BrandArena: December 2011

Thursday 29 December 2011

Heineken Magnum In Demand For Season Celebrations

Barely a month after it was launched into the Nigerian market at an explosive event tagged “Hat Trick,” Heineken Magnum, the only beer that pops, has continued to be in high demand this yuletide season among beer lovers. The premium beer brand is fast becoming the symbol of celebration and optimum enjoyment because of its champagne features.

Heineken Magnum is an impressive 1.5 liter bottle filled with the international premium Heineken lager beer, designed for sharing, and with a cork, ready to pop to any premium occasion. The new product is part of a brand proposition process designed to ensure Heineken keeps surprising and remains connected to the cosmopolitan and classy Nigerian consumers.

The premium Heineken Magnum, permits for the first time in Nigeria, the sharing of beer and has also redefined beer consumption with its highly attractive packaging which can be easily spotted at social events and other engagement points around major cities across the country.

Already, the excellent product packaging of Heineken Magnum is an instant hit and has been eliciting excitement from consumers. Seun Ajayi, a Lagos-based event executive, said that the packaging of the beer “is way out of this clime and the taste is still the same which is a great plus for NB.”

Also, Jide Sobajo, a banker, applauded the trendy champagne-like packaging as unique. Ayoade Adegbite, an Oil and Gas executive says the Heineken Magnum is a nice and classy innovation that caught his attention instantly. “I believe without doubt that this will be an instant hit with upwardly mobile Nigerians, even those who are aspirational and have not ‘gotten there yet’ can still make do with Magnum.”

Ayo Adeyinka, a banker also applauded the Magnum as “very innovative and challenging to other Lager beer brands. I hope they will not run other beers out of the market?” Akinwande Yemi, a Wine Dealer equally applauded the bottle as “a great concept, this is the first beer ever coming up with a champagne feel. I love it.”

Distributors have also joined in savoring the thrills and pomp generated by this remarkable development. For Mr. Stephen Alado, a Kaduna-based distributor who has been distributing beer and other products for 49 years, “the innovation of Heineken Magnum is certainly going to expand and generate sales for us.”

Only recently, Jacqueline van Faassen, Senior Brand Manager, Heineken, pointed out that Heineken Magnum contains the same high quality premium Heineken lager beer and should be served in ice in a Heineken ice bucket and with the Heineken “super prestige” glasses to give that super premium impression and for the ‘Perfect Serve’.

Event of the Week: Flytime Productions presents Coloured Girls

In a bid to bring to the Nigerian stage the critically acclaimed play “For Coloured Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow is Enuf”, Flytime Promotions has partnership with award wining Nigerian playwright and stage director Wole Oguntokun. The event set to hold on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th December 2011 at Shell Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

The multi-award winning play written by Ntozake Shange will be performed live on stage today at the Shell Hall, Muson Center, Onikan Lagos and features an all-star female cast of Joke Silva, Ireti Doyle, Matilda Obaseki, Marcy Dolapo Oni, Tiwa Savage, Reanne Weruche Opia, Omawumi and Olajumoke Ladi Bello. The Nigerian adaptation while remaining true to the original play will be a poetic exploration of what it means to be an African woman living in the 21st century.

Ticket for Regular is N5000 while VIP tickets go for N15,000. Ticket could be purchased at Ozone Cinemas, E-Center, Yaba, Lagos; Images & Prints, Silverbird Galleria, 133 Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos; Koko Lounge, E-Center, Yaba, Lagos | Velvet Boutique and Savvie Hair Boutique, Aworie Road, Dolphin Estate, Ogunsiji Drive, Ikeja, Lagos.

Thursday 22 December 2011

Ads: Who Should Be Held Responsible For Failed Brand Promises?

No doubt, advertising is one of the most used marketing communication tool due to is wide reach; it is use to persuade potential costumers, aid repeat purchase, increase market share, introduce new brand(s) and so on through the brand promise.
Lately, due to stiff competition among brands to gain higher market share by making their target audience see the reasons why they are better in their category among their peers; thus, makes promises that could not be fulfilled in their adverts.

Even as many companies seek the aid of advert agencies to get creative and innovative ideas in order to win the minds of their target audience in the face of their competitor, failed promises are made to the customers.

Some brands create a psychological thought that you can be more beautiful and totally protected from germs after using certain soap; some claimed that - clothes will be exceptionally clean after applying a drop of its detergent in the water before washing or that you will feel on top of the world after you take a bottle of a certain brand of soft drink. For example: Hypo television commercial which revealed how clean and shining a white shirt looks that his colleagues who saw the brand user alight from his car had to use a sun-shade before they could look at him.
Some customers will expect those veiled promises to be fulfilled but contrarily, the advertisements are playing with our minds. They leave pleasurable sensations in us and that could encourage us to go for the brand in the market.

But there are times when very concrete specific promises are made. For example; an internet service provider that tells you that the speed of your internet connection is going to work within a twinkle of an eyes, a detergent that promise to wipe off all the stains on your cloths but after using its brand but after using the said brand, some stains still.

Most times, the aim of the company who place an advert is to get more customers to spend money on their brand(s) and they often succeed. With this line of reasoning, what happens when those promises are not met?

The best customers often get from the brand company are apologizes. The case of the telecom companies is even more alarming. No doubt, many brands accomplish their brand promise(s), but it is also a fact that often these products or services suffer technical hitches or are stopped altogether and the company does not bother to offer any explanations.

Taking a critical look into the telecommunication sector in the country, virtually all the telecom service providers make gargantuan advertisements all through the year with different brand promises which is based on their brand positioning. But the truth is – some times the promises are not attained to the level of its guarantee to the costumers in their adverts.

The question in the mind of many customers nowadays is: "who was to blame for my spending money on a product I might never have purchased if not for the advertisement? Was it a deliberate act of deception by the brand’s company or I didn’t follow the brand’s recommendations? Some times brands through their ads promise their target prospects heaven and earth which in reality could not be actualized.

According to Bola Fagade, an ICT expert, people take decisions on how to spend their money based on promises made. “I think this is gross exploitation. If these promises are not delivered someone should be made to pay. If not it becomes very easy for a company to make an offer it never intended to deliver or planned to deliver for only a short period of time. Meanwhile they would have generated lots of income from the unsuspecting consumers. Consumers should be protected against such acts,” he said.

“Recently, I received a text message from my mobile phone service, Airtel to subscribe for a free club alert by send a code for free with my club name and be eligible to alert about my favourite club. I subscribed for the package not knowing that I was also subscribed to another plan, only for Airtel to deduct N100 from my credit. I called their customer service to inform them what happened, after my explanation all I could get was apology. The customer service lady kept saying that they are sorry and my money was not replaced. To me, that’s really unfair”, said an aggrieved student of Lagos State University, Faruq Tejuoso.

In Chichi Lawrence’s opinion, a Marketer, the brand manager who intend to make he/she brand unique most times lead to a huge challenge for advertising agencies to capture the idea and the outlined positioning of the brand thus lead the advert agency into so much exaggeration in depicting the uniqueness of the brand.

His words: “Advertising agency end up using a lot of exaggeration in order to satisfy the brand handler who intend to make their brand unique in its category and also to psychologically give the impression of the best among the rest. Getting the message delivered on point at this extent at times lead to this issues so brand managers need to understand that such promises if not realistic to the consumers could hinder consumers’ impression on such brands”.

Femi Babawale, a Blogger, agreed with Lawrence view, he added that there is also need for the Advertising Practitioners Association of Nigeria and other concern bodies to be object even when brands manager tend to pressurize them in delivering an exclusive adverting concepts.

Still, the question remains - who should be held responsible for failed brand promise(s): the brand’s company, the advert agency, regulatory body in the country or the target prospect that purchase the product after been convinced by the advert?


Wednesday 21 December 2011

From Benetton’s COLORS, with LOVE

COLORS magazine gives UNHATE DOVE to the city of Tripoli as a sign of peace and hope. The large, dove-shaped sculpture is covered in over 22,000 spent cartridges picked up in the world’s “hot spots”.

Made by Fabrica, the art installation will be officially donated to Tripoli on Saturday 24 December 2011, Independence Day, which the Libyan people are celebrating again for the first time in 42 years. The event is part of the Benetton Group’s UNHATE Foundation’s programme

“The official handing-over of the dove is the UNHATE Foundation’s first act, both concrete and symbolic,” said Alessandro Benetton, Benetton Group’s executive deputy chairman. “Our aim in creating the Foundation is to oppose the culture of hate. It seeks to be a leader and driving force behind the desire for participation and change felt by citizens of the world, especially young people”.

