Experts Call for Attitudinal Change among Nigerians

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By Raheem Akingbolu

Top players in the nation’s creative industry, including three former Presidents of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN): Udeme Ufot, Mr. Lolu Akinwumi and Mrs Bunmi Oke, have condemned the non-chalant attitude of Nigerians towards pushing positive stories about the country and her people to the world. They spoke during a parley orgnised by the Chief Executive Officer of 789 Marketing, an online portal, Goddy Ofose.

In separate interviews with THISDAY, the trio, maintained that the task of building a strong image for Nigeria should be a combined effort of all stakeholders, including government, business owners, politicians, religious leaders and members of the public. To this end, they call on all leaders of thought to begin projecting the best stories about the country.

The guest speaker at the event, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Noah’s Ark, a leading creative agency, Lanre Adisa, challenged communication professionals, governments and all stakeholders in the brand Nigeria project, to make conscious, deliberate and organised efforts to tell the many positive stories of the country.

Speaking on the theme: “Advertising and the Power of the Nigerian Story”, Adisa, stated that advertising has huge mind-power with both intended and subtle messages.

He said: “Every piece of advertising message must be seen as an opportunity to shape minds and make impact for a particular era. When the full power of advertising is unleashed, it shapes the story of a brand for good.”

He also explained that every piece of communication arts, be it an ad, music or film project provides a veritable platform to project Nigeria’s story.
Stating that nations tell theirs through what they do or what they say about themselves, Adisa said the Nigerian story was vibrant and no one could tell it better than Nigerians.

“So we need to shun all the excuse, the time to do that is now. The power is in our hands”.

Members of the panel that included top industry players like Felix King Eiremiokhae of Oracle; Martin Mabutho of MultiChoice; Jaiye Israel Opayemi of ChainReactions; Bunmi Oke of Ladybirds; Moji Saka of SoulCom and Odion Aleobua of Modion Communcations, noted that outsiders have been telling the Nigerian story for too long. The panel also noted the lack of buy-in by some Nigerians in the Nigerian brand. They agreed that advertising and conscious efforts by the government to tell Nigerians story will turn things around.

Earlier in his address, Ofose, said the event was designed to bring together industry leaders to move sector forward.