AIRTIME PLUS BY Nwabuikwu Onosh
Sometime in February this year (2016), I wrote this article under the headline: “Does Van Persie Still Drink Chivita? “It’s doubtful if Dutch International and Fernabahce Robin Van Persie (RVP) ever drank Chivita Orange to begin with. But let’s believe that like some other English Premier League players, RVP lived for Nigerian drinks like Chivita Orange and Malt. But what’s the justification for still running Chivita’s TV commercial shot when RVP was (still) a Manchester United player? The man doesn’t even play in England anymore as he has since left for Turkey. Shouldn’t it matter?
I suppose it makes sense to query whether these players even know about the existence of Chivita’s orange juice? That’s certainly not more far fetched than continuously showing viewers an advert of Van Persie in a Man Utd jersey. Right after the commercial, Van Persie can be seen playing for Fernabahce in the European Champions League.
Then there’s the issue of using money made from Nigerians to promote foreign players. Shouldn’t there some kind of advertising body that can regulate this? Or is it possible to catch Kelechi Iheanacho Super Eagles/Manchester City being advertised on Dutch TV enjoying whatever juice is popular? Not even with a name like Iheanacho (The One We’ve been Looking For).
I know a part of it is caused by our fixation on foreign leagues/footballers. Still.”
Fast forward to August 13, 2016. The Chivita TV commercial was still running. That’s when I noticed that in addition to Van Persie, almost every footballer in the advert had left Manchester United. There’s Di Maria, I think there’s also Radamel Falcao and I’m sure one or two who have left. With the possible exception of Rooney (who’s probably going to retire at Old Trafford), that Chivita TVC of Man Utd players ‘drinking’ and recommending the fruit juice is made entirely up of (now) former Manchester United players. This prompted a friend to suggest that perhaps what Chivita is actually aiming for is a ‘Man Utd Veterans’ Endorse Chivita’ TVC.
They could bring in people like Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Van Nistelrooy. And Dwight Yorke could fill in the Black space. Surely they too can testify to the goodness of Chivita in their lives? And why not? Any foreign endorsement is good enough. Our elected leaders are happy to tell us about foreigners praising them. Like we who feel it don’t know it. Why should a product making all its money from Nigeria, spend its hard earned forex on some foreign players? Not foreign-based Nigerian players, mind you. Sounds like I made this point earlier. Anyhow, repetition can’t be bad in this case.
And in case you’re wondering about the prominence given to this story (by me), seeing that the first time didn’t do the magic, perhaps someone would help us tell someone to tell someone until it reaches the good people at Chivita.