The cartridge cases were mounted on the dove in the University of Tripoli. They were collected by COLORS from people who live in areas where armed conflicts seem to run on endlessly and who desperately ask for an end to hostilities: from the hands of children, from operating theatres in war-zone hospitals, from the mothers of young men killed during revolutions, from the victims of persecution.

Someone who finds a cartridge case finds a sign of death. Not her or his death, miraculously. But death is in the air, it can come at any time, from anywhere. From the right or wrong side? The answer is worthless, because life is the only value worth defending.

This “war waste” is also the theme of WITH LOVE, a COLORS special issue telling the stories of imprisoned lives that do not have the freedom to choose on which side to stay. There are love stories, too, of those who hold out in order to defend life. Like the 50 journalists working for Shabelle Media Network, an independent radio station of Mogadishu, Somalia, which broadcasts to a catchment area of some 250 km and online. Far from their loved ones, these brave journalists live barricaded in their studio because they fear the vengeance of Al Shabab. They put their safety at risk in order to provide non-partisan information.

Mayada, 55, decided to tell her story because the world should know what is happening in Syria where armed militias have for months repressed popular demonstrations with bloodshed, causing thousands of victims. After fleeing to Lebanon with her husband and their 18-year-old daughter, Mayada is anxiously awaiting the day when she can return to her homeland, which for her has the greatest value of all.

The Egyptian blogger Mina Ibrahim Daniel, Copt, fought for freedom and social justice too and believed in respecting religious beliefs. He was killed together with 24 others on 9 October 2011 during the Maspero demonstrations.

WITH LOVE is available in four bilingual editions: English + Italian, French, Spanish or Arabic. This issue will also be available in digital form to facilitate even wider circulation, especially among the young people who subscribed with great force and support – especially online – to the UNHATE Foundation’s message.

Blockbuster 'Figurine' Out on DVD

After three years of its debut, multiple award winning movie, Figurine will be released into the market in DVD format on December 23.

The Figurine - Araromire - Movies which was produced by Kunle Afolayan featuring Ramsey Noah, Kunle Afolayan, Funlola Awofiyebi-Raimi, Omoni Oboli, Chief Mulaina Oyelami and Tosin Sido received 10 nominations and won five awards at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2010 including the Best Picture, Heart of Africa, AMAA Achievement in Cinematography and AMAA Achievement in Visual Effect.

The release will be handled by Highway Distribution across the country and will also be available in the United State, United Kingdom and online (

Two buddies and a girl all down on their luck have their lives changed after one of them discovers "ARAROMIRE"- A mysterious figurine in an abandoned shrine which according to ancient legen, bestows seven years of good luck. But no one told them about the next seven years.

It tells a Nigerian movie with a Yoruba background. The story revolves around a wooden god - A figurine - A statue that represents a deity called Araromire.

Five Companies Plan to Jointly form ‘Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative’

Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony and Toshiba recently announced that they have reached an agreement in principle to collaborate on a new content protection technology for flash memory cards such as SD cards and various other storage devices. This content protection solution, tentatively named “Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative”, will be robust enough to protect HD content, the companies claim. For the details, visit the website below.

This content protection solution will be robust enough to protect HD content. A high level of content security will be realized through the use of the initiative’s technologies, including unique ID (identification) technology for flash memory and robust copy protection based on public key infrastructure.

The five companies believe this technology will enable various HD content applications such as HD network download, broadcast content to go and HD Digital Copy/Managed Copy from Blu-ray DiscTM*2 media. With these applications, users can enjoy HD content on a wide range of devices, including AndroidTM*3-based smartphones and tablets, TVs and Blu-rayTM*4 products.

The five companies believe that they each can make substantial contributions that, when combined, will enable them to start licensing the new secure memory technology early next year. The five companies expect to see adoption of flash memory products and various embedded flash memory solutions using this technology in the market in 2012.

Corporate CTO, Panasonic Corporation, Yoshiyuki Miyabe said: “Panasonic has always been an innovator in providing the best possible content viewing experience in the living room through development of Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3DTM technologies and products”.

“Samsung believes that the time is ripe for an advanced security solution and welcomes the opportunity to deliver a highly viable solution using flash memory chips. Samsung’s ongoing commitment to technology excellence will now further extend to early market availability of high-performance NAND technologies implementing the new advanced security solution,” said Young-Hyun Jun, Executive Vice President, Memory Business, Samsung Electronics. Co., Ltd.

“We believe the secure solution created by this initiative will enable customers to enjoy high quality experiences anytime, anywhere. Sony has always been focused on bringing amazing experiences to people through highly-advanced technologies in content creation, content distribution and picture display,” said Hiroshi Yoshioka, Corporate Executive Officer and Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation.

TFC Opens Apapa Outlet

In line with its customer friendly policy, Tastee Fried Chicken, (TFC) a leading firm in Quick Service Restaurant(QSR) in the country has opened a new outlet at Apapa, the nation’s premier port, with a promise to render superb services to its customers.
According to the Managing Director of TFC, Mrs. Olayinka Pamela Adedayo, the Tastee Group which started business in August 1989 in Festac, and expanded into Surulere in 1993, has brought new lease of life in the QSR culture in Nigeria.

She said over the years, the company had grown not only the brand, but the industry as well, bringing new ideas that have encouraged more investors, into the QSR sector in Nigeria.

Adedayo said “TFC’s consistent push for defining and re-defining the concepts of service, qualitative products and exquisite ambience has remained a reference point for Nigeria and even West Africa. This can be attested to by numerous awards that it has won year on since inception, including the recent West Africa Tourism and Hospitality Awards as best Platinum QSR for 2011; the same award it won in 2010 amidst tight competition from other strong fast food brands.”

She said the firm’s delay in coming into Apapa was not deliberate adding that the area being an business hub in Nigeria deserved TFC presence. She promised that TFC will continue to serve good food that is hygienically prepared to customers delight .

TFC engages in the processing of chicken into various delicacies such as crispy chicken and chicken topper salad; The company also processes some other food products like meat, flour, rice and vegetable into finished products such as burristos, yamarita, pams rice, pottage hash, beef pasta and many more.

Tuesday 20 December 2011

HP Brings Cheer to Holiday Wish Lists with Printers and Personalized Gifts

In a quest to ensure that its teeming customers enjoy their festive season in style, meet their variety of tastes and budgets, the world’s largest technology company, HP has introduced a new photo and wall décor as well as a range of sleek, web-connected printers that blend in with the design of any room.

With gift options for everyone on the holiday list – from tech savvy individuals to avid photographers and home interior enthusiasts, the company recently initiated affordable tech gifts for home and office featuring the latest technology, supplies and apps, HP’s printing solutions complement any home, entertainment centre, office or home office.

HP enables customers to bring personal touches into their homes in new ways with customizable home décor, artwork and photo gifts.

The new range of HP Photosmart printers are designed for photo and document printing in the home. With easy-to-use features, affordable prices and smart designs, these printers are perfect for the whole family. With HP ePrint and AirPrint technologies users can print from virtually anywhere.

Its newly introduced Snapfish makes it easy to get creative during the holidays with a wide range of photo gifts, from cards and calendars to posters and photo books. Customize any room with Snapfish. Home interior gifting is made easy with favourites such as framed photo canvases, acrylics and collage posters.
From large coffee table photo books to small books that make great stocking-fillers, Snapfish offers easy tools and fun ideas to create sentimental holiday gifts.

With the new photo organizer, collecting photos for books is easier than ever. Personalizing books is simple and fun with many themes and fonts to choose from. All Snapfish photo books are now printed on thicker and higher quality paper, making photo books even more exciting to show off and give.

HP high-capacity value (XL) cartridges which typically offer 2 times more prints compared with standard Original HP ink cartridges, now allow customers to print an optimum number of holiday snaps and give 50 per cent lower cost-per-page than with Standard cartridges.

HP printers are backed by HP Total Care, the company’s award-winning support program for both in- and out-of-warranty products. HP Total Care includes 24 hours access to phone support agents and to online support options like the HP Consumer Support Forum and the HP Facebook page.

The HP Consumer Support Forum will host an Expert Day on Jan.11, featuring more than 100 experts on hand to answer questions and provide tips and tricks so customers can get the most out of their new holiday technology.

Event of the Week: Calabar Carnival Queen Pageant 2011

Airtel Nigeria Excites Customers with New BlackBerry Packages

Telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria has launched two new Blackberry packages with enhanced features to delight Nigerians. The new Blackberry packages from Airtel come loaded with unique features and the packages have been specially designed to help people stay connected to business partners, family and friends.

