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GTBank, Access, Zenith, 8 other banks spend N13.5 billion on adverts Q1 2020

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Emefiele

Eleven of the Nigerian banks that are listed on the NSE spent a total of N13.5 billion on marketing and advertising in Q1 2020, according to checks by Nairametrics Research. The figure indicates a 15.7% increase when compared to N11.6 billion which the banks collectively spent for the same purpose in Q1 2019.

As expected, all the tier-1 banks (FUGAZ) spent big on advertising/marketing during the first quarter of the year. However, the biggest spender was Fidelity Bank Plc, a tier-2 bank which incurred as much as N2.6 billion. This is then followed by First Bank which spent about N2 billion. Meanwhile, Sterling Bank Plc spent the least amount which is N223 million.

See below for a full list of the banks and their expenses on adverts/marketing in Q1 2020.

Fidelity Bank Plc: N2.6 billion
First Bank: N2 billion
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc: N1.8 billion
Zenith Bank Plc: N1.8 billion
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc: N1.7 billion
Access Bank Plc: N1.4 billion
FCMB Group Plc: N790 million
Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc: N394 million
Wema Bank Plc: N329 million
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc: N267 million
Sterling Bank Plc: N223 million

It should be noted that virtually all the banks spent more on marketing and advertising in Q1 2020 except for the likes of Sterling Bank and Union Bank; both of whom significantly reduced their expenses. First Bank, on the other hand, kept its advertising expenditure constant year on year.

Meanwhile, the banks collectively generated gross earnings of about N935 billion during the first quarter period. Further analysis also showed that Fidelity Bank, which spent the most on advertising and marketing, did not generate the most revenue during the period. Instead, Access Bank did, having recorded a whopping N181.6 billion.

On average, Nigerian banks tend to spend more on advertising compared to companies in other sectors of the economy. And this usually influences their financial performances.

Advertising and Public Relations are two of the most powerful tools that are utilised in the business world to communicate brands’ benefits and create awareness about new or existing products. These, in turn, helps companies to reach newer markets or consolidate existing ones. In light of this, the importance of advertising and public relations can never be underestimated, as no company can really survive without them.

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COVID-19

What the ‘New Normal’ holds for Nigerian Cinema industry

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When cinemas across Lagos shut down activities on March 24, following the advice of the state government, most expected that the shutdown would not last for long.  

Genesis Cinema, in its announcement, stated, “As this is an evolving situation, we will keep you updated and we look forward to welcoming you back soon with the best cinema experience. 

Filmhouse also released an official statement saying“We look forward to welcoming you with the best possible cinema experience as soon as things return to normal. 

Little did they know that the word “normal” would be redefined over the next couple of months to become “new normal. 

Impact of the lockdown 

Now, the various state governors have commenced easing of the lockdown (which had been placed nationwide to curb the spread of covid-19) and a gradual reopening of the economy. In spite of this, the fate of cinemas, just like most entertainment outlets, is largely uncertain.  

Nairametrics had done an analysis of the Q1 performances of cinemas in Nigeria, and findings in that article showed a significant drop in their weekly revenues between February and March 2020.

 Also, available data from CEAN  shows that the last filming week for cinemas was 20 to 26 March, 2020, and since then no income has been recorded.  

As a result of this, several movies selling at the box office were suspended, while others scheduled for release were postponed. In fact, the film calendar for Nigerian cinemas has been completely upturned, courtesy of the pandemic.  

Movies like Going Bananas2 Weeks in LagosLemonadeThe Good Husband, and others slated for release in April and May have been postponed indefinitely. Omoni Oboli, notable Nigerian actress and filmmaker, who was shooting a new Tv series, Last Year Single, had to halt the production abruptly, and no one could say for sure when things would become normal again. 

Seeking possible solutions  

There may yet be hope for the industry, even as it proceeds into the second half of the year. However, there will have to be huge sacrifices and adjustments made, and the result is that cinemas will no longer be what you used to know.  

So, here’s what you should expect from the ‘new normal’ in the industry.  

 

Drive-in screening of movies 

Just recently, the drive-in cinema was experienced for the first time in Nigeria. Foremost filmmaker, Charles Okpalekehas pioneered the concept with the screening of the Living in Bondage sequel, which was screened at the drive-in cinema holding at Transcorp Hilton car park, Abuja. 

Silverbird cinemas also had its first drive-in cinema experience, when it screened the Legend of Inikpi on Sunday June 7, in Abujawith plans to replicate it in Lagos and Port Harcourt. 

Genesis Cinemas has also announced similar plans to commence the drive-in cinema experience.  

Bukunmi Sobowale, Public Relations Officer of Trina Studios, a movie production firm, insists that Nigerians should definitely expect more of the drive-in cinema experience as we move forward towards a total ease of the lockdown 

A drive-in theatre or drive-in cinema is structured with a large outdoor movie screen, a projection booth, a concession stand, and a large parking area for automobiles where customers can view movies from the privacy and comfort of their cars. 

As we can easily deduce from Okpaleke’s statement, this is an attempt to keep business moving, without violating the physical distancing guidelines.  

 

More checks for traditional cinema 

Even when the normal theatres resume, adjustments are expected. In a bid to check the number of admitted persons, ticket reservation will now be done strictly online and there will be a controlled seating arrangement. This is only one of the guidelines which the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria CEAN has put in place.  

For movie-lovers, getting into the cinema is going to require more than a ticket check. Guests will have to undergo temperature checks and other safety measures before being allowed in, and of course, everyone is expected to wear a nose mask.  

Rest rooms will now also be strictly regulated to allow for usage based on capacity 

Naturally, the cinema staff will also be expected to use nose masks and gloves while carrying out their duties.  

Change of viewing schedules and seating arrangements 

Among the directives which the authorities have passed down to cinema owners, they will have to increase clean-up time in between shows to allow for deep cleaning, and all movie schedules will take the existing curfew laws into consideration.  

Like the Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Oluhad said in a recent briefingcinemas will have to recalibrate their space management strategy as part of the Register-to-open initiatives before they can be allowed.  

This could mean anything from taking some seats out of the cinema halls, to completely altering the hall arrangement. Physical distancing also has to be strictly applied at the receptions to ensure that no one is within a two metre distance of another person.  

Specifically, the cinemas are no longer allowed to seat more than 50% viewing audience per screen, and physical distancing is to be strictly enforced. 

The 20 minutes end-time in between shows will also keep traffic in the foyers in check.   

 

Embracing the new normal 

Despite adjustments madeone wonders how ready Nigerians are to get back to the cinema viewing experience. Most people would likely still be wary of potentially crowded places for a long time, except where it is absolutely unavoidable.  

In this covid-19 era, I think cinema culture as we know it is gone. Even if people continue going to the cinemas, the little intimates we take for granted would be absent – no more leaning over to the next seat to have whispered conversations with loved ones as the moviego on.  

Most irksome is the fact that you may not even get to scream or laugh out loud, courtesy of the compulsory nose masks you have to put on.  

For all we know, the fun days of the cinema may be gone!

At least, until a vaccine is found for the virus

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