MTN Nigeria is used to making history not only on in the area it was set up to operate but also in other areas such entertainment, marketing, sports- athletic and football and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

It is infrequent to see a corporate organisation straddles it activities across many sectors of the economy the way MTN has done and still doing in so many years.

When the ICT Company, as it is preferred to be called nowadays, became the first corporate organisation in Nigeria to launch a marketing thematic campaign tagged ‘Turn It Up’ on January 16, 2020, it was clear the Nigeria’s biggest telecommunication company had something off its sleeve.

Unlike previous campaigns that have always been powered by a TV commercial, radio, press, and outdoor advertisements, the ‘Turn it Up’ campaign was launched nationwide reminding Nigerians to reach for their dreams and achieve personal and career success.

It will be recalled that MTN Nigeria had not launched a thematic campaign in the last three years.

According to the company, the thematic campaign inspired by MTN’s continued commitment to facilitating transformation, progress, and success in the new decade.

The campaign seeks to encourage Nigerians to look within to live their brightest lives by taking advantage of the varied opportunities around.

At the launch in Lagos, Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Rahul De said “We want Nigerians to excel and attain their dreams and aspirations. This campaign is about changing and improving the quality of lives, encouraging Nigerians to rethink and embrace a new approach that reflects the changing dynamics of the world around us. This is what drives us to continue investing and exploring opportunities for Nigerians.”

L-R: General Manager, Brand and Communications, MTN Nigeria, Richard Iweanoge; Veteran OAP, Olisa Adibua; Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Rahul De; Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mazen Mroue and General Manager, Corporate Affairs, MTN Nigeria, Omasan Ogisi at the announcement of MTN Y’ello Star, a new music talent hunt platform by MTN Nigeria on Sunday, February 16, 2020, at MTN Plaza, Ikoyi, Lagos

Speaking to what this means to the company, Rahul De was quoted to say that “For us at MTN, our promise is to be that brand that will stand with every Nigerian in their quest to turn things up and live their best. This philosophy will guide everything we do as a brand this New Year.”

Also reaffirming the chief marketing officer assertion, the General Manager, Brands, and Communication, Richard Iweanoge said, “Every Nigerian deserves a positive turnaround in their lives and we believe opportunities abound in and around the individual, but the opportunities are only potent when we choose to bring them to life. We are simply saying, ‘Don’t look too far; the opportunities you seek are closer than you think’. The combination of these is what we speak to when we turnitup,” he showed enthusiasm.

A blast from the past

Prior to the launching of ‘Turn It Up’ campaign, MTN has achieved remarkable milestones within the integrated marketing communication segment through some unique activation.

Some of the key firsts from MTN campaigns include MTN Marathon, MTN Polo, ‘Mama na Boy’, 2010 water balloon world cup activation, MTN Project Fame, Y’ello Concert, MTN Feet and Tricks and other several marketing activation.

The first step forward…..

Within the Nigerian marketing and campaign firmament, it has become a norm for top multinationals and financial brands (banks) to introduce every campaign or marketing related initiatives to the consuming public through ‘a wrap around’ in major newspapers in the land.

But this time, MTN took a massive departure from the past. It began with subtle advertising across the platforms, subliminally persuasively pushing the message of transformation, progress and success to consumers, trade partners, government and all the stakeholders.

L-R: Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria, Rahul De, Chief Operating Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mazen Mroue, Singer and Songwriter, Chidinma Ekile, Award-Winning Actress, Nse Ikpe-Etim and Chief Corporate Services Officer, MTN Nigeria, Tobechukwu Okigbo during the announcement of a new music reality show; Y’ello Star by MTN on February 16th, 2020 in Lagos.

So far, the campaign is deemed to be one of the MTN’s campaigns devoid of controversy. You remember ‘Mama na boy’ campaign and couple of others that courted controversies and criticisms while there lasted.

“Turn It Up” looks successful albeit good incentives introduced to propped up the campaign. The media campaign is another successful element. The campaign received a rev reviews across board, drowning almost every campaign that has been launched afterwards.

A different MTN…..

 Like every big and successful brand, MTN is arrogant and proud. There are several indices for this contention. While competitions in the market were busy seducing consumers with several mouthwatering offers including making concessions to woo customers, MTN will simply ignore.

However, the telecommunication brand seems to have shifted grounds and turned a new leaf in his approach to engagement of key stakeholders.

Soon after the campaign was launched and media leverage subsided, MTN began stakeholder’s engagement.  It started by appreciating trade partners.

On 26th January, MTN treated trade partners to an evening of glamour. The event which was tagged ‘Symphony of Excellence’ had in attendance key members of MTN family and other key stakeholders.

Speaking on the sacrifice and devotion from partners to ensuring that targets were met and even surpassed, the chief operating officer of MTN Nigeria, Mazen Mroue said  that they had come from all the regions across Nigeria, leaving their businesses and families to be a part of the event and that was not taken for granted at all.

 “We will continue to stand beside you just as you have been committed to our organisation…This year is very important not because of our targets, plans or strategies but because we remain together on our journey’, Mroue said.

MTN did not stop at fêting its trade partners; it also went ahead to ‘Turning It Up’ for retailers with “Kiosk as a Service”.  MTN Nigeria turned things up for over 2,000 retailers across the country with the “Kiosk as a Service” scheme.

“Kiosk as a Service” is a scheme that has empowered over 2,000 retailers with an omnibus stall that has enabled each retailer provides MTN’s bouquet of products and services more efficiently. Customers have been able to access services like SIM registration, (mobile money) MoMo, 4G migrations, buy airtime and so much more.

Speaking on the laudable scheme, the Chief Sales and Distribution Officer, MTN Nigeria, Kunle Adebiyi, said “The ‘Kiosk as a Service’ is a demonstration of MTN’s unwavering belief in partnership.”

Known for empowering communities where they operate, Adebiyi said MTN’s use of pre-installed solar panels on the kiosks was a deliberate action and a commitment to ensure that the company leads the clamour for the use of renewable energy as a way to preserve the environment.

From project fame in Y’ello Star debuts

On February 16, 2020, MTN broke its silence over the rested MTN Project Fame with the introduction of Y’ello Star, a new musical reality television show.

Singer, Chidinma Ekile and Actress, Nse Ikpe-Etim

The market had wondered why MTN could have rested the most flawless and popular music reality TV show, MTN Project Fame but much to the promise from the brand, MTN Y’ello Star has come to bridge the vacuum.

According to the company, the talent hunt show seeks to groom musical talent by providing a lifetime opportunity to turn their dreams and aspirations into reality.

Since 2006, through the MTNF/MUSON Scholarship Programme, MTN Nigeria has trained hundreds of young Nigerians in the art and business of music. Y’ello Star takes this further by bringing the process of creating the ultimate superstar to every Nigerian television screen.

Mr. Rahul De said, “We know that there are a lot of talented people in Nigeria who need to turn up their musical careers. This platform will help launch them to musical heights.  We have a wealth of experience in supporting Nigerian talent and are confident we can improve on our past successes.”

Regional auditions are holding in Abuja, Enugu and Lagos. Finalists from the auditions will proceed to the ‘incubation hub’ in Lagos, where they will be coached by experts in the music industry in several areas as they aim for the top prize. The competition will run until June 2020.

Industry experts believe that the new initiative is the MTN strategy to reclaim the reality TV show industry especially, as the industry experience dearth of engaging reality TV shows.