The Airtel BlackBerry tiered service is designed to give customers across its various segments remote access to information. In addition to the latest services, Airtel BlackBerry suites of products boast of unique features such as Enterprise Solutions, Internet Solutions and BlackBerry Lite for both social and messaging plans.

The two new packages, Blackberry Complete and Blackberry Social from Airtel, are available on the daily, weekly and monthly subscription options. With the new packages, Nigerians can now enjoy Blackberry services from Airtel for as low as N100 (one hundred naira) per day, and N400 per week.

The monthly fee for the BlackBerry Social suite is now one thousand, two hundred naira only (N1,200)while the Blackberry Complete from Airtel package is available at one thousand, four hundred naira only (N1,400).

The BlackBerry Complete service from Airtel allows for internet browsing,100 free SMSs every month for on net (Airtel to Airtel), free 50 SMSs per week and free weekly information on the BlackBerry devices and the services it provides, while the Blackberry Social plan allows for all the benefits associated with the Complete plan except internet browsing.

Customers can activate the latest Blackberry plans from Airtel through SMS and by short code and have access to an exciting total Blackberry experience that offers email service, instant messaging, internet access, Blackberry App World and social networking, amongst others. Customers can opt for the Airtel Blackberry Social Plan via SMS by simply sending the word “bsm” to 440 while those who choose the Complete Plan need to send the word, “bcm” to 440. Customers can also use short codes to indicate and activate their preferred plan. To activate the daily plan, customers are required to dial the short code *440*6#; and *440*5# for the weekly plan while the monthly plan can be activated with *440*5#.

The company, affirmed that the latest additions to the Airtel Blackberry bouquet was hinged not only on the yearning of customers for Blackberry Internet service, but also on Airtel’s desire to give customers complete communication package that seamlessly connects them with loved ones and associates, keeps them socially relevant and serves as their mobile office while on the go.

“We have with these additions, further removed the entry barrier for both our old and new customers to have unhindered access to the Blackberry service irrespective of class or social standing. Through this intervention, we have made the service more affordable to Nigerians and at the same time, added more features that will clearly complement the lifestyles of our customers” he said.

IBM Reveals Five Innovations That Will Change Our Lives within Five Years

 IBM formally unveiled the sixth annual ‘IBM 5 in 5’ (#ibm5in5)—a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and interact during the next five years.

The next IBM 5 in 5 is based on market and societal trends as well as emerging technologies from IBM’s research labs around the world that can make these transformations possible.
At IBM, we’re bridging the gap between science fiction and science fact on a daily basis. Here are how five technologies will define the future:
People power will come to life.
Anything that moves or produces heat has the potential to create energy that can be captured. Walking. Jogging. Bicycling. The heat from your computer. Even the water flowing through your pipes.

Advances in renewable energy technology will allow individuals to collect this kinetic energy, which now goes to waste, and use it to help power our homes, offices and cities.
Imagine attaching small devices to the spokes on your bicycle wheels that recharge batteries as you pedal along. You will have the satisfaction of not only getting to where you want to go, but at the same time powering some of the lights in your home.
Created energy comes in all shapes and forms and from anything around us. IBM scientists in Ireland are looking at ways to understand and minimize the environmental impact of converting ocean wave energy into electricity.
You will never need a password again.
Your biological makeup is the key to your individual identity, and soon, it will become the key to safeguarding it. 

You will no longer need to create, track or remember multiple passwords for various log-ins. Imagine you will be able to walk up to an ATM machine to securely withdraw money by simply speaking your name or looking into a tiny sensor that can recognize the unique patterns in the retina of your eye. Or by doing the same, you can check your account balance on your mobile phone or tablet.
Each person has a unique biological identity and behind all that is data. Biometric data – facial definitions, retinal scans and voice files – will be composited through software to build your DNA unique online password.
Referred to as multi-factor biometrics, smarter systems will be able to use this information in real-time to make sure whenever someone is attempting to access your information, it matches your unique biometric profile and the attempt is authorized. To be trusted, such systems should enable you to opt in or out of whatever information you choose to provide.
Mind reading is no longer science fiction
From Houdini to Skywalker to X-Men, mind reading has merely been "wishful thinking" for science fiction fans for decades, but their wish may soon come true.

IBM scientists are among those researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a computer or a smartphone. If you just need to think about calling someone, it happens. Or you can control the cursor on a computer screen just by thinking about where you want to move it.
Scientists in the field of bioinformatics have designed headsets with advanced sensors to read electrical brain activity that can recognize facial expressions, excitement and concentration levels, and thoughts of a person without them physically taking any actions.
Within 5 years, we will begin to see early applications of this technology in the gaming and entertainment industry. Furthermore, doctors could use the technology to test brain patterns, possibly even assist in rehabilitation from strokes and to help in understanding brain disorders, such as autism. .
The digital divide will cease to exist.
In our global society, growth and wealth of economies are increasingly decided by the level of access to information. And in five years, the gap between information haves and have-nots will narrow considerably due to advances in mobile technology.

There are 7 billion people inhabiting the world today. In five years there will be 5.6 billion mobile devices sold – which means 80% of the current global population would each have a mobile device.
As it becomes cheaper to own a mobile phone, people without a lot of spending power will be able to do much more than they can today.
For example, in India, using speech technology and mobile devices, IBM enabled rural villagers who were illiterate to pass along information through recorded messages on their phones. With access to information that was not there before, villagers could check weather reports for help them decide when to fertilize crops, know when doctors were coming into town, and find the best prices for their crops or merchandise.
Growing communities will be able to use mobile technology to provide access to essential information and better serve people with new solutions and business models such as mobile commerce and remote healthcare.
Junk mail will become priority mail.
Think about how often we’re flooded with advertisements we consider to be irrelevant or unwanted. It may not be that way for long.

In five years, unsolicited advertisements may feel so personalized and relevant it may seem spam is dead. At the same time, spam filters will be so precise you’ll never be bothered by unwanted sales pitches again.
Imagine if tickets to your favorite band are put on hold for you the moment they became available, and for the one night of the week that is free on your calendar. Through alerts direct to you, you’ll be able to purchase tickets instantly from your mobile device. Or imagine being notified that a snow storm is about to affect your travel plans and you might want to re-route your flight?
IBM is developing technology that uses real-time analytics to make sense and integrate data from across all the facets of your life such as your social networks and online preferences to present and recommend information that is only useful to you.
From news, to sports, to politics, you’ll trust the technology will know what you want, so you can decide what to do with it.

Monday 19 December 2011

Monica Emerge MTN Project Fame Season 4 Winner

Monica, 22 years old emerge the winner of the season 4 edition of MTN Project Fame West Africa a sensational music talent hunt reality TV show; after seven long weeks. She beat five others to clinch the winning prize of a mouth watering recording contract, brand new RAV 4 jeep and 2.5 million naira.

Monica was announced the winner during the MTN Project Fame West Africa Season 4 grand finale aired on national television on Sunday. She got a whooping 7 million naira for herself.  Monica is the second female to have ever won the singing competition following massive votes that poured her way from ecstatic fans.

Roy was 1st runner up. He takes home 1.5 million naira and a Toyota corolla saloon car while Ethel emerged the 3rd runner up while Ese became the 2nd runner up.

The journey however isn’t over for Monica. Unlike other budding artiste in the music industry, she needs to take advantage of this victory to launch herself  into the industry by recording a hit single. Anything short of this may make her a quick flash in the pan,  if the experiences of former winners of such talent hunt show are anything to go by.

Monica adores artistes like Brandy, Tiwa Savage, Stella Damascus, Asa and Majid Michael. She is the last born of  a family of five boys and two girls and has a go-get-it outlook that perhaps stuck her quickly to her fans.

Guinness Nigeria Plc Introduce First Nigerian-Dialects Campaign

In a bid to further reach the heart of Nigerian communities, Guinness Nigeria Plc, has introduced a new campaign with the used of Nigerian dialects in addition to its English version.

The television commercial which is titled: 'The Ticket' depicted the story of a young chap's journey into manhood. The advert was said to have been shot in locations across Nigeria. It features a combination of prefessional Nigerian actors.

The new campaign according to the company, is the first Guinness commercial made in the three biggest Nigerian languages (Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo). The company states that 'The Ticket' is a testament to the enduring special relationship between Nigerians and Guinness and it is also to celebrate the special greatness of the brand.

It would be recalled that Guinness have over the years come up with different creative and innovative campaigns over the years such as the epic, long running Michael Power campaign, Nigeria versus Argentina Guinness VIP program among others.

