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Advertising Community Celebrates Rufai At 60

Advertising experts and marketing practitioners gathered last Friday at the Main Hall of CIBN House, Victoria Island, Lagos to chart a new course for Advertising in Nigeria. The event was the first ADventure Public Lecture series organised to mark the 60th birthday of  Rufai Ladipo, a former president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN).
Adventure, an initiative of Agile Communications in collaboration withBrandiQ, is an annual lecture series which seeks to explore issues in marketing communications in Nigeria and inspire relevant conversations for expanding the frontiers of the creative industry in Nigeria.
Presenting a paper titled Nigerian  Advertising: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, Sir Steve Omojafor, Group Chairman STB-McCANN Group, traced the history of advertising from the old analogue age through the era of integrated communications to the current digital  age.
Omojafor thrilled participants with different Nigerian ads created in the last 40 years to project the level of growth and development the advertising industry has witnessed prior to the emergence of digital technology.

Sir Steve Omojafor, Group Chairman STB-McCANN Group Speaking the just concluded #RufaiAt60

He explained that with the country’s exposure to sophisticated digital technology, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and many other platforms have become the new advertising platforms.
On how agencies can thrive in the face of the new realities, Omojafor advised industry players to re-invent themselves and change their business models to explore the emerging opportunities in the today’s new media while sticking to the time-tested rules of the game.
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Also speaking at the event, Steve Babaeko, CEO/Chief Creativity Officer at X3M Ideas revealed that artificial intelligence will be the next level of development in the world of advertising. “In a world where a robot has already been named as Chief Creativity Officer of a leading global agency, Nigerian agencies must change their module of operation if they want to keep pace with the rest of the world,” Babaeko said.
Buttressing this point, a discussant, Dr. Ken Onyeali Ikpe, MD/CEO of All seasons Media stated that practitioners should master the fact that disruption by technology will continue in advertising and indeed all other genres of marketing communications.
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Managing Partner of Brandzone Consulting LLC, Chizor Malize harped on the importance of adopting differentiation as a tool to ensure success for future players in the industry. She stated that digital communication is evolving and Nigerian agencies that can develop indigenous models will stand out in the emerging business environment.
Speaking on the issue of technology, Tunji Olugbodi, Executive Vice Chairman/Group CEO of Verdant Zeal Communications explained that advertising mirrors the society, and since brands want their limited budget to do more in maximising gains and experience, the best option is the ever- expanding digital platform that offers both convenience and convergence. He advised Nigerian agencies to change their perspective. His words: “ a situation where a comedian like Basketmouth can charge brands as much as N100m to organise one event, while most agencies with 15 staff members or more  cannot bill anything close to this, calls for soul-searching in this industry.”
A cross section of players in Nigeria’s marketing communications industry and students from the Departments of Mass Communication at the Lagos State University (LASU), University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Redeemers University, Ede, Osun State, graced the occasion.
At STB-McCann, Rufai played a key role at the group level, providing leadership and inspiration for the group. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of BrandiQ magazine and CEO of Agile Communications.

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