The Pitcher Festival of Creativity continued on 3rd of July 2020. The first session for the day began by 11:00 am with Adebola Williams, CEO, Red For Africa, in his keynote presentation titled “Election Hack- How to Win Elections in Africa”. He guided creative communications practitioners on how to successfully handle an electoral portfolio, with a larger view of helping Africa build its democracy. Adebola stressed the need to present something new to the audience.
He said: “You must never forget to paint a newer, different, bigger picture. Every day people are looking for something new. The achievements of yesterday are for yesterday.”
Adebola also admonished them to view their candidate like they would a product, to engage the masses with their own voice and to capitalize on certain emotions and media to motivate the audience to act in their candidate’s favour.
The Creating a Better Africa panel came next, by 12:00 noon, titled Creativity to the Rescue: Raising Consciousness for Social and Environmental Problems. It focused on climate change as it affects Africa, and the role of the creative industry in making Africans more climate conscious. The panelists were Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi, Chairman of Lagos State Urban Forest & Animal Shelter Initiative (LUFASI), and Alero Balogun, Head of Corporate Communications, Oando Plc. The session was moderated by Rufai Oseni.
The panelists strongly emphasized the need for increased consciousness of environmental problems, and the need for mass education on the need to end climate change.
Alero Balogun said: “People need to be educated on what they should and should not be doing. But the government cannot do everything on its own. The private sector should also step in to teach individuals that we have an important role to play in ending climate change.”
Mr Desmond Majekodunmi suggested that since an overwhelming majority of Africans are religious, churches and mosques should be involved in raising consciousness on issues affecting our climate. He also acknowledged the importance of popular music in creating awareness on these issues, and motivating people to act.
The next session, by 1:00 pm, was titled “Unleashing the Power of Creativity for Change”, with Nduneche Ezurike, Head Strategic Brand Management, Polaris Bank, who educated us on the hitherto underestimated capacity of creativity to drive positive change.
He said, “The creative industry in the country is currently one of the most marginalized sectors…Most of our leaders today do not recognize the need to harness creativity, and this makes things very difficult.”
Nduneche advised the government and other corporate organizations to partner with the creative sector to drive positive change. He also walked us through the process of generating creative thoughts, and explained how the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, though devastating, provides creatives with a golden opportunity to tell new stories.
Up next was the jury presidents’ roundtable session with Ivan Johnson, Executive Creative Director at 3verse Communications, who served as the Heritage Jury President; Emeka Chris Okeke, Founder / Group CEO Media -Fuse Dentsu Aegis Network, Nigeria, who was the Channel Jury President; and Fiona Uwagwu, MD Ogilvy Nigeria & Managing Partner at OgilvyOne Africa, who served as the Innovation Jury President.
Emeka Okeke was represented by Austin Efienamokwu, CEO of Universal McCann Nigeria, who was one of the jurors in the Channel category.
The jury presidents reviewed the works entered for the 2020 Pitcher Awards, commenting on the areas where they were impressed and the ones where they weren’t. Ivan Johnson encouraged agencies to pay more attention to the packaging of their work, while Austin Efienamokwu said that the agencies’ metrics for measuring the success of advertising campaigns should be improved on. The jury presidents also talked about what they expect to see in creative campaigns of the future.
By 4:00 pm, we had the last panel session for Day 2 of the Pitcher Festival of Creativity 2020 titled “How Brands are Leveraging Entertainment to Reach Audiences in New Ways.” The panelists were Bada Akintunde-Johnson, Country Manager at ViacomCBS Network Africa, and Fade Ogunro, CEO BookingsAfrica.com. This session was also moderated by Collins Teke. The panelists talked about the different strategies brands could use, and are currently using, to reach their audiences from the entertainment angle, especially in the context of the new normal imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both panelists reiterated the importance of rising digital platforms like TikTok as a means through which brands can reach and engage their audience.
They also discussed the best ways to facilitate digital adoption and inclusiveness, and how brands will leverage entertainment in the future. In conclusion, Bada Akintunde said, “It doesn’t matter where technology goes, content is always going to be king.”
The Karaoke Bar came up again by 5:00 pm, and Day 2 of the Pitcher Festival of Creativity wound up with fun, music and laughter.