Friday 16 December 2011

Timeline: Now Available Worldwide

Having announced at f8 conference in September, Facebook has kick off plans to activate Timeline for its more than 850 mlns users worldwide. Timeline will also be available on Android and

‘Timeline gives you an easy way to rediscover the things you shared, and collect your most important moments. It also lets you share new experiences, like the music you listen to or the miles you run. Starting today, timeline is now available everywhere’, read on its official blog.

With timeline, now Facebook users have access to a new tool called Activity Log. Users can activity log is a place where you can review all posts and activity, from today back to when you first started using Facebook. Only you can see your activity log.

To quickly find a certain type of story, click the "All" dropdown at the top of your activity log and select what you're looking for. For example, you can choose to see only photos or posts from apps.

Paramount Pictures Redesigns Logo for 100th Birthday

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, has unveiled a new company logo that commemorates the studio’s 100th Anniversary in show business. The new logo can be seen on the new Tom Cruise starrer, “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”. The movie will open in IMAX and on other premium large format screens on Friday, December 16th and in theatres everywhere on December 21st.

The studio’s first logo, a symbol of a rugged, snow-covered peak from the Wasatch mountain range, was created in 1916. The 100th Anniversary logo was created by Devastudios, Inc.

Paramount will use the logo throughout its centennial year in 2012. Beginning in 2013, the wordingabout the 100th anniversary will be removed from the logo, with the rest of the design remaining in use.

Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and Paramount Studio Group.

Count Down to MTN Project Fame West Africa Season 4: Who will Be the Winner?

As the competition of the fourth season of the MTN Project Fame reality show gradually pulls to the final stage, six contestants are left for a serious contest.

There are: Ese(4), Ethel(5), Monica(10), Roy(13), Ruth(14) and Yvonne(16). Audience are adjoined to vote for their favourite contestant by texting his/her unique number to 306 from an MTN line if in Liberia and Nigeria, from Comium line if in Sierra Leone and text to 1739 if in Ghana.

In just three days to the finale, the audience are anxious to see the winner emerge. The winner will walk hom,e with 2.5 million naira with a fully loaded Toyota Rav 4 jeep and a recording contract. Here is a profile of the final contestant:

Roy Egekwu

Roy will stop at nothing to be the best at what he is out to do. The tallest dude in the academy was born in November 1984, in Lagos, Nigeria. He is the third of five boys and one girl and speaks Igbo and English Languages. He started singing as a child. He remembers his days at the University of Benin fondly and enjoys meeting people and loved his former job as a Customer Service Officer. Roy is the last man standing.

Monica Ogah

Monica is a 22 year old Benue state singer, who started singing early in life and has found fulfillment in it. She is the last child of a family of four boys and two girls, and she holds family dear to her heart. She speaks the English, Idoma and Igede languages fluently.

Ethel Eshun

Ethel, the first of six children, was born on the 7th of June, 1992 in Accra, Ghana. She loves her father, enjoys his attention and is regarded as dad’s ‘girlfriend’.

Ruth Ohama

Ruth believes women should stand up and give life their best. She graduated with a BSc in Philosophy & Logic from the great Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri, Nigeria and is fluent in English, French and Igbo. Ruth was born on the 8th of June, 1989 and is the first born of Mr. & Mrs. Peter Chukwu of Aba, Abia State. She says Mr. Callistus Anopue her coach taught her very early to accept her person, which has helped her to discover, understand and appreciate herself.

Yvonne Denobis

Yvonne is a student of International Studies and Diplomacy of the University of Benin. Born in Lagos, and an indigene of Anambra State, this diva is 20 years of age and stands at 5ft 10inches. She loves swimming, which she describes as her second passion. Yvonne also loves to watch movies as well as do a lot of writing. She is the shy type but she says that the moment she kicks into her act, she keeps going. Even though Project Fame will be her first experience with performing for a crowd, she is willing to give it her best shot, and hoping to make her father very proud of her.

Ese Ahotwin

Ese is a big, bold and beautiful 25 year old born in Lagos State, Nigeria. She has a lovely ebony complexion, hails from Delta State and speaks fluent Yoruba and Englsih. Despite criticisms from the judges and going on probation a number of times, she has proved to be a good performer and is aiming for the grand prize.

Ok! Magazine Reality Show To Be Sponsored By imoovtv

OK! Magazine is proud to announce mobile TV service provider imoovtv, as Title Sponsor for its exciting new concept to find a junior editor, aptly called, Top Job. The show will commence early next year and seeks to broaden the minds of young writers who desire that dream job in the prestigious magazine.

Coming soon to the Nigerian market, imoovtv gives you easy access to watch local and international TV content LIVE on your smartphone including news, sports, entertainment, music and inspirational channels. For more information, visit

As title sponsor, imoovtv will be highly involved in all aspects of Top Job! and will be streamed LIVE on their platform, allowing smart phone users keep on top of the show - on the go.

Speaking about the sponsorship, Bassim Haidar, Founder, said, “We are delighted to be part of what promises to be an exciting venture; imoovtv will soon bring ‘Real Mobile TV’ to the Nigerian market and with 16 exciting channel’s to choose from, there is something for everyone. We look forward to airing the show on the imoovtv platform.”

The thirty minute weekly show will air on major television stations all over Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and is expected to run for eight weeks. Each episode will be packaged to highlight the values of the OK! International brand with a Nigerian twist.

Alexander Amosu, CEO of OK! Nigeria, said, “We are delighted to partner with imoovtv on this venture and look forward to a productive business relationship. Uniting with the imoovtv brand means that Top Job reality show will reach out to a wider audience.”

OK! Magazine also has the backing of telecoms giant MTN who recently, announced plans to be the premium sponsors for the launch of Ok! Magazine Nigeria. The new magazine is the latest addition to the 22 editions of OK! Magazine worldwide and is scheduled to launch in Lagos and London in January 2012.

OK! Magazine, owned by the independent publishers, Northern & Shell Worldwide, will be managed by Kamson Luxury Group, owned and operated by famed serial entrepreneur Alexander Amosu. Kamson Luxury Group is an acquisition company formed to launch luxury international brands in Africa and its first acquisition is the OK! Magazine brand.

Thursday 15 December 2011

4th Annual National Arts Competition Finals Holds Today in Lagos

African Artists Foundation, a non-profit organisation primarily focused on the promotion of indigenous African art in partnership with Nigerian Breweries Plc with hold the 4th Annual National Arts Competition today, 15th December 2011 at the Civic Centre, Lagos.

AAF programs benefits artists and the general public through improved livelihoods and education.Winners will be announced at the event. The grand prize winner will takew home N2,000,000 while the second and third winners will cart away with N1,500,000 and N1,000,000 respectively.

This year’s competition is themed: “Documenting Changes in Our Nation”. After receiving over 270 entries from different artistic genres like photography, painting, sculpture, mixed media, installation and video art, the AAF selection committee had to shortlist the candidates down to 12 finalists.

The finalists of this year’s competition are:Babson Ajibade, Gerald Chukwuma, Temitayo Ogunbiyi, Olayinka Sangotoye, Chidinma Nnorom, Samuel Palmtree Ifeanyichukwu, Folashade Ogunlade, Taiye Idahor, Jude Anogwih, Uche Uzorka and Chike Obeagu, Chris Echeta and Erasmus Onyishi.

The African Artists' Foundation provides support to professional artists in Africa through healthcare, a pension fund for aging artists, scholarships for young artists, support for the professional development of women artists, international exhibits and community outreach programs to foster an enabling environment for the development and promotion of public health through artistic endeavours.

Dana Air Begins Operations to Calabar, Increases Flight Frequencies

In order to cater for the demands of its esteemed guests this festive season and beyond, Dana Air, has increased flight frequencies on its Lagos-Port Harcourt-Lagos route and is set to commence operations to the city of Calabar this December.

In a statement by the company, Chief Executive Officer of Dana Air, Jacky Hathiramani, said that the airline has introduced an additional flight from Lagos to Port Harcourt at 13:32hrs and from Port Harcourt to Lagos at 15:30hrs. The airline would also commence flights from Lagos to Calabar at 17:28hrs with a return flight from Calabar to Lagos at 19:28hrs on December 18, 2011.

While addressing newsmen in Lagos during its 3rd year anniversary celebrations in November 2011, Hathiramani had promised, “We are aware of the demand for extension of our world-class services to more Nigerian cities and the west coast, and wish to state that plans are underway to expand our route network in the first quarter of 2012 in line with our growth plan.”

The commencement of operations to Calabar is in fulfillment of that promise. “Now the good people of Cross River State can enjoy the same world-class services that Dana Air is renowned for on all its other routes. Our goal is to meet, and even exceed, the travel expectations of guests flying in and out of Calabar, either for business or pleasure,” Hathiramani stated.

