• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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‘Innovative advertising firms will survive the tough economy’


Taiwo Agboola is the CEO of 7even Interactive firm, a creative agency that has Fidelity Bank and GAC Motors accounts among others. He said though APCON encourages companies’ on local production and cast but at times shooting Ads in Nigeria could be cumbersome in terms of procuring technical equipment. He acknowledged the effects of harsh economy but said agencies need to be ingenious to survive. Excerpts

Could you take me to the world of 7even Interactive?

We are a year old independent company, and we don’t like being seen as a new agency because the years of individual experiences in the company would indicate that we are not new in the business. The combination of our experience is enough for us not to seen as a new agency. We are a youthful and youth centric brand. Our goal is to do the work of marketing/advertising differently. We are youthful and determined; we want to go the extra mile to satisfy the client. Today, if any agency does not deliver what clients want, the clients will take off to the next shop who will offer the same service at much reduced rate. We are one year old and we already have about 5 accounts that are stable. Though we have some other projects but beyond the accounts we have other referrals. This is not bad business for a young striving agency. We know that the industry is saturated as agencies spring up often but what differentiates us beyond our youthfulness is that we go the extra mile to satisfy the client.

Are you a full service agency?

We are a full service agency. We do everything apart from PR and the edge we have over some agencies is that we have strong digital team that handles digital briefs. We also buy adverts for clients.

Creativity is a major strength of an agency, what drives your creativity?

When it comes to our creative process, what drives us is hunger to do more. There are a lot of agencies, even old ones and the question is why should clients choose you over others. When clients start working with us, they realize we see things from a different perspective. What has really worked for us is the caliber of people we have. Most people in our creative team are determined in the creative businesses. They are not shackled in the old ways of doing things. We are always coming anew from a different angle.

Which account was your first major pitch?

Our first major pitch was for the Fidelity Bank account. We pitched against so many established agencies and it is not a surprise that we won the account. This is because we believed so strongly in what we put forward. Fidelity re-launched last year and all the re-launch creatives were handled by us. We also pitched for MainOne business also against some other agencies and we won.  We also work on GAC Motors. It is one of the new entrants in to the auto industry in Nigeria. We have received some accounts based on referrals which include CMA account, a holding company for Sound City and Spice TV. We also are expecting result of three accounts.

What are the major challenges confronting the creative industry now?

The economic challenges are seriously affecting the advertising industry as clients are not spending. Imagine you do projection at the beginning of the year that by April, I will publish some number of Ads but clients will cut the number of Ads by 80 percent.

How do you navigate this harsh economy?

Agencies have to be ingenious. A client has told me this year that my budget of N180 million for the March has been cut to N40 million. The question is did I get the traction I projected, yes I did. How did I do it, you are boxed in to a corner and you have to react. If clients say they are cutting cost, then agencies have to be on their feet. We have to think of better ways of reaching our consumers. ATL is not going anywhere soon.