The year 2014 marked a major milestone in the Nigerian film industry. For an industry patronisingly-celebrated for being the third largest film industry (ranked by Forbes as the third largest film industry by quantity), the feat achieved by 30 Days in Atlanta is a green light that Nigeria’s film makers are finally reaping their rewards.
According to Film House (a major cinema chain), 30 Days in Atlanta a comedy feature film produced by Corporate World Entertainment, grossed about N167 million at local cinemas. This is the highest cinema ticket sales for any indigenous film. The success of 30 Days in Atlanta has paved the way for more positive ticket sales at the cinemas for Nigerian films. Last year, Kunle Afolayan’s October First grossed close to N100 million at the cinemas.
However, last December, Mo Abudu’s EbonyLife production finally put doubters to shame. As her debut into the film industry, Fifty is another remarkable effort that sends the positive signal to the global scene that the Nigerian movie industry can needs an elbow room in its stereotyped corner.
A major driver of these success is the fledging modern trade boom called shopping malls. Cinema halls have become sine qua non for mall developers. As at 2004, Nigeria could only boast of one modern cinema and 6 screens. It has since then risen to about 100 screens in 2011 and could rise to 200 screens in the next 3 years if the current boom in shopping mall development do not wane. Thanks to FDIs in retail development, malls halls have revived the dying cinema culture by not only giving global film distributors access to local markets but inspiring the local creative industry to look inwards and take advantage of the growth opportunities.
Another player that has supported the Nigerian film industry to the current center stage is the Bank of Industry. Through its 9% and virtually single digit loans, the creative industry has benefited from the institution’s professional support. An opportunity that was long desired became a tonic for creative inspiration.
For agencies like us, a vista of opportunities for better execution of brand integration, placements and usage in local films has opened up to be tapped into. Many brands and their custodians have shied away from brand placements because of old stereotypes of poor production quality, lack of stories with brand affinity and the glaring lack of understanding of the entire concepts by most film makers.
However, sticking to these stigma would negatively reversed the teething success recorded by hard working people in the film industry. While stakeholders in the creative and marketing industry need to work together, some key issues have to be resolved. How to properly price brands’ placements, in use or integration is currently guided by ‘rules of the thumb’. This has to change into a standardized and transparent system that will make the film industry attractive to creative agencies and brands to work with.
Film makers will also need to be more long term in their thinking. It does not profit a brand anything to be forced into a script. Script writers, producers and investors in the movie industry should not only horn their skills in filming, their marketing sense have to be on top gear.
Compiled By SBI Media.
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