Communiqué of The Industry Evening Summit 1 Held on Friday March 6, at The Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja, Lagos
A number of top industry experts and practitioners held “The Industry Evening Summit”, on “Advertising and the Power of the Nigerian Story”, in response to the impact of social and traditional narratives in brand building and development. The Industry Evening aimed to consolidate voices of national and international importance in order to determine patterns of growth and development that are useful for the Nigerian brand. A direct result from the Industry Evening was a communiqué signed by the convener.
The objectives of the event were to
-Brainstorm on the lessons and benefits of having Nigerian cultural and emotional stories in our marketing communications messages.
-Bring together analysts, experts and regulators to crack some puzzles on the challenges of crafting compelling narratives that will rub off positively on brand Nigeria.
-Rally industry players and other stakeholders towards a greater sense of nationhood and shared identity.
-Motivate and strengthen the passion of industry players to use the Nigerian story in our marketing communication messaging.
-Analyse and aggregate all shades of ideas and suggestions that can enhance deeper understanding of various areas of nation branding.
Lanre Adisa, CCO, Noah’s Ark Limited presented the keynote address as the lead speaker at a special Industry Evening parley.
Membership of the panel that dissected the lead paper and the topic was dominated by top industry players. They are: Dr. Kachi Onubogu of Frutta Juice; Dr. Felix King of Oracle Experience; Israel Opayemi of Chain Reactions/President of PRCA; Odion Aleobua of Modion Communication, and Martin Mabutho of Multichoice Nigeria.
Bunmi Oke and Moji Saka of Soulcomm also featured with Mr Lekan Lawal serving as the moderator for this segment, while Gboyega Akosile, Chief Press Secretary to the Lagos State Governor was the Special Guest of Honour.
Many notable practitioners, regulators, brand builders, industry players and experts made quality contributions during the programme.
After extensive discussions, the following recommendations were made:
– The culture of allowing outsiders take the lead in telling Nigerian stories are not desirable therefore industry players as well as all other stakeholders must act collectively and decisively to end this trend.
-It was underlined that telling the Nigerian story is not just exclusive to the advertising sector, but all other sectoral groups of the marketing communications, including public relations, experiential marketing, media etc. must be actively involved in telling the Nigerian story and projecting our uniqueness and identity.
-Governments at all levels and regulatory agencies must rise up to their responsibilities as they have the duty of deliberately provoking the passion for the Nigerian story by setting up the structure and direction of sustainably promoting the country if such campaigns must succeed.
-The communication industry must take the responsibility of driving the Nigerian story project and providing government and the regulatory agencies pieces of information and advice that will create and sustain desirable narrative.
-Advertising, with its capacity to influence from the realm of the mind, was identified as one of the strategic tools that practitioners should use effectively to convey the Nigerian story.
-Crafting relatable stories that connect with shared human situations was strongly recommended if we want our audience to identify with the conflicts, emotions and resolutions that make up our story to earn their love.
– The generous use of our national monuments and other paraphernalia of culture in our communication materials were strongly recommended to help paint the desired image of our country to its people and the world at large.
-The communication industry should be actively involved as they have a lot to do in selling Nigerian image and monuments if we want them to attain iconic status.
– All stakeholders in the creative business, be it films, music, advertising or any other form of artistic expression, should be deliberate in projecting Nigeria’s identity through stories and scenarios that are relatable and uplifting.
– With the new zest for storytelling in advertising globally, Nigerian ad practitioners should creatively showcase and reflect more of the spirit of the Nigerian if we desire to have impact and birth what we can truly call Nigerian advertising the same way the world celebrates Brazilian, Indian, Australian or even Thai advertising.
-To successfully reflect the Nigerian spirit that is appealing, it was recommended that marketing communications practitioners should challenge themselves more and dig deeper into “the Nigerian world” to express themselves with the originality and vibrancy that will earn the attention and respect of the wider world.
-All stakeholders agreed that the world needs to hear our inspired quality stories that promote our culture so every Nigeria should subtly spread it through the brands you handle.
-Every stakeholder at all levels, including taxi drivers, artists, cartoonists, journalists, influencers, content creators and every imaginable vocation should be recruited to be part of the Nigerian storytelling project for it to have the desired maximum impact.
Goddie Ofose Convener