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In 1984, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure wrote a song called “Do they know it’s Christmas.” It was a charity song whose sole intention was to help raise money to support Ethiopians groaning from the 1983-1985 famine.


Gathering a group of UK and Irish musicians under the umbrella of “Band Aid,” Geldof and company recorded the song in one day in November 1984. They released it on December 3, 1984. 
Bob Geldof’s ambition was not lofty. He hoped the song would do well enough to raise £70,000 for the humanitarian cause. Instead, the song climbed to number 1 on the UK Charts and lasted five weeks. It sold a million copies in its first week of release in the UK and then sold 2.5m copies in the US between December and January 1985.


The single sold 11.7 million copies worldwide. It raised £8 million and led to the making of a much more successful charity song, “We are the World.”
Thirty-eight years later, as I read uplifting stories and glowing testimonials of joy from the ongoing Glo festival of Joy promo, I am reminded of that song which, like a drop of water in a lake, sent its ripples far and made a huge impact.
Nigerians are buzzing with joy, their faces are plastered with smiles and the colour of their joy is Green, all thanks to the proudly Nigerian telecoms company, Globacom.


Launched on November 1, 2022 the “Glo festival of Joy” promo was coming a year after the hugely impactful “Joy Unlimited Extravaganza” promo during which hundreds of Nigerians received amazing prizes with the top winners going home with Kia Rio cars.
This year, Globacom wanted to up the ante. The brief from the top was to make sure the prizes were “Gidigba”, which is naija-speak for sturdy, huge, impressive, and significant.
Now, for a company that gave out cars the previous year, how does it go one up on that? How do you make Nigerians know that it is Christmas in a big way?

Photo caption: Ibrahim Ayanleke Abiodun (in white) receives the key to the house he won in the Glo Festival of Joy promo.


Globacom served the notice of its intent on November 1 when it unveiled details of its 2022 annual end-of-year promo. Dubbed “Glo Festival of Joy” promo, the company said it would run from November to January. During that period, lucky subscribers would be “eligible to win fantastic life-changing prizes.”


The prizes include 20 houses, 24 brand-new cars, 100 generators, 200 sewing machines and 1,000 rechargeable fans, amongst others. To win, voice and data subscribers have to dial a dedicated short code number *611# and recharge between N3,000 and N15,000 (voice and data during the promo period). 
But to win the grand prize of 20 units of 3-bedroom houses, subscribers must make data subscription(s) of at least N20,000 during the promo period to be eligible.


It seemed too good to be true. How do you spend N20,000 on data recharge and become a landlord? That was what Glo was promising, and as if to assuage the skepticism of nay-sayers, Globacom, in a statement announcing the start of the promo explained the reason behind their mind-blowing promo offerings one they have emphasized from their very beginnings with a Go-To-Market strategy that was clearly pro-people. 


“Empowerment is encoded in our DNA, and this year we are set to empower thousands of Nigerians with prizes that will change their lives with a never-before-experienced promo.”
So it is all about empowering Nigerians and giving them a reason to smile as this year ends. The “Festival of Joy” promo is Globacom’s way of helping Nigerians answer the question posed by that song 38 years ago – Do they know it’s Christmas?


Now thanks to Globacom, nineteen years old Ibrahim Akindele, 200-level Science Laboratory Technology undergraduate of the Ekiti state university, surely knows that it’s Christmas, has emerged as the first winner of a 3-bedroom house in the ongoing promo.


At the house presentation, Mr. Akindele said, “I was in disbelief. I thought it was just someone playing pranks.”
Mrs. Adeife Abiodun-Adeyemi first to win a brand-new car in the promo expressed similar sentiments. The 34 year old event planner said she was pleasantly surprised even though she has always been a loyal Glo subscriber. “I am happy that my loyalty to Globacom over the years has paid off.”


For almost one month now, Nigerians taking part in the ongoing “Glo Festival of Joy promo” have been pinching and trying to slap themselves awake as they are announced winners of life-changing Gidigba prizes.


The story has been the same from Ibadan to Ijebu-Ode, Abuja to Lagos and as the Glo Festival of Joy promo train rumbles across the nation into fresh new cities, in the following days and weeks, lucky Glo subscribers will remember for years how a proudly Nigerian company changed the complexion of this year’s Christmas for them and their loved ones.

… Toni Kan is a former Head of PR at Globacom.

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