Lagos, Nigeria; 13 October 2014: The atmosphere at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) on Friday, October 10th could best be described as expectant. Students jostling from one end to another with stacks of books in their hands, some having conversations in clusters at various spots shielding themselves from the hot Ile-Ife sun while some, stood eagerly waiting for what was promised to be an exciting night of music and dance by beverage giant, Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola through its flagship product offering, Coke, launched season two of its eponymous music platform, Coke Studio Africa in September. The show is a one-of-a-kind music platform that features studio performances by various Nigerian and African artistes. This season parades top Nigerian artistes such as Olamide, Waje, Omawumi, Seyi Shay, Chidinma, Burna Boy in collaboration with over 13 leading artistes from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania as well as Mozambique. However this season, Coca-Cola decided to take the excitement of the Coke Studio right to the doorsteps of its core target demographic...literally!

According to the Brand Manager, Colas, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Olufemi Ashipa, the concert is an extension of Coke Studio that the delivers the music experience directly to the target market. “It’s about strengthening our relationship with these teens”, he noted. Asides parading some of the biggest Nigerian artistes, the concert also provides an opportunity for selected budding music acts from the school to perform side-by-side with the stars. 

So far, the concerts have swept through the campuses of Lagos State Polytechnic, University of Benin, Abia State University and University of Lagos. Students of OAU were next in line to get their share of the Coke Studio happiness in the company of rave of the moment artistes – Reminisce, Orezi and Dammy Krane.

As the gates to the concert grounds were flung open and cold bottles of refreshing Coke served from different spots, students were seen posing for “selfies” as they made their way to the front of the stage. Beside the stage, one of Nigeria’s few female disc jockeys, DJ Lambo, was on hand to ensure that the atmosphere was charged with good music.

“I am here to have fun”, said Charles Duduyemi, a third year student of Local Government studies. He like all others was excited an eager to see the artistes’ live in concert. He noted that a show of this calibre and magnitude was rare for them to experience on campus. Likewise Susan Ademowore, a second year student of Psychology said she was grateful to Coke Studio for adding colour to their social lives with the concert.

The show got into full swing when the school’s budding music acts got on the stage in turns to woo the crowd with their different genre of music and dance steps. There was no doubt that the school was bursting with raw talent! From R&B, to rap, Hip-Hop, each of the rookies put their best foot forward for the chance to be voted to perform with their music icons. At the end of the competition, Damilola Babatunde, Olamide Oladipo and Olusola Bakare emerged winners, selected to perform with Dammy Krane, Reminisce and Orezi respectively.

Then the moment came when “My Dear” crooner Dammy Krane got on stage to thrill the crowd with his hit tracks. The artiste who recently released his album, ‘The EnterKraner’, put up a good account of himself, thrilling the audience till he got off. Mr ‘shoki’, Orezi was next on stage to perform. At this point, the heavens were open and let down rain but that did not deter the students from cheering on. He ended his performance by staging an impromptu ‘shoki’ dance competition. The concert reached its peak when indigenous rapper, Reminisce, took the microphone to deliver his hits including “Kako bi chicken” and “Daddy” throwing the crowd into excitement and bringing the concert to a befitting end.

Speaking on the outcome of the concert at the Ile-Ife institution, Ashipa said, “The atmosphere at OAU was tremendous. The turnout was more than we anticipated. Even the change in weather did not deter them from watching all the artistes perform. This goes to show the level of connection we established with them”, he said.

When it comes to capturing the hearts and minds of people especially teenagers, one can never go wrong using music! This global trend of using music as an engagement tool has been employed by various brands for the sole purpose connecting and communicating with their target demographics. However, the Coke Studio Concert stands out in many regards. Not only do the concerts parade the hottest Nigerian artistes that appeal to every campus visited, it also serves as a breeding ground for relatively unknown campus artistes giving them a head start in their career pursuit.

As the Coke Studio Concert train moves to another location, it is safe to say that it will carry along with an unforgettable experience of musical fusion and entertainment.

 

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About Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited

Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited (CCNL), a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, was established in 1990 to provide technical and market development support to Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC) which has operated as Coca-Cola’s franchise bottler in Nigeria since 1951 and is responsible for the manufacture, sales and distribution of Coca-Cola products in Nigeria. 

Although separate entities with separate structures, boards and management teams, both organizations work collaboratively to deliver common business goals, with CCNL focusing on technical stewardship, product innovation, market development and brand and reputation building. Globally, we refer to this framework of shared goals, mutual interdependence and seamless collaboration between TCCC and its bottling partners as “the Coca-Cola System”.

 

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Kenneth Eze

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Tosin Akin-Ogundeji

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