Why African Brands Never Made It To Wakanda?


Last week was a different week. There was an unusual consensus that Black Panther was the best black movie of all times.

Set in Wakanda, a cutting-edge, futuristic and most developed country in the world, Black Panther portrayed Africans as ingenious, civilised and a generation of polymaths.

But in the midst of this huge box office success, African and African originated brands were a no-show in the cinematic masterpiece. Before making any conclusions, we can make plausible excuses. Perhaps Marvel, the producer of the film wanted it that way. Maybe they wanted the audience to focus more on the content of the film instead of any marketing ‘ops’.

However, should we continue to agree that Black Panther is more or less the greatest film about black people in recent times, then, it is a mis-normal for black enterprises, creative ingenuity and successful brands to be excluded.

In the marketing and branding side of things, the Black Panther movie would have been a great opportunity for brands within and outside Africa to reach a broader audience. Corporations such as Naspers, Dangote, Star Lager, Orijin and many other companies would have leveraged their African heritage to add colour and credence to the plot of the movie. While it is late to cry over a spilled milk, there is always another time.

While everyone craves to appear at side panels of major football leagues and FIFA competitions, there are more impactful and timeless platforms such as the Black Panther movie. This is the more reason companies and brands need to have a holistic view of their marketing architecture. Corporations must have the right people advising them on how to engage Hollywood, Nollywood and even Bollywood. Every second that passes by, there is a masterpiece in the works.

It is no doubt that doing serious brand integration such as this requires time, budget, competence and strategic thinkers. However, it is also ‘commonsensical’ that only the dynamic, willing and innovative brands can pull it off. It begins with an idea and the will.

You can take that step today.


SBI Media