About Big Brother Naija – History
Originally, Big Brother all over the world is a reality TV show, in which a particular number of contestants are camped in an isolated house for a long period of days. While in the house, they compete for a huge sum of money, other cash prizes and gifts, and a few times, brand endorsements.
Aside from going against the provided rules and guidelines, housemates are also being evicted weekly and the housemates who get evicted are usually determined by their fellow constant and viewers.
Currently, there are a lot of countries airing the show as their own indigenous show. Countries like India, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Brazil, UK, US, Germany, Italy, and Saudi Arabia.
The Big Brother show came to Africa, first, as Big Brother Africa. Big Brother Africa had twelve housemates representing twelve African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana, Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Angola. Years later, about nine countries got added. In 2014, the show got canceled for some reason and never came back to date.
In the wake of March 2006, Nigeria witnessed the first airing of her Indigenous Big Brother Show, initially called Big Brother Nigeria. In 2017, it became Big Brother Naija.
Just like it is with every other country airing the show indigenously, In Nigeria, Big Brother Naija is also a Reality TV show in which twenty-one Nigerian contestants or more are camped in an isolated house for a period of 90 days, (more or less) to contest for a sum of N60 million, as well as material gifts, periodic cash prize and brand endorsements.
While being camped in the undisclosed building, they are being televised live to viewers on approved cable networks and channels. This is done with the installation of tiny wall cameras in every part of the building.
Big Brother Naija – House Location and Sponsors
Right from the initial commencement of the show in 2006, Big Brother Naija Reality Tv show and its subsequent seasons were held in South Africa. However, since the 2019 edition, the show was relocated to Big Bother House in Lagos, Nigeria.
The first season of Big Brother show, held in 2006 was aired on the Multichoice Cable Station, DSTV Channel 37, from March 5 to June 4, 2006.
With the expansion of Multichoice adding GOTV, another owned cable station, two cable stations began to air the show.
This means that the Big Brother Naija show is exclusively aired by Multichoice cable stations, DSTV, Channel 153 and 154 (African Magic Urban and African Magic Family) and GOTV, Channel 2 (African Magic Family).
The Big Brother Naija Voting is being confirmed by the Alexander Forbes Group holdings, having their headquarters in South Africa.
Over the years, different companies do happen to be the official sponsor of the Big Brother Naija show. The season 2 edition was sponsored by PAYPORTE.
Payporte sponsored the show for two years and handed over sponsorship to KC Gaming, popularly called Bet9ja.
According to Bet9ja, they took over the sponsorship of the Big Brother Naija show because the show is in the same interest as Bet9ja’s aim in Nigeria. Bet9ja aims to change the youths positively and Big Brother Naija is a show that targets positive changes in the life of the Nigerian youth only.
Aside from the official sponsors of each edition of the show, there are always other companies sponsoring the show at an agreed percentage. These companies are oftentimes rotated to take turns in coordinating and sponsoring weekly events in the house.
Notable Brands and Companies that so sponsored the reality tv show include:
- Darling expression
- One Africa
- Oppo Mobile
- Heritage Bank
- Legend Stout
- Innoson Vehicles
- Lipton Ice Tea
- Munch it
- Close up, amidst many others.
Big Brother Naija – Theme
Another notable feature of Big Brother Naija is the style used to tag a theme for each season. These themes always intentionally sound drama inclined with the sole intent of stirring troubles and controversies. In the last three years, viewers have been entertained with seasons tagged
- See Gobe – 2017
- Double Wahala – 2018
- Pepper Dem – 2019
- Lockdown – 2020
- Shine Ya Eye – 2021
Big Brother Naija Show
We will look at the whole show segment by segment. Insights on what the show is all about, activities, and what goes on behind the scenes of Africa’s biggest reality tv show.
Preparing for the Show
Evidence of preparation to commence the show is always visible when the organisers of the show announce the commencement of sales of form with a stipulated closure date. However, before this is achieved, a lot must have gone underground and in the background.
The first step taken is the closed-door announcement to companies and brands about the intent for the running of a new season of the show. By this, companies are informed about the availability of an opportunity to promote either the vision, mission, target or goal of their brands. An example is the new official sponsor of Big Brother Naija, Bet9ja. Bet9ja revealed that they resolved to sponsor the show because their company mission is to positively change the lives of Nigerian Youths. In essence, by becoming the official lead sponsor of Big Brother Naija, Bet9ja is promoting its Mission.
