By Azeez Disu
Since time immemorial, great ideas have always transformed the world and great ideas have also transformed many businesses into success story.
In the case of brands that try to find resonance with the consumer, it is experiential marketing agencies with their innovative strategies have always help brands connect greatly with consumers through series of campaigns and activations. However, not all the agencies have been able to execute this core function creatively and efficiently.
But ten years ago, a new agency solely set up to serve as an ideation factory was conceptualized and commenced operation. In little time, the agency named Ideas House grew in client base because of its unique service delivery, quality of ideas and strategy.
Clearly, the agency offers dynamic, creative, strategic, client-tailored and result-driven advisory and knowhow which has made it a go to in the marketing space.
It is interesting to say that the agency’s ten year’s journey has been heroic and exciting, as it has changed the experiential marketing landscape with world-class ideas, campaigns, initiatives and activations that have earned brands and the agency series of local and international recognitions.
“Our vision is to be the number one, idea factory of reference not the number one experiential agency,” Kehinde Salami, the MD/CEO, Ideas House stated.
Story Behind Ideas House Formation
Speaking on what inspired the name of the agency, Salami said, “I have been in marketing communications industry for almost 25 years. I have been on the client, and as well as on the agency side.
“Specifically on the agency’s side, I started studying agencies and how agencies are perceived and positioned and in my experience working with agencies or working in an agency in previous life. I discovered that there was a dichotomy and it was really around how an agency should position itself. Many agencies position themselves as supplier of services. So, you have advertising agencies, media agencies, outdoor agencies and others that are mainly suppliers of services, but there was a higher moral ground and for me that was around the whole concept of ideation.
“I felt that there was a gap, and no agency at least to my knowledge was playing in the area of ideation. Idea is the capital, the rest is just money. Idea is all where we need to position ourselves and the execution can then go different areas.
“Mainly Ideas House was set up as an ideation agency. It just happened that within the concept of the ideation mix experiential is where we play while will partner with stakeholders and marketing communications agencies for the area it we do not have speciality skills to deliver. First, we deliver on the mandate of idea because it is from that level you can engage the major stakeholders, the CEOs and Marketing Directors. That was how the name ‘Ideas House’ was conceptualised, it wasn’t by accident,” he said.
As the agency rollout the drum to celebrate its ten years anniversary, its niche market has continued to expand due to an understanding of what it stands for as a business. These primarily are idea generation, operational excellence as well as target-driven sales activations. Added to these are product launch events, concerts, consumer surveys, large-scale merchandising projects and point-of-sales deployment.
Salami said the agency’s core values revolve around professionalism, integrity, a sense of urgency, commitment to continuous improvement, highly motivated staffs, investment in research and the methodology that it deploy. “I don’t think any agency worth its salt can compete with Ideas House in a fair pitch,” he stated.
It is noteworthy that the agency’s mission; “To consistently provide best-in-class Marketing Leadership and Revenue Growth Solutions to our partner is judiciously adhere to on a daily basis.
This has basically positioned Ideas House as a marketing and sales solutions provider that is supremely passionate about marketing promotions and experiential ideas as well as sales activations with meaningful revenue growth.
Some of the notable activations planned and executed by Ideas House are Guinness Africa Special, Nestle PureLlife protect activation burst 1, Kansai Plascon Street Storm activation, Cadbury Open Market Delight activation, MTN Mega & Mini Hotspots, Coca-Cola Share a coke II, Orijin Drum (Africa’s Largest drum), Guinness Made of Black City Tour, Colgate In-store activation among others.
Meanwhile, according to Salami, some of the activations and campaigns the agency ran for brands have helped boost their bottom-line. “The most recent one is the Rio Ferdinand, English former professional footballer who played for Manchester United, in-market launch. Rio Ferdinand was in Nigeria, we executed over seven activities over a period of 48 hours flawlessly, end to end, planning and execution. I learnt that the project won Diageo Nigeria an award for the best experiential campaign in Africa in 2018.
“We have the Maggi Pop up Kitchen which was another activities we ran and we are continuing this year by going to tertiary institutions to make the brand more of a lifestyle brand.
“We also have the Guinness Africa Special project. It was a pan Nigerian activities. What brought the brand to life is the cultural positioning of the brand, so it is the vibrant side of Guinness in terms of its colour and positioning and in term of the persuasion we want to create in the minds of the youth.
