Contest for AAAN top job bares fangs on Creative Jigsaw

Lanre Adisa, Founder/Ceo of Noah’s Ark, a top of the market advertising shop in Nigeria unleashed series of creative jigsaw with tactical teasers on his intention to vie for the presidency of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN).

The teaser campaigns deployed across major social media platforms got the advertising industry abuzz and agog with impactful use of anecdotes, puns, and imageries which tug at the heart of the industry with a subtle play on words about his career sojourn in top agencies.

The teaser features Noah’s Ark’s Founder and CEO, Lanre Adisa, standing close to the logos of these companies, with cleverly crafted messages depicting his association with some of these agencies to convey powerful messages about his industry- wide insights in setting clear and unequivocal agenda for his rescue mission.

One standout copy reads: “To build on the current successes of AAAN requires a leader that can creatively DISRUPT the status quo.” This message is projected through a tacit use of TBWA logo,where the aspirant had in the course of his career sourjourn made a mark with his silhouette prominently displayed. It’s easy to imagine him grinning with satisfaction.

Another copy states: “REDEFINING the future of AAAN requires a leader with a great INSIGHT on its past and present. #strongertogether.” Similar,the reference to Insight Redefini is a subtle reminder to the uninitiated as Adisa was once one of the Insight Star Boys in the years gone by. This seems to hint at Kayode Oluwasona who, before his three-year stint at Rosabel, was the executive director in charge of business development at Insight Communications, Nigeria’s biggest ad agency. Kayode became AAAN President in 2016. Truly, many more to the stories by Lanre Adisa.

The third copy, featuring the X3M Ideas logo, declares: “It takes someone audacious to turn EXTREME industry issues around for the good of all. #strongertogether.”Perhaps,he is referencing the current leadership of the Association using the corporate brand personae of the out- going President ,Mr Steve Babaeko to illustrate the battle he is set encounter.Conjectures you would say? There lies creative the jig- saw puzzle.

Notwithstanding the creative brilliance of this campaign initiative and the comic relief the puns have provided, the industry as a whole is truly challenged. Besides the sector may be gearing up for a replay of the politics of succession in 2014 between TBWA’s Kelechi Nwosu and Lanre Adisa for the AAAN presidential slot. Nwosu, then the incumbent Vice President and Managing Director of TBWA/Concept, and Adisa, Managing Director/ECD of Noah’s Ark, were friends and former colleagues who found themselves on opposing sides.

Both men had previously worked together at TBWA/Concept before Adisa founded Noah’s Ark. In the 2014 election, they represented different camps, each protecting its interests in the composition of the then in – coming executive council. Nwosu had served the association in various capacities, eventually becoming vice president in the election that saw Mrs. Oke emerged as president.

What is yet uncertain is if incumbent VP of AAAN, Mr Jenkins Alumona,MD/ CEO of Strategic Outcomes would be throwing his hats into the ring.Nonetheless,industry observers are united in their views that Lanre Adisa has creatively thrown the gauntlet with his teaser campaigns.

Not least on the list of extreme situation of the industry is sudden withdrawal of membership of Heads of Advertising Sectoral groups,( HASG) by the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN).

The action, coming at this point in term is believed to have exposed the industry to deep-seated discord and seemingly intractable problems on mutual co- existence by the IMC cum regulator. Meanwhile, the industry continues to grapple with fragmentation, proliferation ,suspicion and distrust

In 2022, the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) renewed the tenure of its executive board members during the 49th annual general congress held in Lagos. Steve Babaeko, founder of X3M Ideas, retained his position as AAAN president.

Other returning executives included Jenkins Alumona as vice president, Tope Jemerigbe as publicity secretary, Tola Obi as assistant publicity secretary, and Kayode Ebatamehi as treasurer. Ex-officio members such as Tunji Olugbodi, Onuora Molokwu, Lanre Adisa, and Biodun Adefila also maintained their leadership positions.

As the battle for the near-vacant presidency seat intensifies, all eyes are on the key players in the advertising industry. The outcome of this contest will undoubtedly shape the future of AAAN and influence the broader advertising landscape in Nigeria.

Lanre started his career as a Trainee Copywriter at MC&A: Saatchi & Saatchi in 1990. In 30 years he has held top creative roles in Rosabel, Franchise, Insight and TBWA. He left TBWA in 2008 to found Noah’s Ark. In the course of this, he worked on some of the biggest brands in Nigeria. He is also an active player in the creative community within and beyond the shores of Nigeria.


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