When companies’ roles are divided and defined, the next evident step is the logistics and all other technical know-hows decisions. This includes the location agreement, tools, events, designs and decorations, programme drafting, theme and titles agreements etc. This means that, for every season, careful, extremely detailed and proper planning has been done.
After these, the sales of form begins
Before the Show
The big brother naija show is a show that begins with a rollout of tons of audition forms for sale. The forms payment stays open for an estimated period of a month. After the sales of form closure, a date for commencement of auditions is announced. Due to the large turnup of contestants, the audition lasts for more than a day or two. This is because the contestants are divided into batches. As at the last season of the Big Brother Naija, the season four, auditions lasted for a period of one straight week.
After the auditions, successful contestants are secretly informed and they are instructed to be secret about their selection. A night event for the unveiling of successful contestants and their profiles is announced and held. It is straight from this event that contestants who are now called housemates are sent and isolated in the house generally called The Big Brother House.
During the Show
After the whole unveiling night, housemates are taken through a rigorous explanation and demonstration of actions, events, dos and don’ts, daily expectations and instructions. At the end of this, they are then left in the house.
For every day of the week, the activities are already established and routinely observed by the housemates, bearing in mind the stated rules and regulations of the Big Brother’s house. Before we go deeper into the ‘During The Show’, let’s take a look at some personalities and positions in the house.
Personalities and Position
Talking about Personalities and positions, this means that we are discussing the categories of individuals that get access to the house, the ones that have irreplaceable tasks in the efficient running of the house and the people that we get to see and hear on the TV screen during the show. Now, let’s discuss them according to their order of influence.
The Big Brother (Biggie)
The big brother, popularly called Biggie, is the most influential but Invisible personality in the Big Brother Naija show (Although, it is the same with every other country that runs the Big Brother show). Biggie owns, runs and rules the house where the housemates are camped. All authorized instructions and calls come from him alone. He dictates what happens in the house every time. His orders are final and unshakable. His moods and commands negates the direction each day and moment goes to. In short, we can call Biggie, the Authoritarian Ruler.
The only mysterious and intriguing thing about Biggie is that he is only known by a voice, not physical appearance. No one knows who Biggie is, no one knows what Big brother is like. He is a voice that controls like a mighty presence. He decides the fate of all the housemates. BIg brother at times can be friendly, can be hostile, harsh, caring. He is also an adviser and motivator for housemates when they are down. In all, he is a Big brother.
These people are the crucial and most heard personality of the show. One thing about the show is, the aim in the first place is a target audience, this target audience in turn, becomes the voters. Voters are viewers who have grown profound interest and love for the show and a selected housemate of choice. To enable their choice housemate to keep being on the show and at the end win the money, they constantly vote via text message and other approved channels by Multichoice. In the course of the voting race is when fan bases start to rise. The fate of each housemate to stay in Biggie’s house for one more week or even till the end, is decided by the voters.
Now, the voters are also the target of the housemates. Housemates will have to act, live and sometimes go all out to spark up the house in order to gain the affection of voters. These actions of voters in the house sparks up the social media space also. The voters are also powerful and influential in the successful running of a BBNaija season.
For three seasons consecutively, we have only had one anchor and that is Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, whom we will discuss in another segment. The Anchor is the one who anchors the eviction night on sunday. When he comes, he uses that opportunity to ask the housemates about some controversial issues going on. These issues might have been causing enmity, uproar and beefs in the house. However, Ebuka is the one who anchors the eviction night. He is the one who reveals the voting results. He comes once in a week, which is Sunday. There are exceptions for surprise matters and visits.
We all can agree that the housemates are the object of the whole show. They are the ones Biggie gets to control, the voters get to vote for, the anchor gets to direct. Their lives and privacy are displayed publicly for a period of three months. They in turn get to have a fan base, get promotions and endorsement. These housemates benefit from it by being globally recognised, becoming brand and companies ambassadors, cash gifts etc.
The Head Of House (HOH)
This is one of the things that adds spice to the show. Understand that while in the house, mental, physical, emotional and intellectual strength and capabilities of the housemates are constantly being challenged. There is a particular day task that the winner gets to become the Head Of House. The Head of House is a position that is occupied by the winning housemate. Benefits of this position includes, having the final say on all matters arising from Biggie’s instructions, A throne and a crown, a special bedroom with the privilege of choosing a partner to share it with. The overall benefit of this position is Immunity. The HOH is immune from being up for eviction in the coming eviction sunday. This is why housemates always give it their best shot at winning the Head Of House tasks.
