With BBNaija season 6 finally over, we can now kiss goodbye to the social media conversations, arguments, hashtags, posts and reposts that came with it. About twelve weeks ago, a group of strangers commenced their stay in a house, separated from family, friends and society, and ready to slug it out for the N90 million grand prize.

Seventy-two days and billions of naira later, everyone left the house each a winner in his or her own right. Whitemoney, who emerged the winner got to go home with cash prize of N30 million, with other prizes including cash in Abeg digital wallet, Bitcoins courtesy of Patricia, a two-bedroom apartment in highbrow Lekki courtesy of RevolutionPlus Property, and a top-of-the-range SUV from Nigeria’s automaker Innoson Motors and a trip to Seychelles packaged by Travelbeta.

Asides the grand prize, housemates have won several millions of naira in cash and value over the course of their weeks in the house. For instance, there was the YouID task, Tecno Task, Abeg Task, Supa Commando challenge, Munchit Task and Piggyvest task, and other assignments where some housemates won varying cash prizes based on their individual performances. There were also online voting contests organised by BuyPower and by Orijin, where the contestants with the most votes won cash prizes as well. A couple of housemates also won all-expense paid travel opportunities and plenty of gifts.

Liquorose won over 7 million naira cash reward, Saskay and Saga won about 6 million naira each; Cross and Angel won over 5 million naira each; Emmanuel, Michael and Whitemoney won over 4 million naira each; all from the house tasks and contests. Every housemate earned some cash rewards from tasks on the show, even without getting to the finals. Even Kayvee who spent very little time in the house before he voluntarily exited, got a cash reward of about N300,000, for his troubles. In all, the housemates won over N64 million in cash prizes from the numerous tasks they had to execute to entertain viewers and give sponsors some value for money.

For the most part, it could seem that they were all there to hustle for the money, but beyond the money, there are lots of business deals, brand partnerships, and even launching their own companies.

Even the social media following and the fan base gotten from being on the show is an asset in these times when brands are willing to pay to be seen by more people. Just like we saw the ‘Titans’, ‘Icons’, ‘Elites’ from previous seasons, this season has also gathered huge following under fan groups like the ‘WhiteMoney Gang’ for Whitemoney, the ‘LiquorLions’ for Liquorose, ‘Sasforce’ for Saskay, the ‘Cross nation’ for Cross, among others.

For instance, in the 12 weeks the show lasted, Liquorose’s followers on Instagram grew to over 1.4 million, Whitemoney to over 730,000 followers, Maria to over half a million followers, and so many other handles have witnessed massive growth in their following. Contestants like Liquorose, Cross, Boma, Nini. Jaypaul, Yerins and Tega now have their Instagram handles verified with the blue tick – an indication of just how much weight the show pulls.

Their respective fan bases will increase even more now that the show has come to an end. With such a mammoth following, what more would it take to qualify a person as an influencer. Influencer marketing is a big trend in the PR and advertising space, and these young men and women will now be well positioned to cash in on the hundreds and millions of naira that flow in that market. Yousef, already secured for himself a modelling contract with a German Modelling Agency, even while in the house, and it is reported that he would commence his media rounds soon. More endorsements, brand ambassadorships are on the way for other participants in this season.

Influencers and promoters

While the show lasted, many people had their statuses unofficially elevated to influencers and promoters. Active social media handlers have used the Big Brother Naija show to gather a huge following and generate millions of social media impressions, which is also good for their business.

The visibility they have gained from the billions of social media impressions will work in their favour when it comes to the social media algorithms. These numbers will soon begin to translate to money.

What about the viewers?

The viewers get entertained for sure, but they get a little more. MultiChoice, last season, did a little game where over 30 viewers won a million naira each for making accurate predictions about the winner of the show. This number is not in any way representative of the hundreds of millions of viewers, but it is a way to engage the viewers and also give them a little something back.

This year as well, viewers were given another chance to win N1 million when their preferred contestant wins. The Fave Lock-In competition allowed viewers to ‘Lock-In’ their favourite housemate, or the housemate they think will win the show, between July 29 and August 2, 2021. At the end of the show, they get a chance to win N1m each when the housemate emerges winner of the show.

Some people say that the BBNaija show has such a huge following due to the growth in unemployment rate. However, one cannot claim ignorance to the jobs created in the process. Some people get employed to manage the social media handles and conversations of contestants, and for many other purposes. Often, the engagement will not end with the show. Most of these persons will become assistants, managers and promoters to the newly launched icons.

Everyone wins but what about the sponsors?

The reason why many program producers have to hustle for sponsorship is the common thought that when it comes to shows like these, the sponsors spend all the money while the other players smile to the bank. For Big Brother Naija, the producers have rarely had to go hunting for sponsors. There is almost always a tussle for the coveted spot of headline sponsor.

Why are they so eager to spend all that money?

