My friend and I chatted about how best to celebrate his wife. The wife is a friend too and so I’m familiar with some of the things that interest her.
The husband had planned a lunch at a cool hotel, including some random plans. But we wanted more. We challenged ourselves to come up with an idea that will be simple and cool. The husband and I, usual collaborators in a record of mischiefs and silliness, started to brainstorm. Then, we happened on a simple one that will appeal to the wife’s intellectual and romantic sides.
Idea: The husband will write a cool and romantic poem and share couplets with the wife's friends who will post it on Twitter, on schedule, with the hashtag - #T32.
How’s this relevant? The wife likes poetry. She’s a Twitter citizen. Her friends appreciate poetry. They will love to surprise her. Her husband writes poetry. I write poetry too. And I’m readily available to edit poetry. I’ll be available to pressure the husband to complete the poem before the birthday. I can help to break the poem into tweets.
Everybody made it happen. And the celebrant was happy.
Here are the tweets:
And the full poem:
I pity any jury this year or next year that would be tasked to judge this ad by Airtel versus the "Achebe" one for Wikipedia. Tough one. Two incredibly beautiful campaigns.
I had shared by opinion about the Wikipedia one. I love this for its simple insight; it's clever demonstration of the filial connection between Nigerian mothers (African mothers, especially) and their children.
If not for that epic one by Wikipedia, this would easily be my favourite by a faaaaaaaar distance! And the acting is spot-on. They killed me with the cut back to scene after the announcer. I'd give the credit of boldness to the client. Not many of them approve such playfulness.
I found this gem! (But I should digress for a sec. A few weeks ago, I stumbled on an Instagram ad for Wikipedia. The ad features that tiny Internet phenomenon called Emmanuella. Expectedly, it has the slapstick humour one expects from this girl, sometimes exaggerated for effect. I love it).
Then this one. Still by Wikipedia. It features Pete Edochie and Achebe's famous book. One must commend the guys behind this for a clever casting of an actor whose career is most notably associated with his role as the lead character from a TV adaptation of the book. (In my head, Pete Edochie is still registered as Okonkwo).
There are many layers to this beautiful ad. One of this, it seems, is that our stories, and cynically, like our humanity, are at the mercy of capitalism. This is a simple evidence - Wikipedia wants to sell itself to a Nigerian (African?) audience, and so the advertising minds - for sake of advertising profits - exploit arguably Africa's biggest story to tell the story of Wikipedia. Capitalism!
But that's not necessarily the most important layer. It is the storytelling quality - of the directing, of the acting, of the very substance of resurrecting Things Fall Apart in an era where history is a footnote in Nigerian classrooms, and in an era where creatives elevate technique above good idea. This ad - let's appropriately call it film, doesn't distract with techniques. This is a strong narrative informing an execution, not the other way round.
I love this work. Proud of it.
(It's the work of Anakle, a digital advertising agency)
"Basically there was no Rosa Parks kind of momentum, no Martin Luther King massive disruption of an entrenched system of segregation which led to concrete achievements in the areas of adult suffrage, women and minority empowerment, desegregation in the educational system to mention just a few."
"For Fela specifically, his failure could not be taken too far away from his personality. He was seen as a caricature by serious minded people who although loved the rhythm of his songs and the powerful lyrics consigned him to just side attraction that only interest you on a Friday night. His message, however, resonated on the masses, those who were dislocated from the system, who apart from the tendency of morphing into a mob flow were dim-witted and unable to effect a real social change at the levels where it matters the most."
"Healing, a simple act of kindness bring such meaning
A smile can change a life let's start believing
And feeling, let's start healing"
By the incredibly brilliant mind, Noma Bar. The profile of Sigmund Freud in a gestalt/negative-space illustration.