Can You Replicate Virality? Between BridePrice & TakeTomorrow

After the stunning success of BridePrice.com.ng, Access Bank hired the company behind the site – Anakle – to create their own viral phenomenon.

It seems that the bank was hoping that the site (which doubles as a rather obvious data-mining tool) would spread far and wide as Nigerians of all shades would rush to calculate their net worth and share it with their friends. After all, women from across the continent were calculating their bride price, a modified version of net worth, and telling the world the results. Surely, in the same vein, people would calculate their net worth and share too.

Turns out that virality is a much more delicate science than sticking a sliding website with dashes of humor in it. Not to blame Access Bank or Anakle; both companies are pretty competent, but somehow, the results aren’t the same. Here’s why I think that happened:

 

1. Money Scares People

Everyone wants more money (even toddlers it seems), but honest discussions about money are scary for most of us. A spreadsheet that shows that you might actually in a worse financial situation than your lifestyle suggests is not the thing you want to see first thing in the morning. Or at any time of the day for that matter. This website, while starting off light-heartedly, starts asking real questions that make you realize – “man, this is for real”. And who wants to find out that they’ll only be worth N10million in 20 years? Exactly.

 

2. Most People are Private About Their Money

How many of your friends would be willing to tell you their exact salaries today? What about their expenses? Exactly. Virality requires people to share what they’ve seen to “infect” their friends. I have no doubt that many people went through the app (Anakle can’t releasing traffic figures) but I’m guessing most people would rather not to share the results, preferring to either rejoice or mourn privately.

 

3. Where’s the Product Design?

BridePrice was a brilliant product – designed thoughtfully from start to finish. In contrast, TakeTomorrow feels a lot less polished. The options are too granular – why not use date ranges instead of asking for my specific age and asking me to pick it from a really long drop down? In an attempt to the “clean”, it ends up being plain. They’ve removed the compulsory email field at the end now, which was a horrible idea to start with.

 

So can you Recreate Virality?

access-certificate

In the end, it seems that virality is lot more than getting the right tech and buttons together.  Content and context matter a lot.

BridePrice was funny and entertaining, so even though it had 13 questions, it felt like 5. On the other hand, TakeTomorrow’s 14 questions end up making the quiz feel like a chore. It’s difficult to see how to make a subject like money and financial planning be fun, but that’s the challenge of the time.

That being said, it’s very refreshing to see Nigerian corporates getting more creative with their marketing and advertising. Many brands made a show of adopting technology beyond banner ads but Access Bank actually went out and did it. Looking forward to more from them.

8 Comments

  • The Taichou says:

    Valid points. I have never looked at the Access Bank app so my comment is based solely on your article. The main issue – people’s unique responses to financial matters – was predictable and has been well documented by various studies. A simple monetary value worked well in the brideprice version because we all knew it was for a laugh. If Access bank had taken some basic tenets of behavioural finance into account, they would have at least softened the final score by:
    1. Injecting much needed humour
    2. Using less quantitative benchmarks,

    For example instead of saying exactly how much a test-taker’s networth was going to be, find humourous ways to show what they would be able to afford in future – a house on the Island of Banana, a gulfstream, a keke NAPEP, or some other proxy.

    I really like the work Anakle does and with every new project they keep distinguishing themselves as a top agency. I wish them the very best.

    • Dikachim says:

      Good points but I think you could have used the app before commenting if just for the purpose of commenting.

    • Antonia Anni says:

      Currently faced with attempting a similar path, these points make sense. You cannot go the quantitative route where the numbers are not based on reality for a real life financial institution, that’s scary stuff.( I have used the app )

  • Ezinma says:

    To be fair, vitality is something that no one understand properly yet. After all, Buzzfeed is an ongoing experiment – while they create content with the intention of going viral, it is not known what percentage of their content actually does go viral. I think well done on Accessbank for casting their nets out. It at least shows that they also can come out and have some fun too. Hopefully, they take your pointers into consideration and try something different. Personally, I think the quiz wasn’t unique enough to the Nigerian (and African) audience unlike the topic of bride prices.

    • NubiKay says:

      Fair point. BuzzFeed seem to be going well into grounded hypothesis and delivering on viral promises to clients they work with. No doubt kudos to the resource they assign to all things data but yeah, big ups to Access Bank and Anakle I’m sure they’d take away lessons such as the ones mentioned above.

      Sometimes viral is just for the fun of it and then you mine the data that comes of it. Not the order way around.

  • Sola F. says:

    im just gonna make it simple. Taketotomorrow sucked. The name sucked. The app was pretentious.

    I tried it out and it just sucked.

    Bride price was amazing… I shared it with everyone that I cud.

  • Prince Oluwasegun Abisagbo says:

    Bottom Line…Nigerians don’t like ‘serious’ stuff…the music and top visited sites proves this

  • You missed linking to TakeTomorrow

Comments are closed.