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Africa should look inwards for Creative business Excellence, TBWA advises

Creative Arts….colour, aesthetics make the difference

THE international Strategy Director of TBWA, top-notch advertising firm in the world, Marie Jamieson, has revealed that one of the best ways African agencies can achieve commercial success is by packaging their creative works in compelling narratives.
According to her, the country’s advertisement industry is yet to attain its full potential but several opportunities still exist in the creative industry.
Jamieson made the revelations at the TBWA Magna Carta symposium for creative practitioners and business communicators in Victoria Island, Lagos.
For her, Africa has quality narratives that practitioners could build their works on, to capture attention globally.
After all, there are some globally acclaimed ads with African background that had millions of clicks online.
She advised Africans to generally look inwards for creative business excellence, revealing that a certain ad created by Procter and Gamble for the United Kingdom audience and another, introducing Skype, were two of the many materials that can encourage Nigerians to believe that creativity resides in Africa.
The difference, according to her would be the level of aesthetics brands can put in their works to make a difference, otherwise to arrest customers the ads must be authentic, relevant, emotional and insightful, she added.
“There is a dearth of creative talent in the industry, and we believe this is because in Africa, this is not a conventional career path, hence, the few available talents are not even liberated,” Jamieson said.
The analysts also noted that Africa’s lack of infrastructure should place the continent as a den of opportunity, however, adding that some of the world’s existing business models do not work in Africa, hence, the need for the continent to chart its development course with its own ideas.
Jamieson also introduced two other members of the team she led to Nigeria for the special seminar on commercial success in creativity. The two experts were David Blythe, Managing Director of Yellowwood, who spoke on the fundamentals of getting marketing right in Africa, and Vincent Magwenya, Managing Director of Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultants, who spoke on effective leadership in delivering quality communication in the digital era.
In his own presentation, Blythe revealed that Nigeria’s rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which currently stands at $509.9 billion will significantly rise in the future when operators in the retail, insurance and health industry leverage on the full potentials available in their sectors.
The Yellowwood boss said while opportunities abound in the economy, brands should desist from seeing the opportunities from the huge population’s perspective insisting that consumers are not just about numbers but about the ability of brands to offer products and services that create values to consumers.
“Opportunities currently abound in financial services, telecommunication industry but we believe the future of the Nigerian economy rests on sectors such as retail, insurance and health,” Blyth noted.
Blyth who is a brand strategist stressed that the country’s current retail structure though still informal is already evolving and will eventually metamorphose into a major component of the economy.
He however pointed out that it is pertinent for players in the sector to desist from imitating what is obtainable in other parts of the world to rubber stamp in the country, adding that Nigeria has her own unique system of trade.
Citing Shoprite as a case study, Blyth maintained that the brand has excelled in Nigeria’s retail scene because of its ability structure itself to suit its environment by stocking and offering its customers what is relevant to them.
“We also believe that the insurance industry will be a major contributor to this economy in the near future because this is evidently an under-insured market,” Blyth further said, pointing out that as the growing middle class acquires more goods and services they will need to insure them.

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