Industry leaders laud X3M Ideas on Cannes Lions awards win, urge agencies to emulate

By Abimbola Mohammed 

Stakeholders in the Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) industry in Nigeria have lauded X3M Ideas, the foremost advertising agency in the country, for breaking the jinx of African countries not winning the Cannes Lions awards since its inception 70 years ago.

They made this call during an exclusive soirée organised by the agency in celebrating its feat. The Black tie dinner, which was held at The Mahé, Twin Waters, Lekki, Lagos, was organized to celebrate the win with friends, families and well wishers.

Some of the professionals that were present at the event include: Dr. Lekan Fadolapo, DG, Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON); Sir Steve Omojafor, Chairman STB McCann; Mrs. Iquo Ukoh, Managing Director, Entod Marketing/ IQ Food Platter; Mr. Yinka Akande, former DG and CEO of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); Mr. Opeoluwa Filani, General Manager of Showmax; Mr. John Ajayi, CEO, MARKETING EDGE Publications, and some other personalities in the industry.

The stakeholders noted that the great achievement from the agency has put Africa, particularly Nigeria at the forefront of the world, while encouraging other agencies to follow X3M ideas’ footsteps.

In his remark, Sir Steve Omojafor, Chairman, STB-McCann, congratulated Steve Babaeko, the agency boss and his team for bringing the award to Nigeria for the first time in 70 years while encouraging other agencies in Nigeria to always summit entries for awards at the global level.

His words: “We are here to celebrate this Cannes Lions Award that has come to Nigeria for the very first time. Congratulations to you Steve and your entire team. To all my colleagues, the journey is just beginning; we must not rest on our oars and I know all of us collectively, individual agencies or agencies in collaboration, will do greater things that will earn awards at the global stage. So, I am going to say to you all, the sky is not the limit but a starting point.”

He added: “Steve came into the industry and took it by storm. We hear so much about the Cannes Lions and almost all agencies have been trying to break the barriers, but this time X3M Ideas got it. All his planning, sleepless nights, resilience and patience have paid off.”

Mr. Akande, on his part, expressed his delight in Babaeko’s win especially for his passion for the job, hard-work, creativity and making the industry proud.

His words: “Steve, we are very delighted that you won this award; you have done very well for the industry and you have done very well for Nigeria. This is just the beginning of greater and mightier things to come. I know how incredibly hardworking you are, I know how creative you are and I know that you have got guts. You have demonstrated that again in the game, I celebrate you. May God take you to higher heights, may you win lots of laurels. This is just the beginning of greater and mightier things to come.”

Dr. Fadolapo, said: “I am the happiest here today because the award means you are a good leader. And I am delighted that it is my time and your reign as the AAAN president that the 70-year jinx was broken. I am the one who celebrated here today, I want to congratulate X3M Ideas. This is the first time this part of Africa won at Cannes – East Africa has won, South Africa has won and now it’s our turn (Awa lokan) and we have won the award.”

Mrs. Ukoh noted that Babaeko has always been a happy person whose personality for entertainment and social life has helped his creativity to create the piece that won him the award.

“I don’t know how easy it is to separate Steve brand from X3M Ideas brand. Maybe I am not following him on his many agencies, but I follow him on social media and must say there is never a dull moment with him. It is either he is dancing to Wasiu or dancing to the mix between Simi and other artistes. So, I find that this is somebody who lives on that platform but I don’t know if there are other agencies that have embraced social media like he does. I am not also saying it was social media that got him the awards but I must say congratulations Steve and the X3M team.

“I see the fun things you guys do on social media, so I can imagine that what I see on social media is a reflection of his style of work because it is only in that kind of mood that you can create what you just created to win this award. But like Sir Steve said, success begets more success and we are looking forward to bigger things from X3M. We are truly proud of you for taking Nigeria to the global stage and for helping to positively position Nigeria’s image, which we need very much at this time. I Hope this propels other agencies to look at putting in for awards,” Mrs. Ukoh said.


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