The Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Information & National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, has acknowledged the pivotal role played by the advertising sub-sector of the economy in shaping public perception, driving economic growth, and fostering creativity and innovation in Nigeria.
Delivering his keynote address at the 50th-anniversary conference of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, the minister, who was represented by the Director, Public Communications and National Orientation in the ministry, Mr. Sunny Baba, said he recognized the critical importance of effective communication and the role that advertising agencies play in disseminating information, promoting national unity, and driving positive social change. He commended the unwavering commitment of the association to promoting ethical advertising practices and contributing to the growth and development of Nigeria.
He said, “Over the past five decades, this association has consistently demonstrated a commitment to excellence, professionalism, and ethical standards in the field of advertising. Your dedication has not only propelled the industry forward but has also inspired countless individuals and organizations to strive for greatness.
While calling on members of the association and other experts in the Marketing Communications eco-system to join hands with the Federal Government to set Nigeria on a higher pedestal, he pointed out that the Tinubu Administration needs the support of all veritable change agents in the formal, informal and the private sector to move the country in the direction of sustainable growth in all frontiers of our economy.
“While positive changes could present some challenges, we are encouraged by the knowledge that the outcome will be of immense benefit to the teeming populace. In this direction, we are soliciting for the cooperation of the AAAN in keying into the Renewed Hope Agenda of this Administration and support Government commitment to the value reorientation of citizens. We are forthright in our determination to set this nation on a path of growth. Your 50th Anniversary Conference therefore presents an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the past, celebrate our achievements, and chart a course for a brighter future in the advertising industry, viz-a-viz, Nigeria. I look forward to engaging in meaningful discussions, sharing insights, and collaborating with the esteemed members of this association as occasions demand,” the minister said.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Information, Hon. Olusola Fatoba, on behalf of the House, commended AAAN members for the effort they have made over the years to impact the country through their creative ingenuity and promised to engage with the leadership of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria to see to the full implementation of the local content requirements in its new Act.
“I recall, several years back, most of the trending advertisements on television in Nigeria were foreign adverts, with faces that did not look like us and voices that sounded very foreign, marketing products that were both made at home and abroad. This means that if an advert was not produced abroad, then it will not trend and it will not be impactful.
“However, I am impressed with the fight back that came from AAAN and its members. They stepped up their creativity, ingenuity, innovation and investment. Today, the story is different. I travel to some other African countries and I see Nigerian made adverts on their television, side by side, with our movies and our music” Fatoba stated.
A Guest Speaker at the event, who is also the Chief Executive Officer at Multichoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe spoke on the need for Africans to be confident and creative in telling their stories. In driving home his point, Ugbe made reference to the exploits of the Multichoice brand in using African magic to tell African stories and market the continent to the world.
“African should learn to tell their own stories. Africans should try to create an enabling environment for its creatives to strengthen its propensity to thrive. Naming your creativity as the best in the world has an impact on the creative and the product of creativity. Also, I must add that localization of creativity helps the growth of a brand within and outside the continent,”
Another speaker, Prof. Mustapha Akinkunmi, a Senior Researcher, CIPS, Fordharm University, who spoke on the place of technology in today’s advertising industry, harped on the need for practitioners to begin appreciating the wonders of Artificial intelligence (AI) in taking creativity to the next level. In particular, the university don, pointed out that AI is the next advertisement tool. “AI will help improve the already existing advertisement models, making it more appealing to the African people and the rest of the world,” he stated.
Earlier, the AAAN President, Steve Babaeko, had pointed out that the chosen theme for the remarkable milestone “50 Years Young, Ready for More,” was deliberate in view of the dynamic changes the association has witnessed, especially the influx of young professionals and agencies into its fold, adding that the body has lived up to the theme.
“Our industry has confronted the dual challenges of macroeconomic headwinds and technological disruption, which have impacted not only our clients’ bottom lines but our own as well. However, even in the midst of these turbulent times, I firmly believe that the future of our industry holds promise. By standing united as members of the same family, we can navigate these challenges and emerge stronger,” Babaeko said.