Can the Super Bowl ads advance Nigeria’s pursuit for creativity?


Chizobam Ekwerike of Tequila Nigeria examines the recent “Super Bowl’ adverts and
discusses how they can influence Nigeria’s quest for creativity. He believes that
African agencies should be asking themselves: Is this campaign I’m breaking my
head over really “Super Bowl-worthy’?

Below Chizobam goes through the various schools of thought on the cause of this
lack of Super Bowl-worthy adverts:

“The conclusion of the 2015 Super Bowl sparked a spirited conversation amongst
my colleagues. Being ad people, we of course, talked about the best and worst
adverts. We were in awe of the interesting and eclectic commercials that ran at the
biggest football game in America viewed by over 100 million spectators.

The Always #LikeAGirl advert got us – better than Katy Perry’s
performance did. Again, that single advert reiterated the fact that there is
something greater than the outright selling of a product in a commercial. We could
relate to that advert on so many levels. A lot of the commercials shown at the 2015
Super Bowl appealed to consumers’ emotions. With the right amount of humour,
they were crafted in a manner that would resonate with a lot of viewers.

The lesson: If my advert is going to appear on the Super Bowl, I want to do
something “Super Bowl-worthy’. But why should this not be an ambition that exists
in everything we do, for every client we work on? Every day we should be asking
ourselves is this campaign I’m breaking my head over really “Super Bowl-worthy’?

Unfortunately, we don’t think this way. But what exactly is holding us back?

There are various schools of thought on the cause of this dearth of Super Bowl-worthy adverts in my part of the world. They range from the perceived high cost of
sending an entry, to our clients’ culture of culling cutting-edge, creative work to the
fact that Nigeria is indeed a difficult and unique market with censorship boards that
live in another age, to some agencies sheer unwillingness to invest in the growth of
their people.

Even though the demons to conquer are plenty and even though we may not have
the luxury of working with clients who are bold and daring like our international
peers do, the truth is, we have the ability and capacity to berth Super Bowl-worthy
adverts and make our mark on the global creative map. I know this because we
take our jobs seriously and the quality of work developed and sent in at our local
award festivals keep getting better.

We will persist. We will continue to fight the creative battle with our clients and
hope they appreciate great work – simple, original and globally relevant enough to
compete with the rest of the world at the highly exalted Cannes Festival. Nothing in
this world takes the place of persistence. Hopefully this year, our voice will sound
stronger, louder and we’ll raise our glasses to the plethora of awards that will be
won by Nigerian creative agencies.’


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