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Lights, Camera, Psychology: Unraveling Funke Akindele's cinematic triumphs through PR strategies


Emmanuella Yamoah

4 months ago
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In the ever-evolving landscape of the Nigerian film industry, one name stands out as a true trailblazer – Akindele Olufunke Ayotunde, popularly known as Funke Akindele. Renowned for her prowess, not just in acting but also in writing and directing, Funke Akindele has earned the title of “The Unparalleled Box Office Maestro.”

Her recent cinematic triumph, "A Tribe Called Judah," shattered records by grossing over 1.2 billion naira, making it the highest-grossing film to date. In this piece, we take a deep dive into the savvy strategies that underpin Funke Akindele's remarkable success, unraveling the dynamic interplay of public relations and psychological tactics that have thrust her into the spotlight of the entertainment industry.

Strategic Content Creation

In a world overwhelmed with a constant stream of content, the challenge for brands is not just to produce material but to create compelling narratives that resonate with their target audiences and set them apart from the competition. Funke Akindele, however, has mastered this art, standing out in the crowded entertainment landscape with her unparalleled ability to capture and engage her audience. Her approach to content creation goes beyond mere visibility, it's about fostering genuine interaction. In today’s digital realm where user engagement is the currency of success, she strategically collaborates with her co-stars to produce captivating snippets that go beyond the conventional. These intentionally crafted teasers do not only ignite anticipation for her movies but also serve as powerful marketing tools when shared across various social media platforms.

The essence of engagement, as Akindele rightly emphasizes, lies in how users interact with content. It's not just about passive consumption; it's about sparking conversations, encouraging comments, and inciting questions. This dynamic interaction is the pulse that measures a brand's true impact on its audience.

What sets Akindele's content apart is its uniqueness. Her posts on social media offer a breath of fresh air, a departure from the mundane content saturating users' feeds. The anticipation to witness what she shares stems from the promise of something different, something that breaks the monotony of typical social media content.

For brands aiming to make a lasting impression, Akindele's approach provides valuable lessons. Content creation isn't just about quantity; it's about crafting a distinctive voice that resonates with your audience. By doing so, brands can amplify their reach, boost brand awareness, nurture brand affection, and even spur demand. Akindele's content strategy, marked by its uniqueness and audience engagement, serves as a beacon for those seeking to carve out their niche in the competitive world of digital storytelling.

Celebrity Endorsements and PR Boxes

A key component of Funke Akindele's promotional strategy is the use of branded items such as T-shirts, shoes, bags, hoodies, and caps. These items are not just for personal use but are cleverly distributed among fellow celebrities, creating a ripple effect of publicity. Celebrities proudly showcase these branded items on their social media, fostering a sense of unity and shared enthusiasm for the upcoming cinematic masterpiece.

Teasers and Behind-the-Scenes Insights

Teasers and trailers are potent tools for sparking interest in a movie, providing a glimpse into its world and motivating viewers to learn more. Funke Akindele strategically shares teasers complemented by behind-the-scenes clips, creating a transparent and authentic connection with the audience. This not only keeps them engaged but also forges a deeper emotional bond, turning the movie-watching experience into a shared journey. Akindele's approach exemplifies the impactful use of teasers to go beyond mere attention-grabbing, creating a lasting connection between the filmmaker and the audience, standing out and leaving a lasting impression on the audience.

Emotional Storytelling

At the heart of Funke Akindele's success lies her ability to tell compelling and relatable stories. By understanding her target audience and tapping into their emotions, she transforms her movies into more than mere entertainment; they become immersive experiences. The realistic narratives resonate with viewers, making them feel like they are witnessing life unfold before their eyes. Additionally, Akindele's films consistently embed profound lessons that linger in the minds of the audience, making each movie a memorable and thought-provoking experience that transcends the screen.

Collaborative Publicity Efforts

Funke Akindele's exceptional ability to rally support from her colleagues is a testament to her collaborative spirit. From lead actors to extras, everyone involved in the production becomes a brand ambassador, passionately promoting the movie across various platforms. This unified front creates a buzz that extends far beyond the traditional realms of film promotion.

Innovation and Authenticity

Funke Akindele's innovation extends from production to promotion. By showcasing elements that are not typically revealed, such as costume design, makeup and props, she keeps her audience intrigued. Her knack for staying a step ahead of industry trends ensures that her work remains fresh and exciting, setting her apart from the competition. Moreover, the distinctiveness of her storytelling adds another layer to her creative prowess, as her narratives consistently diverge from the usual tropes, offering audiences a refreshing and unique cinematic experience.

Theme Song and Cinematic Events

Adding another layer to her promotional strategy, Funke incorporates a theme song for her movies. This musical element does not only enhance the movie experience but also serves as valuable content for social media. Additionally, her strategic use of cinematic events, where the cast and other celebrities engage with fans at various movie screenings, amplifies the excitement and anticipation surrounding the film.

Psychological Insights and Lessons for PR Professionals

Funke Akindele's success is not only a testament to her marketing savviness but also to her deep understanding of cognitive and social psychology. By tapping into the emotions of her audience, she creates a sense of connection and identification, turning her movies into shared experiences.
Cognitively, Akindele recognizes the power of anticipation and curiosity. Teasers and behind-the-scenes glimpses activate the cognitive processes of her audience, creating a desire to know and want more. This psychological strategy builds a suspenseful narrative around the movie, making it more memorable and eagerly awaited.

Socially, Funke Akindele leverages the principle of social proof through celebrity endorsements and collaborative publicity efforts. People tend to follow the actions of others, especially those they admire. By having celebrities endorse her movie and actively participate in its promotion, Akindele harnesses the social influence of these figures to create a buzz that extends to a wider audience.

PR professionals can learn from Akindele's ability to evoke emotions, create shared experiences, and strategically utilize social proof. She highlights the fact that audience engagement is paramount, understanding the psychology behind consumer behavior is key to crafting successful PR campaigns. Funke’s journey to becoming the "Unparalleled Box Office Maestro" serves as a case study in the seamless integration of public relations and psychological principles, offering valuable insights for professionals in both fields.


Funke Akindele's cinematic success is a harmonious blend of strategic public relations and psychological insight. Not only has she shattered box office records, but she has also solidified her status as a masterful storyteller and PR maven in the Nigerian film industry. As we eagerly anticipate her future projects, it's abundantly clear that Funke Akindele's influence extends far beyond the silver screen; she is a true architect of cinematic triumph. Her innovative strategies do not only captivate audiences but offer invaluable lessons for PR professionals navigating the complexities of the modern media landscape. Funke deserves her flowers for redefining the narrative and continuously pushing the boundaries of creativity, leaving an indelible mark on the industry.

The writer: Emmanuella Yamoah - passionate about 360 communications and media relations.  Currently, work as a communications and media relation consultant for Strategic Communications Africa Limited.

source: Emmanuella Yamoah