Raheem Akingbolu, who witnessed the 2012 edition of the Lagos Advertising Ideas Festival (LAIF), writes on how strategy and uniqueness of ideas helped Insight Communications to cart away highest number of awards
Like the prestigious Grammy Awards, the Lagos Advertising Ideas Festival (LAIF), inaugurated a few years ago by the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), has become a yardstick to determine the best of Nigerian agencies and their creative exploits. Against this background, agency owners and their clients, who were on hand to witness the last edition of the award, held in Lagos last Saturday, could not but hold their breaths while the event lasted. However, out of close to 100 AAAN registered agencies in the country, only 17 emerged as winners in the various categories. To analysts and industry watchers, this can be linked to the quality of the award and the stiff competition involved. Of the 17 agencies that won awards, Insight, DDB, 141 Worldwide and LTC-JWT could be said to have carried the day. Others agencies which won awards included Noah's Ark, Centrespread and Rosabel.
But the night was for the management of Insight Communications and their array of clients, as they smiled home with the highest number of awards. The agency didn't only live up to its' billing by coming tops at the prestigious ceremony, it showed that it was far ahead in strategy. LAIF is Nigeria's number one marketing, advertising and brand communications award show, which recognises and honours creative excellence in advertising.
Meanwhile, while others participated and celebrated their exploits at the award last year, Insight, for reasons best known to its management, didn't make any entry. This decision sent tongues wagging, with many observers saying that diminishing returns had probably set in for the creative agency. But 2012 edition has vindicated Insight's patrons, who insisted that last year's silence was never a set back but part of a process to retool.
In all, the agency won 25 awards - four Gold, 10 Silver and 11 Bronze to beat other contending agencies. A look at the medals table, released by AAAN's LAIF Board, showed that Rosabel won 3 Gold, 1 Bronze; followed by Centrespread - 2 Gold, 1 Silver, 1 Bronze; DDB - 1 Gold, 10 Silver, 13 Bronze; 141 - 1 Gold, 3 Silver, 3 Bronze; and LTC-JWT - 4 Silver and 2 Bronze.
Place of Creativity
Looking at the awards medal table and a comparative breakdown of the campaign materials that clinched awards, it is clear that Insight creates truly innovative brand communications for its various clients. Some of the agency's clients that shone brightly that night included Nigerian Breweries (Heineken, Gulder, Legend), PepsiCo/SUBCo (Pepsi), Cadbury (Bournvita), MTN (Youth Segment) and Flour Mills (Golden Penny Noodles).
Only two weeks prior, the same agency clinched the 'Creative Agency of the Year' Award at the MarketingWorld Magazine 2012 Awards; and in August, won the Telecoms Marketing Company of the Year on the strength of its work on the MTN Youth Segment business, at the 8th Edition of the Nigerian Telecom Awards held in Lagos.
Boglo: Our Insight Story
Gbenga Boglo, Senior Creative Group Head at Insight, shared his perspectives on Insight's history of being the most awarded agency in Sub-Saharan Africa: He said: "We have a philosophy that drives through our internal systems and processes - top quality creative solutions. We do not benchmark our performance on our proximate environment alone, but also, international standards. Our clients are a key factor in our success. It takes bold clients to back new, and sometimes, adventurous thinking.
"We move on from past glories. We are in competition with ourselves - to always do better. You are only as good as your latest work. Also the world keeps changing."
Insight's Account Planning Director emphasised this thinking by stating that the agency is driven by its relentless commitment to raising the benchmark in the industry. "As the leading agency in this market, we are quite clear of our responsibility to shape and lead the agenda for the industry. What you have observed in terms of our continued visibility is a consequence of that drive internally. And we are still evolving that agenda, just watch the headlines."
With the height achieved through its performance in this year's LAIF Awards, observers believe that it is evident that Insight would continue to rewrite marketing communications standards in Nigeria, as it has successfully done over three decades since inception in 1980.
By achieving so many firsts with magnificent results for its clients, their brands and businesses, the challenge today is really not in being the biggest and the fastest growing marketing communications company in black Africa in all ramifications, but to compete on the global stage as a world-class agency with first class marketing communications solutions for international brands and businesses.
How it all started
Insight was incorporated in 1979 and started operations in 1980. A formidable creative agency, Insight has continued to change the landscape of marketing communications in the Nigerian society. Wholly owned by the Troyka Group, one of Nigeria's most successful private holding companies, Insight is positioned as the leading creative ideas company in West Africa. The company rides on a vision of been an "iconic global brand creatively turning knowledge into value for business, communities and nation."
Speaking about the strength of the agency, Insight's Head of Marketing Franklin Ozekhome said his company had continued to be ahead of others simply because it doesn't discriminate among its clients and briefs. "At Insight, every brief is important and every client is great. We don't discriminate and we always give our best to all our briefs".
Speaking on the recent exploit, he said; "The string of local and international awards recently won by Insight clearly indicates that we are delighting, not only the marketers that we partner with in building great brands, but more importantly, creating bonds with people, consumers of clients' brands and industry stakeholders. We take great strides to ensure that our works, creativity, and marketing solutions positively impact the environment and humanity," he added.