The Brands Of The Day
Nearly every day, a brand or company is always visiting housemates with tasks to promote their brands and in turn reward winning housemates with cash, product, ambassadorial or car benefits. These tasks might take the whole day and some do take about two days.
This seldom consists of celebrities and the creme de la creme of society. They come on some days to hang out, chill, admonish, advice and encourage the housemates. This sometimes might come in the form of a mini party between the housemates and the guest. Sometimes it might be just a round table discussion and sometimes, a game session. These special guests do share their stories, their journey to stardom and success with the housemates.
Big Brother Naija Ninjas are the masked errand maids of the house. They run errands during the game, maybe picking a ball from one end to another end. They help in setting up games in the arena or anywhere. They also are responsible for the opening and closing of some parts of Big Brother’s house. They are called the Ninjas caused they are dressed as Ninja warriors.
The Fitness Instructor
Every morning except Sundays, housemates are mandated to take part in regular exercises. Failure to exempt from morning fitness training must have been duly approved by Biggie. Hence, the fitness instructor is another person we do see in the house every morning except Sunday mornings.
Another crucial well-being of the housemates that Biggie puts into consideration is the Housemate’s appearance. On Sunday morning, housemates that are up for eviction are provided with stylists to either make their hair or cut their hair, as the case applies to each housemate concerned.
After the Show
Life after the show entails the housemate’s journey into stardom. How they begin to live their lives as celebrities. A lot of social media sparks arise from the concluded show. Meets and greets. Ambassadorial signing, Brand endorsements, social media beef, rivalry, etc. These housemates do their best to remain relevant even after the BBNaija show.
However, another big event by Big Brother Naija is the Big Brother Naija Reunion Show.
The Reunion Show
The reunion always takes place at exactly a month and few days to the commencement of a new BBNaija season. The housemates from the just-concluded season of the show are invited. The show lasts for about a month.
At the reunion, the anchor tries to clear the air about issues that arose while in the house. He tries to help the housemates talk the issues out and make peace with themselves. The housemates also get to share with viewers, their lives after Big Brother’s house.
Big Brother Naija – Rules of the House
These rules stand as the guidelines for housemates while in the house. It is a general knowledge and agreement that going against these rules is an automatic disqualification from the house. The rules include
- Respect to other housemates
- Strict adherence to Biggie’s instructions
- Big Brother has zero tolerance for Fights. Hence, No housemate shall instigate or be involved in a fight. Housemates are not allowed to punch, strike or engage in any action that portrays violence against fellow housemates.
- Housemates are mandated to participate in daily tasks and challenges, there are exceptions for sick or injured housemates and there must have been prior permission of exemption by biggie
- Housemates must be active in their diary sessions. Also, whatever happens in the diary room stays in the diary room. This means that housemates are not allowed to discuss what took place during their individual diary sessions
- Housemates are not allowed access to the outside world. Any housemate caught in activities that proves he/she is trying to contact the outside world will be disqualified from the house
- Housemates are given the option of two strikes at two different offences. At the third offence, an automatic disqualification is issued.
- Housemates are to attend to every guests that visits the house
- Biggie has a straightforward personality, housemates are enjoined to be straight forward in their dealings with Biggie and with fellow housemates. They are not allowed to discuss using signs, symbols, slang or sounds. .
- Housemates are advised not to try to open any closed room in the building. The opening of any room is authorized by Biggie.
- Aside from their clothes and shoes, housemates are also allowed to bring into the house
- Pictures of close relatives they might miss, Children, Parents, Siblings, Wife, Husband and Lovers
- Perfumes and Body spray
- Creams and lotions
- Musical instruments
- Cigarettes and Tobaccos
- Books to read
- Alarm clocks and wristwatches
- Lip balm etc
12. Housemates are not allowed to bring the following into the house
- Mobile phones, laptops and any smart gadgets.
- Medications and narcotics
- Weapons of any sort or nature
- CD players, walkman, radio and DVDs
- Housemates are provided with every other thing they need while in the house.
Big Brother Naija – What Happens In the House
Aside from sleeping and waking up every day, a lot more is expected from the housemates. In ensuring that this is done, a lot of programmes and events have been laid out for the housemate to participate in. Some of the activities include
Morning Fitness Exercise
This is a compulsory exercise for all housemates, it is always carried out within one hour. With the guidance of a fitness instructor, housemates are taken through a rigorous fitness exercise. It is always a way to burn out stress, fats, anxieties and worries. Another benefit of the exercise is to ensure the mental stability of the housemates. We will agree that staying in a restricted area for a long period of time as much as three months is enough to drain a person mentally. Big Brother Naija in a way understands this and administered the usage of physical fitness for mental stability in the house.
