This Day (Lagos)

13 January 2013

Nigeria: Between 'X3M Ideas,' 'SO and U' and 'Noah's Ark

Whether as a poet, visual artist or copy writer, creative people always stand out. Their uniqueness is not however limited to their work of arts; it often reflected in their reasoning and at times appearances. Outside the academic environment, another area where this crop of people is easily found in Nigeria is within the advertising indutry.

However, until the like of Mr. Udeme Ufot, the Managing Director of SO & U Saatchi & Saatchi summoned the courage to explore the nitty-gritty of advertising business and made a huge success of it, it was believed in some quarters that creative directors could handle all advertising related matters but the business of advertising.

But in recent times, Ufot and a number of upcoming advertising practitioners are redefining the industry, thereby telling people who care to listen, through their body languages, that they understand both the creative and the business.

A former Creative Director at Insight Communications, Mr. Lanre Adisa, who a few years ago established Noah's Ark Advertising Limited is one of the few individuals, who is rewriting the story. This is so because within a few years of operation, Adisa and his agency have not only proved that they are in the market to make a change but have gotten local and international recognition.

Next in line is Mr. Steve Babaeko, the erstwhile Creative Director at 141 Worldwide, who left the agency a few months ago after putting in close to two decades into advertising business to establish what he called 'X3M Ideas.' As one of the most colourful creative personalities the industry has produced, industry watchers were eagerly looking forward to what he would do next. Though, it was not a surprise when he eventually came out with 'X3M Ideas', but then, the choice of the name caused a stir in the industry. But to people, who knew the stuff Steve is made of, it wasn't seen as a big deal that 'X3M' was coined to stand for "Extreme".

Within a few months of operation, 'X3M Ideas' and its promoters seem to be bringing in something new into the market. When it opened shop last year, it was revealed that it was obsessed with the vision to cause a creative revolution in the Nigerian advertising industry.

Beyond the usual creative activities that are common to many Nigerian agencies, a recent visit to Babaeko's agency revealed that a state-of-the-art studio for radio commercials had been added. This, according to him, was done to cut down on turnaround time in a bid to reflect its poise to deliver well and on time.

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