My thoughts on Tigo’s “Drop that yam” Tv commercial.

12112428_10153164692617543_1226972682093827670_nA few months ago, Tigo’s “Drop that yam” won Advert of the year (2014) at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Awards ceremony.

From the moment i spared some time and bundle to watch this Television commercial (TVC) online, i believed that it was destined to win an award. The good news is that it did and so, i quickly went through my archives and exhumed a piece i did on it somewhere in November, 2014. Below is a complete piece of it. Enjoy!

I love TV commercials (TVC’s). In fact, I love the very few, nicely couched, and thought out ones on our screens, which make intermission time worth looking forward to. To put it rather bluntly, since I returned from my academic exile a month ago, I often find myself appalled by some of the things we call adverts that sometimes I just have to tune my mind off or just be left to the mercy of watching such “horrors” in total disbelief.

But yesterday, for the first time, since I came back from the UK, i think I found one that in all aspects can be called a Tv commercial. In fact, I love it and had to tweet to ‪#‎tigoGhana‬ commending them for a great piece of work. In saying this,  let me hasten to add that the company have over the years shown that they have some creative minds behind the brand. This is because the “honey kuchikuchi” commercial easily comes to mind as another masterpiece from their fold. Do you remember that ad? That one really was an attention grabber and one which easily elicited recall.

I believe that you may have watched the “Drop that yam” commercial from the stables of  Tigo Ghana or still be wondering what I am referring to. Don’t worry. I have attached the commercial for your viewing pleasure.

I have been heed over heels in love with the ad that Farida Shaibu, my annoying journo friend called and inquired why I am raving and ranting about the commercial and what was so special about it. Thus if you see nothing special about it, you are not alone. She thinks I am making so much of a fuss about an ordinary commercial but I think that the reasons i will elucidate and elaborate below will convince her and countless others that this commercial was well thought out and executed to achieve the desired impact.


To this end, i present to you six (6) reasons why I believe the commercial “rocks”;

1. Use of personalities many know and can identify with
In the commercial, one can identify some known faces but I would like to highlight on three. The likes of ‪#‎NaaAshokor‬ (now Mrs. Cabutey) and the gentleman who plays Josh in the XOXO series. Naa, is not just an established face on our airwaves and screens but represents the face of the up and coming Ghanaian (young generation). She is someone the young Ghanaian lady or guy, who aspires to make it to the top of their game can identify with.

Also the use of ‪#‎MercyAsiedu‬, a local language actress, resonates well with another section of a target audience. In the advert she seems to know so much about the smart era (talks about the smart phone and how it facilitates communication on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, et al) and thus sends a message to our middle aged folks that notwithstanding your age, you can still remain smart and savvy in this dispensation.

2. Use of a special life event to convey a product message
Personally, I loved the knocking ceremony scene. Maybe as someone who desires to get married in the not too distant future, it appeals to me (don’t tell my “You know who” that i said so). But I believe that this life event is something everyone can identify with and the use of that concept is apt and how they kept it simple (not too crowded) was just relevant to achieve the desired hook.

3. Identification of target audience and use of both the local language (Akan) and English
While watching the commercial, one thing which struck me was the use of both English and Twi by Mercy Asiedu. She brings both audiences to an easy comprehension of what the commercial seeks to convey. Also, it goes to show who is/are being targeted – the learned and the ordinary man at Kantamanto.

4. Clearly highlighted the product or package details in the short sketch.
The commercial is exactly 1 minute and 2 seconds. Quite apt for a commercial that wants to achieve the desired results. Anything more than that (unless the commercial is educative and informative) makes an ad become a nuisance and people easily get bored with it. Despite the fact that it is  a 1 minute commercial, all the salient product or package information is highlighted by the actors and further reinforced with the product price, and place; with the  latter two being spelt out at the end of the commercial.

5. Kept the concept to the point and employed humour
Often, only a few commercials on TV gets you hooked, enables recall, enforces action or puts a smile on your face. This commercial has all of the above. It shows people what is on offer and what they can do to be part of the offer. In doing so, the use brevity was blatantly employed.

I remember one advise Mr. Yaw Odame Gyau, my advertising marketing lecturer back in GIJ gave us during one of his humour-filled lectures. He cautioned us to always endeavour to KISS (Keeping It Short and Simple) anything we do. The commercial employs this and like Mr Gyau’s lectures, the use of humour was used to spice up the short sketch. For me this enabled recall – a much needed end product every marketer and advertiser seeks to achieve.

5. The Yam concept
Last but not the least, that yam concept is a well known aspect of the Ghanaian society. In the Ghanaian society, it came to be accepted that when one had in their possession an archaic phone, you were said to be holding “y3l3 ponaa” or in some circles “Gomoa bankye”. It’s a concept that evokes humour among many. Thus one can realise that it is a familiar and not a vague concept; easily understood and so target audiences can identify with it very easily and don’t need to think so hard in order to comprehend the whole concept.

These are my thoughts on why I believe the “drop that yam” commercial rocks. Kudos to Insel Communications and the #TigoGhana team for raising the bar once again.

You may agree or disagree with my thoughts on this ad. Feel free drop your thoughts and let’s have a conversation around it.


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