Cleaning And Preparation
Although, this segment is done based on the preference of each housemate. However, ample time is given to the housemates to clean up, have their bath, prepare and eat breakfast in order to get ready for the day’s task. While this is ongoing, the Head Of House is called by Biggie and he/she is handed the scroll for the day’s task by a Ninja.
The scroll is a script that usually contains codes, encrypted messages, riddles, tasks and instructions. These codes and messages are expected to be read and solved by the housemates. The instructions in it are to be followed without leaving any behind. In most cases, the scroll contains the day’s challenge. After reading the scroll, housemates are either to team up or act as individual participants. Reading of the scroll and coordination of instruction adherence is supervised and decided by the Head Of House.
Remember we discussed the scroll that it is the channel on which the tasks for each day is passed. As a result of the tasks embedded in the scroll, housemates are expected to deliver perfect renditions and presentations at a slated time. However, at the end of the task, the winning housemate/housemates gets to win cash or gift prizes. The drive to win the day’s tasks pushes the housemates to plan and rehearse their presentations perfectly. On most days, the preparation and rehearsal for the day’s task takes the whole day. Housemates use the whole day in preparation for the day’s task which usually takes place in the evening.
Task/Challenge Presentations And Renditions
At a slated time, housemates are assembled and given the platform to present their solutions to the given challenge in the scroll. In another time, it is always a game of physical and mental fitness tests.
No gain saying, the diary session is where the highlight of the BBNaija show comes from. While in the house, a lot of dramas and issues do arise.The diary session is the one on one session between each housemate and Biggie where the dramas are discussed secretly. This is like the space where each housemate is free to say whatever he/she has in the mind without the fear of other housemates listening. The diary session happens once a week. This is the period where housemates individually unpack their week to Biggie.They are allowed to say everything without fear.
Housemates are the ones responsible for the nomination of fellow housemates for evictions. The votes of viewers then determines the fate of the most nominated four, either to remain in the house or to leave. The nomination is always done individually and secretly. No matter how close some housemates might be, they are forbidden from discussing who they nominated.
Periodic Guests Visit
As discussed earlier, a few times while in the house, housemates are surprised with visits by Notable celebrities. This is another way of ensuring relevance and sound entertainment while in the house. Celebrity visits are a mood lifter and ease in the house. They do come to hangout with the housemates. This visit is usually short considering that everything in Big Brother’s house is timed.
Saturday Night Party
Isn’t social life a great part of Big Brother Naija. Every Saturday night, housemates are thrilled with a club night like party. They are dressed as party rockers and they do have a life DJ who thrills them with good music and sounds all through till the end.
This is another tense and emotional moment of the show. In the morning on Sundays, the four housemates that are up for eviction are dressed and have their hair made by a stylist sent by Big Brother. After the stylist leaves, These housemates proceed to pack their luggage and tidy their wardrobes. This is done so that moving out of the house by housemates finally evicted will be fast and easy.
At night, the show anchor is being televised and connected to the housemates. Depending on the show coordinating prowess of the anchor, breath of heats, emotions and uneasiness is released in the air.
After the unlucky housemates are evicted, the show anchor goes ahead to announce the names of housemates that are up for eviction in the coming sunday.
Through the period of three months, housemates are evicted weekly till there are just four housemates left. These four housemates are the runner ups and at the end, only one of them emerges as the winner. The winning positions of the housemates is also determined by the viewers’ votes. The grand finale is always done as a party with guests from the outside world. Here, the winner is crowned and handed the cheque of N60,000,000.
Previous Seasons of Big Brother Naija ( Season 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6)
Since the commencement of Big Brother Naija, an estimated number of 118 Nigerian youth have been opportune to enter Biggie’s house. The show began in 2006 and didn’t come back until 2017.
The Host – Ebuka Obi-Uchendu
Ebuka, who was a housemate in 2006 has been the anchor since the return of the show in 2017. He has successfully anchored the three seasons of the show. Ebuka is a lawyer with two MBAs in the bag. Ebuka is a seasoned Nigerian lawyer who has made outstanding success in the entertainment world. In the wake of 2017, he was announced as the official anchor of Big Brother Naija season 2 and he is still the anchor of the show till date.
