Anakle’s brideprice app was one of the biggest (Nigerian) Twitter topics of last week, generating tons of engagement at home and abroad. A lot of it was roaring hilarity. Some of it was critical. Anakle CEO, Editi Effiong answers TechCabal’s questions about their social media experiment that took them only two weeks to build.
TC: Define Anakle
Editi: Anakle is an integrated digital agency. I have personally been involved in various aspects of technology, marketing and communications. With Anakle, we have been able to fuse these to create great experiences for brands and individual clients. We have taken on interesting projects in various industries, including financial services, education, public service, politics and FMCGs.
What is the story about the bride price app? how did it come about? Is it a client project, or an internal obsession?
The Bride Price App is interesting. Over the past years, we’ve been trying to get our clients to do daring stuff with their campaigns…to be more daring with driving engagement. So one of the ways to view the app is an agency creating stuff to show it can be done. We literally sat in the office, reviewed possible engagement topics, and choose one — marriage/relationships. But the moment we decided to move was when we saw a bride price list on a display photo on BBM.
Everything went downwind from that moment. We decided on strategy, created content and generally messed around. The original design and content strategy was ready within an hour really, but the big strategic details were finalised over the next week. For example, a deliberate decision was made to not include age, or sexually related body parts –- those could have driven even more engagement, but could have been problematic and perceived to be insulting.
So what was the point of this quiz?
The app itself is a joke, and shouldn’t be taken seriously. I remember our creative lead saying back then that the primary plan was to “break the internet”. I don’t know about breaking the internet, but the idea was to create a wildly engaging app, and generate viral conversation. To show it can be done.
What did you think would happen when it got out there? Did you anticipate the size of the response it’s gotten?
The data we had suggested the app would go viral, but it’s a little bigger than we expected. Actually, it a little more than a little bigger. The data we’re getting is insane. Most of our hypotheses have been validated. For instance, we expected the app to be more interesting to women – considering men outnumber women roughly 3-1 on Nigerian internet, this was a high risk hypothesis, but we were right. We’ve seen some very interesting stuff that will surely go into modelling our strategy in the future.
The app itself is an aggregation of jokes and stereotypes regarding Brice price in Nigeria. These stereotypes are all jokingly used in various Nigerian cultures and on social media every day. What the app does is aggregate these collections of jokes in one place, and this is for the purpose of fun and fun only. Admittedly, the satirical content caricatures the popular Bride Price concept popular in Nigeria, and most African countries. It should not be perceived as a platform to objectify woman of any tribe, race or color.
We have taken care that no derogatory, sexually explicit content or offensive language is used on the app. It is also not an attempt to put a price on the true value of a woman.
Yes indeed, that leads us to the question of the dark side to the app’s success. Some of the feedback has been negative. Like the petition campaigning that the app be taken down on grounds that it promotes misogyny and objectification of women. And the downvote by Cosmo. Did you expect this, and what is your feeling on that score?
We saw the petition from our real time analytics, and like everything we were doing with the app, we took a decision to see where it goes. During our planning session, we expected something like that could happen, so it wasn’t surprising. But that again is why there was a clear disclaimer on the app. It was a joke.
The Cosmo article was quite unexpected. The writer obviously had no understanding of the culture, and the context of bride price in Nigeria.
The way I see it, the internet democracy allows everyone an opinion. In this case, if Frank Kobola went through the trouble of acquiring a PhD in Nigerian Culture (albeit from watching CNN), I guessed he deserved a chance to demonstrate that knowledge.
But then again, a brief review of Frank’s articles and Cosmo generally makes one wonder if they have the moral right to accuse anyone of sexism or objectifying women. After all, you can’t say an article that says “The 48 Best boobs of May” is objectifying women.
One more interesting fact – the app was primarily programmed by a lady. Our team is largely slanted in favour of women, in terms of numbers and seniority.
Personally, I’ve gotten a lot of support from women on the issue. I spoke to a lady who holds a PhD. She couldn’t stop laughing about how her PhD affected her score.
Tell us about the traffic to the app
We plan to do this officially when things calm down a little. But let’s say, from what we hear, the Elders have presided over more than N100 billion naira worth of bride price consultations. Women overwhelmingly lead the usage stats – 86% of users were women! We had expected roughly 60%.
Do you think you can do it again? Replicate the effect you have just created. Even if not necessarily with bride price or related topics?
I don’t know about myself, but the smart people I work with have already shown me crazy stuff they plan to do. We’ll just see how things go. We still have demanding clients to deliver for, so we’ll see how things go.
Bethrothed couple image by Foto.com.ng. Find out more.