NIGERIAN JOLLOF RICE RECIPE

Jollof rice is a must-try food. If you are a food lover looking for a delicious meal to try, then you should try jollof rice!  What is the big deal about this Jollof rice? Here’s what you should know. Jollof rice is the most popular food in West Africa. Believe me, people are crazy about this dish. The love Africans have for Jollof rice is so strong that the 22nd of every August is set aside as the World Jollof Rice day to celebrate the delicious cuisine. 

The smoky, deep red, flavorful, stewed Jollof rice is a dominant dish among all homemade Nigerian dishes. It is a dish of celebration, the top pick of all dishes served at parties and ceremonies like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and funerals. If there is no Jollof rice, then it is not a party! Every typical Nigerian will agree with this.

Jollof rice is not peculiar to Nigerians alone, other West African countries like Ghana, Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon have their variations of Jollof rice. However, the dish is said to have originated from Senegal where it is referred to as Benachin.

Due to the variation in Jollof rice recipes, there has been a fierce debate between West African countries, especially between Nigerians and Ghanaians over who makes the best Jollof rice. This debate has turned into a major contest on social media with a popular hashtag, #JollofWars. Over the years, this debate has had Jollof rice lovers, including local and international celebrities, and interestingly, politicians, battling over which is best – Nigerian Jollof or Ghanaian Jollof. This Jollof war has grown beyond social media into a major contest in different cities around the world such as Washington DC and London. The competition brings Nigerians, Ghanaians, Senegalese and others to battle in a Jollof rice cooking contest. The love Africans have for Jollof rice cannot be overemphasized. Now let’s get down to business.

How to prepare Nigerian Jollof rice

There are so many variations of the Jollof rice recipe. Nigerians use the long grain rice, while the Ghanaians use jasmine or basmati rice. However, the main ingredients are rice, tomatoes, peppers, onions, oil, spices and seasonings. The type of spices used and the way the main ingredients are combined depends on the region. My preferred recipe is the Nigerian recipe, inspired by the way my mom makes it. Here below are the ingredients.

Nigerian Jollof Rice Ingredients

2 cups long-grain rice

3 cups chicken stock

3 medium-sized fresh plum tomatoes, chopped

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 large red bell peppers, chopped

2 medium-sized red onions, 

2 scotch bonnet chili pepper

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons of curry powder

2 teaspoons thyme

1 teaspoon multi-purpose seasoning

1 teaspoons salt

2 stock cubes

3 bay leaves

Water

DIRECTIONS

Nigerian Jollof rice is made by mixing parboiled rice, meat stock, and already made stew to cook together. The process of cooking begins with preparing your parboiled rice, stew and meat stock.

Prepare parboiled rice

  1. Rinse the long-grained rice to get rid of starch and dirt.
  2. Parboil the rice with ample water for about 5 minutes.
  3. Make sure the rice does not get fully cooked. When the rice is parboiled, drain the water out to get rid of more starch

Prepare stew

The stew is a combination of blended tomatoes, canned tomato paste, onions, peppers and spices cooked together.

  1. Blend your tomatoes, bell peppers, chili peppers, onions, ginger and garlic in a blender or food processor. Make sure they are blended well to a smooth texture.
  2. Mix the tomatoes paste with water in a bowl.
  3. Heat oil in a pot. Once the oil is hot, add sliced onions. When the onion is almost brown, add the tomato paste and stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Then add your blended mixture, and stir-cook for one minute. After one minute add your curry, thyme, stock cubes, salt, and bay leaves. When it begins to pop and make splashes, then you know it almost ready. Allow it to cook for about 3 minutes until the raw taste of the mixture is gone

Prepare Meat stock

Meat stock is simply the liquid leftover from simmering meat like chicken or beef. For this recipe, my preference is chicken stock.

  1. Put your chicken in a pot, add salt, stock cubes, onions, curry, thyme, blended ginger, garlic, and stir. Add a little amount of water as the chicken will release water of its own.
  2. Add a little more water when the chicken is half cooked to have a greater amount of chicken stock.
  3. When the chicken is ready, strain the excess liquid (stock) into a large bowl.