More than what we have seen in previous seasons, ID Africa reports that this season recorded a total of 14.6 million online mentions produced by 4.9 million fans for the 90 days the show lasted. All these mentions made for over 41.7 billion digital impressions. The Grand finale alone recorded the highest volume of posts generated in a single day. Some viewers streamed on their Facebook and Instagram handles to help others who did not have live access to keep up.

The top five most talked about BBNaija housemates throughout the Shine Ya Eye season were Liquorose, Pere, Whitemoney, Maria, and Angel, and between them, they recorded a total of 11.7 million mentions across all online platforms.

Now these conversations go with hashtags and mentions which promote the show and its sponsors. There is also the not-so-obvious fact that for every clip of the show circulated online, the housemates were wearing clothes that displayed the sponsor brands boldly.

BBNaija as a show targets and gets the attention of the young population (18-45 years) across several interests. Most brands can identify their target audience in this cluster and so want to be a part of the posts, reposts, impressions, arguments, contests and social media fights. The sponsorship however is not for nothing.

Sponsors from the previous seasons recorded increased growth all-round during after the show. For instance, Kudabank which had about 300,000 registered customers before the BBNaija season 5 show, saw its customer base double over the next few months hitting 650,000 customers before the end of the year. In November 2020 alone, the company recorded about  “$500 million in transactions and services like bill payments, card transactions and phone top-ups; and by February 2021, the figure upped to “$2.2 billion″.

Bet9ja was also one of the key sponsors, and recorded results that surpassed its targets for the campaign. The company had hoped to achieve a 35% brand growth and increase patronage by 10% among the young population, but the results they got were a lot more rewarding than their targets.  Flutterwave also sponsored several tasks on the show, and months after, the worth of monthly transactions on the platform had increased to more than $9 billion.

How much more returns on investment can any brand ask from a single campaign. The fantastic yield on investments explains why these sponsors return year after year. For a show that is touted to be one of the most viewed reality Tv shows on the continent, BBNaija is living up to reputation. The value brands get on this show is so tangible that it results in improved visibility as well as a spike in first-time customers.

Abeg, a very young fintech brand which only launched in September 2020 clinched the headline sponsorship of BBNaija said to be worth about 2 billion naira. The Associate sponsor, Patricia, is a cryptocurrency trading company with a focus on markets in Nigeria, Africa and Europe, and is rumoured to have spent about 1 billion naira as well. What is the incentive for this investment? Is it just about bragging rights or is there more to it. Can the brands get their money’s worth in returns?

Results show that the brands get this and more. For instance, Abeg had the number of users skyrocket from about 20,000 users to over 1.8 million users following their sponsorship of BBNaija season 6. Ayo Akinola, Head of Business Development at Abeg credited the BBNaija show for the 7000% growth recorded within three months. Which other campaign could have given this result?

The key thing in every PR campaign is the placement, and on the BBNaija show, brands get a lot of strategic placements and mentions that repeatedly place them in front of their target market. There are the obvious jingles that intercept the show, the strategic mentions at the live shows and weekend parties, and the not-so-obvious tasks and games sponsorships that engage housemates and viewers directly. These options provide the brands with so much to leverage.

In fact, some commentators acclaim this show to possibly be the biggest reality show to come out of Africa. In that light, any brand with a campaign slated for the third quarter of the year should be looking at taking advantage of the BBNaija platform. Like we can even see with Abeg, a brand can go from faceless to have a daunting presence and cool perception among the young workforce in the country, using the platform BBNaija presents.

There are also other sponsors including like Revolution plus, Travelbeta, IVN (Innoson), Pepsi, Arla Dano, 2Sure hand and surface sanitiser, Grandex store, Hawaii soap, Boomplay, Tecno Phantom X, Good Knights power shot, Smirnoff Ice, Gordon, Darling, McDowells Glover, Super Komando, Baileys Delight, and Bet9ja.

MultiChoice and Producers

The show’s organizer, MultiChoice, spends huge sums to pull off this 24/7 show. As you can imagine, the cost implication of this is massive, both in human resources and in finances. Over 1000 people worked to bring the show to life this season, and all at a cost. It is on record that producing this season gulped a whopping N4.3 billion in production costs.

So, how many votes come in each season?

The 2019 “Pepper Dem” edition polled a total of 240 million votes, more than twice the figure from the 2018 “Double Wahala” edition. The 2020 “Lockdown” edition garnered over 900 million votes – the highest ever since the show launched in 2006, and ears are still tingling with the announcement that this season polled over 1.3 billion votes.

This season, Big Brother Naija brought a surprise by scrapping the SMS Voting and maintained the tiered voting system, which gave DStv and GOtv subscribers more voting power. For this season, voting could only be done on the Mobile site, Website and the MyDStv and MyGOtv apps only. The idea behind this was to give viewers more reasons to stay connected to enjoy the 24/7 viewing BBNaija experience.

If we say BBNaija is a goldmine, then we can say that everyone walked out with some piece of gold. Everyone had equal opportunity to work their way up their chosen paths. The names that will remain in the limelight after a year or two will purely depend on what they do with what they won.