Nigeria’s rebranding is ridiculed by phone theft and amateur logo

Nigeria’s image is unquestionably bad. And the reasons are all too obvious for all to see – with bad leadership at the top of the list. Other problems include but are not limited to corruption, indiscipline, drug trafficking, e-mail scams to cheat money out of unwitting victims overseas, lack of social infrastructure (roads, electricity, hospitals, [...]

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Branding Nigeria logoNigeria’s image is unquestionably bad. And the reasons are all too obvious for all to see – with bad leadership at the top of the list. Other problems include but are not limited to corruption, indiscipline, drug trafficking, e-mail scams to cheat money out of unwitting victims overseas, lack of social infrastructure (roads, electricity, hospitals, schools and factories) and very poor security (armed robberies, assassinations and kidnappings). To worsen things further, its commercial capital Lagos recently topped a poll of the world’s most dangerous places to work.

All of these have combined to tarnish the reputation of Nigeria’s country and people. With this background, no wonder why local officials felt that a re-branding for Nigeria was needed.

Nigerians know that overcoming negative stereotypes against them will be a tough task, but to be frank, it will be completely impossible if this sort of things happen: At the ceremony at which the new logo and slogan of Brand Nigeria were to be unveiled, a member of the team campaigning to improve Nigeria’s image was stolen his mobile phone. If it weren’t true, it’d be comic.

As the BBC reports, Nigeria’s nation branding team member Isawa Elaigwu told that he noticed the phone was gone minutes before he was due to address the event. “As I was entering the gates of the conference centre I noticed I had been pick-pocketed,” he said. “This is just the sort of thing we need to fight against”, he added. This suggests that for as long as Nigeria remains a fraudulent failing state, campaigns to correct the purported negative image of the country abroad could be misconstrued as a whitewash, further feeding into the perception that Nigerians are deceptive people.

But “Nigeria cannot wait until it’s solved all its problems before addressing its image”, confronts Dora Akunyili, the Nigerian Information Minister, who hopes to change this bad reputation with this campaign. “A better image would improve tourism and encourage businesses to invest in Nigeria”, she says. “As Nigerian’s own perception of themselves improved they would be less inclined to commit crime“, she adds in a sentence that will make an impact to the whole nation branding sphere – now nation branding reduces crime too.

On this March 17th, 2009 event the ministry unveiled a new slogan, “Good People, Great Nation” and a new logo, which is simply the name of the country but “creatively interpreted” as some say – my opinion on this is pretty straightforward, and is that this logo is worthless. And the baseline seems to have been designed in Microsoft Word®, with its conventional italic Arial typeface, and not even respecting some breathing white space between the “-e” in “People” and the “g” in “Nigeria”.

If this is how this branding project for Nigeria starts, I think that the project could be so failed that it could be counter-productive. My opinion on Nigeria is now worse than it was before – because now I have official Nigerian confirmation that some of the prejudices harming Nigerians may be well-sustained, however unfair they may be. And I am sure that the people of Nigeria deserves much more and much better than this from their government.

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Author: Andreas Markessinis

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5 Comments

  1. Joseph Nwadukwe wrote on May 22, 2009 | Permalink

    Hello,
    Having read your article “Nigeria’s rebranding is ridiculed by phone theft and amateur logo”,I completely agree with you that the campaign is a mockery.I see no reason why this campaign should be championed by the same people who dragged the country into the mud.

    Also, I believe that a rebranding campaign has more to do with he people.Action is needed not words and logos.I am about to launch a journal that will only be published and distributed at international conferences.There is a cloumn for contributions from ur subscribers and delegates met at each conference we exhibit.I would like to send you an executive summary via attachment if you dont mind.I really new tips on what to do.

    Regards,
    Joseph N.

  2. Ifeanyi Ofoegbu wrote on June 23, 2009 | Permalink

    Hello,
    Concerning the article about the amateur logo, I believe that when ‘people’ stand for what’s right people begin to raise up one argument or the other.

    I totally agree with the Minister where she said that Nigeria can’t wait to solve all of its problems before addressing its image. We as Nigerians can’t continue like this, we just have to support such an initiative whichever way we can.

    Those at the top of affairs have not been the only ones to tarnish the image the outside world have about Nigeria, the man on the street one way or the other contributed his quota, so at this point we find ourselves all we need to do is to support what’s going on and stop blaming those in government because there’s no time for that and if we continue that way surely we would get to nowhere.

    Thanks,
    Ifeanyi O.

  3. aniekan geoffrey wrote on December 15, 2009 | Permalink

    truthfully i think nigerians deserve better,bad leadership thought it will help to use the person of the minister of information dora akunyili as a brand to hoodwink nigerians but we are tired of thelip service being paid to this topic of re-branding.
    re-branding cant be achived without the youth of the country getting involved.it is more than a cheezy logo.

  4. Anorue I Stephen wrote on June 25, 2010 | Permalink

    You have a nice idea, i agree but not the number of logos you display on air can make a change but you and me. If the president and his vice including those top government officials accept to change today and make this country a better place for all, then Nigeria will be free from ridicule and scorn abroad. But if they don’t change for good, then am sorry “minister” you will achieve nothing positive. Regards. Ansteve.

  5. Uche Nworah wrote on September 17, 2011 | Permalink

    Perhaps the writer of this article should have researched a bit more before jumping on the bandwagon of critiquing everything Nigeria, if you had, you would have discovered that the Nigeria rebranding logo was the winning logo in a national open competition in which Nigerians were challenged to create a suitable rebranding logo. The idea behind this was to give the people ownership of the rebranding programme by making them a part of that process. I know this because i was a part of the Nigerian national rebranding committee that managed the process initially. I was also a part of the 3-man technical committee that selected the winning logo. You can also see the logic in this. If we had invited design agencies to pitch, their fees would have probably eaten up the slightly over $1M budget of the entire rebranding programme. Nigerians are not as stupid as you all may think, we may have our issues and challenges but we are working on them.

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