I sat down on Sunday after closing from church and I kept thinking for some hours, What actually went wrong? Or has this just been the case right from inception that a gospel artists finds it extremely difficult to get endorsement deals? Oh well i couldn’t come up with a conclusion and i know so many people would have something to say about this so i thought to share. Why do endorsers find it difficult to endorse gospel artists for their brand?
Gospel artists are those committed to just gospel musics. Gospel musics are motivational Christian music that has become part of Nigerian music. In the 1970’s the likes of Ebenezer Obey, Bola Aare, Lanre Teriba (Atorise), and Sammy Okposo were notable for their love for gospel music; the Christian Redeemed voices were also known for their gospel sound. These artists are as skilled as the hip-hop, Afro pop and every other artists in the Nigerian music industry. From time to time the gospel music has been transformed especially in Nigeria by adding some secular flavor to their songs. I think they have played their parts in the industry, they have released albums that are quite commendable, won several awards and have made national and international impact and they have contributed in no small measure to upholding societal morals and values.
You may want to ask what these brand managers look out for before endorsing as that seems to be the most important thing. These days it is almost impossible to surf the internet or look at a newspaper/magazine without seeing a celebrity. A celebrity is a famous person who enjoys specific public recognition and their fans treat them as mini gods. These celebrities are quite influential and have a large number of audience so marketers from time being have capitalized on this very preposition to influence their target consumers. Most people want a piece of something they cannot be and so they tie themselves to the products these celebrities use and this in turn helps to promote the growth of such product.
There are some major things to look out for before endorsing. One of such things is public awareness. A celebrity should enjoy a high degree of public awareness because what people actually celebrate is the level of success achieved. No one wants to celebrate a failure, people that give product testimonial are famous, prominent and successful people. This goes a long way as consumers are often seduced by the idea of purchasing a product which is endorsed by someone famous as though buying the product , the consumer becomes affiliated with the celebrity. The endorser has to be sure that the celebrity being endorsed is one that has that level of public awareness to enhance growth of the product.
Another thing to look out for is Source Attractiveness. A celebrity has to be able to attract its audience thereby winning those audience over as consumers for the brand that has endorsed them. The modern mass media has made the life of a celebrity quite easy giving them relevant exposure and power in public places. If a celebrity endorses, it shows that they approve of the product and this in turn builds consumer confidence in market place. With consumers facing so many choices these days, an emotional connection with a certain celebrity is the only juju that would help sell a brand. Because brand managers get desired results by doing that, they are not scared to give out a whopping amount of money to endorse these celebrities.
In Nigeria, most gospel artists take back seats especially as it concerns airplay and financial success. They do not enjoy the massive airplay that other artists enjoy and this has given them less popularity, recognition and audience. They do not have the power to command an audience and as such do not have enormous influence. This can be the reason why they do not get endorsement deals. No organization want to take the big risk of having to spend lots of money without getting results. This does not mean that some of them do not have endorsement deals. Sammy Okposo is one gospel artiste that has gone the extra mile and he got an endorsement deal from Globacom. He has staged concerts abroad, featured international artists and strives to remain relevant even up till today. His great works have brought him so many achievements which includes a large fan base and an endorsement deal.
What do these gospel artists need to do? It starts with gaining awareness in public places and working on yourself as a brand so that other brands can associate themselves with you. In as much as there is less room for expression of gospel music, so many artists still strive and they have gone the extra mile to put their names out there. An endorser never goes for a celebrity who do not have an audience that they can convert into consumers because it would not yield positive and acceptable results. Gospel Artists need to step up their game.
Just as other Nigerian artists get endorsement deals from companies like Globacom, MTN, Airtel, Pepsi, Solo Phones amongst many others, I believe the Gospel artists too deserves an endorsement deal but that’s my thought by the way. Nigerian companies especially the telecommunication companies are leveraging the entertainment industry to cast their goods and services in better light, they are now associating with creative persons in the music and even movie industry. Why they have chosen not to associate with the gospel artistes in the industry is what leaves me wondering. Do you think these gospel artists deserves endorsement deals or not?