Thursday, 24 April 2014

Spotlight on an African Production: An African City

My latest obsession, the amazing web series, An African City

I know all of my fellow Africans strongly dislike the ignorance displayed in popular media's depiction of Africa. The many images you see on screens are most often limited to AIDS, poverty, or even safari/wildlife. Sadly, images of this sort skew the mentalities of many people. These images turn the masses away from the rich, complex culture and beauty that Africa manifests. This is where An African City comes in. Creator of the show, Nicole Amarteifio, challenges this lack of knowledge through the uniquely scripted show based around 5 young, beautiful and successful women living in Accra, Ghana. Although one could compare the show to 'Sex and the City', 'Single Ladies' and 'Girlfriends', An African City is definitely in a league of its own. 

The show perfectly displays the raw beauty that Ghana has to offer. From current hot spots, to the top Afrobeats, to the latest African designers (the style is so on point btw!), An African City has become a platform for creative people of African descent to showcase their talent. The show not only makes me miss the motherland like crazy, but also helps me appreciate the ties to my roots, my people and my culture. It reaffirms my purpose, where I'm from and where home is. However, there's one thing I would change about the series- the episodes need to be longer! Finishing one episode leaves me wanting more each time...

With the first season coming to an end, I recommend all those that have not yet jumped on the bandwagon to do so immediately, before the finale. I sincerely hope to see many more seasons of An African City. I am crossing my fingers that the hard work of the writers, cast, and production team pays off, with them being given an international opportunity to shine.

Here is the first episode (the whole series can easily be accessed on their channel):

The cast is not only super gorgeous, but also super talented. You can follow their individual journeys on Twitter:
Creator: @Allthingsafrica 
Nana Yaa: @MaameYaaBoafo 
Sade: @itsnanamensah 
Ngozi: @EsosaE 
Makena: @Marielaly on Instagram. Random fact: Marie actually went to school down-under (Australia), as she graduated from Deakin University in Melbourne. How cool! 
Zainab: @MsAdjei 

-Posted by Vanessa 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

One of the Best Campaigns, One of the Worst

This Tuesday, the New York Police Department (@NYPDnews) encouraged its followers to tweet pictures of positive interactions between themselves and the public, using #myNYPD.

This was the kind of thing they were hoping for...

Instead, these are the kinds of images that were posted...

As someone who works in publicity, the thing that STUNNED me about this social media campaign was the lack of basic thought put into it. A couple of years ago, McDonalds did a similar campaign using #McDstories, asking customers to share their favorite McDonald's memories. Of course, thousands of horror stories about hairs and fingernails in food shortly came out and they had to shut it down. NYPD clearly didn't learn from McDonalds' mistake! 
One thing brands need to be aware of, is how you can't control the public's response to the campaigns you create so it's best to play it safe- especially if you are as controversial as, say, the police or a fast food company.

Now on to something more positive...

At the beginning of this year, Swiffer decided to release the commercial below featuring:

1) A multiracial family, including a white man, a black woman and their two children
2) The husband/father, an amputee after losing his arm to cancer
3) HIM doing the household cleaning (Yes, not the woman!)

Although this commercial could have come across as contrived or too sentimental, it presented a genuine story of a loving family who actually benefit from this boring product that would perhaps otherwise garner zero attention. 

One of the things I love about our current digital world is the creative, often awful, often fantastic ideas brands and companies come up with for their campaigns. Thought I'd share this as it's particularly relevant to my career and maybe some of yours out there!

- Posted by Olympia

Friday, 11 April 2014

Thank God It's Friday- More Visual and Sonic Delights

Since Vanessa shared some fabulous things she's been eyeing online, I thought I'd share my recent favorites as well. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend! I know this one for me is much needed, since I've been sick with a cold all week.

Some amazing photography on this blog, including these magical, storytelling images:

These fabulous runway looks:

This YouTube and blog that profile the top 'hijabistas' around the world:

This perfect picture of a woman in front of the Eiffel Tower:
And finally, this timeless love song:
- Posted by Olympia

Thursday, 10 April 2014

A Compilation of Inspiration

A week from hell calls for a little (maybe a lot) of spiritual healing, inspiration and motivation. During tough times, I try to remember that I am not going through hardships alone. We are all hustling to make something of the precious and unpredictable thing we call life. I have complied a bunch of completely random dope things, that have currently caught my eye for various reasons. From art work, music, clothing; they all have impacted my creative eye one way or another.

Nico & Vinz are actually of Ivorian and Ghanaian ethnicity, so cool ! 



'Sometimes you need to
Get off the damn internet
And pick a book and read' (Source:Tumblr)

-Posted by Vanessa