DDB Lagos Grabs Wakanow.com Account
Nigeria’s advertising powerhouse, DDB Lagos has won the advertising account of one of Nigeria’s fastest growing technology firm, Wakanow.com. DDB Lagos was declared the winner of the account after a keenly competitive contest that pitched the frontline agency against others.
The decision by Wakanow.com to hire DDB Lagos is strategic, as the travel company, which has grown by over 2000 percent since it was set up in 2008, gets set to launch into the next phase of its growth plan. DDB Lagos is expected to provide the creative plank that will drive that growth and help the company venture into other foreign travel markets, especially within Africa.
The company which was started by Nigeria’s former NBA star Obinna Ekezie, as a B2B hotel reservation online platform for travel agents, with a 15-member staff, has over the years grown to about 200-man strong workforce, mostly constituted of young female customer service representatives still in their 20s.
Wakanow.com now does flight bookings, visa processing, pick-up services as well as B2C hotel reservations with a plugin to over 45,000 hotels worldwide. Wakanow.com as at 2014 was ranked as the 5,000th world’s most visited site and Nigeria’s 36th, giving it a leverage that has attracted multimillion dollar investments from corporation in the United States.
Wakanow.com is aggressively looking to multiply sales and increase market share, as Nigeria, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, has been witnessing sporadic influx of foreign investors, increased business activity and a steady middle class rise with more disposable income. This guarantees a steady rise in the number of Nigerians needing air travels.
The online firm’s push for growth coincides with a season of rapid expansion of the hospitality industry in Nigeria. According to reports, the Nigerian hospitality industry estimated a 16 percent increase of 7,460 additional hotel rooms in 2013 in earnest of a much-touted prospect of the market. In the last couple of years international hospitality powerhouses including Marriot, Southern Sun, Best Western, and Hilton, have made aggressive push into the local space in frantic search for high-growth to consolidate their global standing.
Wakanow.com which currently registers more than 500 bookings daily has opened a Ghana and Dubai outpost, encouraged by Nigeria’s heavy Dubai visits, and plans to expand its model to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania following soon.