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Young Creative Turks Qualify for Cannes Lions Festival, APCON Nails Clients

Design winners, X3M Ideas’ Idirigbe Isaac and Jessica Ehinomen  with Chima Okenimpe, Creative Director, Insight Communications
Design winners, X3M Ideas’ Idirigbe Isaac and Jessica Ehinomen with Chima Okenimpe, Creative Director, Insight Communications

Talented, young and highly creative professionals have emerged winners across various categories in the just concluded 2014 National Competition which climaxed at the Cannes Lions Nigeria Dinner and Awards which held at Planet One, Maryland Lagos last Saturday.

Meanwhile, lamenting that the industry is not where it ought to be as it is yet to mark a mark at the Cannes, Alhaji Bello-Kankarofi, Registrar/CEO, partly holds that that the client is responsible for the stemming of creativity in the industry in a bid to playing safe. “If we have bolder and daring clients, more could be achieved in berthing winning works”.

Dozie Mbanefo, PHD with Media winners, Fakayode Joshua and Ogunwede Rotimi representing MediaReach
Dozie Mbanefo, PHD with Media winners, Fakayode Joshua and Ogunwede Rotimi representing MediaReach

The highly creative entries, adjudged outstanding by the jury and regulators, attest to the fact that the Nigeria advertising industry and the academia is breeding a new crop of highly creative minds giving hope of a future ensured for the advertising and allied industry.

The young winners who will be representing Nigeria at the Cannes Festival of creativity holding in Cannes, France in June include X3M Ideas’ team of Idirigbe Omaga Isaac and Onuwabhagbe Jessica Ehinomen who won the  Young Lions Design Competition.  

Similarly,  Ibekwe Ophylia   Temidayo  and Eguko Efetive Oluwadiya of Chain Reaction PR won the PR Competition  and  will represent Nigeria at the Young Lions PR Competition at Cannes.

The Young Lions Media Competition was won by Fakayode Joshua and Ogunwede Rotimi representing MediaReach. The duo will contest at the young Lions Media Competition

Chima flanked by film winners, Yusuf Olanrewaju and Sanni Oluwatosin of Etuodi Comm
Chima flanked by film winners, Yusuf Olanrewaju and Sanni Oluwatosin of Etuodi Comm

In the same vein, Etuodi Communications’ team of two - Yusuf Olanrewaju and Sanni Oluwatosin emerged winners in the Young Lions Film Competition and will therefore,  represent Nigeria in that category at the Cannes Festival.

Adenike Akinbisehin and Arthur Mazi of SO &U and Banjo Bankole are winners of the tickets to Miami Ad School, Europe while in the students’ category, Dimtang    Bishmang of the Federal University of Technology, Minna is the Roger Hatchuel Academy Winner.

In his welcome remarks, Nnamdi Ndu, CEO, Chini Production representatives of the Cannes Festivals in Nigeria and organizers of the event reveals that it's been a busy week of competitions for the Young Lions, Roger Hatchuel Academy and the Miami Ad School Scholarship candidates and their handlers. 

However, he is consoled with the fact that the organizers and the various juries are encouraged as the quality of materials received and judged keep going up every year, a great sign that the industry is making progress.

For him, “We must stop seeing world-class as western. I must say that judging from what we're seeing from materials created by the Young Lions and even students in Roger Hatchuel Academy, there is hope. Year after year, we see bolder and more creative presentations from our youth. I hope that as the world gathers in Cannes this year, our voice will sound stronger and louder and our story will come through the clutter”, he declares.

As we make preparations to attend the 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June, Nnamdi reasons ‘Storytelling’ should be the focus. “Even in our digital age, this ancient art is well and alive.  And that is because it's an expression of our humanity”. 

“As communication professionals, we owe ourselves, our nation and our people the responsibility to tell our story. Nothing else can stand us out except those things about us that are truly different”, he advises. 

Making the awards and certificates presentations to category winners, Kola Oyeyemi, General Manager,  Consumer Marketing, MTN and President, Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN); Nnaemeka Maduegbuna, Chairman, Corporate & Financial Porta Novelli; Chima Okenimpe, Creative Director, Insight Communications and Uzoma Okoye, Managing Creative Director, Etuodi among others claim they were impressed and encouraged by presentations and winning entries submitted by the contestants. Hence underscoring Nnamdi’s earlier position that the quality of entries have continued to improve year after year for the six years old Cannes Nigeria Lions programmes.

Casting his lot with the Cannes Nigeria Lions Organisers, Alhaji Garba Bello-Kankarofi, Registrar/CEO, APCON, says Nigeria has come a long way within the last six years. “Six year ago, Nigeria trailed behind Ghana’s 15 delegates at the Cannes Lions Festival compared to Nigeria’s less than five. Last year Nigeria had over 50 delegates at the Festival, this shows improved level of awareness and participation by Nigerian practitioners, adding that “APCON as regulators has taken this up as a challenge and we are glad it’s showing positive results”.

Garba Bello-Kankarofi, Registrar/CEO, APCON delievering his address
Garba Bello-Kankarofi, Registrar/CEO, APCON delievering his address

In a bid to further encourage participation and deepen creativity, the APCON Registrar/CEO reveals that the council will encourage all APCON accredited institutions to send a team to participate in the Roger Hatchuel category and winners will represent Nigeria at the Cannes Festival next year.

Efforts like this geared at catching them young from the schools will elevate Nigeria’s status and proclivity to berthing winning works at the Cannes just like Brazil and India are currently making their marks on the global creative map.

Nnamdi Ndu, CEO, Chini Productions making his opening remarks
Nnamdi Ndu, CEO, Chini Productions making his opening remarks

Although, Nigeria is yet to win an award at the Cannes, the APCON Boss believes there is light at the end of the tunnel for the industry especially as the country’s cultural and language diversities could inspire great ideas could cut through the clutter to berth world class awards winning works.

Noting that an agency is as a good as its client, Alhaji Bello-Kankarofi partly holds the client responsible for the stemming of creativity. “If we have bolder and daring clients, more could be achieved in berthing winning works for instance the ideas that win here today and very simple but world-class. Simplicity and contemporariness are very important ingredients in creating winning works”, he enthuses.