Future Brand Idol 2019: A Drive To Raise Young Future Creatives

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Lanre Adisa presenting certificate to the Future Brand idol winner, Amisu Damilola Christabel from Nigeria Institute of journalism

By Azeez Disu

The Likes of Troyka boss, Biodun Shobanjo; STB MCcann’s Chairman, Sir Steve Omojafor,  and LTC/JWT’s founding partner, Bola Thomas and among others, have contributed to the growth of advertising landscape in Nigeria. Their names will forever be written in Gold. Many are walking in their footprint and are hoping that one day they would be greater than these mentors turned Idols.

The journey in working in these great footprint is however not easy as a look at our education system and the work environment show a wide gap, judging from the turnout of graduates who have to undergo series of training and retraining before they can be employed in a creative advertising industry. A study reviewed that 90% of Vietnamese graduates do not possess the soft skills necessary for work and that this is one of the most important reasons why every year there are more than 400,000 university graduates who fail to get a job. Unfortunately, this is the case here in Nigeria, specifically in the creative and integrated marketing industry. The above was the focus at the maiden edition of the Future Brand Idols (FBI). The task of the organisers is to address that by bridging the gap between town-academic environment and the gown -professional environment.

The Start Of A Great Course

Speaking on what inspired the initiative, Abdullahi Ahmed, Convener of the event disclosed that “the whole inspiration behind Future Brand Idol is to create a platform that would bridge the gap between the students and the professionals in the advertising industry. We discovered that students do not have quality information and practical knowledge of how far advertising is concerned which is why we will continue to have unemployed worthy youth in our country.

“What do we do to curtail this problem is by way of creating a platform which is Future Brand Idol to bridge that gap so that students can have access to the professionals and to help them in the kind of information they consume. We are also looking at the ways to get them opportunities for Internship in advertising school in Nigeria and avail them mentorship programme. This is what we are preparing them for after school.”

Applauding the effort of the organisers, Ozoemena ‘Ozone’ Mbanefo, Founder/ Provost, O2 Academy explained that the initiative is going to be a game changer in advertising industry.

“What FBI started today is what the industry is looking for and for me it is a start in the right direction. Some of the presentation are good while some not very okay but, you could see potentials, and for me that is my take out.”

Bridging the Gap

Lanre Adisa, MD/Chief Creative Officer, Noah’s Ark Communications said the ad industry has to train fresh graduates before they can fit into the creative environment despite spending years in higher institution. He said it is important for the country’s tertiary institutions and the ad industry to integrate, and it would be important if it goes on nation scale, pointing that the students are needed in the labour force.

“The meeting of the town and gown is one of the biggest challenges that we are facing, I really feel for people who are teaching on the other side,” he said, adding that most of the graduates of Mass Communication and Communication related courses have one issue which is their creative input, “The missing link is the creative input,” he emphasized.

He therefore urged students to read widely, especially with the opportunity provided by the internet and its diverse contents that would inspire creative thinking. 

Ozone said three words that could help young people to become creative or brand expert are Relevance, Originality and Impact (ROI), Adding that “People are no longer interested in a beautiful advert as people are interested in solution,” he cited as example the 3D Zebra Crossing that his school did recently that has gone viral both online and offline as well as receiving wide publicity by local and international media. 

Ideas House boss and President of the Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria, Kehinde Salami  who was also at the event advised the students to think big, while also tasking them to scan their environment and solve the challenges around them. “What are you seeing, are you seeing problems or are seeing opportunities.”

Kehinde who is also the Founder of ID8 Academy also added: “You have to understand it is not about you making money but it is about you wanting to make a difference.”

And The Future Idol is….

A total of 84 entries were received at the preliminary stage according to the organisers while 15 entries at semi-final stage were screened and later drawn to five finalists.

The five finalists pitched in front of jury members headed by Lanre Adisa and members of the audience who filled the hall to capacity. It was an exciting session as the crowd cheers each contestant for the laudable initiatives and campaigns.

At the end of the pitching process, Amisu Damilola Christabel, a student of Nigerian Institute of Journalism emerged winner of the maiden edition of Future Idol for her innovative marketing communication pitch, clinching the first position. She was presented with a full scholarship to attend 02 Academy.

The second position went to Tobi Samuel of University of Ibadan and was given a full scholarship to attend 02 Academy.  However, the third position went to Alilu Favour of University of Ilorin and fourth position went to Tolulope Macaulay also of University of Ilorin who both where given a professional training with ID8 Academy. The fifth position went to Mosope Owodunni of Nigerian Institute of Journalism and was awarded the Internship opportunity at Withoutbox PR.T

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