Nigeria is struggling with image problems due to various factors including its historical inability to consistently project its positives. In absence of this, the negatives sometimes unconsciously promoted by the local and international media have dominated the scene which the young Nigerians have grown to, not only accepted as norm but magnified.
For the country to therefore gradually and steadily wriggle out of this poor reputation index, Lanre Adisa, a top Nigerian advertising practitioner who is Chief Commercial Officer of Noah’s Ark challenged communication professionals, governments and all stakeholders in brand to make conscious, deliberate and organised efforts to tell the many positive stories of the country.
In the past, there were image management efforts by Ministry of Information such as ‘Nigeria: Good People, Great Nation’, ‘Heart of Africa Project’ and ‘Change Begins with me’ which did not make much impact. But Adisa believed that continuous weaving of Nigeria’s positive stories in advertising messages will prove fruitful.
Speaking on the theme : “Advertising and the Power of the Nigerian Story”, at a special industry evening parley convened by Goddy Ofose, one of Nigeria’s brand journalists, Adisa firmly believed that advertising has huge mind-power with both intended and subtle messages. He said every piece of advertising message must be seen as an opportunity to shape minds and make impact for a particular era. “When the full power of advertising is unleashed, it shapes the story of a brand for good” he stressed.
He also explained that every piece of communication arts, be it an ad, music or film project provides a veritable platform to project Nigeria’s story.
Stating that nations tell theirs through what they do or what they say about themselves, Adisa said Nigerian story is vibrant and no one can tell it better than us. “So we need to shun all the excuse, the time to do that is now. The power is in our hands”.
Members of the panel that included top industry players like Felix King Eiremiokhae of Oracle; Martin Mabutho of MultiChoice; Jaiye Israel Opayemi of ChainReactions; Bunmi Oke of Ladybirds; Moji Saka of SoulCom and Odion Aleobua of Modion Communcations noted that outsiders have been telling the Nigerian story for too long. The panel also noted the lack of buy-in by some Nigerians in the Nigerian brand. They agreed that advertising and conscious efforts by the government to tell Nigerians story will turn things around.
Earlier in his welcome address, Goddy Ofose, said the event was designed to bring together industry leaders to rev up conversations that will move the Nigerian Marketing and Communications industry forward.
In his comment, Gboyega Akosile, Chief Press Secretary to Lagos State governor said, “Programmes like this will inspire increased awareness on ways advertising and marketing can stir up businesses to grow the value of Brand Nigeria”.
At the event, three industry achievers – Udeme Ufot, CEO/GMD SO&U, former APCON chairman; Lolu Akinwunmi, GMD, Prima Garner, former APCON chairman and Nn’Emeka Maduegbuna, CEO, C and F and foremost PR practitioner were honoured.
Other 17 marketing practitioners were honoured for their outstanding performance in the industry.