We thank the Government of Cross River State, under the able leadership of Governor Liyel Imoke, the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Harold Demuren, and other aviation regulatory bodies for their efforts towards ensuring a safe operating environment for operators.

Since its inaugural flight from Lagos to Abuja on November 10, 2008, Dana Air has grown to become one of Nigeria’s leading airlines operating up to 27 daily flights to Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Uyo and, now, Calabar.

Recipient of several awards for aviation service excellence, Dana Air is reputed for its efficient customer services, world-class in-flight services, on-time departures and arrivals, innovative e-airline products and high safety and quality standard.

PRADA and LG partnership Launches the PRADA Phone by LG 3.0

With a heritage of producing handsets that combine the best in style and substance, PRADA and LG today unveiled the partnership’s latest must-have smartphone, the PRADA phone by LG 3.0. This highly anticipated handset is the third phone to come from the collaboration and represents a key design venture for both companies.

The PRADA phone by LG 3.0 combines PRADA’s distinctive style with LG’s innovative technology, including one of the biggest and brightest screens in the world with 4.3-inch and 800-nit screen.

Styled with PRADA’s clean and sharp design philosophy, the handset features a full glossy touchscreen to the front and PRADA’s signature Saffiano pattern to the back, all finished in classic black. With every detail designed for chic simplicity, this handset also boasts LG’s signature Floating Mass Technology, optically enhancing the thinness of its already impressive 8.5mm depth, with minimal hardkeys completing the sleek simple finish.

The smartphone’s sleek design is also reflected once switched on. The PRADA phone by LG 3.0 offers a specially created user interface featuring a unique black, grey and white menu and icons. Through this interface users can enjoy all the latest benefits of Android’s Gingerbread OS, with a future scheduled upgrade to Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich.

To complement the handset, users will have access to a full line of PRADA phone accessories such as a PRADA branded cradle and Bluetooth ear set. Users can also carry their PRADA phone by LG 3.0 in a range of stylish pouches.

Coca-Cola Expands in the Middle East

Coca-Cola Company is buying roughly half of Aujan Industries Co., a big competitor in the Middle Eastern beverage market based in Saudi Arabia.

Bloomberg reports Coca-Cola "agreed to acquire about half of the equity in the beverage business of Saudi Arabia-based Aujan Industries in what the companies described as a $980 million transaction." In doing so Coca-Cola will acquire 50% of the Aujan entity that holds the rights to the Rani and Barbican brands and 49% of Aujan's bottling and distribution unit. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2012.

Reuters also reported that the deal would be the largest-ever investment by a multinational company in the Middle East's consumer goods sector. But not all of the Middle East will be graced with Coca-Cola's sugary sweet concoction - the deal excludes Aujan's Iranian manufacturing and distribution business.

The $980 million transaction that is expected to close in the first half of next year gives Coca-Cola 50 percent of Aujan and 49 percent of the company’s bottling and distribution revenue, Bloomberg reports. One part of Aujan’s business that Coke isn’t touching is its Iranian manufacturing and distribution business.

“The Middle East is a high-growth region with some of the highest rates of non-alcoholic ready-to-drink per-capita consumption,” Ahmet C. Bozer, Coca-Cola’s group president for Eurasia and Africa, said, according to Bloomberg. “This transaction creates a platform for further cooperation between Coca-Cola Co., Aujan and existing bottling partners across the region.”

When the close finally happens, one expects plenty of raised Barbicans.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Golf Competition: The Heineken Style

Though it was never found out who invented golf, it is generally accepted that golf goes back a minimum of 500 years. History of Golf brings you the interesting details about how golf gradually evolved from the medieval to the modern times.

There is a legend that shepherds, while getting bored tending their flocks used to hit stones into rabbit holes with their wooden crooks near St Andrews. They became adept at this and it led to the birth of golf on the greens of Scotland. There is evidence that people started playing golf before 1457 because on 6 March, 1457 James II of Scotland banned golf and football as these sports were hampering archery practice.

Some historians have also traced the history of Golf to a Roman game called paganica. They played it on the streets of Great Britain, where they ruled from 40 to 400 AD, with a bent stick and a leather ball stuffed with feathers. Others believe that golf originated from het kolven, a Dutch game. Historians even think that golf originated from French and Belgian game called chole, a French game called jeu de mail, and an English game called cambuca. But it is generally agreed that golf originated in Scotland.

Heineken has achieved yet another sports milestone as the brand sponsored the 37th edition of the highly rated Ikoyi Club Ladies Golf Open Championship tournament which teed off between December 1 and 2, 2011 at the prestigious Ikoyi Club 1938, Lagos.

Apart from producing quality products, NB is also a socially responsible corporate organization with a good track record of corporate social initiatives in identified and strategic areas. The brand’s Corporate Social Responsibility is driven by a vision to always “Win with Nigeria”. Over the years, it has been very active in supporting national development aspirations in line with its commitment to “Winning with Nigeria”. The brand has continued to identify and respond to major challenges confronting Nigeria through its huge corporate social investments especially in the areas of education, the environment, water, youth empowerment, talent development and sports, amongst others.

To this end, the brand in 1994 established an Education Trust Fund with a take-off grant of N100 million to take more active part in the funding of educational and research activities in institutions of higher learning, all in an effort to provide and encourage academic excellence in Nigeria. This is in addition to its secondary and university scholarship programmes for children of its employees.

Nigerian Breweries Plc is the foremost sponsor of sports in the country with sponsorship covering football, athletics, tennis, cycling, chess, golf, squash, dart, Sailing and “Ayo”, a traditional sport among others. The aim is to develop Nigerian sportsmen and women to participate in national and international sports, and boost the sports profile of the country. The company is also involved in the development of leadership, musical and movie talents, through various programmes. Some of these activities are captured in the company’s Social and Environmental Report.

Jacqueline Van Faassen, Senior Brand Manager, Heineken said that prior to the sponsorship, Heineken has sponsored the Nigeria Cup Golf tournament and embarked on many other Golf projects in the country.

“Heineken is a premium international brand and we have decided to associate with golf as an international sport .We have decided to endorse the Ikoyi Club Ladies Golf Open Championship because it is different and also helps to depict the strength that lies in women, ” she said.

She added that “sports in Nigeria are going through tough times and we intend to help build the image and standard of sports through continuous support”.
The two-day tourney, hosted by the Lady Golfers, Ikoyi Club 1938, is in its 37th year running feature lady golfers from golf clubs all over Nigeria who participated in the tourney.

This edition saw incredible swings from professional woman golfer from across Nigeria who entered for the competition to show their strength and passion for the game as the best in country. As the heat grew from the first day, only a few were able to advance as the rules become stiffer.

In the end Lady Okah who had never won a championship in the Ikoyi Club Ladies Golf Open emerged as the winner of the 37th edition of the Heineken sponsored championship. According to her, ever since she started participating in the tournament since 1988, she just couldn’t explain why she did not win although she was always a hairsbreadth from winning the championship. It seemed the more she tried, the more it eluded her.

At over sixty years of age, one would expect her to have abandoned playing active golf let alone take part in the championships. One can best describe her as a relentless and passionate competitor. She did not give up on her pursuit to win the highly coveted Ikoyi Club Ladies Golf Championship. So as usual, the Port-Harcourt based golfer flew in from her base to once again take part in this year’s championships in Ikoyi Club 1938.

Just like it has always been, the Ikoyi Club Ladies Golf Open Championship was very challenging this year. After 2 days of golf duel amongst the best female golfers in the country at the Ikoyi Club 1938, Lady Okah emerged victorious defeating all other competitors to emerge overall winner of the prestigious Ikoyi Club Ladies Golf Open Championship 2011 edition.

An emotion laden Okah, described her win as long due. “I just said I should come out to participate because this course, since 1988 that I have been playing in this championship, I have never emerged champion. Every time I play here, I always make it to the last group but somehow I would emerge runner up but never the champion. Sometimes I would go for sudden death and I would not make it. But to my greatest surprise, at this age I emerged winner for this year’s Ikoyi ladies golf championships. I am so happy. This is the only club I have played and have never emerged as a champion until now. I have won in all other clubs in the country. I have been. I am so happy and give God all the glory”.

FAN Milk Celebrates 50th Anniversary

FAN Milk Plc, producers of choicest dairy products celebrated its 50th anniversary. In line with the celebration, the vision and mission of the company was up held as stakeholders were hosted to a dinner to mark the anniversary. The company was founded in 1960 by a Danish Merchant and Industrialist Erik Embong with a recombination-plant at Ibadan, a distribution centre in Lagos.

