Bride Price App - Is a Viral Strategy Worth it?

Bride price, or dowry in some cultures, is

an amount of money or property paid by the groom or his family to the parents of a woman upon the marriage of their daughter to the groom.

The man and his family present money and / or some other items like yam, groundnut oil, chicken e.t.c. as the Bride Price in Nigeria. This differs to dowry "which is paid to the groom, or used by the bride to help establish the new household".

The items that are gifted and the cost varies dependent on the elders, place and family. It is a tradition that is common in Nigeria and accross Africa.

Bride Price App

About two weeks ago, an App from Nigeria appeared on the web and within days, it went viral. Bride price App allows one to calculate one’s bride price, or that of a friend or “enemy” as the app says.

Bride Price App Check

A few questions are asked, and the answers are used to generate the bride price. The app looks like it was created just for fun and as an experiment. I was able to interview the team behind the app.

Below is my interview with the Creative Lead at Anakle, Munachi Nwoke-Ekpo.

Team Anakle - Bride Price App

iAFRIKAN: Who developed the Bride Price App?

Munachi Nwoke-Ekpo: The app was developed by employees of Anakle Nigeria Limited.

What does Anakle do and who are some of the people you have worked with in the past?

We are a digital media agency based in Lagos.

Primarily, we build intelligent media solutions on (the) internet and mobile platforms. We develop and manage online advertising campaigns, and help online advertisers build applications and creatives for a wide range of platforms.

We have built nearly a decade of experience working on projects for top brands in Africa’s leading market, and always aim to beat client expectations in quality and delivery. We've worked for top brands like Coca-Cola, Etisalat Nigeria, Diamondbank, UBA, British Council, Unilever Nigeria, Adidas, AccessBank, just to name a few.

What was the motivation and what was the expectation from the team when the app was developed?

While the idea was being conceived, I could honestly say that there were a lot of laughs in the room, which made us realise how easily the app would be received by Nigerians in general.

We knew it was going to be a fun app, and knew it was going to go viral. What we did not expect was how wildly popular it was going to be, within the first few days.

How long has the app been public and what is responsible for the viral nature of the app?

It's been around for almost 2 weeks. The first official bride price tweet was actually posted on Sunday the 25th of May.

I think what's responsible is that it's really funny, the options are hilarious, but also that deep underneath, it helped to stir up a conversation about the practice of bride price, which everyone could obviously relate to and had an opinion about.

Going forward, what do you plan to do with the amount of impressions that the app has generated?

Isn't it obvious?

There are brands that are looking for these kinds of insights to help enhance their ROI (return on investment) in social media strategies to enhance their brands and how they interact with their consumers.

What have you learned since you launched the app?

A whole lot. The data is overwhelming.

We are still studying and dissecting it, but there's a wealth of stats down there that are really valuable to any social media strategist.

Do you think viral as a strategy should be pursued by brands and agencies?

Of course! Look at virality as a big mighty billboard just at the tip of the third mainland bridge. Do you know what kind of exposure your brand would get from having a strategically placed ad there?

Already we've been getting offers for tie-ins into the app by brands looking to harness its popularity for different purposes. It wasn't why we built it, but we expected it nonetheless.

Is viral as a strategy worth it?

"Virality is like a billboard just at the tip of Third Mainland Bridge."

Almost every brand wants and craves virality. When an ad promotional tool or campaign of a brand goes viral, it is good for the brand. They get a lot of impressions that they can convert.

Viral itself as a strategy does nothing. When virality is achieved, the brand should be ready to tap into it and place some funnel that will convert the impression to sale, which is the ultimate aim of most brands.

Anakle has admitted that they did not build the app so that brands can tie in with it, but they mentioned that they expected that brands were going to come to them.

Netflix, the creators of House of Cards, made use of social and big data about people’s viewing habits on Netflix in creating the show.

They allowed the data gathered to guide them in picking the actors and structure of the show. The show was a hit and people requested for the second season. The second season has since been released and it was a hit too. Netflix realised that people like to binge watch series. They capitalised on this and released House of Cards Season 2 all episodes at once.

Virallity was built in from the point when the show was created. Could this have been luck? Data gathered after the show suggests that the plan of Netflix and their expectation was met. We need to see if Netflix is going to keep winning like they did with House of Cards in creating another show leveraging on social and big data gleaned from viewing habits of Netflix users.

One can only assume that Anakle used similar data sets or strategies when developing the Bride Price App.

While virality can be planned for, there’s not guarantee that it will work.

It is taking a chance, albeit on some data collected. Saying one can create viral is saying we can control people. What groups of people choose to do can vary depending on several circumstances like who, where, when and some pure chance.

Who wants to create a campaign leaving it to chance?

There are agencies that have created campaigns in the past for the sole aim of making it go viral. As Munachi, Anakle’s Creative Lead, admitted to me, they were just having some fun creating the app. They weren’t building because they were dead sure it would go viral; but it did.

The Gangnam style video broke YouTube's views record; it passed the 2 billion views mark. That is viral. But has Psy been able to create another video that has similar viral effect? The answer is no. The second most watched YouTube video of all time is Justin Biebers “Baby.”

Viral as a strategy is not a guarantee.

Even though it is like that, it is not going to stop brands from trying to build viral campaigns or trying to buy into creations on the web like the Bride Price App that have gone viral.

Anakle has gone to create a Bride Price App for Kenya too. Which has already started making headlines.

From the pedigree of the clients that Anakle has worked with and still working with, they are definitely doing something right. I have met the founder a couple of times and he’s a person of high pedigree too, that knows his onions.

In my opinion, they are definitely an agency on the continent to watch.

Cover Image Credit: Nattu