MTN Prunes Down Brand Ambassadors, Opts For Cheaper Stars


MTN is taking drastic steps to ensure its marketing costs are realistic with its next direction as a company. The company has pruned down its brand ambassadors from about 21 to nine.

For many years, MTN and Glo have invested much part of their marketing expenditure on musicians, movie stars and social icons who are enlisted its communication and marketing programmes for its various campaigns.

Ambassadors retainined for the Music ambassadors for 2016-2017 are: Praiz (Praise Adejo); Iyanya (Iyanya Mbuk); Chidinma (Chidinma Ekile); Falz (Folarin Falana); Tekno Miles (Augustine Kelechi) and Skales (Raoul Njeng-Njeng). Four other ambassadors are – Saka (Hafiz Oyetoro); Nedu; Osuofia (Nkem Owoh) and Adamu Zango‘.

However, the follwoing were disengaged namely-Davido, Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Dr. Sid, Sound Sultan, Banky W, KCee Harrysong, Patience Ozokwo (Mama G), Timaya, Wizkid and Sean Tizzle.

The company did not disclose what criteria were considered before taking steps. However a pattern that seem very glaring from the active list is that MTN choose mainly the less expensive persons. This increase the probability that the rationale for the new list of ambassadors is for financial prudency.

Three of the nine approved persons are people from its self-sponsored Project Fame West Africa, a music TV reality show the company organise every year. This implies the company will find it easy negotiating with them.

MTN does not disclose how much it pays each persons involved in its endorsement programme, however, average fee is put at NGN5-NGN10 million per annum, per persons.

The possibility of some of the rejected brand ambassadors getting endorsements from MTN’s competitors are not very high, considering the business climate. However, for those who clinch any deal, they might be earning less than they would have earned given the circumstances surrounding their disengagement.

There are debates in the marketing and communications community whether brand ambassadors do most brands any good. The reality of current economic challenges, push the argument in favour of those who think the concept is not as important as it is hyped.

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