In the 1970s Fan Milk introduced yoghurt drink, ice lollies, ice cream and new Tetra Pak packaging technology. The new products became very popular in the market and generated the financial strength to set up further depots and, in 1981, a second recombination-plant in Kano came up. The expansion and rehabilitation programme returned Fan Milk Plc to profitability. Fan Milk has sister companies in Ghana, Senegal, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Code d'Ivoire. The headquarters of the foreign partner, Fan Milk International is situated in Aalborg, Denmark.

Speaking at the dinner, the Managing Director, Fan Milk Plc, Mr. Steen Hadsbjerg, spoke on the trends of things in the last 50years as it affects the company. “There have been ups and downs for us like every organization; some of these challenges include poor power supply, bad road, high cost of raw material, lack of raw material etc. However the focus for the next 50years will be to ensure we have sufficient supply chain throughout the country through upgrading distribution centers in Nigeria. Also we are working closely with farmers to ensure our local raw material increases from 40%. He said.

He spoke further on the issue of waste water management in FAN Milk Plc. “our waste water treatment has been going through processes of recycle where it well treated. We avoid disposing our waste that is why we take waste water treatment plan seriously”

FAN Milk Plc is also toeing the line of organizations that are supporting the going green which support the “save energy gas” initiative. The company is working at reducing the use of bi-fuel, in the years ahead. Instead, it will work on using solar panels in our buildings to generate power as against using power. They are embarking on new ice cream kiosk that will be powered by panels that will be used across the country to reach consumers.

Notore Wins Ernst & Young Award, Records Highest Urea Production

The Group CEO of Notore Chemical Industries Limited, Mr. Jite Okoloko recently won the award for the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year in the West African region by Ernst & Young ahead of nine other finalists in the category, after a rigorous screening process that spanned over several months. Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year is considered the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs.

During the award ceremony that took place in Lagos, Mr. Henry Egbiki, West Africa Regional Managing Partner for Ernst & Young, explained that the winners in each region were determined by their contributions to the economic development of their countries. He also added that winners were selected by an independent panel of judges set up for that purpose.

Commenting on the award, Mr. Okoloko said, "Entrepreneurs who have identified viable business opportunities should be encouraged to focus their attention on making their ideas succeed. With this award, the whole workforce at Notore has been recognized for our goal of increasing crop yields to guarantee food security in Africa, while also encouraging skills acquisition and creating jobs. Today, we are producing about 90 per cent of the fertilizer in Sub Saharan Africa, and we hope to expand our business further to achieve our ambition."

Notore also recently achieved the highest Urea and Ammonia production since the company commenced production when it reached a record 1,348 MT per day of Urea and 893 MT per day of Ammonia during the month of November 2011 thus hitting total production marks of 36,544 MT of Urea and 22,965 MT of Ammonia for the month.

These significant records, according to the Group CEO of Notore, came after carrying out a successful scheduled turnaround maintenance in August and September 2011. “The plant has since begun to experience improved performance and increased consistency of operations. We had said that our production would jump from 1100 metric tons to 1400 metric tons by end of June this year and here we are. It is indeed a record that Notore is very proud of and we are working hard to sustain and improve on it,” Okoloko said.

Notore was profiled recently by Forbes as one of “Africa's Most Outstanding Companies” for being one of the companies that are constantly providing audacious and innovative solutions to some of the continent’s most daunting challenges. According to Forbes, “Seven out of ten Africans earn their living from farming. Yet, even at this time of high unemployment, farming remains a low-input and low-output enterprise, unpopular with the young – a critical imbalance which Notore aims to redress with education programs and training.”

Currently, the Notore fertiliser plant is the only urea fertiliser plant in Sub-Saharan Africa thus making Notore perfectly positioned to become Africa’s major fertiliser supplier. By making fertiliser more available to farmers, Notore is helping to reduce hunger and increase food security on the continent.

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Peak Talent Show Season 3 House Diary 13th Decemeber, 2011

As the old saying goes, “all good things must come to an end”…….literarily. The same will soon become true for the house-mates. However, in this case one person will be carting away the coveted prize winning of 10million Naira. Wow! That will be a sight to look forward to!!

With just 5 house-mates left, the contest gets hotter. The house was a hollow of itself, quite unlike when we had all house-mates some weeks back. What a difference people make to a house. It was pretty quiet, well asides for Shortcut’s blast of music coming from his boom-box enabled phone. Everyone else was perched peacefully or just having breakfast. I could see the impact of the knowledge that “it could be me next leaving the PTS house”, and therefore excluded from the chance to win the coveted prize money. Like I’d earlier said, there is no easy way to make money - read a statement on Peak Talent Hunt Show website.

"That been said, we still had somewhat of a good time with them, and we’ve got some shots to show you how they are all doing. Don’t forget, whether they be at the house or not, they are all “Stars” in their own right. Make them feel your support and Love", it concluded.

Many Nigerians look forward to see the winner emerge soon. The PTS3 Grand Finale will hold from 5pm - 8pm on Tuesday, 20th December at a venue on Victoria Island Lagos. The dress code is Business casual.

5 Tips for Safe Online Shopping

Christmas is almost here but are you ready for it? To cope with holiday shopping frenzy more consumers are going digital to avoid long lines and crowded malls. According to the 2011 Year End Holiday Online Shopping Survey by Visa , this year 80 percent of online shoppers started Christmas shopping in November. Over a third of these shoppers will use Visa Debit, Visa Credit or Visa Prepaid cards to shop online.

Curious about what everyone is buying? Topping the wish list are clothes, holiday accommodation and plane tickets. So while you’re busy searching and buying online, here are 5 easy tips to keep your transactions safe.

Choose your websites wisely

While browsing for Christmas gifts the simplest thing you can do to protect yourself is to pick secure websites. Chances are you already know the ones you like - they are either ones you’ve visited before, well-known brands or ones you’re trying out on a recommendation from a friend. A simple tip is to check out the web address and if it has an ‘s’ at the end of ‘https’ it means it is secure and your personal information is protected. Everyone wants to feel safe as they shop online which is why legitimate businesses will have secure sites and work with banks and payment companies like Visa to offer an extra layer of protection. Identity authentication services such as Verified by Visa require a password before purchases can be made. All you need to do is register your card, either on your card-issuing bank’s site or during the checkout process at a participating website, and then you can shop knowing that you’re safe from unauthorized transactions on your card.

Going phishing

Christmas is a time when promotions are on the rise as retailers try to get the lion’s share of the money spent during the festive period. We all love a bargain and as we shop online a quarter of us click on direct e-marketing messages as a source of shopping information.[2] Where there is an online bargain, sometimes there are also cyber criminals who are on the prowl to get your personal information. They’re sneaky so keep your wits about you. Often they imitate a legitimate business that they know you will trust and capture your personal information as you click through to the site and start making purchases. If anything seems odd about a site, don’t use it. If you’re trying out a new website, type it into a search engine and see what the reviews are. But be rest assured that if criminals do take hold of your details, shopping online with Visa Debit or Visa Credit card gives you added Zero Liability protection. Speak with your issuer to learn what sort of protection you’re provided and report any suspicious activity on your account as soon as possible.

Shopping on the go with Smartphones

Smartphones are fast becoming irreplaceable and are always with you wherever you travel. Not only are they great for keeping in touch with everyone as you plan your Christmas but they are also a great tool for shopping online. This holiday season 25% of consumers will use smartphones when engaging in their year-end shopping.[4] Don’t forget that smart phones are really like a miniature computer in the palm of your hand so make sure when you whip out your handy helper that the software is up to date and you’re shopping on a secure site. Remember the tips above too, even when using your phone, you don’t want to get caught out by phony websites and scams.

Stay protected in hot-spots

With the holidays around the corner, multi-tasking becomes second nature. There are office projects to be closed and shopping lists to be ticked off. When you grab that breather in a coffee shop, make most of your time by browsing for gifts on your laptop or smart phone. But be careful about making purchases using wi-fi in public places. Some public hotspots don’t encrypt wireless data, leaving you open to the possibility of identity theft. . If you don’t feel confident about the place you are logging on from, bookmark and revisit the website to make your purchase when you are 100 percent sure the connection is secure.

Chat but don’t reveal

Many online stores have a virtual assistant who can quickly answer specific questions on an item that has caught your fancy. There’s nothing like personalized attention. Imagine trying to get that in a crowded mall in the midst of the holiday shopping frenzy! The only thing to watch-out for is to avoid exchanging card details using the instant messaging service. You wouldn’t walk into a store and start shouting out your card details and pin number, so don’t do it online either. Keep your personal information under wraps and reveal it only when the time is right: at checkout

Keeping secure online doesn’t have to be a chore, if you follow these simple steps you can ensure that your Christmas purchases are safe and you can spend more time singing festive songs than worrying if the presents will turn up! Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year from Visa!


