THEY are the same people who eventually make it to the Country's seat of power. But despite their importance and eventual control of the helm of affairs, most citizens do not think much of this set of highly placed individuals. This is the story of Politicians in the Nigerian Political dispensation. They've been described with words like: Corrupt, cheats, dupes, liars, tricksters, fraudsters, hypocrites among others.
The President of Catholic Bishops Conference lending credence to this belief has also once used these words to describe this sect: Unpatriotic, Lazy, Greedy, and Corrupt.
But not relegating their importance and necessity, and avoiding the chance of having the greater flock of bad politicians getting to power, and affecting the polity negatively, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) at the Advertising Day took the rebranding message their route, as though with the same belief as a greater number of citizens that whatever system the Country has today, is somehow connected to the kind of people who are in power, a product most times, of the political terrain obtainable at that giving period.
At the discussion of an interesting topic that concerns this sect of our polity, Rebranding the Nigerian Politician, the role of advertising, at the16th Advertising Day Annual Lecture of APCON held over the weekend in Sheraton and Towers Lagos, all stakeholders were on hand to lend a voice to the need to orientate Politicians on the way to be, as well as enlighten the audience more on some misconceptions.
From APCON Registrar Alhaji Bello Kankarofi who is hosting, to its Chairman, Lolu Akinwunmi, who believes it is not just rebranding of the Politicians that should be the focal point, because the whole issue is tied to the rebranding of the nation, to the Minister of Information and Technology, Prof. Dora Akunyili, who delved into the numerous reasons, ways and expectations of the rebranding project, as it affects both the mentioned Politicians, and other Nigerians, down to the Chief Speaker at the event, Senator David Iornem who had a presentation dedicated to this duty .
All the efforts, according to the Minister, “as part of the effort to achieve the aim of handing over the Nigeria of our dream to our children. “Why can't we help to fix our Country instead of helping to bring it down?” She asks. “We can achieve great result if we can only play our individual part.”
She went on to explain the perception about politicians, the reason for it, the reason for the way they are, and their part to play, “People have associated Politics with falsehood, and that is why you hear terms like Don't play politics with me. They in turn see politicians as liars, but it is not always true, but only based on their perception of some of these politicians who come into power with promises that are never fulfilled. They are however a product of the society, can be affected by the same system as the society, and therefore can be rebranded if the society gets rebranded. They can also change this perception about them by not making promises they cannot keep.” The Minister explained.
In doing justice to the issue at hand, Senator Iornem, chose a better title for his presentation: The role of advertising and badvertising. He started by giving a comprehensive definition of Branding, rebranding, similarities and differences of product branding/rebranding, and politician branding/rebranding.
Unlike advertising, badvertising was explained as painting an ugly picture of a product, situation, or service with the intention that someone will avoid it. He gave an example of the campaign on Tobacco products where Smokers are announced to be liable to die young, and mention other campaign aimed at re-enforcing negative outcome from embracing a particular act, product or service.
Pointing out Politicians area of defect, he admits that politicians sometimes take on ambiguous tasks that eventually when not concluded, shows them up as liars and cheats, but agrees with the minister's assessment that they are the product of the society, and are as much influenced by it like everybody else. She made an example of the vision 20-20-20 project, which he said was probably proposed because of its rhymes as the objectives of the project is not realizable for the duration giving. “Becoming one of the best 20 countries in the world economy by 20-20 takes much more than paying 70% of the budget for a fake contract.”
He argues that a Nigerian politician is no different than every other citizen of the country, “90% of Nigerians are bedeviled by the same problem of a politician because we are a product of ourselves, and every Nigeria is a Politician” then he pointed the right way to go about it, “to rebrand a concept like a Nigeria Politician, it needs a comprehensive marketing approach, and not just advertising.”
It was soon the turn of Idoren Inyang, the ADVAN President to chip in his point in the duty of a Moderator. He was just that, as he gave a fair assessment of the two sides of the coin, without mincing words. In doing that, he gave three factors to consider in rebranding a Nigerian politician.
• What is the Concept?
• What makes a good brand? which he recounted as authenticity, consistencies, and staying power
• Who is better qualified to handle political adverts?
“The reality is that political marketing is not the same thing as product marketing. In one there is logic, and in the other, there is competence.” He explained.
Source: National Daily