Yet, if advertisers did only what market research recommended, advertising wouldn’t be creative and it would certainly not win any awards. Would it matter? Undoubtedly yes, says Andrew Human, CEO of the Loeries Africa Middle East.
The Nigerian entertainment and media (E&M) market rose year-on-year to US$3.6 billion in 2016 and will increase at a 12.2% compound annual growth rate reaching US$6.4 billion by 2021, according to a recent PWC report.
This means big business potential for the Nigerian advertising industry – and an increasingly important role for industry awards.
There is a clear link between creatively awarded advertising and commercial success. In a landmark 2010 whitepaper, The Link Between Creativity and Effectiveness, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) merged data from ten years of its Effectiveness Awards (which rigorously assess marketing ROI) with scores over the same period from The Gunn Report (an annual publication ranking the most creatively-awarded advertising). The result showed the relationship between ‘greater’ creativity and better results.
It found overall, creatively-awarded campaigns are 11 times more efficient than non-awarded ones at driving market share growth. They are also more successful across business metrics like sales volume gain, market penetration, customer acquisition and loyalty.
After 12 years of working for the Loeries, Human has seen the best work the industry has produced, much of which has come from Nigeria.
So, what are his tips for Nigerian creatives looking for regional recognition?
“Innovation is the most important ingredient. Without a great idea you have nothing, and you can’t fix a bad idea – no matter how much money you throw at it, it remains a bad idea,” he says.
The quality of execution also matters – it’s one thing having an idea, but it takes a lot to do it properly. Human follows this with three words for would-be winners: relevance, relevance, relevance.
“First you’ve got to be relevant to the audience. Second, you’ve got to be relevant to the brand. And third, you’ve got to be relevant to the chosen medium. And you can’t just tick these three boxes. It’s important to get the mix right.”
Loeries submissions from the Nigerian market are a showcase of these open secrets,” said Human citing the example of the 2017 Bronze award winning Frixion Vodka campaign, produced by 7Even Interactive.
The Nigerian market produces a lot of outstanding and award-winning work. The 7Even Interactive is a prime example from 2017, but in the 2016seven Nigerian agencies also walked away with Loeries.
To really master advertising, according to Human, agencies also have to work harder.
To be effective, great advertising doesn’t need to be pretty. It doesn’t even need to be visual. It certainly doesn’t need to be expensive. What is does need – and here’s the real secret – is a quality of unexpectedness. Advertising that is memorable and truly delights the audience is unpredictable, a little out-there,and somewhat crazy.
“Purchase decisions are often based on emotion not logic,” says Human. “And it’s the role of advertisers to sway those emotions in favour of your product.”
“Humour is really good at delivering a compelling message, and any time people share your advertising, you’re onto a winner,” said Human.
Human believes that advertising needs to be everywhere the customers are, and today’s customers are in wildly different places. Our attention is divided by multiple platforms and it’s very difficult to attract our focus.
This means that brands need to work a great deal harder to engage with us, putting award-winning creativity front and centre for the foreseeable future, he said.
Awards reward smart ideas and creativity. From this year, in August, the Loeries is now including points for Finalists in its Official Rankings across Africa and the Middle East.
In the past the Loeries only awarded points for Bronze awards and above. From 2018, ten Finalists awards 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 is good news for Nigeria, as more agencies have more chances to better represent their creative performance and once the annual Loerie rankings are announced Nigerian agencies will know how they are performing against their peers.
The Loeries 2018 entry deadline has also been extended to 31 May, but there is a 10% late fee for all entries received after 15 May.
There is also a special deal running for all Nigerian entrants in partnership with VQI communications. Members of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) who enter for multiple award categories will receive a 3-for-2 discount. Any entries between 3 and 5 get 1 free; 6 entries get two free.
The Loeries is also offering Nigerian entrants and attendees of Loeries Creative Week the ability to pay in local currency – they will enter online and receive an invoice in ZAR but can pay via the Nigerian based VQI in naira–making it a lot easier Nigerians to enter their work and attend Creative Week in August in Durban, South Africa.
The Loeries has been rewarding creativity for 40 years. As Africa and the Middle East’s premier award that recognises, 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.
Culminating in the biggest creative gathering in the region, Loeries Creative Week brings together the best innovative minds from our industry for a festival that offers networking, creative inspiration and the recognition of great work.
The creative economy across Africa and the Middle East is world-class and has great potential to offer employment to our talented youth, and the Loeries places a significant emphasis on education and development.
Published in Brand Communicator