Back in the day, TV adverts were usually so good that parents would buy the advertised product just to know what the fuss was about. As kids, we knew the melody, drama and almost every line delivered in these ads. 

But they didn’t just promote products. To boost your nostalgia, we compiled 14 of the most unforgettable Nigerian ads from the early 2000s and the moral lessons behind them.

Mama Do Good — Indomie

In October 2010, Indomie launched the Mama Do Good campaign with a jingle so good that if they remade it in 2023, millennials would still eat it up. In a campaign to display the mother-child bond, Little Miss Do Good asks why they’re the Do Goods. In response, Mama Do Good extends love to all the children in the market. They all hail her as she shares plates of the instant noodles she prepared. It was such a fantastic feast that they surprised her with a sing-and-repeat song: “Mama too good o (she too good). She cook us Indomie (Indomie). Indomie good well well (Indomie).” But what can Mama Do Good do in these agbado times than jejely sit in her house and face her front?

Bam Bam La La — Honeywell

This advert begins with a guy swaggering in the middle of the road with headphones on, no road safety or fear of speeding vehicles. He must be a cool egbon adugbo because all the kids begin to follow him down the street singing: “Bam bam la la.”

We still don’t know what “bam bam la la” means, and this guy’s shakara and chaotic dressing was a little too much, but the ad was still better than the product, which soon left the market. But you know what hardly fades? The love children have for nice and friendly adults.

I Wish — Skye Bank

Before I knew this jingle was from a Skye Bank commercial, it was my dad’s old Motorola ringtone. A touching, motivational song about investing and making better financial decisions, it was melodious and easy on the ears.

Even though Skye Bank said they were there to say yes to our dreams, the song now feels like their cry for help. By 2018, CBN had revoked their banking license and delisted them. But at least, their jingle still lives on in our minds.

Sky — Guinness

This jingle is recognisable from its first words, “My friend Udeme is a great man.” The inspiring African epic — the story of Udeme, a delivery service worker with dreams of flying planes — captured the country’s attention. The narrator, Udeme’s friend, didn’t care to show or explain to us how, but Udeme got his jet sha. And that’s what matters. Udeme flew across Africa, delivering goods and mail. He even had a stopover to eat and chat, “And at the end of the day, friendly lights guide him home” to have some chilled bottles of Guinness with his friends. With that great line and others like: “And so we gather at the bar… Let the beer see the sky, he says…” and “My friend is a great man, but then, there’s a drop of greatness in every man”, this ad remains an aspirational classic.


Adapting the concept of a street talent show, a Cowbell truck pulls up to a recreational pitch, calls everyone around and sets up the makeshift stage to display talents. The most captivating are the guys who turn the occasion to a promotional performance for the brand. Singing in English and pidgin, the ad visually represents all the Nigerian regions, preaching unity. But what the hell is “COWEBELLOCRAZY”? And “milk of the people”, what kind of Abraham Lincoln wannabe slogan is that? They should’ve just stuck with “Oyoyo”.

Don’t Do It — Royco

If you were there when Royco was the baddie of seasoning cubes, you’re not a new cat like them Chicken Flavour kids. This advert opens with a man who ignores his wife welcoming him back from work for reasons unknown to us and her. Oya, take juice, he said no. Ah, okay. She senses he wants to cry because of food, so she enters the kitchen to cook efo-riro and many other meals. While his inflated ego was pushing him to take his car key and go outside, an aroma from the kitchen stops him and takes him to a seat at the dining table. He shamelessly smiles at the sight of food — the feast his wife laboured to make just to please his lordship. Anyways, we learnt that food is indeed the only way to a man’s heart.

READ: Hits We’re Still Partying to a Decade Later

Kanu (Papilo) — Peak Milk

When life was easier and the dream of becoming a footballer was all the average Nigerian child had, this Nwankwo Kanu

advert was a huge motivation. A young Kanu is so in tune with his football that one day, he applies his skill to save a Peak milk tin from hitting the  ground, to the wonderment of the milk seller. Then she delivers the classic line: “Papilo, I know say one day, you go make us proud.” Decades later, he did make his community proud. Papilo returns home a football champion, and reminds his mum who he is with the same milk-saving stunt he showed the milk seller. The message: Don’t give up on your dreams.