Ebuka is married with two beautiful children. One of the reasons Ebuka stole the heart of viewers of the BBNaija is his fashion statement. Since he commenced anchoring the show, Ebuka has never failed to appear in carefully styled dressing.
The 2006 edition of the show happened to be the premier edition. Not much success can be recorded or claimed as regards the 2006 season in comparison to the recent seasons. Fourteen housemates went into the big brother’s house in 2006. The season was won by Katung Aduwak.
Housemates of Big Brother Nigeria Season 1 (2006)
- Ebuka Obi-Uchendu
- Joseph Ada
- Chinedu Amah
- Ichemeta Ochoga
- Nguveran Joan
- Ifeoma Ejike
- Adeyinka Oremosu
- Katung Aduwak
- Maureen Osuji
- Frank Konwea
- Gideon Okeke
- Sandra Osaigbovo
- Francisca Owumi
Housemates of Big Brother Naija Season 2 (2017)
The show left the screen and came back in 2017 as big brother naija with 14 housemates and 2 fake housemates. The season was themed See Gobe. The second season was won by Michael Efe Ejeba.
- Michael Efe Ejeba
- Bisola Aiyeola
- Olurishe Deborah Ebun
- Tokunbo Idowu
- Marvis Nkpornwi
- Anthony Edet
- Gifty Powers
- Mojisola Sowode
- Miyonse Oluwaseyi Amosu
- Uriel Anita Oputa
- Ekemini Kemen Ekerette
- Bally Balat
- Somadina Soman Anyama
- Bassey Ekpenyon
Housemates of Big Brother Naija Season 3 (2018)
This season tagged Double Wahala, was won by Miracle Ikechukwu Igbokwe. There were 20 housemates and the season ran for 85 days.
- Miracle Ikechukwu Igbokwe
- Munirat Antoinette
- Cynthia Nwadiora
- Adedayo Adewunmi
- Osogwa Alexandra
- Iheme Faith Uloma
- Abiri Olwabusayo
- Chinonso Onyenobi
- Babarinde Akinola Dasilva
- Vanessa Williams
- Omololu Oyetokunbo
- Oluwatobi Bakre
- Kelvin Brouillette
- Temidayo Adenibuyan
- Patrick Fakoya
- Bitto Bryan Arumun
- Linda Onyejekwe
- Angel Awotarigha
- Oluwabamike Olawunmi
- Iwuchukwu Marianne Onyii
Housemates of Big Brother Naija Season 4 (2019)
The 2019 episode of the Big Brother Naija tagged Pepper dem commenced on June 20, 2019 and this season witnessed the first female winner of the show who is Mercy Ike. This season ushered in the introduction and usage of the Bet9ja coins. The Bet9ja coin was the official currency of the housemate.
- Mercy Eke
- Mike Edwards
- Chukwuemeka Frodd Okoye
- Omashola Kola Oburoh
- Oluwaseyi Awolowo
- Diane Yashim
- Steve Ikechukwu Onyeoma
- Elozonam Ogbolu
- Cindy Okafor
- Natacha Akide
- Khafi Kareem
- Venita Akpofure
- Atteh Daniel Tioluwa
- Esther Agunbiade
- Ekpeta Gedoni
- Jackye Madu
- Joseph Abdallah
- Ede Nkechinyere
- Jeff NwekeNelson Allison
- Thelma Ibemere
- Tuoyo Ideh
- Chinonso Opara
- Victoria Nnabuchi
- Saidat Balogun
- Isilomo Braimoh
Housemates of Big Brother Naija Season 5 (2020)
- Olamilekan “Laycon” Agbeleshe
- Dorathy Bachor
- Rebecca “Nengi” Hampson
- Emuobonuvie “Neo” Akpofure
- Victoria “Vee” Adeyele
- Ozoemena Chukwu “Ozo”
- Timmy Sinclair “Trikytee”
- Nelson Enwerem “Prince”
- Terseer Kiddwaya Waya
- Lucy Essien
- Erica Nlewedim
- Ezekiel Bright “Brighto” Osemudiame
- Florence Wathoni Anyansi
- Tolani “Tolanibaj” Shobajo
- Praise Nelson
- Aisha Umaru “Kaisha”
- Eric Akhigbe
- Tochukwu Okechukwu Tochi
- Boluwatife “Lilo” Aderogba
- Kate “Ka3na” Jones
Housemates of Big Brother Naija Season 6 (2021)
- Hazel Oyeze “Whitemoney” Onou
- Roseline Omokhoa “Liquorose” Afije
- Pere Egbi
- Ikechukwu Sunday Cross Okonkwo
- Angel Agnes Smith
- Emmanuel Umoh
- Queen Mercy Atang
- Anita “Nini” Singh
- Adeoluwa “Saga” Okusaga
- Tsakute “Saskay” Jonah
- Yusuf “Yousef” Garba
- Jackie “Jackie B” Bent
- Paul “Jaypaul” Ephraim
- Michael Chukwuebuka Ngene
- Boma Akpore
- Peace Ogor
- Tega Dominic
- Maria Chike Agueze
- Samuel Jacob “Sammie” Alifa
- Jumoke Zainab “JMK” Adedoyin
- Gbolahan “Kayvee” Ololade
- Princess Francis
- Arinola “Arin” Olowoporoku
- Beatrice Agba Nwaji
- Adeniyi “Niyi” Lawal
- Yerimene Abraham “Yerins” Saibakumo
Big Brother Naija – Goldmine for Organizers and Contestants