Mix parboiled rice, stew and meat stock

  1. Now that your parboiled rice, stew and meat stock have been prepared, pour your parboiled rice into the sizable pot, add your stew and your meat stock.
  2. Add sliced onions and mix them in.
  3. Cover the pot and allow it to cook on medium heat until the rice is soft and the stew dries up completely. When it dries up, mix thoroughly and your Jollof rice is ready.

Note: If you want it to taste like the party Jollof (the jollof rice served at parties), then you have to take an extra step by allowing the rice to get burnt underneath. Once you hear a snapping sound and the rice begins to smell smoky, wait a few minutes and switch off the burner. Now, your Party Jollof is ready to be served!

Influencers: Advertising or Content Marketing?

Influencers: are they informing you or selling you?

People talk about “influencers” but what is it? Influencers are opinion leaders about a specific topic, usually about a product or brand. The rise of influencers began through social media platforms. On these platforms, influencers serve as influential participants of online communities. This makes users consider them as a source of advice on specific topics, brands or products. Users think an influencer is a brand ambassador but it isn’t. An influencer emerges from social media and their contracts are short-term while brand ambassadors are high-end celebrities with a long term contract. Influencers can discuss any topic, that would depend on the interest of the influencer. The most common influencer are the ones that create content about fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. 

Type of Influencers

There are four types of influencers that are used to differentiate one from another. These types of influencers are snooper, informer, entertainer, and infotainer. The snoopers are influencers are famous by sharing random content with their users. The informers share their knowledge and are considered experts on the topic. The entertainers offer enjoyment and the infotainers are a mix of the informer and entertaining influencers. The most powerful one is the infotainer because they share their expertise by entertaining the user; adding more value to their content. Influencers usually partner up with brands for specific campaigns and in return, they get free products and the opportunity to add value to their personal brand. Influencers share their information with a content marketing technique but some users misinterpret this with advertising. What are the differences?

Influencers using Advertising

We relate advertising to traditional media but companies have found new ways to reach their audience through online strategies such as the use of an influencer. Advertising focus is on informing consumers about companies or products. With a direct approach, they talk to consumers; showing what they are offering and informing the benefits of it. A lot of companies are using influencers to advertise their products because they use social media to create online advertising. Platforms like Instagram allow influencers to inform when a post is sponsored or not. Usually, a sponsored post is used to educate a community with better results than traditional advertising and with the use of an influencer, it carries more weight because of their expertise. These types of posts are considered advertising, especially if the content of the post focuses on selling the product.

Influencers using Content Marketing

Content marketing has a long-term goal similar to what an influencer wants to approach. While advertising has a more general focus, content marketing focuses on offering valuable content to raise brand awareness to a specific group of people. Content marketing goes further than the main goal of informing the customers about their products; the same way influencers share their expertise towards products. Content marketing is an on-going process of posts and strategies and it can be shared through videos and pictures allowing brands or influencers to be more creative in sharing their content. 

So, what strategy do influencers use?

Influencers focus on sharing their message through content marketing, they include the products into their daily life routines and create content about it. This type of content marketing is a more reliable, affordable, and approachable strategy to reach communities. Users feel connected with the influencers because they relate to the stories they are sharing; even forgetting they are selling a product. This connection is important, it shows users’ credibility towards influencers regarding their expertise of any product or brand. Influencers create content marketing, but sometimes they integrate ad posts as part of a campaign they are working. Influencers understand that on social media, users don’t like to feel companies are selling them products this is why influencers go the extra mile and create creative content to engage with the audience, share their knowledge, and pray they influenced you in some way. 

Why The Office Is The Greatest Sitcom Of All Time

When Greg Daniels decided to adapt The Office for American television, I wonder if he knew that he was about to create the single greatest sitcom of all time. The Office was adapted from a BBC series of the same name which was created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant in 2001. The adapted U.S. version originally aired on NBC in 2005 and lasted a total of nine seasons.

The Office depicts the everyday lives of employees from the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company working at the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch. The main characters at the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch include Michael Scott played by Steve Carell, Dwight Schrute played by Rainn Wilson, Jim Halpert played by John Krasinski, and Pam Beesley played by Jenna Fischer. Also, it’s worth noting that two of The Office’s head writers, B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling, also play the characters Ryan Howard and Kelly Kapoor on the show.

