In the early to mid-nineties, Nigerians woke up one day to find 3 alien beings in the streets of Lagos. They wore all black and had a highly unusual skin colour – orange – from head to toe. They also walked in a mechanized and symmetric manner. They seemed oblivious to the thousands of people who had gathered by the sides of the road to catch some glimpse of them.

Everywhere and at every gathering, the conversation was about these 3 men. The 3 Orange men, as they were called, made it into the daily newspapers. The Television and Radio stations carried the news. Everyone took note. It was a huge buzz. As it turned out later, It was a well planned street marketing campaign by 7-UP Bottling Company to launch their Mirinda soft drink. Needless to say, the product caught on with Nigerians instantly.

Street marketing, also known as guerrilla marketing, is a dynamic strategy where brands captivate attention by taking their message directly to the public domain. It is a marketing technique that involves the use of unconventional, non-traditional marketing methods to reach a target audience.

This type of marketing is typically carried out in public places, such as streets, parks, and other urban areas, with the aim of generating buzz, creating awareness, and establishing an emotional connection with consumers.

In the heart of Nigeria, street marketing beats to its own drum. It’s a tune that plays in the hustle of everyday life, mixing up traditional methods and modern techniques in an interesting way.

Even as technology shakes up the marketing game, street marketing still holds its own, proving that it’s a timeless and effective way to reach your target audience. It continues to thrive, a true reflection of its relevance and lasting power.


*It Embraces the Human Touch*

One of the most compelling aspects of street marketing is its personal touch. Unlike digital ads that can feel distant and impersonal, street marketing allows brands to engage directly with people in their communities.

Indomie, a leading brand of instant noodles in Nigeria, frequently employs street marketing to engage with consumers. They conduct extensive sampling campaigns across various cities, including Kano, where they set up cooking stations on busy streets and markets. Passersby are invited to cook and taste freshly prepared noodles, showcasing different flavors and demonstrating ease of preparation. This hands-on approach not only boosts brand visibility but also reinforces product familiarity and consumer trust.

It’s not just about promoting a product; it’s about creating an experience, forging a connection that resonates beyond mere transaction.

*It’s An Evolving Setting of Creativity*

Nigerian street marketers are masters of creativity and resourcefulness. From hand-painted murals that adorn building walls to catchy jingles blaring from mobile sound systems, every element is crafted to captivate and inspire. The idea is to always infuse that something distinct and out-of-place into your street marketing campaigns : stunts, dancers, characters, mega-sized props, drama, body paintings, and whatever that separates and stand you out from the regular street features.

The annual Kano Durbar festival presents a unique opportunity for brands to engage in localized street marketing. Companies sponsor floats, participate in parades, and decorate their vehicles with branded signage during the festival procession. This traditional cultural event attracts thousands of attendees and offers brands a platform to connect with both local residents and visitors through visually striking displays and interactive engagements. Each interaction becomes a story waiting to unfold, drawing in passersby and turning them into eager customers.

*Looks Ahead: Bridges Tradition with Innovation*

As Nigeria embraces rapid urbanization and technological advancement, the future of street marketing evolves in synergy. Digital integration, such as QR codes linking to interactive content or social media engagement through hashtag campaigns, enhances the reach and impact of street-level initiatives. Moreover, initiatives that incorporate sustainable practices and community empowerment ensure that street marketing remains not only relevant but also a force for positive change.

Globacom, popularly known as Glo, a prominent telecommunications company in Nigeria, organized a street marketing campaign to promote its Glo Café app. In cities like Lagos and Abuja, they deployed branded trucks equipped with interactive displays and free Wi-Fi hotspots. Brand ambassadors engaged directly with pedestrians, demonstrating the app’s features and offering promotional giveaways. This campaign effectively combined digital promotion with on-ground engagement, targeting urban centers.

*Resilience in the Face of Challenges*

Despite its charm, street marketing in Nigeria faces its share of challenges. Regulatory hurdles, logistical complexities, and the ever-changing dynamics of urban spaces require marketers to adapt continuously. Yet, it is precisely this resilience that underscores its relevance. In a scene where authenticity and community trust are paramount, street marketing thrives by fostering genuine connections and building lasting brand loyalty.

Embarking on a street campaign as a brand can be exciting and impactful if done right. Here are some essential tips to make it successful:

  1. Define Clear Objectives*: Defining objectives has to take first place. Understand what you want to achieve with the campaign—whether it’s brand awareness, product promotion, or community engagement

  2. Know Your Audience*: Research and target the demographics and psychographics of the people you’ll encounter on the streets. Tailor your messaging accordingly.

  3. Create Engaging Visuals*: Design eye-catching visuals and signage that represent your brand and are easy to understand quickly in a busy street environment.

  4. Train Your Team*: If you have staff or volunteers helping with the campaign, ensure they are well-trained on your brand messaging, products/services, and how to engage with passersby effectively.

  5. Plan for Logistics*: Consider the logistics of setting up and running the campaign—location permits, equipment, signage placement, etc. Ensure to have all these adequately settled.

  6. Offer Value*: Provide something of value to the people you engage with, whether it’s samples, discounts, or useful information. This encourages interaction and leaves a positive impression.

  7. Be Authentic*: Authenticity is key in street campaigns. People respond positively to genuine interactions and messages.

  8. Measure Success*: Have metrics in place to measure the success of your campaign—foot traffic, leads generated, social media mentions, etc. This helps in evaluating ROI and informing future campaigns.

By keeping these tips in mind and planning meticulously, your street campaign can effectively boost brand visibility and engagement with your target audience.

After a street marketing event, there are important steps to take to capitalize on the momentum and maximize the impact of your efforts:

  • Evaluate Performance*: Assess how well the event met your objectives. Review metrics such as foot traffic, engagement levels, leads generated, social media mentions, etc. This evaluation will help you understand what worked well and what could be improved for future campaigns.

  • Follow Up with Leads*: Contact leads collected during the event promptly. Send personalized follow-up emails or messages thanking them for their interest and offering additional information or special offers related to your products or services.

  • Engage on Social Media*: Leverage any social media buzz generated during the event. Share photos, videos, or testimonials from the event on your social media channels. Encourage attendees to tag themselves and share their experiences.

  • Nurture Relationships*: Continue to nurture relationships with attendees and potential customers. Stay engaged through email newsletters, social media interactions, or exclusive offers to keep your brand top of mind.

  • Measure ROI*: Calculate the return on investment (ROI) from the event. Compare the costs incurred with the benefits gained, such as new customers acquired or increased brand awareness. This will help justify future investments in similar activities.

  • Collect Feedback*: Gather feedback from attendees and participants about their experience. Use this feedback to improve future events and refine your street marketing strategies.

  • Plan for Continuity*: Consider how the event fits into your overall marketing strategy. Plan follow-up activities or additional campaigns that build on the momentum generated by the street marketing event.

By taking these steps after a street marketing event, you can ensure that you not only capitalize on immediate opportunities but also build long-term relationships and enhance your brand’s visibility and reputation.

In essence, street marketing in Nigeria is more than a promotional strategy; it is a celebration of culture, creativity, and community. It thrives on the pulse of everyday life, where every corner turned reveals a new story waiting to be told. As businesses navigate the complexities of a digital age, they find solace in the enduring appeal of street marketing—a timeless art form that continues to captivate hearts and minds across Nigeria’s streets.

@Eunice Adebayo

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