Countless times this issue has been raised. Looking at the way the show is being run, the glamour, the splendour, the affluence, beauty, designs, style and even the outlook. Many people are left asking the question, How much are the organisers earning? Or better put, how much is Big Brother getting from the show. Several schools of thought, analysts and free groups have done their best in explaining and estimating the show’s monetary worth. Generally, it has been accepted that the show is worth more than what we are seeing on TV.
Remember in the early segments of this article, we discussed the involvement of brands and companies. Brands and companies will go a long way in order to promote themselves and get public awareness. Over time, Big Brother Naija to a large extent has been able to build a global audience that is commendable enough for brands and companies to tap into. These brands get to involve themselves through partnerships, sponsorships, endorsements, daily task coordination etc.
Aside from that, worthy of note is the electronic voting channels that involve the use of Network Service Providers. Voting channels are always open from Sunday nights, immediately after eviction and announcement of housemates up for eviction in the coming Sunday. The voting channel closes on Thursday evening. Remember that voters can vote as many times as possible. This is another big source of revenue for the show.
There are no hard ways and means to the show, it is like every other programme that gets aired on TV.
Following a recent public tweet of one of the recent ex-housemates admonishing fans not to become a lab rat. It is now an established fact that Big Brother Naija is a social experiment. The day-to-day co-existence of humans. Interactions between ourselves, communications, misunderstanding, differences, friendships and loyalties, the fight for supremacy, exerting control and authority, the struggle for self-independence and at the same time, the concepts of humanity coming to play even in the face of competition for an ultimate price.
According to some beliefs, the concept of morality and spirituality has no play in the big brother naija show. Evident in the things that happen in the house which are being aired on national and international TVs. This includes the dramas, unhealthy fights and rivalry, claimed Sexcapedes and sexual scandals being aired. This so far, has been propagated several times to be unhealthy for consumption. How Big Brother has been able to overcome these obstacles is laudable.
Benefits Of Being A Housemate
Truthfully, a sane mind should be concerned about the crazy rush of youth to get themselves on the show. But, a knowledgeable mind will have an understanding of the benefits of the show. Making it into Biggie’s house qualifies one to be a social influencer. This is an automatic ticket to becoming a celebrity. Aside from the ultimate prize and the other cash and gifts prizes housemates compete for daily, the monetary benefits associated with being a celebrity are assured, provided such a housemate manages his/her brand well. There are brands readily waiting for the housemates to come out of the house and award the housemates, immediate endorsements and ambassadorship.
Since commencement, for housemates, the platform has been a mix of success, failures, disappearance from media and also love stories.
There have been few love stories from the show but the most notable one is that of Teddy A and Bambam from the 2018 Double Wahala season. These two, despite being accused of having sex on the live show, have grown so fond of each other and are now married with a child. Another one is that of Gedoni and Khafi from the 2019 season who is also married and with a child.
Like thin air, some of the housemates disappeared from the media and are having a low-key life. This might be because they never got a big break after the show or a personal choice.
Other successful housemates of the show have been found in different sectors of the country. The entertainment industry seems to be the eye-catch for most of them as it has an influx of the majority of the ex-housemates. No doubt, they are doing pretty well and are setting the pace for other housemates coming up.