Kanu and Son — Peak Milk

In this TV commercial, Kanu returns with his son, who beams with pride as he goes through an album of Kanu’s iconic football moments. In his response to the boy’s commentary, Kanu shares the heart disease story that almost killed him and his football dream. Even though medical care and rest was what he needed, he said he was “de-tah-meened” and kept working harder. You can overcome life’s biggest challenges with determination, and apparently that’s what worked for Kanu. For you, it’s not advisable to play with your health like it’s football. Keep your health intact while chasing your dreams. Remember all Nigerian doctors have almost japa. A word is enough for the wise.

Boom Sha Sha — Mimee Noodles

A cultural reset for Nigerian ads, Boom Sha Sha came on the scene and became a viral tune every kid loved to sing and dance along to. The advert follows a family at their daughter’s matriculation event. Friends and family are gathered, everyone is proud. The party is going well until they receive an unwanted guest. But hunger doesn’t make them weak like it should. Instead everyone (daddy o, mummy o, grandma too) started singing and dancing a choreography about a rumble in their tummies. But what’s more surprising is who the hell eats noodles at a party in this Nigeria?

Baba Blue Justice — Vicks Blue

This funny advert took place in a local magistrate court of law. While the defendant’s lawyer was addressing his Lord, sore throat began to worry him, prompting a Blue Vicks cough mint seller — who just happens to be in court that day — to give the lawyer one Baba Blue (can you believe it sold two for ₦5?). Immediately, he licked it, he regained his voice and spoke for his client. The seller then reminds us that proper preparation prevents poor performance. And thanks to the Baba Blue mint sweet, the magistrate “discharged and acquitted” the defendant.

Sunrise (Ooh Jerry) — MTN

Before Jerry turned to idan and Ada became a baddie, they were soft at heart, talking sweetly, dreaming of a perfect future as a couple and dropping mad pickup lines for four hours (12 a.m. – 4 a.m.) over the phone for free — courtesy of MTN Xtra Cool (free night call) plan. Although Jerry capped when he said he wanted to give her a gift as priceless as she is. How can he give her what’s not his? Jerry can lie o. Anyways, she went to her balcony as Jerry asked and what did she see? Nothing but the sunrise that’s available to everyone else in the world. This ad is dedicated to making one’s partner feel special and the importance of communication in relationships. 

I Don Port — MTN

It was such a moment when MTN unexpectedly hit us with the I Don Port advert that featured Nollywood actor and comedian, Saka. It was the perfect timing for Saka to be the face of MTN Port, as he was an Etisalat ambassador before MTN pouched him. Saka ceremoniously performs the popular jingle written by Nigerian creative director, Chuka Obi. The subtle message is: Don’t stay stagnant. Go where the grass is greener if it’s beneficial.

To Me, To You — Indomie

How can you make little kids wait so long for food at a birthday party? What manner of unpreparedness is that? The kids eventually got tired of waiting, and without minding that their food was ready, they ran across their street to sing with a street musician. Their voices began to project across the blocks, calling other people’s attention, who joined in with music speakers. Before long, the street singing had become a bigger party. People gathered to appreciate and donate to the musician, while the birthday girl’s mum serves everyone Indomie noodles. And guess what. She’s Mama Do Good from the last Indomie ad.

Energy 2000 — Yemkem International

Obesere recorded and performed this jingle for Yemkem International’s herbal product, so of course, it was iconic. Circa 2002 to 2005, almost all the Yoruba Nollywood films had the advert. I used to buss moves and sing along whenever I heard “Kilo mumi ta ponpon? Energy 2000” (translates in English to “What’s making me strong and bouncy? Energy 2000). The advert was so popular that some churches in South-West Nigeria substituted the “Energy 2000” with “Oruko Jesu ni (it’s the name of Jesus).” It’s 2023, and if I hear this anywhere, I’d still dance to it. 

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