If Nestle Plc’s Maggi advertisement’s attempt was to attract the modern woman while maintaining traditional African values, then it gets a mark.
The ad carefully shows a 9-5 woman who proudly identifies as a boss, family magnet, foodie and a slayer and, goes home to ensure that dinner is set on time for her family. Particularly so, it seems that this is a deliberate attempt to regain and appeal to the new wave of feminism.
Alas, the latter of their message is their undoing.
All that maggi ad needed was to at least insert a domestic helper in the kitchen but no, they wanted to glamorize the “super woman” myth. How many “boss ladies” don’t have domestic help? There will never be anything attractive about women suffering. Stop trying…
— Ada Akunne (@SheisBoki) November 4, 2018
How can, some argue, a woman who is by every definition a queen undergo such rigorous daily routines without the help of her husband?
In the age of gender equality, they argue that the ad is in simple terms, “unrealistic” and “insensitive.”
To some people, the ad only reinforces the belief that a woman should be solely made to keep the homefront while working especially in a world where some of the best chefs are male.
Note: For the sole purpose of the way the Nigerian social media is set, the term feminism is loosely used.
On the other side of the divide, Maggi has garnered fans especially the male gender who see nothing wrong with it.
I’ll do you one better.
I’d love Dangote Cement to make an Ad. about a Nigerian woman unloading bags of cement out of a truck while her husband goes to buy Knorr so he can come cook for the family. https://t.co/ClzkMgLhqw
— H (@HemButs) November 5, 2018
Panadol ad: Man drinking Panadol after driving truck and petrol tanker
Maggi ad: A boss lady cooking and taking care of her family
Somehow, Maggi is misogynistic. Bunch of idiots
— Arinze Arinze (@sonofarinze) November 4, 2018
Nestle is not the sole maker of seasoning cubes in Nigeria. Unilever’s Knorr remains a formidable threat regardless of the fact that Maggi is the default name for whatever seasoning cube an average Nigerian woman uses in the kitchen.
Still, the competition is real. This means that Nestle has to continually strive to put its seasoning cubes in the face at every point.
Just when it seemed that their new innovation, Maggi Naija Pot was taking a hold on Nigerians, the new ad seems to have polarised its market base. In a way, being the subject of many discussions on and off the internet is a good thing. Not many Nigerians have the culture of boycotting products because of something as flimsy as an ad.
However, it does give competitors the leeway to chip away at the customer base of their rivals.
Knorr, one of the leading competitor to Maggi, latched on Maggi’s ad popularity to release its one-year-old ad, which is a contrast to Maggi’s.
In their ad, it is the man who is cooking with the woman and eventually delivers the food to the woman. Ironically, not many seem to take a notice of the ad or in lighter terms, does not catch on.
While social media outrage and opinions hardly translate to real-life outcomes in Nigeria, it is almost certain that Nigerians will move on to other concerns that continue to threaten them including the inability of some to afford three square meals.
With all of these, one would imagine that Maggi will take down the ad but it still stands as its pinned tweet with over 224 thousand views as at the time of writing. Sometimes, stubbornness pays off.
Will it be so for Nestle’s Maggi?
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