Friday, September 22, 2023

WhatsApp made a movie with Giannis Antetokounmpo

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Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Giannis Antetokounmpo stands in front of a window.  The WhatsApp logo is overlaid on his face.
NBA champion Giannis Antetokounmpo stars in the new short film. | Image: Meta

Meta’s WhatsApp just released a trailer for its new short film about NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo’s story, titled Naija Odyssey. The film is a short film (12 minutes, according to Variety) focused on the story of Antetokounmpo’s life.

The movie appears to be essentially branded content as Antetokounmpo has signed an endorsement deal with WhatsApp in February that made him the social media platform’s first brand spokesperson. So while this isn’t exactly like Apple jumping into film and TV with things like code and Ted Lasso, Naija Odyssey could be a sign that WhatsApp is exploring original content in some form, even if it’s just for future branding opportunities.

Here’s the fuller description of the movie, from the description of the YouTube trailer: “The true story of a basketball star, Giannis Antetokounmpo, born in Greece to Nigerian parents. All his life people have tried to tell him who he was. Now Giannis tells his ‘origin story of many origins’ as he reconciles his roots, birthplace and sense of belonging between intercultural worlds.”

While the Naija Odyssey trailer says the movie will be released on Amazon Prime Video on September 21, Variety reports that WhatsApp will also share the film on its social media channels and on YouTube.

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