Paga Launches “I Can’t Shout” Nationwide Advertising Campaign

This morning, Paga has announced that it is embarking on a three month long marketing campaign. Starting today, the company’s “I Can’t Shout” advertising push will run on radio, newspapers, billboards, BRT buses, and of course, online.

While Paga offers a number of electronic finance products, the company is best known for its current dominance in Nigeria’s mobile money space. At the moment, Paga is quickly nearing the 150k subscriber mark and has done well over $60 million in transaction volumes — and all without any serious marketing, according to Paga CEO, Tayo Oviosu, in an interview with Russell Southwood.

While Tayo notes that airtime purchases are as of now the most popular transaction conducted by Paga’s customers, he is confident that as they achieve a critical mass of agents and launch experiential marketing drives targeted at the bottom of the consumer pyramid, the platform will see a greater use of money transfer services, which he believes solves the critical problem of safe and efficient means of getting money across and outside of the country, sans the banking system.

So far, many believe that Paga is only known within the ranks of Nigeria’s technorati, and maybe a few savvy non-techies, which is still a lot more than can be said for the other obscure mobile money platforms. However, choosing the locally relatable “I Can’t Shout” grassroots and popular culture marketing theme suggests that the company intends to exit that paradigm and break into mainstream consciousness. For instance, the radio push is particularly robust, with ads airing in Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Kano, Abuja, Ilorin, Enugu, Onitsha, Benin, Abeokuta and Ibadan. We can expect a good deal of these ads will be aired in Nigeria’s three major local languages as well as in Pidgin. It remains to be seen just how far these latest moves will take the company towards its ambitious goals of a million users by 2013 and 15 million in three years hence.

As Nigerian mobile money struggles to gather momentum, Paga’s current share of the market is but a drop in the ocean compared to its potential size, and the illusion of market dominance can disappear all too quickly as powerful and motivated players make ready to get into the game. Right now, Nigerian mobile money is still anybody’s game — that’s why it makes sense for Paga to “start shouting” while they still have the advantage.

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