African investor, Brand SA to host roundtable on economic integration in Africa

Africa investor (Ai), an international investment research and communications group, has announced its partnership with Brand South Africa to host a high-level roundtable on 'The Business of Implementing Regional Economic Integration in Africa'. Business and government leaders working in Africa who are attending the 2012 annual meetings of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, will take part in this roundtable.

Political and business leaders globally have agreed that Africa's regional economic integration is critical if African companies and global partners are to benefit from and fuel economic growth, both at home and abroad, whilst at the same time expand their markets and take advantage of the investment opportunities available on the continent.

Africa is now universally accepted as a viable and competitive international investment destination delivering growth while other markets continue to feel the impact of the economic downturn.

Opportunities and priorities in Africa to be discussed

Ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland from 25-29 January 2012, the invitation-only roundtable will host top executives from the world's leading multinational companies to discuss business opportunities and priorities for development in Africa, and will explore areas of the continent's economy that are best poised for regional integration and consolidated planning.

CEO of Brand South Africa, Miller Matola, says that South Africa understands its pivotal role in helping establish access to leadership on the continent.

"Part of the continent's response to the current global financial challenges is finding new ways to react to old challenges. Africa can no longer be a reactive to the development of the global economy. The continent plays a critical role as a contributor to global stability and growth, to promote the importance of public-private collaboration in maximizing opportunities on the continent" says Matola.

Discussions will draw on the expertise of leading corporations invested in Africa with an interest in seeing the successful implementation of regional economic integration across Africa. There is still much for the continent to do in order to reach its full potential. Regional economic integration is the lifeblood for investment and trade in Africa and there are still major challenges at hand for African governments. This annual roundtable will provide a platform for these essential discussions.

Commenting on the roundtable, Hubert Danso, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Africa investor, said; "The calibre of business leadership confirmed for the event, building on this last year's roundtable discussion, will be an invaluable resource for African heads of state and policy makers engaging in this annual Africa investor-Brand South Africa process. Cross-border investment will steer the way forward for growing and integrating Africa's economic development and global competitiveness, and this annual roundtable will draw on the private sector's innovation and resources, essential to ensuring the continent's growth is both productive and sustained."


Etisalat Partners Samsung On New Galaxy Note Package

Etisalat Nigeria, in partnership with Samsung Electronics, has unveiled the new Samsung Galaxy Note into the Nigerian mobile device market. The new Samsung Galaxy Note which is exclusive to Etisalat and comes with a 12 months free bundled data, and voice plan, combines all the functionalities of a personal computer and a mobile phone.

This new category is created by Samsung and it falls in between tablets and smartphones. It has all the benefits of a tablet with the freedom and functionalities of a Smartphone. The Galaxy Note comes with an S-Pen, which is imbedded into the body of the device maintaining its chic and stylish look. With the S-pen the user will experience an optimal usability not yet experienced on other devices.

Samsung Galaxy Note is a high-end device running on android Gingerbread operating system, designed to perform pocket digital assistance functions for downloads of applications, e-mails-at-a-go, and editing-at-a-go amongst other unique features such as the Samsung Smemo (allows you create and edit documents and content on-the-go), Samsung Apps store, Social Hub (allow setup of multiple email, PIM & instant social networking solutions), Readers Hub (allows downloads and access to free and premium books, magazine and news content), The device also include Google Mobile Services(Android Market Place, Gtalk, Gmail, Latitude), a 5.3 inch HD touch screen, accelerometer functionality, WIFI functionality, WIFI hotspot, document creator and viewer etc.

The Samsung Galaxy Note comes with an Etisalat SIM card which offers 100MB data access and call rates of 20k/sec to all national networks with no access charge every month for 12 months. Subscribers begin to enjoy all these freebies as soon as they purchase the Samsung Galaxy note and subscribe to the Etisalat bundle.

Etisalat Nigeria will have exclusive rights to these devices which will be available from mid December 2011 to both old and new subscribers as well as pre-paid and post-paid subscribers. Potential customers can pre-book on our website by visiting

Friday 9 December 2011

YouTube Launches in Nigeria

YouTube, a platform where anyone with a video camera and an internet connection can share their life, art and voice with the world has announced the launch of YouTube in Nigeria, showcasing the best and brightest local talent.

has announce a local interface, in a bid to promotes content that is relevant to Nigerians.

Patrick Walker, YouTube’s Senior Director, Content Partnerships, for Europe, Middle East and Africa affirmed: “With over 3 billion views a day, YouTube is the world’s largest audience, and a mode of communication that allows everyone’s voice to be heard. Nigerians are passionate about music, entertainment and many other genres that YouTube offers. By launching YouTube locally, we help people to find the most popular videos in Nigeria, along with those that are rising in popularity”.

YouTube Nigeria makes it easier for Nigerian users to find and view the videos most relevant to them. Content uploaded by Nigerian users will show up as “browse pages” on the YouTube Nigeria site, creating a new virtual space for the national community and giving Nigerians the opportunity to increase their exposure online.

Content uploaded by Nigerian users will show up as "browse pages" on the YouTube Nigeria site, creating a virtual space for the national community and giving Nigerians the opportunity to increase their exposure online.

Arik Air Commence Non-stop Flights From Lagos to Luanda, Angola

Arik Air, West and Central Africa’s largest commercial carrier, is to begin scheduled flights from its hub in Lagos to the Angolan capital, Luanda, becoming the first and only Nigerian carrier to operate scheduled flights between the two cities. The first flight is to launch on 13th December (2011) and will operate twice weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The outbound flight will depart Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos every Tuesday at 07:00am (local time), arrive in Luanda at 10:10am (local time) with the inbound flight leaving Luanda at 11:50am and arriving back to Lagos at 2:55pm.

Every Saturday, the outbound flight departs Lagos at 02:00am and arrives in Luanda at 05:05am. The inbound flight leaves Luanda at 07:00am and arrives in Lagos at 10:05am. Passengers on Arik’s international routes from London (UK), Dakar (Senegal), Accra (Ghana) and Cotonou (Benin) can connect onwards to Luanda with convenient connections in both directions.

The Lagos-Luanda route will be served with a Boeing737-800 Next Generation aircraft. The 737-800 configuration is 16 Business Class seats and 132 Economy Class. Business Class passengers can enjoy a 44” seat pitch, cradle style seat with 8.6” individual screens. Economy Class passengers will equally enjoy plenty of room on the 3h 10min flight with a seat pitch of 34”.

Dr Michael Arumemi-Ikhide, Group CEO/ President Arik Air, said of the new route and code-share with TAAG;

“We are pleased to announce the launch of operations to a new destination, our second sub-Saharan and ninth African point. Luanda is a strategically important capital for the oil & gas and extraction industry and this new route offers increased availability and capacity to the capital as well as introducing the first route between Lagos and Luanda.

“The code-share agreement with TAAG is the first of its kind that Arik Air has undertaken and we are sure it is going to be a great success and of mutual benefit to both airlines. We can offer TAAG access to an extensive West African and Nigerian network and, similarly, it can offer our passengers the ability to utilize its domestic network and regional network incorporating 23 destinations in southern, eastern and West Africa.”

World's First Sex School Opens in Austria

A Swedish schoolmistress has opened the world's first international sex school in Austria to teach students how to be better lovers. The Austrian International Sex School in Vienna offers "hands on" lessons in seduction for 1,400 pounds a term.

Headmistress Ylva-Maria Thompson says that anyone over the age of 16 can enroll at the 'world's first college of applied sexuality'.

Students live in a mixed sex dormitory block where they're expected to practice their homework.

And at the end of the course, they are awarded a qualification.

"Our core education is not theoretical, but very practical," the Daily Mail quoted the headmistress as saying.

"The emphasis is on how to be a better lover. Sexual positions, caressing techniques, anatomical features. And we teach people hands on."

School spokesperson Melodi Kirsch also shared his thoughts on the opening of the school."We are confident that the school will be a great success," Kirsch said.

"Ylva-Maria has worked for a long time on this idea and has received much encouragement and interest." The school has already become controversial in Austria -- raunchy adverts showing a couple making love have been banned by Austrian TV.

Thursday 8 December 2011

HEINEKEN Announces Global Partnership With Facebook To Strengthen Its Brand

In an attempt to further strengthens it’s leadership position in the digital space, HEINEKEN has announced a global partnership with social network site, Faceboook, which will see the two companies collaborate on digital campaigns for HEINEKEN’s brands around the world.

