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Eclectic review: Key corporate/marketing takeaways from Jagun Jagun The Movie

…Nope, this is not an ‘entertainment’ article. 

Yes, this is about Jagun Jagun The Movie, but not the way you think. 

“A young man (Gbotija) determined to become a powerful warrior joins an elite army, encountering the wrath of Ogundiji, a maniacal warlord…”

So what has that got to do with marketing? 

Well, let’s take you back to your time as an intern or rookie. Remember that one manager? Yea, Let’s start there. 

Case in point
: Ogundiji was threatened by Gbotija’s rapidly growing prominence, how he constantly excelled at the most dangerous tasks, and also earned the love and respect of many; and when he was due for a promotion, he assigned him the most impossible tasks in a bid to set him up to fail.

According to findings from a paper published in The International Journal of Human Resource Management by University of Salford Business School, A third of managers feel threatened by talented workers.

Realizing he had slowly begun to lose his credibility following the arrival of young and inexperienced Gbotija whose effortless feats revealed his insecurities, Ogunjimi, who was feared by people within and outside his community, feared that his authority would soon be displaced. To secure his reputation, he tried so much to get rid of him.

Takeaway: If your job performance is impressive or if you attract the notice of higher-ups, an apprehensive manager in a higher position might become uncomfortable. They could create significant obstacles for your success, attempting to undermine your efforts. When such a manager perceives you as a potential challenge, they may actively work against you, setting you up for failure or attempting to diminish your achievements.

Lesson 2
: AI will not take your job, a person using AI will… 

Case in point: Ogunjimi was confident in his prowess, charms, and the fact that his fear reverberated through the community; Gbogunmi on his part was confident in his reputation and abilities as a decorated war lord; meanwhile, the new kid on the block, Gbotija, could speak to trees and everything made out of wood. 

What a competitive advantage!

The weapons for battle, at the time, were all made from wood, or blades with wooden handles.

Takeaway: For bosses, managers, and superiors, it is no longer safe to rely on old strategies and metrics and models of “doing things”. Sometimes, “years of experience” may not be relevant where hands on innovative solutions are required. 

Chief Marketing Officer at BuildBay, Ladi Ogunseye adds: Talent is not enough, Training is important

“Gbotija had the talent to communicate with trees and all forms of wood but he went ahead to seek training to hone his talent into becoming a warrior,” Ladi said.

As marketing professionals, having the talent is never enough, you need to continually expose yourself to requisite and the best form of training to make you a better marketing professional.

Corroborating Ogunseye’s takeaway, Ayeesha Omadibi, CEO Hustle Africa stated “With respect to marketing, the guy Gbotija was skilled, but he knew his knowledge was limited so he went to enroll at the school for warriors. This is a lesson to marketers to not rely on their skill or what they already know. The industry stays ever evolving and information gets quickly obsolete. A winning marketer knows they must stay curious, keep learning…”

Deputy Director, Playhouse Communication Limited, Abimbola Ogundiran shared: ”Know what makes you unique and capitalize on it…”

Gbotija mastered his gift to talk to trees and the forest and he used it to victory in every challenging situation.

“A unique Selling Proposition is not a myth. It is a core element of a marketing strategy that capitalizes on a brand’s distinctive and compelling feature that sets it apart from its competitors,” Abimbola said. “A well-crafted USP will always resonate and win even during challenging times.

Lesson 3: Know when to leave a toxic work environment; never forget what motivated you to take your first steps.

Case in point: About a hundred youths had gone to the warrior training camp to learn and become skilled in the art of war and how to defend their individual villages from oppression. However, not only did they forget the reason they had been sent to the training ground, they ended up serving Ogundiji’s cause and were also used as weapons of destruction against the villages they had initially set out to protect.

Ogundiji’s training camp was wrought with unethical practices and negativities as he demoralized his warriors, sponsored disparity amongst them, pitted the superiors against subordinates and vice versa.

Know how to identify when a work environment is getting toxic, and know when to leave, and most importantly , know when it is no longer serving your career, growth, and purpose. Toxic work environments breed unrest, competition, low morale, constant stressors, negativity, sickness, high turnover, and even bullying.

Lesson 4: Sometimes, micromanagement is not a bad idea. Monitor how effectively your employees are doing their jobs.

Case in point: Ogundiji had sent his leading warriors and camp managers to war, instead, they sent their subordinates, because they felt the battle was beneath them and way below their level of experience. However, the battle had turned out to be bloody until Ogundiji sent Agemo to intervene. 

When done correctly, micromanagement in the workplace can help to improve team productivity and ensure that all tasks are complete and correct. It can reduce workflow errors and ultimately result in faster and more accurate work.

