Stories by Raheem Akingbolu
With a mantra, ‘Never Stop Thinking’, Insight Publicis has continued to instill a culture of creativity and innovation in its workforce. No wonder, decades after it was established, the agency has been able to overcome the greatest challenge facing old agencies, which is centred on recreation to remain contemporary and modern. With its accomplishments in the last 32 years, Insight appears to be recreating from time to time in terms of operations and creativity.
The agency’s Account Management Director, Wole Ogundare, captured the Unique Selling Point of Insight in a brief chat with THISDAY recently, when he declared that the agency looked beyond communication while working on any brand.
“Anytime we get a brief, we conduct two levels of research; first, we try to research the segment where the brand is operating as well as the strength of competitions. Insight work goes beyond communication because we are not only concerned about creativity, we as well committed to impact on ROI.
We work with our clients with full understanding of their businesses and the market and we are always looking for ways to grow their brands. To sum it up, we are keen about everything, including corporate identity manual, when communicating the brands within the portfolio of our clients to the public.”
Speaking on the local and global exploits of the agency in recent time, Ogundare spoke glowingly on how it set the pace for other West African creative agencies during the 2016 Cannes Festival, with the presentation of ‘Let’s My Enemy Live Long’. The agency, according to the Account Management Director, was not only acknowledged as the first agency in West Africa to achieve such feat, it was asked to come back next year for a similar exercise. He also disclosed that Insight Publicis is currently on a journey with one of its clients to win the world most celebrated award anytime soon.
As a result of his confidence in the operation of the agency, Ogundare was quick to add that it was difficult, if not impossible for any of its existing clients to drop the company for any agency. Reacting to the report that his agency recently lost three of his clients to other agencies, he pointed out that it was a mere insinuation.
“I laugh when I read that I lost some accounts. In fact, if any agency attempts to pitch for any of the brands in our kitty, the client will call us and tell us this particular agency approaches them.
This is because of the quality of our work and the trust they have in us as an agency. For instance, after we have done so much on Gulder, Nigerian Breweries didn’t waste time in pushing two more brands to us. As I speak, we are on a journey with Gulder to win the most celebrated award in the world. We are also stepping out of African market to other continents with the Techno brand. On Peak Milk account, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, owner of the brand, only recently decided to change its strategy and engaged more than one agency. Till date, we still work on Pecadomo, which we created from the inception.
Again, with enthusiasm, Ogundare made reference to how Insight Publicis won Silver with Pepsi Long Throat campaign at the World Advertising Research Centre. To him, this is important because the campaign has not only won awards for the brand, it has been used to push the Pepsi brand at a time many analysts thought some challengers in the market would puncture its market share. He stated that TVC alone may not drive volumes if the communication agency fails to first understand what the brand needs at a particular time on how best to deliver values.
From any angle one chooses to look at it, besides the chronological age of Insight, it appears to be leading the pack among the young and the old in today’s market. So far, it has continued to challenge old agencies, while it remains the reference point for the younger and upcoming agency.
In its 32 years of existence the agency has gotten only three managing directors. The first MD was of course the founder, Mr. Biodun Shobanjo, who was in charge for 25 years. Then Mr. Jimi Awosika, who came in and spent 12 years, the third being Mr. Feyi Olubodun, the current MD who was recently appointed.
According to inside source, the new MD is coming in with young and vibrant executive management team. This transformation is no doubt a credit to the vision of Shobanjo, who knows when to step aside concentrate on how consolidate the strength of the agency.
Insight Publicis can be conveniently referred to as the University of Advertising as far as the marketing communications industry is concerned in the country. Established 32 years ago, it has produced many top practitioners as well as award-winning adverts, which have equally sold award-winning brands. Brands that have outshined competition and outlived challenges.
While advertising has evolved as a result of changes in traditional advertising, Insight has continued to evolve, birthing outfits like Media Perspectives, The Quadrant Company (PR firm) and Halogen Company. In today’s market, one will not be wrong to conclude that Insight has outlived challenges and survived industry evolutions.