Big Brother Naija – An Advertising Goldmine
Companies and brand custodians can leverage visuals to tell their stories in memorable and vivid ways that may deliver more impact and emotion than words alone. Artful, custom and unique photography can transcend the mundane observable facts of a scenario.
It is for this reason that many top brands in Nigeria are falling over one another to be associated with the popular reality show, Big Brother Naija, to further engage their targeted audience ahead of competitors in their respective industries.
BBNaija is popular for its heavy dose of escapism. Every day, Nigerians are faced with multidimensional challenges that put a strain on the mind. Watching these people’s true nature revealed during the course of the show builds a strong connection that’s evident in the fandom displayed on social media.
As a result, Big Brother Naija turns out to be a rollercoaster for fans, viewers, and generally every Nigerian who nurses interest in pop culture.
When one considers it from this perspective, the hit TV show is defined by its economic value. In fact, the entire show is profitable for everyone involved in the creation, marketing, and advertisement. The participants are almost always in a better financial position after they leave the house. Sponsors get their value in advertising and PR. Everyone involved in the show ends up a winner one way or the other.
Many brand enthusiasts and critics have commended the creative and consistent approach MultiChoice Nigeria has adopted in leveraging the reality show platform to promote made-in-Nigeria goods and services.
But here’s the burning question: What is the return of investment on the BBNaija show? Do all the numbers add up to show real economic value? Yes, they do. BBNaija ticks every positive box for great business. In 2018, Plaqad, a marketing and public relations technology company carried out research that examines the direct and indirect impact of the show on the Nigerian economy and society at large. Their results provide data that supports this.
However, three strategic areas of importance are the overall influence, media value for sponsors, and its popularity with young people.
Like the previous editions, the 2020 edition of BBNaija ended on October 3, 2020, with Laycon, emerging as the most voted candidate, after other finalists (including Dorathy, Nengi, Vee and Neo) failed to inspire superior numbers. Winning is a popularity contest driven solely by the actions of candidates and intense campaigns from fans, which influences viewers to spend money to register their support and keep their champion in the house.
The lockdown edition polled over 900 million votes across SMS, Mobile, Website and the DStv & GOtv Apps. These numbers confirm the influence and penetration of the show.
The media value of sponsoring Big Brother Naija according to experts surveyed is in billions of Naira, somewhere around N10 billion. The eyeballs, conversations and general awareness generated by the show make it a viable option for brands looking to get the word out about their business.
This much is seen in the robust mentions enjoyed by previous sponsors of the show. The top-of-mind-awareness, share of mind, and share of voice BBNaija offer partners make it a top choice for many smart brands. Little wonder, the show always never fails to attract top Nigerian brands as sponsors every season.
Online retailer Payporte was the headline sponsor for the 2017 and 2018 editions. Nigeria’s sports betting platform, Bet9ja, replaced Payporte as headline sponsor in 2019 while gambling giants Betway became the lead sponsor of the 2020 edition. In 2021, Abeg was named the headline sponsor while Patricia was the associate sponsor.
For the upcoming 2022 edition, the social payment platform, Pocket(by piggyvest) is the headline sponsor while Flutterwaveias the associate sponsor for season 7. Other category sponsors over the years have been Pepsi, Heritage Bank, Nokia, Oppo, Tecno, Minimie, Guinness, Darling Hair, Dano Milk, Close Up, IVM, Revolution Plus, Travelbeta and other notable brands.
At the heart of BBNaija’s influence is a nucleus of a young demographic. Young people are valuable consumers because they influence the purchasing decisions of their friends and family. In addition to being consumers themselves, teens can affect where their family vacation destinations are, choice of car, and the clothes that their friends wear. A brand or product automatically gains an image of “being cool,” if it is popular with young people.
For a reality TV show that’s not a regular talent hunt, it is easy to question the value BBNaija has for young people. For a majority of the viewers of the show, the value is obvious as 84% agree the show holds great benefits for the youth by providing opportunities for success. They believe the show provides young people with an opportunity to discover themselves, interact with others, and showcase their talent to the world. In addition, there seems to be a consensus among respondents that the show provides a great platform for contestants to succeed in their individual pursuits as evidenced by the great strides they are making after they left the Big Brother Naija house.
Young people are important to numerous markets, from fashion, mobile, and technology to alcohol, snack foods and entertainment. Without young people, a significant number of businesses won’t exist. This audience spends money, and they inspire others to do so. BBNaija offers brands a confirmed route to their hearts
In the overall assessment, the fact that the show has provided an enviable advertising platform for brand owners cannot be overemphasized as brands are always keen on associating with any venture that can further push their brands to the doorstep of the patrons and the BBNaija ‘Shine Ya Eye’ season is no different. With the season in its third week, the housemates have generated a frenzy among viewers that shows that this season will be another rollercoaster edition.