With its debut in 2005, critics were unsure if this unique and quirky mockumentary-style sitcom would translate to a wider American audience. However, it did and became what I believe to be the greatest sitcom of all time. Over its lifetime, The Office was nominated for 42 Emmy awards and took home 5, including the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2006.

There exists much debate around which television show should be deemed as the greatest sitcom of all time. The Office faces plenty of competition, including highly successful sitcoms such as Friends, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family, M*A*S*H and Cheers. However, I truly believe that The Office is the greatest sitcom of all time and I will highlight the top two reasons why.

It’s Relatable

The Office is the greatest sitcom of all time due to its carefully-written, complex yet relatable characters. When you watch The Office, you can’t help but identify with at least one of the characters. Whether it’s Jim, the clever paper salesman who’s head over heels for the quirky receptionist named Pam, or Dwight, the weird but intriguing beet farmer who secretly hides weapons around the office. You may even identify with Michael, the deeply flawed but lovable boss who often makes things harder than they need to be (insert your favorite Michael Scott quote here).

A documentary-style filming technique allows The Office to be so relatable. Throughout the sitcom the characters interact directly with the audience through the camera, giving viewers a real sense of who each character truly is. It’s easy to forget that you’re watching a sitcom when the characters speak to the camera as if it were a person and ask the viewer questions. The Office’s ability to be relatable through its characters and filming technique is one of the reasons why it is the greatest sitcom of all time.

It’s Both Humorous and Meaningful

Now time to dive into the second reason why The Office is the greatest sitcom of all time. What comes to mind when you think of The Office? Grossly inappropriate and often offensive humor, of course. However, you do not become the greatest sitcom of all time by solely being humorous.

The Office’s greatness lies in its balancing act between humor and meaningfulness. The Office is beautifully written to make its viewers both laugh and experience a whole array of emotions such as happiness, sadness, romance, excitement, awkwardness and triumph. The Office is a sitcom that can make its viewers chuckle one moment and evoke strong meaningful emotions the next. This perfect balance of heart and humor make The Office the greatest sitcom of all time.

Simple Exegetical Summary of Ephesians Chapters 4 through 5:20

If we live for Christ we foster better relationships with all those around us.

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EPHESIAN BELIEVER

Paul sets the tone of this passage at the onset of Ch. 4; he points out that it’s the responsibility of the Ephesian believers to walk worthily of their calling (Ephesians 4:1). This is necessary to establish a principal concept for the subsequent sections, the call in Ephesians 4:1 encompasses not only Gentiles, nor just the Jews, yet in this verse Paul speaks to the entire church at Ephesus. Here the apostle establishes that one of the manners in which one can build unity is for the Gentiles to disconnect themselves of their pagan past, therefore creating a new character within themselves rooted in Christ, and also in their fellow believers (Ephesians 4:4-6).

To help disengage Ephesian believers from their previous mindset, Apostle Paul in verses 17-24 uses the word “Gentile” to mean “non-believer”. This purposely aids the newly added members of the Ephesian church, establish their character and identity in their new faith. This does not now signify that the new, gentile believers are tied down to the ceremonial customs and laws of the Jews, but that they now are rooted in a new community. This concept is additionally fortified in verse 25 of chapter 4 as Paul writes “for we are members of one another.”

APOSTLE PAUL’S USE OF IMAGERY

In the passage found in verses 22-24, apostle Paul uses the image of of unclothing or undressing, and the vulnerability that comes with these actions to resonate with the new non-Jewish believers.  Earlier in the letter to the Ephesians, Paul uses the symbolic imagery of being resurrected; here he uses the imagery of being clothed in the contaminated, old self, and having to redress and put on a new self, distinguished by holiness and righteousness. 

Sociologically, the new, non-Jewish believer would no longer would be participants in the old pagan communities that they were used to, now their new faith brought them a new community and spiritual family along with it.  In the following verses, Paul establishes principles that do not only aid in establishing a relationship with Christ, but also deepening relationships with their new spiritual family in the Christian faith. 

