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Induction of New Agencies, Special Recognition Awards Brighten ‘Oluyole Night’ At AAAN AGM/Congress

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By Ntia Usukuma

Some of the awardees at the ‘Oluyole Night’ at the AAAN AGM/Congress.

The Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), at her 48th Annual General Meeting that took place on Friday, July 23 and Saturday, July 24 in the ancient city of Ibadan, formally admitted new full and associate members into her fold. It was also a night of zest and celebration as some outstanding achievers were given various awards at the event.

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Agencies presented with certificates for full membership include Rufai Ladipo’s Agile Communications, First Marketing Services Ltd and Imaginarium Ltd. Associate members inducted were The Hook Creative Agency, G2M Creative Ltd, Rage Media Global Agency, and Poke Limited.

The AAAN Board Chairman, Sir Steve Omojafor kicked off the Award presentation ceremony with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Mr. Sunday Ayodele Awoborode, MD/CEO of Serve-well Ltd. Ayo Awoborode started his career in London before relocating to Nigeria where he served as MD of PAL Nigeria Ltd (later Palcomms ltd) for 30 years. He was at the forefront in the battle to ensure that Advertising is recognized as a profession. The battle was especially intensified during his tenure as AAAN (then AAPN) President between 1986 and 1988. Awoborode was part of the team at ASCON, Badagry that formulated the first Mass Communication policy for Nigeria. He served as a foundation council member of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria between 1989 and 2002. He also chaired the committee that produced the first code of advertising practice, as well as the AAAN board Chairman for over a decade.

Before presenting the Award, Sir Omojafor extolled the exemplary leadership of Mr. Awoborode, and his dedication to advertising and activities of AAAN.

A special recognition award was also presented to Kelechi Nwosu, MD/CEO of TBWA Concept who has put in over two decades in advertising practice. Kelechi was recognized for building brands and people in the industry. Having worked on several brands and projects like the launch of MTN, Virgin Atlantic, and Virgin Nigeria, his expertise in brand management, strategy, and leadership, especially the foundational pathway he created in the area of communication strategy for Telecoms in Nigeria have been of immense benefits to the growth of Advertising in Nigeria. During the presentation handled by former AAAN President, Rufai Ladipo, Kelechi’s dedication to the activities of AAAN was eulogized, with Mr. Ladidpo advising other members to emulate the good works of Kelechi Nwosu.

A Pacesetter award was also given to Henry Akpede for his trailblazing efforts in creativity. Akpede is the Country Director and Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy Nigeria. Also known as Mr. Twisted, Henry has worked on some memorable campaigns like H20’s- ‘Water’s gonna be jealous;’ Custodian Insurance- ‘We don’t tell stories;’ Pepsico’s ‘Loud on taste,’ and many others. These works have earned him several awards in his 15 years of advertising journey that started from TBWA Concept, through other reputable agencies like Insight Publicis where he rose to the position of Deputy Creative Director. He left Insight for the newly created Ogilvy Nigeria where he propelled the position of the agency to number eight in just a year using the 2019 LAIF Award rating. The following year, the agency rose to the fourth position using the 2020 LAIF award ranking. He was subsequently promoted to the position of Country Manager and Chief Creative Officer after this feat.

Mrs. Bunmi Oke, before presenting the award to Akpede, encouraged all practitioners to relentlessly pursue excellence if they want consistent success on their path.

Another Trailblazer award was also given to Nnena Onyebuchi, Director of Strategy and Co-Founder of Yellow Brick Road. She has been in the Communication and Marketing industry, both in Nigeria and The US, for 20 years working on brands like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Dangote Group, Access bank, Blackberry, Oando, Glo, MTN, etc. Her areas of experience cover advertising, experiential marketing, and content development. Nnena’s impact, outstanding tributes, and innovative leadership in the advertising industry were quite instrumental in her clinching the highly coveted trailblazer award which was presented by The AAAN President, Steve Babaeko.

Another Awardee was The Managing Director of Sterling Banks, Mr. Suleiman Ababukar, one of the cerebral paper presenters at the 2021 summit. 

Making his remarks after presenting the award to the sterling Bank MD, The AAAN President, Steve Babaeko commended the contributions of all the organising committee and all members of the association for the huge success of the 2021 event. He equally encouraged all members to relax, dance, eat and unwind as they celebrate with joy and excitement into the wee hours of the morning.

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