Own Your Journey: A Lesson In Courage For Young Nigerians With Dreams

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We all seem to have been there; that moment when you’re working late on that big dream of yours. Tired and stressed, you almost want to quit. And just when you think it can’t get any worse, someone reinforces your doubt by reminding you that all of these efforts, this unrelenting commitment to your dreams, this hope for a pie in the sky may be all for nothing. This encapsulates the new television commercial (TVC) for Gulder brand when it plays out this scene in its 3rd act; it’s all too familiar, and millions of millennials across the country can relate to the struggle of the modern Nigerian man. With this one singular scene, Gulder brilliantly captures the message it had spent the last few months trying to communicate, and it does this with some gusto.

The Gulder TVC is the first from the beer brand since it launched its “Own Your Journey” campaign in January; it taps into an important phase which many of its target audience are in and excels at capturing it. 

The young man with a dream, played by Chidozie Nwachukwu, failed to convince his uncle that his idea is important enough to earn his Uncle’s support. He turns to his friend and his staff who unfortunately, share the same sentiment with his uncle; a belief that to survive in business you need deep pockets and a strong support system.

Again, he shares a couple of drinks with his friend and staff, before the next scene of the ad which shows the business up and running. Of course, the business succeeds and earns media attention (and maybe profits), thus perfecting the story the brand was seeking to tell – one about the rewards of resilience and self-belief. Gulder has used the launch of the ‘Own Your Journey’ campaign to stay connected with its target audience from a strong inspirational angle, something the brand has always been good at. One can say that the brand has a thing for ads that pump up a person’s energy and spur them to take a leap. At least the one from a few years ago, about three men confronting their fears also did this.

Now, beyond the surface story of a young man chasing his dream and succeeding at it, the Gulder campaign manages to earn more points for infusing the brand at the right points and teaching a huge lesson in success. 

For a campaign about journey, the brand shows up at crucial moments – celebratory or not. If the aim was to position as a wingman for bravery or something of that sort, then the script did justice to that. There was a Gulder shared to mark rejections, and a win as well, just maybe to buttress the point that both events are all part of the journey to success.It is a good thing that the ad does more than just inspire and spread hope to the many brave Nigerians working tirelessly every day.

Just like when Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut film, ‘Lionheart’ dropped, one of the major talking points was that of her uncle’s announcement as interim CEO not ending in a power tussle. 

That appears a very refreshing angle for people very conversant with Nollywood storylines. For those conversant with startup life, at least in Nigeria, it was good to see rejection well taken all through the Gulder ad, with no showings of the usual “pepper dem” behavior people have when they succeed. In one of the ending frames of the ad, the lead actor’s uncle could be seen celebrating, with his friend present too despite both not being supportive in the beginning.

Gulder’s campaign will most certainly succeed, partly because of this new ad and the events that will follow. There is only one recognizable face in the ad, that of Simeon Kalu, who plays uncle, the rest, all those of everyday Nigerians; who better to tell our story of boldness and courage? Without using celebrity faces, it accomplishes storytelling that is real, inspiring and educating. It is only right that the commercial got a warm reception, now we wait for the people it inspires to own and enjoy their journeys.