Agency watch: DDB Lagos and the march to ‘creative’ stardom
Undoubtedly, the 13th edition of the Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival (LAIF), again, provided the nation’s creative industry the opportunity to celebrate some of the country’s finest agencies and brands for their creative prowess.
Interestingly, one of the agencies that caught stakeholders’ attention at the event, held at the twilight of 2018, was DDB Lagos, a creative agency and subsidiary of the famous Casers Group.
The agency, again, added to its array of laurels, the most prestigious award of the evening, the event’s grand prix, thereby reconfirming its position as the most-awarded creative agency in the industry, since the flag-off LAIF, 13 years ago.
For the agency, its numerous clients and admirers, the feat is huge. First, the advertising Festival remains the nation’s most definitive event that recognizes, rewards and promotes creative excellence in all areas of advertising and marketing communications. Coming out tops from such competition, featuring the company’s best and brightest in the nation’s marcomms should be relished.
Perhaps that informed the palpable suspense in the hall before the announcement was made. It was not too clear where the pendulum of victory would swing. Veteran agencies, such as Insight and SO&U were making a good showing and the relatively-younger ones such as X3M Ideas and Noah’s Ark, Culture, Etuodi, BBDO and UpIntheSky, were, without doubt, giving the ‘established’ ones a run for their money.
But at the end of the day, DDB Lagos, according to the judges, clearly demonstrated a superior creative breadth and depth in diverse award -winning works, by topping the overall list of creative agencies in Nigeria by winning the Grand Prix Award for the acclaimed “Man in the Box campaign” for MTN.
The agency was also awarded six gold plaques for outstanding campaign ideas in “Children’s Day”, “Independence Day”, “My Influence” and “Man in The Box” for Royco, Baileys, Sunlight and MTN, respectively.
Speaking on the Grand Prix Award, Regional President, Aegis Dentsu and Chief Juror of the LAIF Awards, Mr Michael Zylstra noted that the concept, won the top prize as an integrated and interactive innovation for growing SME businesses.
He identified the exceptional idea behind the “Man in The Box”, as responsible for its winning Gold plagues in three different categories.
Silver (4) and Bronze (9) plaques were awarded also for campaigns, such as: “Reasons to Smile”, “See us 2 Male”, “Corn”, “Waist Line”, “Upper Room”, “Verve Naira Note (Worker’s Day)” for other several brands.
The Grand Prix is LAIF’s most prestigious award, only given for an outstanding creative concept that has been able to redefine the industry standards. The Man in The Box is Nigeria’s first innovative outdoor campaign, conceptualised by DDB Lagos for MTN to showcase a game- changing enterprise solution for SMEs and to make sure their businesses are noticed.
The campaign was projected to be seen as a win-win for both MTN and the SMEs, with the campaign highlighting the pain-points of small businesses, while giving them a unique platform to promote their offerings to a bigger audience.
The billboard was transformed into an office space, thereby making “Man in the Box” campaign Nigeria’s first innovative outdoor campaign, that caught everyone’s attention, especially the eyes of small business owners.
These business owners were then allowed to make use of the box, and to showcase their products or services for an entire day each. Aside giving the SMEs their own mini marketing boost and increasing exposure and media following for their respective brands, MTN also get to put their technology in front of the very people they were trying to reach.
Locally, not a few therefore believe that “Man in the Box” received accolades for its effectiveness, since it delivered on the promise that MTN knows what keeps SMEs up and is willing to go beyond the norm to provide solutions.
DDB Lagos partnered with other agencies, TBWA, a creative agency; PHD for outdoor media plan and Playhouse Communication, a local digital agency to bring this idea to life.
Interestingly, DDB Lagos remains one of most awarded agencies in Nigeria at the annual LAIF Award ceremony since the inception of the Awards, 13 years ago.
It also remains the first Nigerian creative agency to receive international recognition when it won an EPICA Award for its “Speechless” campaign developed for GirlHub (an advocacy project for the Northern girl child sponsored by the Nike Foundation in partnership with USAID/DFID) in 2012.
Since then, the agency has also received several other international awards including the acclaimed “I Don Port” campaign for MTN. The agency was also awarded the Silver Loeries Award for integrated campaign and Silver in Africa Cristal awards in the category ‘Best use of Branded Content’.
Also, in 2014 DDB Lagos got an Emerald in Africa Cristal award for the Mouka foam campaign “Restful Night; Active Day” and in 2013 a Bronze in Epica awards for same campaign under the category ‘Best use of Branded Content.’