Timaya: Doing the Stuff of Legends


Ferdinand Ekechukwu

Dance-hall king Enitimi Alfred Odon aka Timaya was clapping in front of thousands of people, at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja. Many expected the artiste to sing and dance but he chose a different course of action. On a stage that has been typified by grand musical theatrics, the Bayelsa born singer decided to pause the music and engage the crowd in a sing-along mode, which included clapping.

Since his big break into the music scene in 2005, the singer has been consistent and relevant throughout the years. Don Papi Chulo as he is now fondly called is unapologetic for how unconventional he is, how original he is, how unique he can come across, and no other brand is championing the course for authenticity like Legend is. Hence it was a match made in heaven, for Timaya to grace the stage at the launch of the brand’s new 45cl SKU.

Legend is doing less of the macho club swashbuckling it tried so hard to own before, and more of a down-to-earth ‘Original Naija’ tone of voice. This new direction has caught the attention of many young upwardly mobile Nigerians, and the #BeYourself campaign appears to be making the desired impact on the intended audience. It is one of the reasons that Timaya’s clapping in Ikeja was significant.

Timaya, you see, was not making a mess of himself in front of total strangers. He was at home with his own people, and sharing this unconventional moment with them was a way of expressing his originality.  “I always love performing to my real fans,” he said after the show. “It brings back so many memories and the crowd tonight was spectacular. They made me feel at home.”

In typical Timaya fashion, he urged the crowd to always live their truth and be themselves. As he said that, the crowd cheered him on and that was the moment that Legend won the evening. “The launch of the 45cl SKU is a timely reminder of Legend’s commitment to inspiring its consumers to be real and authentic. Bringing fans face to face with one of the realest Nigerian superstars is a very engaging way of putting across this message,” said Sarah Agha, the Portfolio Manager, National Premium Lager, NB Plc.

The event which was tagged the “Power Of 45” had hundreds of guests and consumers in attendance, as hordes of young Nigerians got the chance to have a first look at the new product offering from Legend Extra Stout. The brand team insists that such connection was what they were going for. This simple yet brilliant campaign has seen the brand reinvent itself in an interesting way, as it encourage consumers to be proud of their uniqueness rather than conform to societal norms.

This product launch adds to Legend’s long list of exciting brand initiatives in 2019. Earlier in the year, Legend Extra Stout set out to redefine itself, and broaden its appeal to millennial Nigerians. What followed were a set of audio-visual commercials emphasizing Legend’s new brand narrative of “Be Yourself”. With this campaign, Legend seems to have struck that emotional branding gold. As it turns out, emotional branding is the holy grail of marketing.

In Legend’s case, both the artists and the consumers are having a similar reaction to the campaign. “Tonight is very special for me because I got an opportunity to bare myself in front of my fans,” said Chike, after his performance in Ikeja. “I want to give a special shout out to Legend for connecting me with my people. Tonight is the most fun I’ve had onstage in a long time. It was really nice to connect with my fans and make them happy. I really hope to come back and do this again later.”

Legend Extra Stout shows no signs of slowing down, as the brand is set to continue with this brilliant campaign of “Be Yourself”. The launch of this new SKU offers consumers not one, or two, but three sizes of Legend to choose from, and this variety is set to add a new depth to the stout’s market penetration. It will be interesting to see what the brand does after the dust settles on the launch of its new SKU. However, considering just how creative and consistent the brand has been in 2019, you wouldn’t put it past Legend Extra Stout to continue in this hot streak.