3 Things Cameroon can learn from the Superbowl
It is 4 pm Sunday afternoon, I’m running around to pick up my order of 800 chicken wings, 20 pound of potato salad and 200 cookies. Yes, you read right, It’s the Superbowl. I’m hosting at my place, my friends are coming and there’s no way I’m running out of anything. As the night progressed, looking around the room I noted a few things that Cameroon could learn from the Superbowl and the ads that ran during the program.
1-Be a good host.
In Cameroon we wait for the last minute for everything. Someone will host a dinner party 8:30, polite guests will leave their house at 8:30 while regular guest will leave their house at 9:30 And despite their tardiness, they’ll get to the party and the host will still be cooking or setting up the place. That has to stop.
“Avant l’heure c’est pas l’heure, après l’heure c’est plus l’heure.”
The Superbowl is the biggest mediatized event in America. Every year, a different city hosts the Superbowl and gets the opportunity to showcase what the place has to offer. Millions of people make the trip to the city every year not just for the game, but for the experience and the folklore around the event. Heck, I wasn’t in the host city but I was hosting people and I was thankful for the fact that I planned the party 3 weeks in advance and got some people to help me set up, organize, usher the guests, and most importantly clean up after the game. Being a good host takes practice and preparation, you can’t improvise. The AFCON, for example, is coming to Cameroon in 2019. We better be ready, otherwise it will be a fiasco Click To Tweet
2- Creativity is expensive
This year, 30 sec during the game cost 4.5 million. The average ad was 1 min. And brands are investing money, and hiring agencies to create their message for them. Not hiring their cousins, nephews, brother’s girlfriend or random perika to do the work.
Creative services are expensive. We work hard to master our craft, and the time and effort we put into it has a price.
In Cameroon everyone takes advertising, I’m sorry…”Communication” for granted. Whether you’re in Advertising (online or traditional), PR, media planning, media buying, or management…it’s all the same thing: “Communication” and if you’re a professional in the field you’re a “Communicateur” whatever the heck that means. I’m sorry, yes communication is a field, very broad at that. But please understand that they’re very different professions within the field. In order to market your product the right way, you need real professionals to study the market for you and craft the messages for you that will increase your sales. Le copier-coller ne donne pas Click To Tweet
3- Consistency leads to excellence.
The Superbowl is the most popular event in the US because it has something for everyone. Some people just watch it for the ads, some enjoy the drama of the game, some show up just for the party and the food. But the tradition of the bowl game in itself and all the products that are generating profit from it comes from consistency. Every year, the Superbowl is held in February, and each edition is bigger than the last one. The NFL makes an effort to instill a vision into each Superbowl committee, not to tamper with creativity, but to help them keep things fresh while moving the event forward.
There’s a tradition of excellence that draws people into the culture of the event.
In Cameroon, we don’t know what consistency is. And excellence is something we heard about in history books. We used to be a country made of people dedicated to the pursuit of excellence. Nothing was monotonous and we learned the importance of making progress. Today, we are complacent with our status. Very few people are willing to go “the extra mile” (which is really doing the job they’re getting paid for, without “motivation”) for someone they don’t know or for the greater good. For every service you require, you “need to know” someone that will facilitate the process.
In the end, the important thing to remember is the importance to rise to the occasion. We’re 4 years away from the biggest international event ever hosted in Cameroon. For the second time in history, we will host the African Nations Cup. We’re undoubtedly a big nation of football, yet we’ve only hosted the event once. This is our chance to make a good impression, this is our chance to show Africa and the world what they’ve been missing.