Unlike their foreign counterparts, one thing Nigerian brands never do is invest in ad universes that they can build on. Indomie seemed like they had something with The
Incredibles Indomietables but that idea died almost immediately so I’m guessing they didn’t know what to do with it.
Then are those brands that unknowingly created rich ad universes that could’ve been gold mines if only they’d known to hire me to pointlessly overanalyze their ads like I’m about to. Brands like:
The above version was released for Asian markets.
Released in the mid-2000s, this ad features a girl, who, after drinking a glass of Ribena given to her by her mother, goes on a quick LSD-style mind trip through Ribena Land. Ribena land is a CGI wonderland full of adorable anthropomorphic berries who spend their days making Ribena (turning the water in a nearby river into juice by soaking themselves in it).
In reality, berries are technically crushed for their juice. Now, take those cute singing berries from the ad and put them in a real-life blackcurrant juice making process and watch their sounds go from catchy jingle to screams of the damned.
2. Fumman Fruit Juice
This freakshow of an ad takes place in an orchard where anthropomorphic apples and oranges are hanging out (LOL) on trees while weirdly excited humans in Fumman-branded vests go about picking fruit for Fumman’s juice factory. Each fruit picked lets out a small squeal of delight, as if happy to be deemed worthy of being made into juice. The camera cuts to a mother orange and her baby orange who haven’t been picked. The following conversation ensues between them:
Baby orange (sad & whining): Mummy, why wasn’t I picked? I also want to become a Fumman juice!
Mother orange: Don’t worry, dearest. When you’re mature and ripe, you’ll definitely become a Fumman juice. Just like your father.
The camera then cuts to a shot of Father orange, who’s been picked and is now laying in a basket. He says this:
Father orange (chuckles excitedly): I finally made it!
This ad left 12-year old me equal parts horrified and confused.
Do these fruits not know that this is a The Island situation and that they’re being carted off to be killed? Is mother orange not bothered about her husband being taken away because she thinks she’ll join him soon? Is baby orange going to grow up without a father? Is this ad implying that oranges have sex?!
3. This Miranda Ad Starring The 3 Orange Men
Miranda released a bunch of ads in the early 1990s starring what I believed for a long time were the human versions of those monocoloured plastic dolls that used to be really popular. On the surface, the ads were innocent, maybe a little strange because what these humanoid beings were or what their deal was was never revealed.
But here’s my theory.
In this alternate universe, these guys are part of an alien race who have invaded earth and wiped out humanity (which explains why you don’t see any humans). These ads depict them exploring their newly conquered planet. What I can’t explain is why they seem confused by that television. Because you’d think that any alien race capable of conquering Earth would possess superior technology.
This ad resurfaced in 2017 when people suddenly realized it had mad meme potential. It starts with a husband who’s just returned home from work. He meets his wife at the door literally waiting with open arms to welcome him but he rebuffs her gesture and walks off angrily, leaving her wondering who shit in his oatmeal. She is later shown trying (and failing) to appease him with a glass of orange juice. She gets one last idea to make him dinner using Royco seasoning cubes.
While Wife is slaving away in the kitchen, Husband grabs his car keys and proceeds to storms out of the house. He is stopped in his tracks by the aroma of Wife’s food and goes to sit at the dining table. When Wife emerges with the food, Husband gives her a creepy-ass approving smile, letting her (and the viewers) know that hunger was the reason for his mood swing.
While everyone was memeing away, I saw this ad for what it really is: A story of an innocent woman who suffers constant psychological abuse from her husband. For example, giving the silent treatment whenever he wants something, instead of just communicating like a fucking adult.
No kids are seen, heard, or referenced. So for the sake of my narrative, I’m going to assume they haven’t been married for long. His abusive behaviours (which he hid well during their courtship years) are just starting to manifest. She’s young and naive so she hasn’t figured out that these random outbursts aren’t isolated events. He eventually gets physically abusive, leading her to bash his head in with a pot of egusi soup in self-defence.
Someone get Nollywood on the phone.
5. Dangote Chicken Noodles
This ad inadvertently taught a generation of kids, through the use of cheap animation and 90s style rap and choreography, that cannibalism is crazy stupid cool. It features anthropomorphic chickens dropping sick bars about how delicious Dangote chicken noodles are.