PAUL’S PRACTICAL ADVICE TO THE EPHESIANS

The Ephesians being remade in Christ signified that their daily practices would be completely changed.  Figuratively putting on a new person (identity) (4:24) was not just only a spiritual phenomenon, but also a practical reality.  Paul begins his next section (Ephesians 4:25-5:2) by creating a space for anger.  A anger that simply reflects personal displeasure at the things that offend God and his Word is acceptable, but anger that drives a believer to offend God should not be allowed.  Uncontrolled anger can become a space where Satan creates a foothold, therefore in verses 25-26 of Ephesians chapter 4 Paul teaches the Ephesians to deal with one’s anger before the end of the day (do not let the sun go down on your anger). 

Likewise, Paul instructs the Ephesians that their actions can affect everyone in the community.  He repeats one of the Ten Commandments, and teaches anyone who used to steal to no longer be a thief and live a life of honest work.  The concept of work is valued highly in the New Testament mirroring the Old Testament.  If one works and receives a salary it allows you to help a person in need (v.28).  Along with the basic foundations that Paul shares for new believers to live by, this passage contains guidance on guarding their relationship with God, and guarding their relationships within their new faith community (Chapter 5:2-20).  He establishes to the Ephesian believers that if we live for Christ, we foster better relationships with all those around us.

Indian Airforce’s new fighter jet Dassualt Rafale: ‘Gust of wind’

Rafale is a French origin 4+ generation multi role fighter aircraft manufactured by Dassualt Aviation. Rafale has been tested and proved its capabilities in different missions including the ones in Syria and Afghanistan.

A Game changer for Indian Airforce:

The Indian Airforce whose squadron numbers are depleting are eyeing on the fighter jet Rafale. Indian Airforce put out a tender for acquisition of fighter jets and after tests the Indian airforce signed the deal with Dassault Aviation for acquisition of 36 Rafale. Indian Airforce needs to have minimum of 42 squadrons for cohesive threat from adversaries China and Pakistan. The fighter jet Rafale is a state of the art fighter jet with latest avionics, radar, missile systems and an operational capability which both adversaries China and Pakistan do not possess. The fighter jet Rafale gives the Indian Airforce a boost in term of weapon delivery with its beyond visual range missiles which can shoot targets at a distance of 150 kilometres even before the adversaries track the aircraft. India is a victim of state sponsored terrorism which forces it to increase defence spending to safe guard the borders. Terrorists attacks on the army troopers has forced the government to conduct surgical strikes in Pakistan. The attack on the Indian Army in Pulwama forced the government to order the Indian Airforce a surgical strike at Balakot in Pakistan. Though the surgical strikes were successful, if the Indian Airforce had Rafale in their inventory or in strike package to hit the terror camps in Pakistan it would have been easier for the Indian Airforce as its technologically more advance.

Allegations of Corruption:

The Indian defence market is highly competitive and is often tainted by opposition for corruption. The deal between the Indian airforce and Dassault aviation has triggered a political controversy in India over the purchase of 36 twin-engine Rafale fighter jets from France. The Rafale fighter deal is estimated to cost India Rs 58,000 crore, however, the Opposition in India has claimed that the Rafale deal has cost Indian Air force more than the thrice the original amount for Rafale deal, and that an Indian partner favoured by the government was unfairly chosen as a partner in the Rafale deal. The opposition has been creating doldrums in the assembly about corruption in the Rafale deal. The Rafale deal has been given cleared of corruption and has been given a clean chit by the supreme court. The political corruption controversy has not only delayed the acquisition of Rafale fighter jet and training of the personnel for the Indian Airforce but made the people furious about corruption scandals in the defence deals. 

To sum it up the Indian Airforce has been short of potential fighter jets with Rafale deal the fighter jets coming into its inventory will boost its capabilities to meet any objectives against Pakistan or China with the state of the art Rafale fighter jet. The controversy about corruption in the Indian airforce’s Rafale deal is likely to continue until the demands of the opposition are met regarding the investigation.

