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The creators of the internet sensation that was the Brideprice app, are taking another stab at reproducing viral phenomena at will. Anakle has created a web app for the Premier Cool brand that is designed to ride the wave of maternal feelings that are sure to sweep through the world on Mother’s Day.

The app, Call Your Mum, doesn’t actually let you call your mum… Rather, the interface lets you send a beautiful SMS to your mum. You could use one of the four pre-populated endearing messages, but the point of the app is to compose a heartfelt message right there and then, because that’s the only way you stand to win actual airtime that you can then use to call your mum.

The app stores your message and sends it to the phone number you specify on Mother’s Day, which this year is on the 15th of March. It also subscribes the sender to a reminder — the app will remind you to call your mum on Sunday. Yes, you are giving up not one, but two phone numbers to a brand that will probably just add it to its marketing database…but the app’s T and C promises your phone numbers will be used only for the purposes of the #callyourmum campaign. There is free airtime to be won, afterall.

Since Anakle broke Nigerian Twitter with its Brideprice app, brands have predictably demanded the exact same effect from Nigerian digital agencies, creating an interesting problem. They are essentially asking them to bottle and mass produce virality. Making things “go viral” is a crap shoot for even the savviest agencies. Even Kim Kardashian can break the Internet only so many times. When Anakle attempted to reimagine the Brideprice app for the more stodgy subject of personal finances a la Access Bank, the reception was tepid relative to the original.

Call Your Mum is definitely cuter than personal finances. Whether people will actually engage is a different matter altogether. There are many options available to people who want to show their mums how much they love them on Mother’s Day. But people love cute things on the internet, and they love getting free airtime, so #callyourmum could actually be a thing. We won’t know how sticky Anakle’s mum texting app actually is until Mother’s Day.

Asides viral potential, the #callyourmum campaign has other interesting sides to it that are not very apparent, but no less audacious. The YouTube video that was made to publicise the app was shot entirely with an iPhone. The aerial panning that catches Dolphin estate in Ikoyi from above was accomplished with a drone. When asked if shooting with an iPhone was relevant to the campaign objective, Editi responded that Anakle wanted to see what kind of campaign it could put together on a “zero budget”.

“We are running the entire campaign without one dollar being spent. We used our own equipment, internal assets and called in favours for everything,” Editi said, via IM. Even the SMS that will be used for the actual mum texts is coming from leftover inventory from previous campaigns.

That is not to say that you can call this a zero budget campaign, the resources being used are real. And Linda Ikeji publicity is definitely not free. But it’s interesting how they’ve cobbled it all together with such low burn.

The YouTube video for Call Your Mum has been seen more than eleven thousand times as of this writing, in less than 48 hours of being uploaded. That is not exactly viral yet, even by Nigerian standards. Mother’s Day is still a couple days away, so there is still time for it to rack up the hits.


Bankole Oluwafemi Author

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