Welcome to Sekere’s Podcast, On this episode, the Sekere Team and their guests will be reviewing Amstel Malta’s We’ve got balls ad for the Super Falcons.
Christiana: Hello, welcome to Sekere news podcast. My name is Christiana and I would be your host for today. My guests today are Semira and Imoh and we’ll be reviewing the Amstel Malta ‘We’ve Got Balls Ad. The ad stars celebrities like Tiwa Savage, Darkore, Cece, Tonto Dikeh and some of the Super Falcon players like Francisca Ordega, Rita Chikwelu, Asisat Oshoala. As the official Malt drink for the team, Amstel Malta released an ad to throw their support behind the team. So let’s hear from our guest. Semira what do you think about the ad.
Semira: Hi Christiana… Thank you for having me on this podcast
Christiana: You’re welcome.
Semira: So, in my opinion, I think the ad starts off with the hashtag, the tagline “We’ve got balls. Having balls signifies courage, it signifies strength… right? And then the ad starts off with the actresses at the bar and a few seconds afterwards you have the Super Falcons athletes come out and they are wearing dresses and they look uncomfortable in their dresses and they look like they would much rather be wearing something else and in a second I think Asisat she snaps her fingers and then they change into their sportswear. For me at that point… I felt like….I mean you are not always going to be in your sports uniform every time right? So it felt like… Are you saying that these women are not comfortable wearing dresses? Not like dresses are the only things women are comfortable in. But if you are trying to promote courage in women and strength women then I don’t think you should be taking the message how women especially athletic women are not comfortable in…
Christiana: It is too stereotypical
Semira: Very stereotypical….So I felt like that part was very questionable. The overall execution, I understand that they are trying to show that women are courageous and women should feel comfortable in… whether you are in a dress or whether you’re in your sporting uniform. Either way, you know women should be comfortable. Afterwards, they do high fives and there’s this blend and now you are in what you are “supposed” to be in and you are comfortable, you look happy. But I feel like Amstel Malta could have passed that message in a better way without trying to make it seem like this is the stereotypical women. Women are either too feminine, you have to be soft and be wearing a dress or looking pretty or if you’re doing anything aside from that then it is more masculine than feminine right? And because people associate sports with masculinity right?
Semira: It is more of a physical thing. So for us, it’s like if you’re in a competitive sports then you shouldn’t be looking like a typical and quote-unquote the typical woman. You shouldn’t be looking feminine, you shouldn’t be looking soft, and you shouldn’t be wearing pretty dresses. That’s a stereotype, right? So I felt like Amstel Malta should have stayed away from that and should have communicated a message of strength and courage which was the ultimate goal. I think this was the goal of the campaign but it kind of drifted away from that and then towards the end, there’s another actor that comes in and he’s wearing a biker jacket and then the women stop for a second and they are like what’s going on here and then he shows the Super Falcons Jersey and at that point I am like, was this part relevant to this ad because I felt like what’s the connection there.
Christiana: There was no point
Semira: No connection at all… So for me, I felt like yes…i understand that you guys were trying to show that women when they are in their sporting wear they have the strength, they are unstoppable, they are unbeatable and they can still mix with society. But you shouldn’t have…
Christiana: You shouldn’t have put them in a box.
Semira: Exactly… the stereotype was unnecessary for this ad. And then I think it’s actually very controversial for a brand like Amstel Malta to do this. I am surprised that not many people have started talking about it in that light. So I really hope…. Well, the tournament has already started and we have already come a long way, so there’s nothing they can really do but they should make a statement clarifying certain things on this ad. So that’s just my opinion.
Christiana: All right thank you… Imoh
Imoh: I don’t really see it as being stereotypical, the way I see the ad, they are trying to portray, Yes ‘we’ve got balls’ women are brave and they are strong. And they are able to excel in every profession and area they find themselves. They don’t have to fit into the way society wants to see them like being in a pretty dress and all that. They have come a long way in their career, they are not just starting out, they are successful and they have achieved a lot. So they have gotten to the top of their careers, they are doing well… I think the ad, just goes out to show that… We have brand influencers, artists and the footballers, they are at the top of their games. Showing that women are brave, they are courageous, wherever they find themselves, they excel there and again the ad is for the Female World Cup. It is showing support, that’s the main thing because they are the main Malt drink for the team. So I see it as the ad is showing support with the actor coming in, that’s for support and it has shown that this women has have taken the center stage of their career. I don’t really see the dressing thing as an issue, there’s no stereotype there. If there’s a stereotype there, see it as people wanting them to fit into the way society wants to see them. They are comfortable in their skin, they are comfortable in the way they live their lives and that’s how I see it.
