How Insight Redefini’s ‘Owambe’ Rewrote Corporate-culture Rules On Employee Engagement, Happiness

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Taking Agency life to a whole new level

The word ‘Owambe’ already paints a near-perfect picture for anyone familiar with the social scene: live music, vibrant colours, aso ebi, an assorted menu (including jollof rice which is a must), small chops, and a steady flow of drinks. In a much grander sense, ‘Owambe’ can be related as embodying Nigeria’s cultural tapestry and the very synonym of celebration, community and a chance to let off some air. The Insight Redefini (IR) group did justice to all three when it transformed its usually serene atmosphere into a vibrant arena of beautiful decorations, laughter, and colourful ambiance at the first edition of the Insight Owambe, which happened on August 18, 2023.

It should be clear from this point that when we say IR, we are referring to the largest marketing communications group in West Africa including: Insight Publicis, Leo Burnett Lagos, Quadrant MSL (Nigeria’s premiere strategic communications firm), Digitas, All Seasons Zenith, Starcomms Media Perspectives, and Velocitee.

What’s an Owambe without aso ebi, right? The theme was Tradition meets Contemporary Elegance, and the Humans of Insight Redefini understood the assignment. Members of staff from the different agencies came out in their numbers and styles: the men ‘nailing it’ with their agbada and the ladies with their masterpiece outfits. Aso ebi is more than just a dress code; it is a statement and a signature of unity and style. The elegance on display was extraordinary, as teams vied for supremacy in the fashion arena, showcasing their sartorial prowess with Adire and Ankara fabrics that hark back to Nigeria’s rich heritage. The meticulously wrapped Geles and impeccably coordinated ensembles are works of art in themselves.

The event started with photo and video sessions, featuring strut walks and cat walks, as the operational units showcased their unique style and glam, cheered by others with hype and spraying of the Insight currency. The live band delivered on the brief, with an electric performance that brought life and great energy to the highlife, juju, fuji and Afrobeat music with which they serenaded guests all evening.

 As the sun began to set, the event truly came alive. The Owambe party lit up with laughter, dancing, and a sense of camaraderie that only comes from shared experiences.

And then the food! The Owambe energy is never complete without the food. Amidst the fun chatter, guests were treated to an array of sumptuous meals that, in themselves, mirror the richness of Nigerian culture. Amala, with its earthy undertones Ewedu and Gbegiri coupled with Orisirisi (assorted meat), and Ofada rice who also graced the event, with its distinct aroma adding depth to the culinary experience. Of course, the place of our legendary firewood smoky jollof rice is guaranteed. Appetisers, especially the irresistible small chops, which are standard guests on a proper Owambe menu, were promptly in attendance.

But, more importantly, the power of partnership came to bear that evening with the rich drink options provided by our supportive clients: Nigerian Breweries and Seven-Up Bottling Company and First City Monument Bank (FCMB), who were special guests at the event and also had their time on the dancing floor. The gesture of support proves that client relationships can evolve beyond deadlines and deliverables to camaraderie and mutual respect; the Seven-Up Bottling, Nigerian Breweries and FCMB teams showed up and showed off, taking the shine!

Why did IR do this? Why did IR go the extra mile to create an atmosphere to unwind, bond, and rejuvenate? The initiative by the leadership of Insight Redefini is significant in many respects. Some answers may be found in the remarks by the Group CEO, Dr. Tayo Oyedeji: “It’s been quite an intense period for us all. And the prevailing conditions in the country have not made things easier. However, in spite of these things, it is important for us to take some time to relax and refresh. We’ve spared nothing in ensuring that we have the best of time this evening. We thank our supportive clients, Nigerian Breweries and Seven-Up Bottling Company, for the big roles they played in making this happen.”

IR’s commitment to creating a stress-free environment was evident in every aspect of the event. It was clear that the leadership understood that stress-relief measures go beyond just taking a day off or engaging in routine team-building exercises. The brief was clear: provide employees with an extraordinary experience that would resonate with them. On that score and many others, IR delivered. For that evening, there were no concerns around deadlines or urgent deliverables, it was about having fun and doing so without holding back.

In a world where burnout and stress often takes centre stage, Insight Redefini is leading the charge by rewriting the rules of corporate culture. Such an immersive experience helps release endorphins and facilitate the release of stress hormones, providing an impressive escape from everyday pressures. IR’s approach to utilising the Owambe party for stress management is commendable. Their Owambe party stands as a shining testament to the transformative power of genuine concern for employees’ holistic well-being. And as the music and dancing went on that night, it was clear that IR (with all the operating companies in the group) had succeeded in taking its employees to a whole new level of happiness!

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