SO&U Elevates Biodun Adefila As New COO
Biodun Adefila has been elevated as new Chief Operating Officer of SO&U, a creative advertising agency, in a bid to strength the agency and maintain its leadership.
Adefila, formerly Executive Director, Brands and Client Management has a rich pedigree that spans decades, during which period she has had stints in some of the country’s leading advertising companies. Adefila brings her wealth of experience to bear on the formulation and implementation of strategies that will enable the SO&U Group to successfully execute management initiatives with a view to achieving set targets.
In addition, she managed client relationships and contact with middle and senior-level clients (Brand Managers, Marketing Directors and Managing Directors), consolidated and inspired existing clients as well as actively seek out opportunities to grow existing business and win more businesses.
Adefila is a member of the Steering Committee of Women in Advertising, a group within the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, which strives to give women a voice in the rapidly evolving industry.
Interestingly, she read Linguistics at the University of Ibadan and started her career as a teacher when she taught Communication Skills at Command Secondary School, Jos, Plateau State from 1990 to 1991 while serving the nation through the National Youth Service Corp. As a young teacher coaching kids to communicate properly, then, little did she know that fate and destiny would conspire to set her up in a career, which she would love with a passion in the near future and probably for the rest of her life.
Immediately on completion of the service, the zest in Adefila to work at anything, as is the case with millions of unemployed Nigerian youths, led her to Lever Brothers Nigeria Plc, where she was employed in the position of Purchase & Planning Officer (Engineering Buying) in 1991. But it was a short stint, because by mid-1992, Adefila was already feeling the pull of communication, whose umbilical cord she got fastened to at the military school in Jos. She left Lever Brothers in 1992 and in the same year was employed in advertising, and ever since then it has been an ever blossoming career in Integrated Marketing Communications.
From 1992 to 1995, Adefila worked at Rosabel Advertising in the research and planning department as a Research & Planning Executive, where she participated in developing proposals for consumers, assisted in summing up information to prepare research finding reports, participated in fieldwork to conduct quantitative studies, organised and participated in conducting market audits, participated in conducting home-placement tests to ensure consumer usage of product and obtain feedback surveys and helped in recruiting respondents for various focus groups.
Having equipped herself sufficiently, Adefila moved on to Sunrise D’Arcy in 1996 as Relationship Marketing Manager, a position she held until 2000. While in Sunrise D’Arcy for four years, she was involved in developing consumer research proposals for clients, organising Focus Group Discussions for qualitative studies, liaising with research agencies for big ticket quantitative studies, organising pre-test and post campaign studies to measure concept appropriateness and effectiveness, conducting quarterly health check surveys for agency brands, providing information for the creative team to develop insightful sales messages for campaigns, worked with clients to sample new product (Procter & Gamble’s Always with wings) to encourage usage and facilitated hospital visits with client to convince ‘expecting mothers’ that Always Super was a better deal than Lady Sept (both brands of sanitary towels).
Almost twelve years down the line after graduating from school and having garnered clout and in-depth experience through consistent hands on grounding in integrated marketing communications, Adefila vaulted into the horizon and landed at SO&U Saatchi & Saatchi, a third generation and top advertising agency in Nigeria, in 2000, and has been there for almost 17 unbroken years.
During these years at SO&U Saatchi & Saatchi, Adefila, through her cognitive abilities, has been performing brilliantly, thus, waltzing through the rungs from Senior Account Executive in 2000, Account Manager in 2003, Account Director in 2005, Associate Director in 2006 and in 2010 she was elevated to Client Service Director. She was invited to the board of SO&U Ltd in 2014.
The amiable and confident Amazon of Nigeria’s integrated marketing communications terrain had her secondary school education at Federal Government Girls’ College, Akure, from 1980 – 1986 and university education at University of Ibadan, Oyo State, from 1986 – 1990 from where she obtained BA (Hons) in Linguistics. She was at the University of Liverpool, UK, from 2009 – 2013 for her Masters in Business Administration, MBA (Marketing) and in 2016 was at Lagos Business School for her Advance Management Programme (AMP).
Adefila has attended several professional training courses, some which are Champions League Academy – Saatchi & Saatchi, UK Workshop on Lovemarks (The Future Beyond Brands), Diageo Way of Brand Building – Guinness Nigeria Workshop on Global Brand Building, Improving Your Marketing Skills and Performance – Lagos Business School, Effective Communications Skills – Lagos Business School, Account Management Tools – Saatchi & Saatchi, Cape Town and Bullet Proof Manager, Crestcom ( A series of seminars by world renowned trainers on Leadership and Management skills).