The Heineken Facebook fan page is already the largest for any beer brand with over 4.6 million adult users. Two of the company’s other leading brands, Kingfishe and Dos Equis, are also in the top seven beer brands with the greatest number of Facebook fans. 

The partnership demonstrates HEINEKEN’s on-going commitment to place its brands at the forefront of innovation and marketing excellence in the digital space through the creation of engaging and compelling content, designed for adult consumers. HEINEKEN is committed to avoid underage exposure to alcohol and beer marketing.  All content posted by the company’s brands on Facebook is in line with the advertising codes and guidelines which govern the communication of alcohol products.    
Through this agreement, Facebook will provide HEINEKEN with a global marketing platform that reaches millions of people as well as access to Facebook’s deep expertise in building long-term relationships between brands and their audiences. The collaboration also provides HEINEKEN with access to Facebook’s latest products.
According to a release by brand: Alexis Nasard, Chief Commercial Officer at HEINEKEN said: “As our adult consumers are increasingly spending more time on digital space and social media, it is important that our brands are active in this environment. Our partnership with Facebook is another significant development in our communication strategy as we continue to look for innovative ways for our brands to ignite the digital conversation and connect with our consumers.”
“Brands rely on Facebook to build essential connections with people and their friends,” said Joanna Shields, Vice President & Managing Director EMEA for Facebook. “Heineken has always been a true innovator when it comes to giving their brands an authentic voice, and together with Facebook they can now extend that human touch to 800 million people around the world.‘’
Heineken’s Facebook fan page has enabled the company to deepen its engagement with over 4.6 million adult users.  Facebook provides a unique platform to share the brand’s creative award winning campaigns ‘The Entrance’ and ‘The Date’, and engage through its global sports sponsorship platforms – UEFA Champions League and the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Please click on the following link to watch the HEINEKEN and Facebook case film.

BlackBerry: Indosat to Support Operator Billing on App World

Research In Motion and Indosat today announced an operator billing option for Indosat’s BlackBerry customers that purchase apps on BlackBerry App World™.

In a release by the company: operator billing will allow Indosat’s BlackBerry customers to conveniently and securely purchase apps from BlackBerry App World and charge the purchases directly to their Indosat bill. Customers will also be able to charge in-app purchases to their Indosat bill, which allows for the purchase of digital goods, such as additional content or more levels to a game, to be made without interrupting the application experience.

BlackBerry ID, which provides customers with a secure device-independent user identification (ID) for use with BlackBerry App World (and other BlackBerry services), enables this new payment option in addition to allowing customers to seamlessly transfer their personal library of free and purchased apps when they switch to a new BlackBerry® smartphone. Furthermore, BlackBerry ID requires the user to enter their password when making a purchase, providing an added layer of security that can help protect a user from unauthorized purchases in the event their smartphone is lost or stolen.

About Indosat
Indosat is the leading telecommunication and information operator in Indonesia which provides cellular service, both prepaid and postpaid,  through Indosat Mobile brand product, IM3 powered by Indosat and Indosat Internet, fixed telecommunication services such as International Direct Dialling (IDD) 001, IDD 008 and FlatCall 01016,  fixed wireless and fixed line; and also fixed data communication service including internet; through the submarine and land cable fiber optic, microwave radio, and satellite through PALAPA-D Satellite and PALAPA-C2 Satellite. Indosat  has also the subsidiaries namely Indosat Mega Media (IM2)and Lintasarta. Indosat’s shares have been registered at Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX:ISAT) and shares in a form of American Depositary Shares registered at New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:IIT).

Wednesday 7 December 2011

P&G Inaugurates 6th Orphanage Resource Centre in Nigeria

Leading consumer goods company, Procter and Gamble Nigeria Limited (P&G), in partnership with ‘Sponsor a Child,’ a non-governmental organization, recently inaugurated a resource centre at Bema Homes, Lugbe, Abuja under its ‘Building Futures’ programme.

In showing appreciation, Mrs. Benedicta Jereke, the Founder of Bema Homes said the residents of the home are very grateful to P&G and ‘Sponsor a Child’ for choosing their home to be one of the beneficiaries of the Building Futures project.
“I feel like a new born baby because it is not easy to have text books for the children. Without textbooks, the children cannot learn well said Mrs. Jereke.  Seeing this, I am highly relieved and I pray that God will bless ‘Procter and Gamble’ and ‘Sponsor a child’ abundantly. I assure you that it will be well managed and judiciously put into good use with constant maintenance culture to ensure its durability”.

Representatives from the Federal Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Federal Ministry of Education, the FCT Universal Basic Education Board amongst others were present at the commissioning event. The ‘Resource center (learn and play center)’ donated to the orphanage comprises a well equipped, conducive study space furnished with computers, books and learning materials for children ranging from preschool to secondary school ages. The resource center also includes an outdoor play area for the orphanage. At the event, five other orphanages and children’s homes received whole year supplies of Pampers diapers, Ariel detergent and PUR purifier of water.

Speaking at the event, P&G’s Corporate Public Relations Manager , Olatomiwa Akande, reiterated the company’s commitment to improving the lives of children in need in Nigeria.

“We believe that qualitative education is a critical requirement for every child. This ‘learn and play’ center is our contribution to help position these special children on the path to success in life”, Miss Akande said.
While delivering her speech at the event, Ms. Olatoun Williams, Coordinator of the ‘Sponsor a Child,’ NGO said the resource centre was created to provide vulnerable kids with educational materials. According to her, Bema Resource Centre is the 6th in a line of such resource centers which have been donated to orphanages and community schools around the country by ‘Building Futures’ since its inception in 2009.

Promasidor Pledges Continued Support for Orile Iganmu

Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell Milk, has pledged its continued support for the youth of Orile-Iganmu, a sprawling community in Lagos.

Pix 2: L-R: Chief Keith Richards, Managing Director Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Mr. Saheed
Olajide Jimoh, an intern with Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Professor Yinka Omorogbe, 
Mr Olabode Medale President Orile-Iganmu Progressive Association (OIPA), Mr. Oguntoye
Taiwo, an intern  with Promasidor Nigeria Limited and Engineer Demola Kekere
Ekun at the 7th convocation ceremony of Orile-Iganmu Progressive
Association (OIPA) Training Institute held in Lagos at the weekend.
 Chief Keith Richards, Managing Director of the company made the pledge at the 7th convocation ceremony of Orile-Iganmu Progressive Association (OIPA) Training Institute held in Lagos at the weekend.

According to him, he is highly honoured to be part of the ceremony and assured the management of OIPA and students that Promasidor Nigeria Limited will continue to support the initiative.

Promasidor Nigeria Limited, a fast moving consumers goods (FMCG) company also donated five Intel Pentium computer systems with flat screen monitors to OIPA Training Institute to equip youth with computer packages in a bid to make them ICT compliant.

Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Olabode Medale, President OIPA said the association is very grateful to Promasidor Nigeria Limited for its immense contribution to the success of the training programme and for its continued patronage of the ‘One Voice’ Newspaper, the community based newspaper.

Mr. Medale also commended the company for offering internship programmes to two of the graduands in its ICT department, adding that they are grateful and shall continue to appreciate Promasidor’s strive towards making life meaningful to the downtrodden masses of their community.

He furthermore said the computer institute has grown from being a mere training school to a skill acquisition centre with modern day equipment due to the support from its corporate sponsors.

Mr. Taiwo Oguntoye, currently on internship at Promasidor Nigeria Limited, in an interview said working in Promasidor has been a great privilege for him as he has been able to acquire and is still acquiring various valuable skills and knowledge.

 Mr. Oguntoye added that he considers himself very fulfilled and favoured. “Being in Promasidor Nigeria Limited, has been a great privilege for me, because it was a dream come true. I want to say thank you to the people of OIPA, for giving me the opportunity to observe industrial training (IT) here in Promasidor Nigeria Limited, for the great knowledge that has been impacted and still impacting in me,” he said.

 Miss Dialah Oluchi Daniella who emerged overall best among the 125 graduands went home with a brand new desk top computer and a printer.

Promasidor (Nigeria) Limited commenced operations in 1993 in Nigeria with the introduction of sachet packaging of Cowbell milk. Since then, the company has been manufacturing and marketing unique brands in the country which include: Cowbell milk, Cowbell chocolate, Cowbell flavoured milk drink, Loya full cream milk, Miksi, Top Tea, Onga food seasoning and Amila instant fruit flavoured powdered drink. The company has since inception continued to offer quality, value-for-money products in a consistent manner in the country as well as employing thousands of Nigerians into all levels of its operation in Lagos.