Economic Value of Big Brother Naija
Just like the Olympics, the Big Brother Naija show attracts millions of viewers, who in today’s world not only watch, but tweet about their experiences, debate about events and even root for particular housemates. All of these eyeballs and conversations increase the brand value of the BBNNaija franchise, making sponsorship of the show a worthwhile venture for brands; especially those looking to reach the type of audience the show offers.
While fans enjoy the entertainment the show brings, these brands continue to strategize and draw up ways to leverage their viewership to increase direct sales, user acquisition, brand awareness and whatever other objectives they consider most important to them.
MultiChoice on its part has continued to make this goal possible by creating different sponsorship levels for brands eager to make the move; the most popular of those levels being the headline sponsor spot, which for the Shine Ya Eye season was held by Abeg, a FinTech platform giving users the opportunity to gift friends cash and make purchases using their fast money transfer technology.
Joining them was another FinTech company, Patricia, who plays in the cryptocurrency space, and clinched the associate sponsor spot for an unverified but certainly huge fee just like Abeg; and other returning sponsors like Bet9ja who were headline sponsors in 2019, Guinness, CloseUp, Tecno, Pepsi, Dano Milk, Minimie Noodles, Darling, and new sponsors such as Supa Komando
When we asked these brands why they chose to sponsor the Big Brother Naija show, the responses we got revolved around building top-of-mind awareness, driving some brand love and building loyalty from existing customers. For most of them looking to drive awareness, ads, branding of the BBNaija house, supplies of products for usage during the 10-week duration of the reality TV show were some of the branding touchpoints through which they tried to execute their strategies for these.
Headline sponsor, Abeg, who branded the BBNaija currency as ‘Abeg Naira’, decorated parts of the house with their logo, ran ads during commercial breaks and sponsored a number of the tasks for the housemates experienced an 8900% increase in app downloads moving from just 20,000 downloads at the start of the Big Brother Naija Season 6 show to 1.8 million app downloads by the end of the show.
For some of the sponsors, not only does this astronomical rise show in their user acquisition numbers, it shows in their brand revenue as well which in turn reflects on government earnings in terms of taxes implying some indirect contribution from the BBNaija show to the economic development of Nigeria, despite 16% of our survey respondents saying that they do not consider the reality TV show as having real economic benefit.
The rest of our respondents who agree with the value the BBNaija franchise holds for sponsor brands say part of that value is exposure for Nigerian brands to foreign audiences, even revenue for telecommunications companies whose subscribers need data access to stream the show on ShowMax, and recaps on YouTube.
Another thing sponsors are quick to point out is the boost in brand perception and acceptance that their affiliation with the Big Brother Naija franchise has given their brand. At least 55.7% of our survey respondents say that seeing a brand sponsor BBNaija influenced their patronage of the brand, proving the effectiveness of the show sponsorship for sponsors.
Over the years, the Big Brother Naija sponsorship has also become a starting point for many brand-housemate partnerships in the form of brand or product ambassadorship, which have gone on to become huge economically beneficial moves for both parties. The Shine Ya Eye season saw Cross and Saskay clinch brand ambassador roles with first-time sponsors Supa Komando while still on the show, with expectations being that more of such partnerships will follow from other brands.
This move for sponsors is a way of leveraging some of the goodwill and celebrity status the housemates have earned on the show and whatever personal brand equity they previously had before coming on the show as a boost for their own brands. The possibility of this move, having seen it happen over and over, has even become one of the reasons many young people audition to be on the Big Brother Naija show.
Although the public doesn’t know the exact figures sponsors are required to pay, advertising slot rates give a glimpse into what is possible, and Multichoice, having run the BBNaija show for five consecutive years, witnessing viewer growth year-on-year clearly understands the media value they create through their loyal fanbase, thus would place a premium on their sponsorship rights.
On one hand, they have the biggest reality TV show on the continent, and on the other, a giant marketing machine that some analysts have compared to the Superbowl, given how much brands are willing to pay to get in front of the show’s young audience, who despite their short attention spans manage to stay glued to their devices long enough to form an opinion about the brands they see, and possibly make a purchase, thus justifying all that marketing spend for brand managers.