The Outstanding Works of Historical Fiction Author, William Dalrymple

William Dalrymple is a historical fiction writer, an art historian, curator, broadcaster and critic; to name some of the caps he wears. Dalrymple is the recipient of numerous awards in every field that he has ventured into. Born in Scotland in 1965, Dalrymple was educated at Ampleforth and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was first a history exhibitioner and later a senior history scholar.

Dalrymple’s Early Works

At the young age of 22, Dalrymple wrote “In Xanadu,” which was based on his personal travels along the route followed by Marco Polo from Jerusalem to Mongolia which won him the Yorkshire Post Best First Work Award, among other awards.  In 1989, Dalrymple traveled to India to research his first of many books on the country, “City of Djinns,” the capital city of India, Delhi, a city which has been ransacked (by invaders) seven times over and rebuilt on the ashes. “City of Djinns” was later followed by “From the Holy Mountain” and “The Age of Kali.”

Sex, Politics, Starvation and Historical Fiction

Dalrymple started concentrating on writing history in 1999, with “White Mughals.” Dalrymple’s style of writing blends his meticulous research with adventure and is what sets his writings aside, making it so appealing to the reader. This work focused on the relations between the British, who were slowly conquering India, and the Mughals, who were ruling India at the time. Based on his research of the late 18th to early 19th century India, the author and historian presented the atmosphere of sexual attitude and social etiquette present at the time as well as trade relations, military, and political deals happening between the British and the Mughals.

Unlike Dalrymple’s other works, “Nine Lives” is a collection of fascinating stories on the most bizarre Indian rituals.  This work is a culmination of his twenty-five years of travel and research in India. Dalrymple artfully brings out the reasons why the nine people in the book follow these faiths and practices; like the Jain nun who watched her friend starve herself to death, an accepted practice among the Jains. 

India and Other Roads Less Travelled

Despite Dalrymple’s continued love affair with India, he has toured other countries such as Australia, Holland, and the United States. Apart from India, his interests include the history and the art of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East; religions of the Muslim world, Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism and early Christianity – they have all found a way into Dalrymple’s work.

Dalrymple’s Historical Flair and Other Honors

William Dalrymple has a flair for narrating history through storytelling and scholarship; he quotes from journals, includes trans-cultural research deftly time weaving story, intrigue, and history. He takes the reader on a journey through the ages as he reveals the grandeur, the subterfuge, the class disparities, and the atmosphere prevalent during the times.  He leaves the reader wanting for more and has been fulfilling that request with his consequent releases. Dalrymple is the recipient of numerous awards; he has written and presented the television series, Stones of the Raj and Indian Journals which have won him the Grierson Award at the BAFTA for the best documentary series in 2002.

Dalrymple is the co-founder and Director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, held annually in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. He is married to Olivia, an artist, and they have three children, Ibby, Sam, and Adam.  They divide their time between their farmhouse in Mehrauli, outside Delhi, India, and their homes in London and Edinburgh.  His latest release is “The Anarchy,” which shows the downfall of the Mughal Empire in India and how The East India Company gradually strengthened its position finally conquering India for the crown. It has been announced that “White Mughal” will be made into a film, directed and starred by Ralph Fiennes, however the film is still in development as of this posting.

Preventing Allergic Reactions in an Allergy Free Classroom

Because of the severity and commonality of food allergies, it is important that both teachers and students understand the importance of managing an allergy free classroom to prevent life-threatening allergies from affecting a student’s well-being. Researchers estimate that 32 million Americans, including 5.6 million children under the age of 18 suffer from food allergies. That means that two students in each classroom suffer from life-threatening allergic reactions when exposed to a specific allergen. Each student is different, and therefore, these life-threatening allergic reactions can be caused by ingestion, touch or even smell alone. However, almost 90% of all life-threatening allergic reactions are cause by merely eight different allergens: milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, and wheat.

Maintaining an allergy free classroom can be daunting to some teachers, who have trouble controlling cross contamination that can result from students bringing in food from home. However, creating an allergy free classroom can prevent life-threatening allergic reactions for those who are not mature enough to read ingredients or use good judgement when sharing foods with other students.

