EXMAN Professionals recall nostalgic experiential journey

By Felicia Nwosu

Some pioneers and founding members in the Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria, EXMAN, have commended the Association for providing the enablement to create long-term value through value-creation models. They also shared nostalgic stories of their little beautiful beginning in the experiential space with optimism to widen their horizon for greater business exploit. The marketing professionals who have been part of EXMAN right from inception made this commendation during the unveiling of the 10th anniversary logo and the  reeling out  of activities lined up to celebrate the landmark event.

According to EXMAN President, Tunji Adeyinka,  who paused in his presentation to recognise the contributions of some of its pioneers during the unveiling,  said the  story of EXMAN cannot be complete without some of these people whose impact have traversed the entire spectrum of the ecosystem.

Otis Ojeikhoa, the Chief Executive Officer of Brands Optimal, nostalgically recalled how his journey into the experiential marketing space, kicked off some years back even though there was no prior plan for him to join such industry while he  was working in Kodak at that time.

“I think naturally, I was just warming up to join this industry because, everything about it is about Otis, the vibe, the groove, the passion,  hard work, enthusiasm, creativity, everything about this industry has been what I crave for and I have been enjoying myself since then in this industry. To cut the long story short, when I was facing the most difficult time of my life, it was this same business that gave me assurance to life. So if you love it, do it, if you don’t love it, don’t do it. That is it.”

Felix King, Chief Executive Officer of Oracle Experience, in his own story revealed how he also dabbled into this industry in 1998 by mistake through a company called Direct Marketing Communications, DMC that actually came to compete with Group Africa, same brothers from South Africa.

The Oracle Experience egghead lauded the sector for their collective efforts at being at the forefront at driving experiential marketing without foreign interference.

“We started the journey and that is where we are today creating our own experiences for our clients. Individually and collectively we have been able to prove that we have what it takes to drive this industry. I want to thank everyone who has made it happen. When I sit back and look at everybody here, It gladdens my heart; it just tells the Nigerian story. Some years back, it would have required a foreigner to drive this process to work, but today, it is a totally different story.”

Kunle Onime, who became the egghead of a company called DP Lekky, organisers of Lekki Sunsplash; from where he left in 1994 to begin his own business narrated how he was  made  an irresistible offer  and how his  journey started with Group Africa, and how  he  built the company in Nigeria, Ghana, Côte De Voire, and Cameroon. He said he left Group Africa in 1999 toset up shop for Marketing and Promotions Concept, MPC.

“We are here today, MPC will be 24 years now, doing the same madness that all of us have been doing for years. I enjoy it passionately. But now, all the big men are taking over the business for us. However, the truth of the matter is that, this is the business that has given me life, hope, joy and has taken me across the world, I am very passionate about it and everybody knows that. I love experiential and I wish everyone luck. Happy anniversary!”

Abisoye Fagade, President, Sodium Solution, went down memory lane on how he began his journey in 1999, when he joined the United Foods as a marketing support person even when he didn’t understand what the job entailed. He also shared the exciting moment moving from Starcom to Tequila, Saatchi & Saatchi and then the birth of Sodium in 2009.

“It has not been all bed of roses; it has been crazy and challenging. When we started, it was war amongst everybody because we were all trying to grab. At this point in time, I will say, for all of us that are new, we have something in our hands. If your company that can withstand the test of time for five years, you are good to go, ten years, you are here to stay. With the 10th anniversary of EXMAN, the sky is just the beginning for us.”

Adetunji Adeniregun, Principal and Managing Director, Innovation & Ideation Place Ltd, noted that, his experiential journey is that of a unique experience, having started as a promoter,  some 20-30 years ago and later graduated to a Supervisor.

“This is right from the time of first Tequila Nigeria in Anthony, at Lanre Owolokun Street, when we started with St. Morris brand. In this industry you can be anything, you can work with anybody, you can go anywhere. Again it is an industry that has put food on the table for me. It is an industry where I have  built a very strong career, it is an industry that I am an advocate of, wherever I go, I try to preach the gospel of experiential marketing because I have experienced the transition of this industry from the era of rigs to now that it is a true  core brand experience. Happy anniversary to this industry, we are here to stay.”

Tunde Amarenimi also reaffirmed that has been an interesting experience as he embraced the industry from a conservative part of life working as a pharmaceuticals.

“I just want to say thank you to EXMAN and happy anniversary. I didn’t really understand what experiential was all about but today I think we have done very well and I am very proud to be part of EXMAN. It is a family that has absolved me very easily. When member see each other, there is always this empathy.  They are always willing to know how well you are doing.”


























Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    No comments found.