“Like all other sectors of the economy, the advertising industry struggled in 2018. There was a decline in ad spend in 2017.”

Neta Nwosu

Every year has its experiences of the good and bad. The Nigerian advertising industry had mixed tales in the year 2018, some of which were consequent upon either the nation’s accomplishments or its impediments.

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Nigeria’s ongoing recovery from economic recession impacted negatively on the industry. Usually, during such periods, the part of companies’ spending that usually suffers most, in terms of budget cut, is advertising.

This situation affected some advertising agencies, who are still trying to navigate their way out of bankruptcy. However, despite this challenge, the agencies are not deterred.

As synonymous with every other industry, the advertising sector had its bundle of challenges that ranged from government policies and regulations, where outdoor advertising agencies suffered multiple payment demands from the various arms of government, due to the fact that the methods of taxation and payment of dues are yet to be harmonised, to clients’ indebtedness.

Some advertising agencies are reeling in client debts that are threatening their survival. Most telling was the fact that the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has been running without a constituted board for three years now, just like it was made to operate during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan, causing analysts and media watchers to conclude there might be a conspiracy of silence among stakeholders.

But there were also cheering developments; 2018 was a year of surge in the digital space. The year witnessed advancement in data and technology. The future of advertising is digital and the industry will continue its overwhelming shift toward this medium.

In this recent chat with MARKETING matters, the managing director of Bluebird Communications, Kayode Ebatamehi, shares his views on how Nigeria’s advertising industry fared in 2018 and the trends that will make a significant impact on the industry in 2019.

How did Nigeria’s advertising industry fare in 2018, and what was the advertising spend in 2018 compared to 2017?

Like all other sectors of the economy, the advertising industry struggled in 2018. There was a decline in ad spend in 2017. The figure for 2018 is not out. I expect the same trend to continue. However, there may be a marginal spike in the last quarter of 2018 due to the kick-off of political campaigns.

What were the industry’s greatest successes and biggest setbacks?

Biggest setback will be the inability of government to appoint a chairman and substantive registrar to the APCON council to carry on with the industry reforms initiated by the Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi-led council.

Would such successes and challenges persist in 2019?

I really do not envisage much change. The economy is still very fragile at a 1.5% growth rate. More so, the incoming administration will take about three to four months to settle in after the elections in February.

How did the advertising industry utilise the fast-growing data and technology in creating campaigns and in target marketing in 2018?

Data and its analysis, in addition to proper interpretation, is key. It helps cut wastages and makes advertising campaigns much more result-oriented because of the deep consumer insights derived from it.

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Modern ad practitioners must of necessity be very comfortable with data and relevant technology to deliver on campaign objectives and budget.

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Where do you see the advertising industry further evolving in 2019?

2019 will be interesting. The structured and serious-minded creative agencies will continue to weather the storm, while the not-too-strong ones may pack up.

What are the top trends that will shape Nigeria’s advertising industry in 2019?

Foreign networks will continue to make inroads into the Nigerian market through whatever business arrangement. Data, technology, consumer insights will continue to be pivotal.

What were the stand-out brands in 2018, what brands will take the shine in 2019?

The telecommunications companies’ brands did well in 2018 and will continue the trend in 2019. Perhaps a few financial institutions will join them in 2019.


Indomie promo: Childrens’ drawings win all expense paid trip

Four winners have emerged in the just-concluded Indomie ‘Draw Your Dream Holiday’ promo. The winners went away with various prizes, including the mega prize of an unforgettable all-expense-paid travel experience to any country in the world.

The ‘Draw Your Dream Holiday’ promo is a consumer engagement promo organised by Dufil Prima Foods Plc, makers of Indomie Instant Noodles, for children to relate their travel experiences during school holidays using illustrations. The campaign was communicated through television, radio and even through wrappers of Indomitable packs.

The promo, which ran for three months, starting in September, had several interesting entries from children nationwide. At the end of the promo, Aliyat Disu,10; Chinemeren Eze, 12; Michael Prosper Oluwaseun,12; and Jimba Solomon Chisom,13, emerged winners.

The four children will travel to any country of their choice with one parent each as part of the reward.

Making the announcement in Lagos, Dufil Prima Foods’ group public relations and events manager, Mr. Temitope Ashiwaju, stated that the promo was a way of rewarding children for their unwavering loyalty to the Indomie brand.

He said, “We are happy with the level of participation we received from children while the ‘Draw Your Dream Holiday’ promo lasted. Such participation is a clear pointer that children really value the Indomie brand. We know that holidays create beautiful and memorable experiences for all of us, including children, and so a few months ago we came up with the idea of a promo to reward children with a fantastic travel experience. And as a loving and caring brand, Indomie Instant Noodles planned to make the upcoming holiday much more special by offering them an all-expense paid trip to any destination in the world.

“The Indomie brand is known for fun and excitement and we needed to bring that to bear in any promo we wanted to tie the travel experience to. We could not think of a better fun-filled exercise to engage these children in than to allow them do one of the things they love doing best-drawing.”

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