Eloswag’s Carpe Diem Strategy & How Brands Can Leverage Trends To Seize The Moment
In his ‘Odes’ published in the year 23 BC, Roman poet, Horace wrote, “Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero,” which translates literally as “pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the next one(tomorrow).” Since then, the phrase ‘carpe diem’ has come to stand for Horace’s entire injunction, and it is more widely known as “seize the day.”
The ode says that the future is unforeseen and that one should not leave to chance future happenings, but rather one should do all one can today to make one’s own future better. This phrase is usually understood against Horace’s Epicurean background. It has been argued that the meaning of carpe diem as used by Horace is not to ignore the future, but rather not to trust that everything is going to fall into place for you and taking action for the future today-living in the moment.
Perhaps, one person who understands Horace’s injunction about living in the moment well is Eloswag, a Housemate at the ongoing Big Brother Naija (BBN) Season 7 ‘Level Up’ edition. Eloswag, whose real name is Eloka Nwamu, stirred up controversy recently after a photo showing the backside of his hoodie with the ‘be obedient and useful’ inscription surfaced on Twitter. The inscription is definitely coined from the ‘Obidient and Yusful’ slogan which followers of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi have popularized, ahead of the General Elections in 2023.
In fact, though many followers of the show on social media say that the Housemate may have just used what they termed ‘strategy’ to curry support and garner followers, the end result has placed him well ahead of every competition in the House. Obviously, Eloswag leveraged the momentous ‘Obidience’ movement online and offline, championed chiefly by young people who are also ardent followers of BBNaija to break the internet. By seizing the moment and leveraging the trend outside Biggie’s House, it will be hard for Eloswag not to win the 100-million-naira price and reward at the end of the almost three-month-long reality show.
Though a report from TheCable Lifestyle indicates that the hoodie in question has been confiscated by organisers of the show and the ‘offender’ cautioned, but the ‘damage’ has been done. While a segment of the show’s followers called for Eloswag’s disqualification from the BBNaija show for “bringing politics into the house,” others vowed to vote massively for him.
One Columbus @Chude__ wrote: “Apparently there’s one OBidient in the #BBNaija Big brother house? Read what is written at the back of his Sweater. What is his name? He has to Win!”
“So Eloswag is putting on a hoodie that says “Be Obedient and Useful” at the back. At least those shouting BBN will make people lose focus can now see that even in the Big Brother house, strategic campaign is still going down,” another user wrote.
Another user, SnrMan♤ @SnrManVic wrote: “Let’s make Eloswag trend everyday alongside POlitics till he is announced the Winner!!”
NEFERTITI @firstladyship: “My People, Eloswag @Eloswager is one of us. He is OBIdient & YUSful. VOTE & FOLLOW him massively. #BBNaija 🔥✊”
“Okay, this is him! Eloswag. OBIdients favorite! He is winning right? Na who support Obi we go support Obi we go support! Strategy or not, we have fallen for it,” another user wrote.
This reaction is neither unexpected nor is it exclusive to Eloswag. Brands can also leverage trends, people, events, campaigns and even movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #EndSARS at the spur of the moment or carefully calculated timing for phemenonal impact. Social philosopher, Roman Krznaric suggested in his 2017 book, ‘Carpe Diem Regained’ that ‘carpe diem’ is the answer to consumer cultures schedules, timed work days, consumer culture.
Related to Elosawg’s strategy in marketing is what is called moment marketing or the carpe diem strategy. The idea is to effectively use the memory of consumers to make them connect with the product.
Moment Marketing or the carpe diem strategy is boosting sales, visibility, and engagement simultaneously. No ad spend required, just put a tweet or a post and you’re already a winner. For example, Ronaldo just replaced bottles of coke from his table with a bottle of water. Coke lost almost 4 billion but many leveraged the trend to push their brand ahead.
What is so unique about moment marketing that makes it a powerful strategy? Internet penetration grew exponentially in past few years. Everyone got their hands on fast and efficient smartphones. This boosted the number of social media users. The digital population claims almost half of the world’s population.
With so many people actively looking for content on their screens, moment marketing can prove to be a great tool for marketing campaigns. It actually helped brands in solving a problem they have been fighting in the past few years- a shorter memory span. If something happened yesterday and I am supposed to forget it today, moment marketing won’t let me. With everyone trying to leverage it, the magnitude is so strong that it actually elongates the user’s memory.
What is driving this? The year is 2022, the year of speed. The dust of the pandemic is still settling. Every brand is experimenting with ideas because the new normal is much different. Some people are still working from home. Consumers have started spending more and more time online. Can we call it the peak of the information age? Well, it might be. Purchasing habits have changed. We have grown more compassionate. This is the time when people want to stand together, support each other in standing up again. This is the new trend. If your brand is reflecting what your consumers are feeling right now, your marketing campaign is successful. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this simple, cost-effective strategy has found a way to control our brains.
Again, companies are no more afraid to experiment with new ideas. With so much going around, you can totally change your brand story within 24 hours and people won’t mind. No more are brands afraid of directly targeting their competitors healthily. Consumers love it. They want to see rival brands get into feuds over social media. It generates plenty of content, what else does an average internet user want! Twitter spats might be real, manufactured, intentional, or unintentional- nobody cares. People want to enjoy what they are being served. Above all, it’s all free. All it takes is a good copywriter and perfect timing. Sterling Bank used to be very big on this before the infamous Easter ‘Agege’ Bread debacle earlier this year.
Also, growth of the league of memes, influencers and seize-the-moment is another driver. No league can deny the existence of this league. They are running the show all over. They are not professionals, no shining MBA degree. Yet they are effectively deciding the fate of brands and campaigns. The reason being, that they are young, full of energy. The old generation has a deep desire to catch up with them. The upcoming generation is following in their footsteps. They are moment marketing’s knights in shining armor. Pulling the rabbit out of the hat is not going to work when your rivals are pulling out a new animal every time they put their hands in the hat. With the power of creativity and dedicated community, everything is possible.
Moment marketing is here to stay and will definitely evolve with time. Brands are leaving no stone unturned to make their presence felt in every domain. It is too early to identify this form of marketing as a threat to the traditional ways. Although, one thing is sure- you cannot afford not to put it in your marketing strategies.