Big Brother Naija 2021′ winner, Whitemoney. Image Source: ID Africa

The 7th season of Big Brother Naija (BBN), arguably Nigeria’s biggest television event, is currently airing across Africa. In the show, housemates are isolated in a house, and they compete for a grand prize of $231,000( ₦ 100,000,000), split evenly between a cash prize and prizes from sponsors such as Pocket by Piggyvest and Flutterwave. 

The 2020 iteration had an audience of 309 million people across the continent, and the collective hours streamed at that show added up to 30 years. With similar big numbers, the 2021 show generated 41.7 billion digital impressions across social media.

The immense digital presence that Big Brother Naija directs to brands makes it an advertising gold mine. David Adeleke, a media expert, has likened the show to the Super Bowl, America’s largest television event. The Super Bowl saw its highest viewership record in 2015 at 114.4 million viewers; Big Brother Naija’s 2020 viewership was 309 million. Last year, Abeg (Pocket by Piggyvest’s previous name) spent $2 million last year to be the headline sponsor and grew its user base from 20,000 users to 2 million users after the show. 

Image Source: Communique

In an attempt to leverage this goldmine, Quidax, a Nigerian cryptocurrency exchange and one of this year’s sponsors, launched a 30-second QR code advertisement for its “Quidax Millionaire Promo” campaign on the show. By scanning the QR code which led to the Quidax landing page, lucky customers could win prizes up to $23,000 ( ₦ 10,000,000) and an all-expense paid trip to Dubai by scanning the QR code. The company showed the advertisement on the three biggest events on the show: the Saturday party, the Sunday eviction party, and Monday’s Head of House party. 

The promo saw Quidax gather up to 2.4 million hits to the website from over 25 countries, with the top 5 countries being Nigeria, Ghana, the United Kingdom, Uganda, and South Africa. The amount of traffic that the advertisement brought made the startup’s website crash for 15 minutes. 

On a call with TechCabal, Ezekiel Ojewunmi, the Marketing and Communications Lead at Quidax, said that Quidax was inspired by Coinbase’s same marketing strategy. In February this year, Coinbase showed a similar QR code advert at the Super Bowl that brought more than 20 million hits on its landing page in one minute, causing the website to crash for an hour. 

Ojewunmi added that although consultants told Quidax that Nigerians might struggle with using a QR code, they decided to go along with the experiment because they felt they had nothing to lose. The move was engineered to draw traction for Quidax’s new product that allows users to save in dollars.  

This move from Quidax shows that advertising tactics from international companies like Coinbase could directly translate and have a similar impact in Africa. 

On Friday, the 23rd of September, TechCabal in partnership with Moniepoint (by TeamApt) will host the most important players in tech and business on and off the continent to discuss the future of commerce in Africa. Register now to attend. 

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