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Gulder Ultimate Search As A Potential ABP Case Study

Seun Igbalode Written by Seun Igbalode · 5 min read >

I was one of the excited ones when the return of Gulder Ultimate Search, Nigeria’s first reality TV show was announced last year. The show ended like it never started. Unless I do a Google search, I cannot easily recall the name of this year’s winner, unlike previous ones. I can easily recall the names of past winners of the four to five editions ago of Big Brother Nigeria. His name is Odudu Out by the way and last time I checked his Instagram page, he had over 6,000 followers.

I only managed to tune in to Africa Magic to watch just two episodes of this year’s edition, but I did not spend beyond five minutes.

The show obviously fell short of expectations. So what happened?

I believe firstly Big Brother took the shine. We had yet to fully recover from the Big Brother Nigeria hangover when Gulder Ultimate Search started.   

Secondly was the choice of the anchor. When very many people voiced out against the choice of Toke Makinwa as the show host, I had a different opinion. I think the producers wanted to create a shock factor and leverage Toke’s massive online following. This obviously backfired. There was an obvious disconnect between what the show stood for – surviving in the harsh terrain of the jungle – and what people feel the Toke persona represented. The name of Kate Henshaw was constantly brought up as a viable alternative, given her passion for exercise and fitness.

At some point, Toke had to defend her eligibility to host the show when her suitability was called to question in a massive online debate.  I truly felt for her, having expressed how she had dreamt of being a part of Gulder Ultimate Search when she interviewed past winners of Gulder Ultimate Search in 2012. I recall organising that meeting with nostalgia. Initial conversations with Toke were strictly through her manager. Somehow, Toke caught the ‘Gulder Ultimate Search fever’ and I got to engage her directly. We even shared ideas on how to make the programme better.    

There was also the confusion about the role of the show host versus the anchor, who was Kunle Remi, the winner of the seventh edition.         

The programme schedule was also another discouraging factor. The 2021 edition of the programme was aired only on Saturdays and Sundays, a deviation from the past when the show was aired daily for its four weeks duration.  I recall with nostalgia how I used to review every episode of Gulder Ultimate Search for the website. Perhaps holding the show weekly, as opposed to daily, contributed to audience apathy.

I can not be a good judge of the quality of the content since I did not get to watch much of the show. However, given the low conversations around the happenings, its either the programme was not captivating enough to hold the attention of the audiences, or people did not just tune in.

Another factor that was a cause for concern was the location. Gulder Ultimate Search is always held in forests. The security situation made it too dangerous for that.

I believe the brand is confronted with the dilemma of continuity. Should the Gulder brand hold a 13th edition this year, or should this year’s performance be taken as judgement that the Gulder Ultimate Search sojourn has run its course? There are risks to both options.

Ending the show is a signal of a death knell on the concept and Gulder Ultimate Search would be confined to the books of history. The other option of continuity is riskier. The brand cannot just risk another failure.

I was about giving my opinion when the lessons I have leant from Dr. Yetunde Anibaba’s Analysis Business Problems classes came to mind. This perhaps might be the object of a case study. It should involve deep analysis while also weighing the pros and cons.

So back to the question. Given the sub-par performance of what used to be one of the most exciting programmes on television, should Gulder Ultimate Search, Nigeria’s first reality TV show continue?    

Gulder Ultimate Search As A Potential Case Study For The Analysis Business Problems Course

I was one of the excited ones when the return of Gulder Ultimate Search, Nigeria’s first reality TV show was announced last year. The show ended like it never started. Unless I do a Google search, I cannot easily recall the name of this year’s winner, unlike previous ones. I can easily recall the names of past winners of the four to five editions ago of Big Brother Nigeria. His name is Odudu Out by the way and last time I checked his Instagram page, he had over 6,000 followers.

I only managed to tune in to Africa Magic to watch just two episodes of this year’s edition, but I did not spend beyond five minutes.

The show obviously fell short of expectations. So what happened?

I believe firstly Big Brother took the shine. We had yet to fully recover from the Big Brother Nigeria hangover when Gulder Ultimate Search started.   

Secondly was the choice of the anchor. When very many people voiced out against the choice of Toke Makinwa as the show host, I had a different opinion. I think the producers wanted to create a shock factor and leverage Toke’s massive online following. This obviously backfired. There was an obvious disconnect between what the show stood for – surviving in the harsh terrain of the jungle – and what people feel the Toke persona represented. The name of Kate Henshaw was constantly brought up as a viable alternative, given her passion for exercise and fitness.

At some point, Toke had to defend her eligibility to host the show when her suitability was called to question in a massive online debate.  I truly felt for her, having expressed how she had dreamt of being a part of Gulder Ultimate Search when she interviewed past winners of Gulder Ultimate Search in 2012. I recall organising that meeting with nostalgia. Initial conversations with Toke were strictly through her manager. Somehow, Toke caught the ‘Gulder Ultimate Search fever’ and I got to engage her directly. We even shared ideas on how to make the programme better.    

There was also the confusion about the role of the show host versus the anchor, who was Kunle Remi, the winner of the seventh edition.         

The programme schedule was also another discouraging factor. The 2021 edition of the programme was aired only on Saturdays and Sundays, a deviation from the past when the show was aired daily for its four weeks duration.  I recall with nostalgia how I used to review every episode of Gulder Ultimate Search for the website. Perhaps holding the show weekly, as opposed to daily, contributed to audience apathy.

I can not be a good judge of the quality of the content since I did not get to watch much of the show. However, given the low conversations around the happenings, its either the programme was not captivating enough to hold the attention of the audiences, or people did not just tune in.

Another factor that was a cause for concern was the location. Gulder Ultimate Search is always held in forests. The security situation made it too dangerous for that.

I believe the brand is confronted with the dilemma of continuity. Should the Gulder brand hold a 13th edition this year, or should this year’s performance be taken as judgement that the Gulder Ultimate Search sojourn has run its course? There are risks to both options.

Ending the show is a signal of a death knell on the concept and Gulder Ultimate Search would be confined to the books of history. The other option of continuity is riskier. The brand cannot just risk another failure.

I was about giving my opinion when the lessons I have leant from Dr. Yetunde Anibaba’s Analysis Business Problems classes came to mind. This perhaps might be the object of a case study. It should involve deep analysis while also weighing the pros and cons.

So back to the question. Given the sub-par performance of what used to be one of the most exciting programmes on television, should Gulder Ultimate Search, Nigeria’s first reality TV show continue?    

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