I’ve pointed out before how pointless and horrifying Nigerian adverts can be sometimes. I don’t know if it’s the drugs (lol) or the fact that the people who write these ads are out of touch with things that…make sense. But there are recurring elements in Nigerian adverts that heavily imply that they all exist in the same batshit cinematic universe. Elements that need to stop.

Elements like:

1) Bathing in slow motion.

Because real life isn’t directed by The Wachowskis, no one bathes in slow motion like this. All this ensures is that you’ll be late to whatever you have to be at e.g work. Which means that if you shower like this enough times, you’ll be unemployed pretty soon.

2) Making an entire table of food for a family of like 3.

This isn’t even a celebration. Just a regular dinner. Who has the time to make a whole ass buffet for every meal? Who’s gonna eat all that? Don’t you even think about the word ”leftovers”! If this quantity of food is made for every meal, how long do you think the family has before their fridge is overflowing with leftovers??

3) Moaning after tasting delicious food.

I feel like there are different ways to express how delicious a plate of food in an ad is (for the sake of the audience) without having the actor pretend to cream their jeans after eating one spoon. Let me tell you something, bouillon cube ads, if I wanted to hear all that exaggerated moaning, I’d go watch white people porn.

4) Anthropomorphic mascots.

I don’t know how brands keep getting away with this but having an anthropomorphic version of whatever it is you’re selling as a mascot for your product is a terrible and super gross idea. There is something fundamentally wrong with having humanized chickens dance around a plate of chicken-flavoured noodles excitedly because they’re about to eat it. Wake up and smell the CANNIBALISM! I’m talking to you, Dangote Noodles.

5) Pointless dancing.

This is a still from a TV ad for Pure Bliss. This couple’s car breaks down, leaving them stranded. They worry for a few seconds but suddenly start dancing when a pack of Pure Bliss appears of out thin air.

It’s amusing how many people that make ads think they can get away with not having a sensible plot if dancing is thrown in the mix. It’s lazy and overplayed. Also, dance long enough and watch the audience forget what it is you’re advertising.

6) Voice dubbing.

For lack of a better image to express this point, enjoy this GIF of Rick (Rick and Morty) yelling whatever the hell this is.

I don’t know if its because the actors aren’t loud enough or that the makers don’t like how the actors sound, but there is a strange habit of dubbing over the actors’ original voices in Nigerian ads. This needs to stop – not because there’s anything wrong with the act – but because it’s usually done badly.

7) Drastic before and after photos.

Here’s a voice-over from a typical Nigerian cream ad:

“Before, Nkechi looked like: *insert picture of Chewbacca with leprosy*. After using our cream, she now looks like this: *insert picture of supermodel photoshopped to perfection* “

Stop it.

Click here to read about 5 old Nigerian adverts that were pretty much horror movies in disguise.



Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.