WhatsApp, the favored messaging app owned by tech large Meta, is bowing its first unique leisure mission later this month — a brief movie that includes NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo, born in Greece to Nigerian dad and mom, was named the 2021 NBA All-Star MVP and led the Milwaukee Bucks to the NBA Finals title that yr. Within the 12-minute movie, titled “Naija Odyssey,” the professional basketballer “tells his origin story of many origins as he reconciles his roots, birthplace and sense of belonging between cross-cultural worlds,” in accordance with WhatsApp’s description. The athlete inked an endorsement take care of WhatsApp in February of this yr.
Narrated by Antetokounmpo and his mom, Veronica, “Naija Odyssey” is loosely primarily based on the traditional Greek epic poem “The Odyssey,” depicting completely different moments in his life. “In Greece, my lecturers advised tales of vacationers battling the ocean, preventing to seek out their manner residence — to seek out themselves,” Antetokounmpo says within the voiceover for the movie’s trailer (watch under). “I used to be on that very same journey.”
“Naija Odyssey” is directed by filmmakers Nono Ayuso and Rodrigo Inada and edited by Mikkel E.G. Nielsen, who gained the 2021 Oscar for movie modifying for Amazon Studios’ “Sound of Metallic.” WhatsApp will launch the movie on Sept. 21 on its social media channels, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video.
Why did WhatsApp fee the movie? The mission can be a piece of branded content material looking for to capitalize on Antetokounmpo’s worldwide fame and talk the message that WhatsApp can carry individuals collectively. “‘Naija Odyssey’ is a narrative that reinforces how WhatsApp helps us embrace our multifaceted lives,” mentioned Vivian Odior, WhatsApp’s world head of promoting. “In navigating relationships, identification, and even adversity, WhatsApp is there — enabling you to embrace all sides of you by connecting you to those that matter most.”
The uplifting message of “Naija Odyssey” seems partially designed to counter the narrative that WhatsApp has helped gasoline the unfold of misinformation and furthered societal divisions — which in some instances has led to real-world violence.
Meta (previously Fb) acquired cell messaging app WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion. WhatsApp now has greater than 2 billion month-to-month customers. The WhatsApp deal is cited within the FTC’s pending antitrust lawsuit towards its guardian firm, with the company alleging that the acquisition was a part of Fb’s anticompetitive modus operandi to purchase up potential opponents. Meta has mentioned the FTC’s claims are “an effort to rewrite antitrust legal guidelines and upend settled expectations of merger evaluate.”