You have to go where the story is to report on it. As a journalist, you’re essentially running to things that other people are running away from- Lester Holt
The resurgence of Nigerian agencies at the continental level displayed earlier in the year in Marrakech, Morocco where Nigerian agencies carted away top medals, beating other creative powerhouses from Africa, is set to repeat itself in Durban, South Africa next week at the 2018 Loeries Festival Week.
Nigerian agencies are battle ready to face their peers from other African markets as it has been authoritatively confirmed from Loeries sources that despite fake news published by a moribund online media based in Lagos, this year’s participation witnessed the highest number of entries as well as participating agencies from Nigeria since the inception of the event.
It will be recalled that following poor marketing efforts of the event in 2016 and 2017, the participation of Nigerian agencies was nothing to write home about as only three agencies participated in 2016 while in 2017, the figure slightly improved.
This poor participation led the organisers to change their marketing strategy with a strategic partnership with Nigeria’s most consistent and frontline Brand and Marketing Communications outfit, Brand Communicator for the 2018 edition of the event.
Interestingly, it can be confirmed that the week-long event scheduled to begin from the 16th to the 19th of August has been gathering momentum.
The Creative Week will also include Masterclasses, the DStv Seminar of Creativity, Student Portfolio Day, Brand South Africa VIP Brunch, awards ceremonies and many networking functions. All details can be found on loeries.com
Recently, two of Nigeria’s creative leaders, Dozie Okafor, Managing Director at PHD Nigeria and Sinmisola Hughes-Obisesan, Creative Director at Leo Burnett are among the 140-strong panel of judges at the 2018 Loeries. The duo will be judging alongside other juries across the continent.
Although, Okafor was trained as an electrical engineer, he has proved to be an exceptional creative talent and counts being Nigeria’s first-ever winner of a Cannes Lion amongst his achievements.
Similarly, Hughes-Obisesan, is currently the only female creative director in Nigeria, and the second ever in the country’s history.
According to the Loeries organisers, Nigerian agencies have submitted around 90 entries and the two judges both believe that there’s a good chance of success for the Nigerian entries submitted this year.
“The Nigerian culture, music and entertainment scene has been a huge influence across the continent and this is coming through in our communication and strategy. I expect our agencies to bring something unique to the table,” says Okafor, who says he will be looking for authentic local insights that lead strategy and implementation. He also wants to see good use of insights and data mixed with creativity when it comes to implementation.
Hughes-Obisesan says she’s looking for the simplicity of an idea brilliantly executed. It’s important for her to see work that moves people and has a positive impact on the world.
“A number of us are doing great work and telling our stories very well,” she says. “Younger agencies in Nigeria are on the rise so we can expect a good showing at this year’s Loeries.”
This year, the Loeries has changed its Official Rankings to include finalists – in previous years it only ranked winners. This is good news for the local industry as it will provide more opportunity to be recognised, and a deeper measure of performance against the rest of the region.
Creative Week is the largest festival of its kind across our region and anyone involved in building brands should be there,” says Loeries CEO, Andrew Human, encouraging Nigerian agencies and marketers to attend.
The Loeries are Africa and the Middle East’s premier award that recognizes, rewards, inspires and fosters creative excellence in the advertising and brand communication industry, and represent a benchmark for quality.
This year, the Loeries is including points for Finalists in its Official Rankings for the first time. In the past, the Loeries only awarded points for Bronze awards and above. Ten Finalist points will be equivalent to one Bronze award, and Finalist points will be capped to a maximum of 30 Finalists – equivalent to 3 Bronze awards. This allows for better recognition of small agencies and ranking across the countries in our region.
Once again there is a strong focus on the development of young talent, with the Facebook Challenge for students in its second year and Brand South Africa supporting the Young Creatives Award for the first time in 2018.
The new ranking system is a significant opportunity for smaller agencies and countries to improve their overall creative output and gain a place on the rankings ladder.
The Loeries has been rewarding creativity for 40 years. As Africa and the Middle East’s premier award that recognizes, rewards, inspires and fosters creative excellence in the advertising and brand communication industry, winning a Loerie is the highest accolade for creativity and innovation across our region. The Loeries, a proudly not-for-profit company, promotes and supports creativity by helping marketers, agencies and consumers appreciate the value of fresh thinking, innovative ideas and outstanding execution.