Looking back over the last five years and the activities of the Nigerian marketing communications industry, it is easy to conclude that history is being rewritten for the better.
This is when the Nigerian advertising industry recorded another feat in the global space as Nigerian creative X3M Ideas scooped a total of 16 awards in the just-concluded Pitchers Creativity Awards .
At least, in the years under review, no less than four Nigerian agencies including DDB, X3M Ideas and Noah’s Ark have competed on the global stage and won laurels. Beyond introducing Nigeria to the world, the current crop of top agencies is also quickly giving foreign creative businesses a run for their money.
2022 Launcher Awards
At the just-concluded Pitchers Creativity award, X3M Ideas claimed that Nigerian agencies are no pushover as it won the coveted Craftsmanship Grand Prize for the TV commercial titled “One Language”. conceptualized for its client – Globacom. In what looked like icing on the cake, Nigeria’s leading pan-African creative powerhouse took home a total of 16 awards, making X3M Ideas one of the most awarded agencies on the continent at the 2022 edition of the Pitchers.
Since its inception ten years ago, X3M Ideas has remained a leading creative powerhouse with plenty to show for it. Last year, 2021, was notably a good year for the agency in terms of business growth and awards. The year was seen as a defining year for a few businesses that survived the heat of the coronavirus and the lockdown.
In 2021, X3M Ideas not only got stronger, but gained new customers and ticked all the right boxes. The agency has also cemented its reputation as an emerging creative power on the African continent through the quality of the pan-African campaigns it has executed in partnership with DStv and the MultiChoice Africa group, becoming the first agency outside of North Africa. South to achieve such a feat.
Also in 2021, X3M Ideas became the agency that put Nigeria on the global map by winning several international awards including Gold it won at the Luum Awards in Geneva Switzerland for work done for Mentally Aware Nigeria . Luum Awards is a global festival dedicated to creativity, exclusively rewarding messages that seek to awaken social, civic or environmental awareness to make the world a better place.
Projection of Africa, showcase of Nigeria
Until recent years, the narrative was about how Nigerian agencies could compete and win global laurels. Today, the story changes to what the laurels are doing to the country and the continent, in terms of positioning and marketing. As one of the Nigerian sectors that have performed well in global competitions, the creative advertising industry has become a platform to connect with Nigerians and Africa.
For agencies like X3M Ideas and others doing well internationally, performance has become a morale booster. No wonder most multinationals now frequent local agencies more for their understanding of local and global trends while deciding where to push their businesses.
As a reminder, X3M ideas also emerged “Agency of the Year” at the last Lagos Advertising & Ideas Festival (LAIF). The competition, which is a local replica of the Cannes Advertising Festival, is the brainchild of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN).
Reacting to the recent achievement recorded at Pitchers 2022, X3M Ideas CEO Steve Babaeko praised his team for consistently performing very well at domestic, continental and global awards. “We have done this consistently over the past 10 years and we have no intention of resting on our laurels. I also thank our customers for always supporting us and challenging us to do our best” , did he declare.
How it all began
The story started to change about 10 years ago, when the creative works of Nigerian agencies started to be mentioned in international advertising journals. For example, in 2012, one of DDB Lagos’ creative works won the Print Ad of the Week “Luerzer’s Archive Print”.
Shortly after, two Nigerian agencies; Noah’s Ark and X3M Ideas rose like a phoenix from their ashes to change the status quo. They began to rewrite national advertising history with their works and the achievements of their founders.
For example, two years ago, X3M Ideas gave a boost to Globacom’s campaigns and marketing communications by winning three awards at the African Crystal Advertising Festival, held in Marrakech, Morocco. The three X3M TV advertising awards, labeled “Unmatched”, were won in the Media, Telecom and Branded Entertainment categories for TV/cinema content and clinched a bronze medal in each category.
The agency’s managing director, Steve Babaeko, also took part in a panel at the Cannes Lion International Festival, which was held two months before the event in Morocco. He was also a jury member for the New York Advertising Festival in 2016, 2017 and 2018, as well as a judge for the Loerie Awards in 2017.
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Adweek Creative 100 2019
The dream and projection of many experts that Nigerian advertising practitioners would one day rule the creative world gained momentum in 2019 when Babaeko was announced as one of the top 100 Creative 100 of the year. The selection was made by Adweek, a frontline US media conglomerate and global marketing practice custodian.
The annual Honors List was created by Adweek to celebrate trendsetters and innovators from across the creative industries whose ideas advance advertising worldwide.
On an annual basis, the highly respected Adweek lists deserving practitioners for its Creative 100, whom the publication calls “the most fascinating people in marketing, media and culture of the year.”
Making the announcement in its New York office for the 2019 edition, organizers said: “Defining creativity can be both obvious and incredibly nuanced. As the lines between marketers and manufacturers continue to blur, creative talent is crossing culture in more ways than ever before.”
Adweek further stated, “Each year, Adweek celebrates the Creative 100, a list of talented professionals who inspire current and future generations not only through their work, but also through their passion for creativity in advertising, media, ‘art, literature, animation and more’.
Faleye, marketing communications analyst, writing from Lagos