Babaeko, who is also Vice President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) said this at a media roundtable in Lagos on Friday.
The 2019 LAIF awards, which is the 13th edition, holds on Saturday, 14 December at the Landmark Event Centre, Lagos
The LAIF Chairman stated that the emergent growth witnessed in the Nigerian advertising industry would not have been achieved if the awards, which commenced in 2006, had not been conceived and organised on a consistent basis. He explained that the awards aim to recognise advertising agencies for their creative excellence throughout the course of the year, noting that the event remains a key pillar of the AAAN.
Babaeko noted that the theme of this year’s award, “Tori Tori of LAIF”, was deliberately chosen as the event specially focuses on effort by Nigerians and African to tell their own stories via ingenious storytelling techniques.
“This year will be a celebration of our own culture and you can see that come through for the theme of this year’s awards; it’s about telling our stories. Over the years, what you discover is that you are looking for a background literature about a person or an institution in Nigeria, but until before you go to the BBC before you can get some of those materials. I think it’s a little bit embarrassing.
“So, we decided to do say instead of leaving our stories as Africans, as Nigerians for other people to narrate and tell, let’s concentrate on telling our own stories, that’s why the theme: ‘Tori Tori, Story of LAIF’ was chosen,” he said.
The LAIF Chairman disclosed that Gbemi Sagay, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Dencil Limited, is the Chairman of the jury for this year’s awards, adding that the jury is a blend of veterans and current young practitioners in the industry. He also stated that the jurors also include prominent communication and marketing experts from Ghana and the United States.
He also stated that new categories of awards are being included for this year’s award such as the “Advertiser of the Year.” He explained that the award is been instituted to appreciate clients who support agencies to produce creative copies.
Also speaking, Vice Chairman of the LAIF Management Board, Temitope Jemerigbe, said one of the special events being organised for this year’s award is the Young LAIFERS Competition. She explained that the event aims to honour young persons who are not active practitioners have begun to showcase their talents.
“It’s not just about the awards this year. We are planning seminars which gives us an opportunity to discuss issues in our industry. We also have a platform for the Young LAIFERS Competition because we are trying to encourage interest in the industry. So, we know talented young creatives who are not yet in our industry along with the young ones who are already in the industry because beyond recognising agencies, individuals who’ve got talent are also going to be recognised. So, we have a very robust calendar for the event,” she said.
On his part, Bolaji Alausa, a member of the LAIF Management Board, who also oversees the jury committee, stated that entries for this year’s awards are being submitted by agencies, especially young advertising agencies. He also disclosed that entries are expected from West African agencies.
Alausa said the special focus on Nigerian and African creative works will not influence the jury’s assessment, but noted that the criterion is an important emphasis for this year’s award. He also enumerated the benefits of winning the award, saying that it helps build the profile of winning agencies while clients strive to ensure their campaigns are celebrated.
“There are layers to this. From even inspiring the youngest creatives on the shop floor who aspires to be on the stage and have his works celebrated, to having targets; CEOs, CMOs making it part of the KPIs that these campaigns apart from it delivering for the product, it should deliver on the PR angle, meaning it should do well locally and internationally in terms of awards.
“The LAIF awards has been able to do that for us because our clients and prospective clients sit in the room and see other campaigns celebrated. So, it makes you feel like the next time I give a brief to my agency, I will also make sure that apart from ensuring that the campaign moves the product, it will also be able to make waves in the country that it gets awarded,” he said.