophia Chibugo, Iyori Ivory Dosa, Ugboka Mercy and Anigbogu Ukamaka.

The oil rich city of Port-Harcourt came alive when MDA 5 stormed the Atrium Centre for auditions. Considering it was the first time MDA held auditions in the region, the turnout was overwhelming with over 700 contestants trying out to be a part of MDA. It was a hectic but rewarding task for the judges to determine winners in the various categories. After much contemplation, the judges were able to distinguish eight dancers who exhibited exceptional dance skills – one of the criteria for admittance into the academy. These eight include; Jerry Ukadike, Ebimene Ekubo, Ogechi Chidi, Prince Welekwe, Jones Pius Sampson, Esther Monday, Melanie Onyebuagu and Onyenwe Cynthia.

The ancient and quiet city of Ibadan was not left out of the excitement when the MDA challenged the inhabitants of the city to “show their swagger.” Being a first in the Pace-Setter state, MDA still recorded an upsurge of participants at the Jogor Centre, Liberty Road.

One of the highlights in the Ibadan auditions is the story of Biachi Gloria, the first runner-up in the 13-19 years category and proud winner of a television set. She was full of excitement and joy. Showing enthusiasm for her win, she said, “This is my fifth year in MDA regional auditions and I have always made it to the semi-final stage but never to the finals. In the first three editions of MDA, I auditioned at Lagos but last year I traveled to Lagos, Benin and Kaduna and still didn’t make it beyond the semi-finals. I went to Abuja this year but still did not make it, now I auditioned at Ibadan and finally I am a proud winner of a Television set. I am so grateful to Maltina.” The eight finalists to emerge from Ibadan are; Peterside Promise, Michael Owolabi, Aina Damilola, Abisola Salawu, Dada Olalekan, Fashina Olakunle, Ngwu Kanayo and Ogechi Ochiagha.

The MDA 5 regional auditions in Lagos and Benin which also held simultaneously signaled an end to the regional auditions. The Benin regional auditions which held at Excalibur hotel saw impressive performances by dance contestants. Bimbo Obafunwa, a dancer and one of the judges at the event said “We have auditioned in Benin for more than four years and it has been quite impressive. Benin has a good turnout of people every year and more so, we had very good dancers with a lot of potentials”. The final eight chosen from the Benin auditions include; Daniel Victor, Edoho Princess Enobong, Joy Efe, Azikwe Emmanuel, Akata Princess Omamekpe, Joy Ovuakporaye, Karo Etudunwun and Kelvin Idahosa.

The regional auditions in Lagos proved to be one of the most interesting, considering that Lagos is the focal point of entertainment in Nigeria. The anticipation and excitement at the National Theatre, venue of the Lagos audition, was executed amidst palpable excitement. Thousands of contestants thronged the venue of the auditions in the early hours of the morning all set to show their skills. The contestants displayed a high level of dexterity and know-how of many dance styles which proved a feat for the judges to decide upon. At the end of the keenly contested auditions; Ogechi Okuledogu, Omukoyem Catherine, Gloria Biachi, Ayo Ojueromi, Ali Praise, Adekpe Kerry, Michael Obi and Damilola Titiloya emerged as representatives of the Lagos region.

Speaking at one of the regional auditions, Muyiwa Osinaike, veteran dancer, choreographer and one of the judges said that the auditions were interesting and very entertaining. He based his criteria for selecting the final eight on five basic standards. First is the dancer’s creative ability, then his or her knowledge of different dance styles, ability to teach and learn fast, stamina and brand fitness, i.e. ability to align with the Maltina brand values and represent the brand well.

During the press briefing about MDA 5 on June 28, Maltina promised to make MDA 5 bigger, better and bolder. In this light, Nigerian Breweries Plc announced an upward review of the prize money. Following the new arrangement, the winning family will now take home N5 million in addition to a brand new family car, while the first and second runners up will take home N1 million and N500, 000 respectively.

Monday 15 August 2011

Guinness World Records updates image with fresh digital strategy

Guinness World Records is updating its image with a global campaign aimed at engaging a fresh generation with its renowned publication. The brand is to make its consumer website central to its strategy, and is positioning it as an online world records platform.

The site, created by Untitled, will feature books, games and TV shows. It has been designed to appeal to seven to 11-year-olds and will be launched later this month. The site is billed as a ‘record-breaking’ platform that will enable fans to try to set world records, which will be authenticated by official adjudicators. Successful record-breakers will feature on the site.

The overhaul includes a digital marketing push in the UK. The campaign, created by Holler, will roll out next month, to coincide with the publication of Guinness World Records 2012.

Guinness is inviting fans to take part in a Facebook competition to win a ‘record of a lifetime’ and appear in the 2013 book. Meanwhile, the 2012 annual will feature augmented reality content, with exclusive videos of record-breakers.

Apple becomes world’s most valuable company

Apple became the world’s largest company by market capitalisation, trading places with oil firm Exxon Mobil several times during the day.

The Cupertino-based vendor saw its shares rise 6.1 percent to US$374.61 on the Nasdeq Stock Market during the course of Tuesday trading, giving it a capitalisation of US$347.3 billion. Although Exxon Mobil ended the day in top spot, the two will vie for the title of world’s most valuable company again today.

