Independence Day Campaigns that didn’t sit right with consumers

By Zion Rufus

More than a decreased ROI, what brands fear the most is being misunderstood.

While there’s also a tendency of miscommunication, on the other side lies the power of consumers to misinterpret/misunderstand a brand’s message.

Meanwhile, ensuring your message continually maintains a positive image in the hearts of consumers can sometimes be a tough nut to crack; Brands can exhaust months of birthing creative concepts  to appeal to consumers’ receptivity, only to end up on the wrong side of the fence.

As we know, creating the perfect marketing campaign is no child’s play as it requires lots of creativity and experimentation; creatives are figuratively tethered while walking the fine line between innovation and banality.

In commemoration of Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Day celebration, some brands ended up hitting the wrong notes as their campaign messages were misunderstood.

BBDO West Africa

Advertising Agency, BBDO didn’t hit the expected note with its Independence Day message which was accompanied by pictures of parts of the human body and the feeling of freedom felt when certain body accessories are taken off such as the wristwatch, brassiere, and female strap sandals.

The Independence Day message reads: “If you’ve ever had to untie your uncomfortable shoes or unbuckle your tight wristwatch, you already know what freedom feels like. Today, we celebrate Nigeria’s 62nd year of independence. May the comfort this day brings, be our motivation for a
greater tomorrow.”

Expected to portray ease and freedom, the message was received as a hint that Nigeria needs to be recolonized.



Nestle’s seasoning brand, Maggi, didn’t quite get it right with its creative either. Portraying the Nigeria map with a formation of empty dishes, the caption said: “Celebrating 62 years of empty plates. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Cheers to many more years of creating empty plates, Nigeria. Happy Independence Day….”


@sylvesterden said: “I don’t get the point. Equating Nigeria to empty plates is like saying the country lacks talents and resources. It’s wrong whichever way you look at it.”

Vice President Yemi Osibajo

Vice President, Yemi Osibajo wasn’t left out of the backlash. Posting a picture of him staring at portraits of past leaders, the caption read: “The labour of our heroes past, Shall never be in vain.”

Twitter user @debbiepinknotch said: “After this sir, maybe you should consider content creation.”

@eye4eye said: “There is a message on this picture..osibanjo is trying to tell us whom to
vote in 2023”

@pence said: “All you did for 8 years was take
beautiful pictures.”


Verdant Zeal
All Creative Agency, Verdant Zeal did was to put two Nigerian passports side by side with the caption “Your only escape to a better nigeria”

On @livewithlynda who compared slides from different brands, @thesavyygirll said of the creative “First slide is giving japa”

@iamdamilosky “The first slide is most
appropriate for a Nigerian travel agency.”


From giving “Japa” vibes, to its miscommunicated message of “Hope”, Service provider, Globacom had a fair share of the heat.

The caption read: “Above all, hope drives us
to a better future..”

@standwithnone said: “if any brand is allowed to speak on hope, it shouldn’t be Globacom.”

@_heykeenz said: “Hope really??? You don listen to Twice As Tall by @burnaboygram”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    No comments found.