Creating an Allergy Free Classroom

Successfully creating an allergy free classroom can prevent allergic reactions only if the teacher is able to get full cooperation from everyone in the classroom, including parents. Although some parents may feel limited by the foods they are allowed to bring in, teachers are responsible for creating an environment where those who suffer from life-threatening food allergies feel safe when in the classroom. Hanging signage in the halls and throughout the classroom is a great way to remind students and guests of the allergy free classroom policy. Some students suffer from one allergy, but others may suffer from multiple, making awareness a key way of preventing reactions inside an allergy free classroom. It is also good practice for those with life-threatening allergies to avoid sharing food with classmates, especially with homemade items. Though they are not allowed to specifically bring the allergen into an allergy free classroom, cross-contamination is hard to avoid, and it is best to remind students to keep food to themselves to prevent life-threatening allergic reactions from accidentally occurring.

When it comes time to eat food, establishing a clean environment is crucial in an allergy free classroom. Teachers are responsible for teaching their students good cleanliness by washing their hands and desks before and after consumption of possible allergens. This helps remove cross contamination and limits the spread of allergens across the area. Although these steps may seem insignificant, they are key in preventing life-threatening allergic reactions in an allergy free classroom.

All teachers and anyone that has access to an allergy free classroom, should have an action plan agreed upon with the parents of students who have life-threatening allergic reactions. This enables teachers to accurately respond if a student suddenly begins experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction while in the classroom. These allergic reactions can escalate to anaphylactic shock within minutes, meaning that a quick and just response is key in preventing a dire situation. Therefore, ensuring that a qualified adult understands how and when to use the EpiPen while teaching in an allergy free classroom is incredibly important for countering life-threatening allergic reactions.

Food is often used as an incentive or reward for successful completion of an activity in the classroom. Including food as a motivator can introduce many challenges for teachers who once again need to be cognizant of cross contamination with specific allergens in an allergy free classroom. However, if a teacher is trying to maintain a safe allergy free environment for those who suffer from life-threatening food allergies, it is important to find a more inclusive way to celebrate. Teachers may consider using toys or non-material rewards to motivate students in these types of environments. These could include extra recess time or extra points on an exam. This will make those who suffer from life-threatening food allergies feel safe in an allergy free classroom, while simultaneously making them feel including and motivated to participate in various activities.

Does Lionel Messi Deserve The Best Player in the World in 2019?

     After a successful season by winning the Spanish La Liga trophy, Copa del rey runner up, and UCL semifinals with Barcelona, FIFA declared this year that Lionel Messi is the best player in the world in 2019. Lionel Messi this year beats Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) and Virgil Van Dijk (Liverpool) to win his sixth FIFA’ best player in the world award. This prize makes Messi in the top record of the number of winning FIFA’s award separating Leo from his rival Cristiano Ronaldo who received the FIFA’ best player award five times and last one was in 2017 with Real Madrid. A period of three years in row since his first award in 2009 is considered the longest of not being the best world player for captain Barcelona, Messi.  However, the real questions, does Lionel Messi really deserve the best player in the world in 2019? Is his accomplishments in 2019 considered the best among players? If not, then who should be the best player?

 Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?

In the last decade, there was a high competition between the two players Messi and Ronaldo upon who is the best player in the world. From 2008 and 2017, the award was equally obtained by either Messi or Ronaldo (five times each), leading to an ongoing debate in who is the best player in the world. However, many people also thought neither Messi nor Ronaldo deserve it in some years. For example, many argue that in 2010, Messi should not have been chosen as the best player in the world over his teammate in Barcelona Andrés Iniesta or Xavier Hernández, who also acquired the world cup with their national team, Spain. The same problem happened with Ronaldo who was announced to be the best player in the world in 2013 beating his rival Lionel Messi and Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich). Since Bayern Munich won the UEFA Champions’ League that year, many thought Ribéry is going to be selected the best player in 2013, but the surprise was that Ronaldo who only won the La Liga with Real Madrid obtained it. So, is 2019 FIFA’s award replicating what happened in 2010 or 2013? Probably, Yes. despite his 36 goals in the La Liga, Messi in 2019 only won the local league while Virgil Van Dijk won the UEFA Champions’ League with Liverpool after 12 years and also led his national team, Netherlands, to the UEFA Nations League Final. Thus, it seems that the legend of Lionel Messi plays a critical role in influencing the FIFA to announce Messi as the best player in the world in 2019.  