Semira: So I feel like when you say the actor came to show support… did it have to be a man? No, Yes? Could he have been someone else and then you said there no stereotype there. But then you’re also mentioning that they are comfortable in what they are wearing. So if they’re comfortable in what they are wearing maybe the ad should have started off with their coming in just their athletic uniform to have drinks with the girls right. Why do they have to look uncomfortable wearing dresses. I mean these women are probably wives, they’re girlfriends, they are mothers whatever they are in every form. And they could be going for a dinner party, they could go having been wearing pants. They didn’t have to be wearing dresses, they could have been wearing pantsuits and still look completely amazing. And then need to be a nice blend of after work, after our sporting activities. We came over to have drinks with our girls. We went from work to play and still look amazing. That could have been the direction but they went from… they looked uncomfortable. It’s actually a bit embarrassing form them, if I must say, they looked….So the one where she was trying to take off her earrings, it looked ridiculous… please she is a woman, she can wear earrings and she can still go to the field and she can actually play really good sport. I think it was a bit disrespectful to even be athletes as well. I think that’s just my opinion on that.
Christiana: I totally agree with Semira, I personally did not like the ad at all. I felt that there was no point. The ‘we’ve got balls’ which is supposed to portray that they have courage and they can do whatever they put their minds to. And what came out at the ad didn’t just play, it didn’t blend at all. To me the message behind it….It just didn’t make sense to me. It was kind of offensive in my opinion. So because I play football means that I’m not comfortable wearing a dress. I am not saying that they must wear dresses or they most dress up or they must wear makeup and things like that. But you cannot put them in a box, you saying that they’re not fitting into society wants them to fit into. What society will say is that either you are a girly girl and you like to wear feminine clothes all the time or you a tomboy and you hate to wear clothes… What about if I like to play football but I am someone who loves to get dressed any day, any time and wear my heels or I can be someone who plays football and likes to look good but likes to wear pants. There are just different ways they could have put that. And I feel like they missed a perfect opportunity to actually talk about some real issues.
They were trying to talk about real issues but they didn’t address it very well. I wanted to compare it to when we had the Male World Cup and how everyone in Nigeria came out to support the Super Eagles. I noticed at that time when you going home and Nigeria was playing, there would be no buses or the buses were few. The roads was were clear because every single person was going out to support them. Me I also watched every single match, I do not watch football. I do not like football but because named Nigeria was playing, I was watching it there. You could have done something like that. Yes… if you notice now not a lot of people are interested in the match and what’s going on and why is that? Because it’s the women playing and things like that. You might not be interested in football but the fact that these women are going to present our country we should stand behind them, we should support them and those are the kinds of issues they could have addressed at that point in time. But they chose to do something to me that was totally ridiculous.
Semira: That’s a fantastic point you have looked at it from.
Christiana: You could have tried to rally the nation, focus on rallying the nation to support them.
Semira: Sorry, can I cut you. Because I saw the one for the English World Cup. Oh my God…
Christiana: I was going to bring it up
Semira: If I has seen that ad from Amstel Malta, I would have probably shared with everyone, we need to watch this, and we need to support the women playing in the World Cup. It was too inspirational, you would be so proud to be a woman if you had seen that ad. In fact, you will feel like a winner already. You will feel encouraged, you will be so proud to be a woman.
Christiana: Yes, for those who haven’t watched the ad, the ad was from Budweiser and they referenced Queen Elizabeth in think the 15th Century, 14th Century, 16th Century. She came out to rally her whole nation when she was queen and she said I might have the body of a feeble woman am but you should know I have the heart and the stomach of a King. That if anyone should come against us I would take up arms like you and I will meet them in the play of field. That thing was chilling and she was rallying the nation then and I think it’s probably something that is referenced in English history as a point in time when everybody came together and they used it again to call people together to support women who were strong and just to rally the nation. And I felt Amstel Malta should have called us the same way we all rallied behind the Super Eagles when they went to play. That was the perfect opportunity and one thing I don’t like, it was supposed to be about female empowerment and at the end of the day they kind of pitted women against each other. They came in first of all and they were not looking good, I feel like as a woman and we’re talking about women empowerment if I see another woman not looking good. I will not cringe and look away and be like – look at how she is looking, I’m supposed to help her look better and feel better. Not until she does what she is supposed to do or stays in her own lane will I now tell her to come and join me. I’m sorry the ad was it was very cringey, it was horrible to watch as far as I’m concerned.