Lesson 5: Leave when the ovation is loudest… P.S, avoid workplace romance; it rarely ever ends well

Case in point: Gbotija could have left the camp after he became a skilled warrior and achieved the feat of throwing the arrow through the loops. A record which had only ever been held by Ogundiji himself. Instead he vied for a promotion, which led him to killing the most important people in his life: his mentor, his beloved, and the innocent people of the towns he was sent to massacre.

Ogundiji had refused to reward Gbotija for all the remarkable feats he had achieved. Even though it was evident to all that Gbotija deserved some sort of reward and recognition. 

As an employee, sometimes, asking for a promotion can be one of the most stressful experiences in your career, because you might be putting yourself at some level of risk. The often legitimate fears of appearing too ambitious, or not being focused enough on doing your best work, can trigger unnecessary missteps. However, if you’re strategic about your pursuit, you can change the frustrating dynamic of feeling undervalued.

Lesson 6: Having a role model in a workplace should be done carefully and with limits, you might need to face each other one day.

Case in point: Gbotija under Gbogunmi’s tutelage. Gbogunmi taught Gbotija what of the skills he learned and fortified him with his best charms and best kept secrets. Unfortunately, when Ogundiji pitted them against each other, Gbotija tried to use the same charms and knowledge against him. 

As a feared and highly respected warlord, how did Gbogunmi become emotionally captivated by Gbotija?

“Storytelling always wins, every encounter with a prospective customer is an opportunity to impress and convert into qualified leads,” says Ladi Ogunseye.

When Gbogunmi met Gbotija, Gbotija won his heart by telling a captivating story of his childhood. He also never stopped telling other potential allies this same story each time he came into contact with them.

At the final battle scene between Gbotija and Ogundiji, he gained more customers by telling a story which convinced other disciples of his own master to cross-carpet to his camp and fight against their own master. He gained more followers than anyone in the entire movie in one swoop by telling a story.

“In a world where noise has become prevalent and everyone is speaking over each other’s heads, telling your brand story is the only thing that can stand you out and help your brain gain advocates and loyal customers,” Ogunseye stated.

Meanwhile the market that made you will test you

Gbotija went to Ogundiji’s warrior camp as a rookie, the camp turned him into the warrior he became, but it also tested in the most horrific ways. 

As a business, never forget the importance of staying ahead, keeping in mind changes in consumer behaviors and preferences, volatile economic conditions, rising competitions, and unidentified forces that will stop at nothing to ensure you run out of business.

Lesson 7: Never underestimate the power of collaboration; 

Case in point: Gbotija saved Ogundiji’s wife’s life. In the end, it was Ogundiji’s wife who helped him kill Ogundiji, and saved, not only his life in turn, but also brought liberation for the camp and the entire village.

“No matter how you look at it, there are benefits in the power of collaboration,” said Ayeesha. 

One of the most underrated, less spoken about,  and key benefits of collaboration is that overall, problem solving becomes unbelievably easier.

In the same vein, Keep to your brand promise:*

Abimbola Ogundiran, shared “Ogundiji didn’t keep his promise to his wife, she felt betrayed and worked against him.”

“A brand promise clearly outlines what a customer can expect for experience from their engagement with that brand. This creates a sense of trust between the brand and its customers, Once there is a variance between the brand’s promise and the customer’s experience, it erodes the trust, loyalty, and relationship with its audience. A brand should be clear, concise, and consistent with its brand promise.”

Lesson 8
: Know when to back out of a wrong investment

Case in point: Agbeloba the rich farmer desperately wanted to marry, bringing most of his harvest to woo her and entice her family. When he saw her disdain for his presence, he immediately got the message that he wasn’t wanted. Not only did he walk away, he took his harvest with him.

When making investments, take into account the potential drawbacks and various forms of risk associated with any investment opportunity.

Lesson 9: Information is very vital.

Case in point: In the movie, the information Gbotija got from Iroyinogunkitan about Ogundiji’s biological son ultimately led to his downfall.

“In marketing data and insights is very crucial to any brand’s success. The more relevant information you can get about your competitors, the market, and your consumer, the greater the advantage,” Abimbola stated.

On the movie production, acting, and storytelling, Lead Digital Marketing Strategist, Absolute Hearts Media, Tunny Ogunnowo lauded the evolution of Nigerian cinema, reflection of the Yoruba culture, and the creative artistic expressions.

While there are so many marketing takeaways from this beautifully crafted movie(maybe we may be free enough to give a second part), it is endearing to see great African storytelling.

Femi Adebayo
Lateef Adedimeji
Odunlade Adekola
Ibrahim Yekini Itele
Bukunmi Oluwashina
Adebayo Salami
Fathia Balogun
Muyiwa Ademola
Yinka Quadri
Debo Adedayo

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