Akwa Ibom’s ARISE Agenda, a transformative blueprint that served as Governor Umo Eno’s cornerstone during the Gubernatorial Election, has achieved success, following a successful collaboration and strategic efforts of SO&U, an award-winning creative agency which played a significant role in crafting the brand identity, strategy, communications, launch, and marketing plan for this transformative initiative.
Designed to elevate the Akwa Ibom State and its citizens by harnessing various pillars, The ARISE Agenda encompasses Agricultural Revolution, Tourism and environmental Management, Rural Development, Women & Youth Empowerment, Infrastructural Maintenance & Advancement, Security Management, Quality Health Sector Management, Education, and Economic, Industrial & Social Advancement.
These elements form the foundation upon which Governor Umo Eno seeks to transform the state into a hub of prosperity and development.
Commenting on the initiative, Udeme Ufot, the Group Chief Executive Officer of SO&U and Co-Chair of the THECS Policy Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), emphasised the agency’s commitment to collaboration and client involvement in every phase of development.
According to the Group CEO, the project involved collaboration with a committee to address key considerations and ensure optimal representation that resonated with every Akwa Ibomite.
Additionally, a team of Akwa Ibom music stars contributed to creating the ARISE theme song, while theatre art practitioners added a dramatic touch to bring the ARISE concept to life on stage.
Damilola Adeyemi, senior account director, Brand Management at SO&U, also highlighted the agency’s dedication to the project, with team members actively sharing insights and ideas.
Noting the importance of conducting in-depth research among the people of Akwa Ibom to gain a profound understanding of their needs and expectations, Adeyemi said, “This research exposed us to understand what needed to be done and how we should go about them. As we say at SO&U, it’s not just about creativity but “creativity that works.
“These led us to develop a brand identity that resonated with the people of Akwa Ibom and positioned ARISE as not just an idea from the governor but one that involves everyone.”
Adeyemi also emphasised the importance of passing the torch to the people so they could take ownership of the ARISE Agenda. The brand identity, featuring human icons raising their hands, symbolized a united effort involving not just the Governor but every Akwa Ibomite.
Additionally, the strategic use of the state’s colours in the logo further strengthened the connection with the people.
“We adopted a multi-TA messaging approach. Understanding that different Akwa Ibomites are in different stages or phases of life, it was important to position the ARISE Agenda in a way each person can see how it relates to them in their natural space. We also ensured our messaging elicited a form of action,” Adeyemi said.
According to Raphael Edem, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Brand Management and Marketing, the State Government was confident to partner with SO&U on the project based on the Agency’s strong reputation for brand building and ideas marketing, and the success of the Agency’s previous collaborations with the state.
Meanwhile, one of the significant challenges faced by the agency was crafting a brand identity that was not only unique but also capable of inspiring action among Akwa Ibomites.
To ensure success, the SO&U team adopted a collaborative approach, valuing feedback and constantly refining their strategies.
The objectives for the ARISE Agenda launch were clear: to create brand awareness, educate the public, and foster a sense of ownership among Akwa Ibomites. SO&U achieved these goals by offering a unique guest experience that began with the arrival of guests, who were greeted by a brass band. To convey the ARISE Agenda’s core principles, a life-sized model of a train was deployed at the venue, representing a platform to support Akwa Ibomites. The train’s coaches symbolized the five aspirations of the Agenda.
The creative agency also hosted an inclusive event, featuring a vox pop conducted before the main event, where the people shared their understanding and expectations of the ARISE Agenda. For brand education, guests engaged with a digital tool that tested their knowledge and rewarded their participation.
Recognising the power of music as a communication tool, SO&U created an ARISE song that resonated with attendees, inspiring them to dance and be part of the initiative.
A multi-channel marketing strategy, encompassing digital, traditional media (radio, billboards, print, and TV), PR, and experiential channels, was meticulously implemented to sustain awareness and education.
The agency’s dedication to data-driven decision-making and responsiveness to Akwa Ibomites’ reactions ensured that the campaign was finely tuned to the needs and aspirations of the people. SO&U is also working on a project set to benefit both the government and Akwa Ibomites, further solidifying their commitment to the success of the ARISE Agenda.