“I recall what we did for Mouka Foam many years ago in terms of distributor enlightenment campaign and sales drive which was one of the works we registered at the Cannes Lions awards in 2013/2014.
“For MTN, we have the Pulse Invasion campaign which again was indeed successful last year. We have the Nescafe modern trade sampling and experiential campaign which still on-going which is all about showing people the different ways they can enjoy Nescafe beyond just saying you are having a cup of coffee.
“Also, we have the Insurance Consortium campaign where we turned accidental cars into the billboards, and running a PR campaign around it, saying this could be your car buy insurance today. Using accidental and burn cars,” he explained.
Apart from all these excellent campaigns, Ideas House also executed several marketing and sales projects for clients like Cadbury, Coca-Cola, Diageo, amongst others.
In 2017, the agency won big at the inaugural Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN) Awards ceremony where it clinched four awards as Best Consumer Activation- Gold; Best Trade or Shopper Activation (traditional trade)- Silver; Best Activation of a Sporting Property- Bronze; and Best use of truck branded installation of props in Experiential Marketing- Bronze.
All these awards and recognitions are pointers to hard work and tireless dedication the agency has put into the business experiential marketing over the year. Interestingly, the agency has surpassed it target. According to Salami, “I think the agency has surpassed its own target and expectation. It has grown in appetite, it has also grown in its desire to be one of the leading agency in this market.
“A business that we started ten years with just one member of staff now has over fifty-five members of staff. An agency that has been growing year in year 25% for the past 6 years. An agency that has enriched its community, equally empowered its people to achieve more. An agency that is extremely law abiding, fulfilling its obligation to the government as well as its staff.
“Our agency won the best experiential marketing agency West Africa in 2017 in Accra, Ghana. Also, we won four awards at EXMAN, and these awards have made our agency the highest recipient at the award.
“We also won in 2018, the best great place to work in Africa in Marketing Communication industry, emerging the sixth place to work in the entire African continent.”
He attributed the successes achieved so far to the quality leadership of the management in the agency, and its talented and dedicated staffs who are determined to always make the difference.
Corporate Social Responsibility
To further highlight its commitment to the ideals of giving back to the society, Ideas House Marketing Communications Limited launched I-Impact, a CSR and Employee Volunteering platform, which allows employees passionately promote sustainability.
Following the launch of the initiative, the business visited Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care And Treatment Home School, Yaba and Oluloye Cheshire Home, Ibadan, where it donated sanitary and food items to the occupants of the homes. To also support the development of education in the country, staff of Ideas House visited Ikosi Junior High School, Lagos. The students not only received writing materials, but were also charged by the team to stay focused on meeting and exceeding their academic goals.
Speaking during the launch, Salami, said the initiative was borne out of a need for the business to give back to the society while also encouraging its staff to do the same. According to him, Ideas House will continue to drive such forward-thinking initiatives that improve the quality of lives in its host communities and surroundings.
The I-Impact platform was launched in September 2016 and has impacted over 700 people.
The Birth of ‘iD8’
Thesame day Salami unveiled his marketing communications book titled: ‘To Every Man A Brain: How To Discover and Unleash The Power of Your Creative Mind’, iD8, a marketing communications academy was also unveiled.
While speaking earlier at a media parley, Kehinde told journalists that the launch of the academy is fuelled by an endless desire to break the status quo with the minutest solutions. He added that they are in collaboration with subject matter experts, businesses and passionate individuals to create sustainable frameworks, processes and products driven by learning for the future frameworks.
He added: “iD8 is more of training and capacity building organisation which is specifically designed to identify creative talents, nurture them and deployed them not only for our business but for the entire marketing communications industry.
“It is an academy and a marketing innovation hub where we help promote, support and lead learning and teaching transformation in this space. We are committed to birthing ideas, connecting people and designing opportunities as well as facilitating opportunities.
“Now we have training camps, boot camps, more like reality television and others. We have a number of training programmes that have been customized. The book we are launching has its own training module which people-students, individuals in the corporate world, business-can learn to transform their businesses. To Every Man A Brain is going to be submerged under iD8 as one of the training tools and techniques, “he concluded.