‘How Advertising Can Respond to Digitalisation’


President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Ikechi Odibo, has declared that advertising practice in the country needed to undergo a change in order to be able to cope with the demands of post-digital age.

Odibo made the declaration in a paper he presented in Abuja Wednesday at the National Advertising Conference organised by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) in conjunction with other sectorial bodies.

He said that practitioners need to acquire new business mindsets and approaches, which are crucial to business in a rapidly evolving advertising landscape.

He noted that the evolution has been marked by the emergence of e-commerce, with television advertising transferred to digital platforms such as Youtube and Instagram while celebrity endorsements were mutating into influencer marketing.

“We congratulate ourselves a lot for adapting things that have been done before, making minimal changes and feeling like we understand the modern world. However, we cannot force-fit old templates to new expectations, new objectives and expect to be regarded as relevant, strategic and indispensable by the clients,” he said.

Odibo noted that in a fast-changing business environment, clients seek up-to-the-moment partners, who are ahead in terms of proffering understanding, thought leadership and fresh solutions to their marketing problems.

“We need to accurately understand and embrace our digital reality, continuously broadening our perspectives and take creative responsibility without waiting for marching orders from clients,” Odibo stated.

He, therefore, advised practitioners to embrace new tools that are multi-functional and not limited by geography.

“In the digital age, devices do a lot of things well and also work together across physical geographies thanks to telecommunications and the internet. Consumers now move seamlessly between devices, with data providing borderless interconnectedness and continuity. We can seamlessly engage our favourite apps, social platforms and skits across various devices, anywhere and anytime,” he observed.

On account of these, he stated, the lines are blurring, as devices are becoming more similar and convenient, with newspapers being read on miniaturised devices such as phones.

“Our newspapers are read on our phones. What kind of creative mindset and approach is required to harness these enhancements? Are we migrating our creatives from copy to content?” he asked.

He also noted that there is a shift from broadcast media to interactive platforms and applications on the internet where devices and products share data and collaborate to deliver multiple integrated functions and utility.

“Brands are also able to share and have communion with real people not an archetype over passion points and trending issues. Our target audiences, market segments have transformed into real individuals, real people with a strong voice and creative verve to contribute online. The primary takeout from this shift is that our advertising has to also shift from selling monologues to storytelling that will trigger real conversations with the brand community,” he counseled.

He called on practitioners to share resources and assets through mergers and collaborative ventures and to nurture world class talent by all sectorial groups coming together to establish a credible and reputable Advertising school.