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We have all the tools to make profound changes in our society

It is true that Advertising is a global unique language spoken by all irrespective of our different languages, culture, norms and nuances. Dubai Lynxx was a 4 day celebration of creativity, excellence and profound discussions.

It's not just the excellence of the work on display that was mind-blowing but the conversations that stood out for me. Discussing trends, what is working for brands and what would work in the future.

I attended the session anchored by Twitter and the insights shared were mind blowing. Beyond the trends and the clutter, the human truth that drives engagement was unearthed. The three campaigns that drove engagement beyond the normal 36 hour threshold were campaigns that spoke human truth. The #MeToo campaign; the Kapernick/Nike campaign and the Fearless girl campaign.

Many of the discussions were enlightening but a few stood out for me. Proving creative effectiveness was the most thrilling for me. How do we prove creative effectiveness? What is the best metric to measure creativity? And does creativity translate to ROI? One major lesson from the different campaigns displayed was that it's possible to do brilliant works and yet marry it with commercial results or numbers that would make brands happy.

The Instagram stand was one of my favourites. Asides the free drinks, it was a really fun place. We were not discussing brands, ROI, KPI and all that. We were just learning new hacks on using Instagram and Boomerang. Trust me to tension my followers next time I post. The climax was the dinner and awards night. Nothing beats being recognized for work you've done. The After-party was surreal; imagine the Nigerian contingent's reaction when we heard P-square's “Personally” being played. Trust your Naija boys to rep with some fire 'Zanku.'

All in all, it's an experience I'd love to re-live. It's a call to our region also to do better. Middle East and North Africa(MENA) is no different from us. Great works are being churned out from that region. I won't be surprised if they pick up some awards at Cannes. One thing I saw was that they found creative ways to solve societal issues. Societal issues like child marriage, dowry mongering and missing kids were some of the foundations that sprung up brilliant works. The campaigns didn't just win awards but also spoke to those issues and helped resolved some of them.

Like Rob Reily, Global Creative Chairman, McCann Worldgroup said: “Brands need to play more important roles in people's lives. The real opportunity is for brands to step in and take responsibility where other institutions may fall short—helping people. Simply put, that is the new commerce”.

So what's my take home from it all; it's that we have all the tools in our arsenal as creatives to make profound changes in our society and make commercial success alongside.

By Fowowe Damilola

FCLA winner, 2017


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