Why is Virgil Van Dijk the Best Player in the World?

While many may claim that Messi’s talent is superior Van Dijk, FIFA’s award is always built on the achievements a player reaches during the year instead of the pure skills. Obviously, Van Dijk with Liverpool in 2019 gained the most valuable trophy (UEFA Champions’ League) besides his team was also only over a point of Manchester city to attain the local league that has been absent from Liverpool for more than 20 years. Also, with the national level, Netherlands team was suffering last years. Netherlands team did not even qualify for the world cup in 2018; however, in 2019, by Van Dijk leading, the team made it to the UEFA Nations League Final. All these successful achievements of Van Dijk emphasizes that he deserves to be the best player in the world in 2019, neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo. Hence, the last question would be who will be the winner of the Ballon d’Or in 2019? Is it the number six for Messi or Van Dijk will receive it for the first time?   

Using Color in Advertising and Branding to Influence Behavior

Companies use specific colors to influence customers’ feelings and behaviors, leading to clear branding trends that indicate what the company’s motives are.

Nowadays, branding and advertising of big companies is, quite literally, down to a science. Everything from the text font, to the color of the background, to the amount of white space is examined and controlled to have the greatest impact on customers. One of the most interesting aspects of marketing is how companies can use color in advertising and their branding with your own psychology to tempt or influence your behaviors and feelings. Most of this happens without the consumer ever being aware that they’re being urged or gently pushed to act a certain way.

The psychology of color in advertising is, unsurprisingly, very subjective and person-to-person because each individual is different and has different experiences and can react differently. While a certain color won’t have the exact same effect or create the same “mood” for everyone, there are broad trends and patterns that we can follow. For instance, the primary and secondary colors that everyone is familiar with (red, blue, yellow, green, orange, and purple) have general feelings associated with them that researchers have found that most people react to when exposed to said colors.

Red is associated with intensity and passion, yellow is usually accompanied by optimism and happiness, while blue is connected to security and calmness. Orange is used to convey caution but also affordability, green is linked to health and wealth, and purple is usually associated with creativity and wisdom. Using these basic psychological patterns associated with colors we can relate that to advertising and branding that company use and expose customers to. If an advertisement can convey an idea so effectively that people make an emotional connection with it, it has done its job successfully. Use of specific color palettes and combinations can make that easier to achieve and make people almost subconsciously gravitate towards certain ideas and stories.

For example, an advertisement with a theme relating to family might want to use bright, warm colors such as reds, oranges, and yellows because they express a friendly, familial sentiment. However, other industries that handle your personal information or things that are very important might use something that conveys trust in their company. This is where we come to the first example of the banking industry and how many banks use primarily blue shades of color in advertising and in their branding. This is likely to create a sense of security and trust in the customer’s mind when they think of the brand, which makes them more likely to use that bank. Other industries that handle sensitive information, such as social medias (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), also use this tactic of subconsciously building trust through color so customers feel like their information and data is secure.

A different industry color trend is the fast food industry and their use of color in not only branding and advertising, but also in person in their locations’ designs as well. Have you ever noticed that a lot of fast food companies use red and/or yellow in their logos, marketing, and product packaging? This is because those colors in combination and even by themselves has been proven by research to stimulate appetite and make people realize they are hungry. In conjunction with two very bright colors that grab attention and create a warm and welcoming atmosphere is a perfect combination to create impulse purchases and customers which is exactly what the fast food industry is built on.

These are just two very broad trends that companies in those industries have adopted in their approach to color in advertising, but there are countless other branding and marketing strategies that businesses use to influence behaviors in the direction that will benefit them. Subconsciously stimulating and enticing certain customer psychologies, feelings, and attitudes is how companies are building trust, loyalty, and brand recognition. The forefront of that is through logo branding and marketing using colors and certain combinations to subtly affect how people see the world around them.