Apple’s rise to the top follows a 14-year transformation from a personal computer also-ran into a seller of everything from smartphones to digital music. Most importantly, the company has led the way in most of its market sectors, pioneering new technology.

Facebook launches Messenger app for mobile

Facebook has launched a mobile app to let people message each other instantly from their phones.

The app allows people to send messages to more than one person at a time, and also as an SMS to a user’s phone contacts who are not on Facebook.The development of the app follows Facebook’s acquisition of mobile group messaging company Beluga in March.

Facebook engineer and Beluga co-founder Lucy Zhang, said on the company blog: “Messenger is a separate app, so it only takes one click to get to your messages or send a new one. Messages are delivered through notifications and texts, so your friends are more likely to get them right away. You can use Messenger to reach all of your friends – whether they’re on Facebook or in your phone contacts. All you have to do is type the person’s name.”

As with Facebook’s other mobile products and apps, there is not yet any commercial opportunity on the app and no advertising planned.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

RIM to introduce new BlackBerry 7 smartphones

Research in Motion has announced plans to introduce five new BlackBerry smartphones based on the BlackBerry 7 Operating System.

RIM, in conjunction with carriers and distribution partners around the world, is rolling out two new BlackBerry Bold models and three new BlackBerry Torch models, all running the powerful new BlackBerry 7 OS, according to a report by Google on Tuesday.

The unveiling of this family of handsets will be RIM’s largest global launch ever and more than 225 carriers and distribution partners have already commenced or completed over 500 certification programmes for the five new handsets. Featuring RIM’s next generation of hardware and software platforms, the five new BlackBerry 7 based smartphones offer users a variety of designs to choose from and deliver the ultimate in communications, multimedia and productivity.

The new BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 are RIM’s thinnest smartphones ever, each offering a large keyboard and brilliant touch display. The new BlackBerry Torch 9810 smartphone builds on the popularity of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and combines a large touch display with a convenient slide-out keyboard.

The BlackBerry Torch 9850 and 9860 introduce an all-new, all-touch design featuring the largest display on a BlackBerry smartphone to date. “This is the largest global launch of BlackBerry smartphones in our history,” said President and Co-CEO of Research In Motion, Mike Lazaridis.

Monday 8 August 2011

Unilever Nigeria celebrates 20 years partnership with NDA on oral health

Unilever Nigeria Plc , a leading brand in foods, home care and personal care on Friday celebrated its 20 years of effective partnership with Nigerian Dental Association on improve Oral Health in the country with the unveiling of a new logo to mark the event.

The Managing Director, Unilever Plc, Mr Thabo Mabe said the company had partnered effectively with Nigerian Dental Association (NDA) for over 20 years to drive Dental health education in schools, hospitals, and communities, saying with the statistics on ground was to ensure that people were aware of health condition of their tooth.

He expressed happiness with the launching of the new logo, noting that it was a special way of saying a big thank to loyal consumers that helped in driving the activities of the company to make Nigeria better.

President of NDA, Dr. Olufemi Orebanjo stated that the partnership with Unilever had improved oral health care among Nigerians through various means, stating that lives had been touched and resulted in behavioural change.

“We have got more Nigerians to brush twice in a day which is the bane of prevention of oral diseases,” he said. He revealed that there were two projects running with Unilever, they are social mission (brush twice daily) and live learn and laugh." he said.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

AAAN unveils 2011 Ideas’ award in advertising

In a bid to identify and celebrate creative professionals in the integrated marketing communication industry, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) has unveiled a line-up of activities for the 2011 Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival (LAIF) Awards which will commence between August 1 and October 22.

According to AAAN, the intention is to continue to encourage practitioners to greater heights in the development of strong and original ideas and the execution of such ideas and an opportunity to show that the marketing communication field is what brands the world. The association also commended the media for the good coverage it gave to past editions hoping that this time around the media will continue to give the 2011 LAIF awards good publicity.

This year’s edition of the award has been expanded and the activities, which would culminate in an award dinner on October 22 start with the entry for the award, which opens on August 1 and closes on September 9, verification of the entries on September 23, juror sitting between September 26 and 30, seminar and exhibition on October 13.

GTBank Introduces Fast-Track Banking Services

In a bid to continually reposition its services for enhanced and efficient customer service delivery, one of Africa’s foremost banks, Guaranty Trust Bank has introduced an exclusive in-branch banking service for all its customers called ‘FASTTRACK'.

The FastTrack which is the first of its kind to be implemented in the Nigerian Banking industry, is a fast, secure, innovative in-branch banking service exclusive to GTBank customers that allows them perform all cash based banking transactions with only their debit cards and the PIN-PADS. It is a new, secure technology service that is now available in all GTBank branches and has been described as convenient, secure and efficient.

According to the bank, the service is set to revolutionalize service delivery by significantly reducing turn-around time for walk-in customers who wish to conduct cash based deposits and withdrawals and added that the PIN-PADS are implemented to ensure seamless operations of the Fast track service and is exclusive only to GTBank account and Naira MasterCard holders.

The Bank was recently adjudged the Best Bank in Nigeria at the 2011 Euromoney Awards for the third consecutive year. It presently has significant footprint in all Anglophone West African Countries and the United Kingdom.