Semira: And it was so so so so disrespectful to the athletes in my opinion…very disrespectful.
Imoh: Quite…Alright, the ad, could have been done better or could have been more engaging and more interesting, but the message they were trying to pass across was not one of rallying the nation or getting the nation to watch the match. That’s another discussion entirely. Male and female World Cup and their respective audience, I think that’s another discussion, for this particular ad, their message was about bravery, courage and excellence in their chosen field. So they could have found a way to portray it in a better light, quite alright that won’t be so off-putting.
Imoh: But in a way it reminded me of the Pepsi Gladiator ad, were we had Beyonce
Christiana: Pink and Britney Spears
Imoh: That was an enjoyable ad, there was no direct… we got the message quite alright, they were bold, they came out, they were gladiators, fierce. That’s an A1 ad, over the year’s its still being talked about, referenced and everyone enjoys it. Amstel Malta could have done something in that line, to create an ad that will be looked at in bright light and be remembered for years to come. Then there won’t be any issue or negative remarks about it or anyone taking offence. But we need to get message that they are trying to portray which maybe they missed the point slightly.
Semira: I think it was major not slightly
Semira: In my opinion, there was a big budget for this ad, because you had many celebrities on there. But you did everything in one little bar and I’m like if you had even thought about putting that budget into something more productive like you are talking about that gladiator ad right? Obviously Beyonce, Pink and all those people are way more expensive. But you had five actresses on there and you had five athletes on there and you had another actor on there. If you had thought about a better storyline.
Christiana: Paid a proper person to write a better script.
Semira: Write a script…
Imoh: It was done by Kemi Adetiba
Christiana: I don’t think so…
Imoh: She was on the team and this other photographer
Christiana: Oh! Yes I remember
Semira: It is not a directing issue, it is more a creative and the storyline. There’s no story to it and the messaging is very poor, so it’s not even about it not being a good quality video, its more about – it’s not sending any message. It’s very poor messaging, It’s not about the quality video, great production, great quality. It is more about the ad agency, that came up with this concept and felt that this concept was right and for it to be approved by so many people
Christiana: Including the people who were in the ads, I feel like they should have spoken up against it.
Semira: There are certain things you should pause and check… is it in line with… I guess there was not enough thought into the whole ad. It is more of we have celebrities here, we have athletes here, and it is going to be witty. I think they were going for a more witty approach than more of …
Christiana: Based on their tagline, it seemed like they were going to make proper statement
Semira: Yes, they had an article, they had a press release in the Guardian, talking about how they were trying to encourage women and talk about the boldness and courage of women. But that’s not what we got from the ad and I watched it only once and I came up with this opinion, so it’s very very interesting that the people who had reviewed the ad thought…
Christiana: Wow! This is perfect
Semira: This is the perfect ad for the Super Falcons,
Imoh: We’ve seen better ads
Christiana: A lot better
Imoh: For our football outings, we have seen better ads quiet alright, I will agree with you on that.
Christiana: So if you were going to rate it over 10
Semira: For me, I just feel like they wasted a lot of resources which could have been put to better use, so for that, I would give them a 4
Imoh: I think I would give them a 6
Christiana: What I literally wrote here was 2, so I feel really bad so I would just say 4 with Semira.
Semira: I just felt like because the quality was good and overall women are encouraging women but the resources, you have 5 celebrities there and you had 5 athletes. Do you know how much they would have paid those people
Christiana: And you could not get a proper storyteller to… I don’t know
Semira: Not good enough
Christiana: Anyway… I think we are done. Thank you guys so much for coming in and I want to thank our listeners for listening. If you haven’t seen the ad, the ad will be on the Sekere News website, also the ad Semira and I spoke about for the Budweiser one will also be on the blog. So you can go to www.sekerenews.com. If you have any comments please feel free to leave your comments below. Thank you very much for listening.