GRATIFICATIONS, NATIONAL IDENTITY AS STRATEGIC MARKETING VARIABLES AND OTHER PROMOTIONAL STRATEGIES IN BIG BROTHER NAIJA TV PROGRAMME

Bolu John Folayan, PhD, Akinola O. Babalola and Mobolaji O. Abati

By

Bolu John Folayan, PhD,

Department of Mass Communication, Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State, Nigeria
bolujohnfolayan@gmail.com | 08023089548

Akinola O. Babalola
Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos State, Nigeria akinolababalola2@gmail.com   |   08057868419

Mobolaji O. Abati
Department of Mass Communication, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria
seunbolajiabati@gmail.com      |    08035574443

Abstract

This study investigates the perceived effectiveness of fostering national identity, seeking gratifications, and deploying non-conventional promotional strategies – using a popular Nigerian reality TV show, ‘Big Brother Naija’ (BBN) as referent point. The media keeps surveillance of and correlates components of the society. It transmits cultural norms and keeps the people informed. The surveillance function alludes to the propensity of the media to search for new information and tell its audience the implications of such information. Correlation refers to the ability of the media to shape and influence their audience; while the transmission function refers to the role the media plays in the transference of experience, culture and tradition. This study explores the ‘correlation’ and ‘transmission’ roles of the television in relation to marketing communications. Thus, the researchers sought to know the viewers’ perception of the BBN programme, the gratifications, that they derive, the use of national identity as promotional strategy and the extent to which these affected marketing objectives of sponsor. Three hundred BBN viewers constituted the respondents in the study.  Findings revealed that viewers of BBN sought entertainment, relaxation, escape and identification as gratifications while sponsors of the programme use both the traditional and unique/creative strategies such as interactive, appearances, donations of prizes and cultural traits, to effectively promote their brands. The study found that using national identity as a promotional strategy in a multi-ethnic society offers huge potentials for branding. The study further reinforces the perspective that the audience of mass communication (and by extension consumers) is not a passive recipient of media information.

Keywords: Edutainment, Gratifications, Media, National Identity, Marketing Communications

Word Counts: 256