Incredible Facts About the Coca-Cola FIFA World Cup Commercial I Helped Create

1.   Agreeing to take up the challenge and hopping on the next flight to Kenya was a decision made less than 36 hours. Only my siblings were convinced I was traveling. Other people thought I was pulling my usual pranks. My friends who drove me to the airport weren’t convinced until I was cleared at the Kenyan Airways counter.

2.     I worked with a brilliant team that looked like a mini United Nations. There’s a Gabonese, an Indian and other people with different shades of colour (and quirks).

3.     It took a great deal of time to convince the team to approve the part of the TV script where a Nigerian player removes his shirt to reveal well-chiseled abs that made girls go wild (The Admirers). It turns out that most people that have seen the commercial say it’s their favourite part.

4.     French-speaking African countries are on a different level of voodoo. At a brainstorming session, while I was sharing some psychographics and insights (damn marketing speak!) about Nigerians, the Gabonese shared stories, some of them diabolical, about the extent which football fans go in supporting their country and club sides. I can’t list the scary details here. The input from French guy really got me laughing.

5.       There’s a French version of the commercial running in French-speaking African countries.

6.     It’s currently one of the most viewed commercials in Africa. It’s on DSTV, and it will run throughout the World Cup duh!

7.     I became some kind of a Nigerian Ambassador. I defended Nigerians’ love for excessive spending, showing off and religiosity. I shared some Nigerian pop songs with some people. But I doubt if I succeeded in convincing them that not everything that happens in Nollywood movies is accurate about Nigeria. I mean, not all Nigerian mothers-in-law are evil and we don’t turn into yams and stones on the streets. But there’s consolation in knowing Nollywood taught them that Nigerian women are beautiful and have an incredible dress sense.

8.     I now have cool Kenyan friends.

9.     Of all the Swahili words I picked, my brain has only retained “Asante” & “Habari za asubuhi”.

10.    I wrote this poem aboard the flight to Nairobi.