Three young agencies that may emerge giant killers at LAIF

By Joseph Ekeng

It’s less than 24 hours to the 2017 Lagos Advertising Ideas Festival (LAIF) and excitement has reached fever pitch because a lot has been put in by the management of the event led by Steve Babaeko, to make this year’s award the best LAIF ever.

Indeed, the build up to this year’s festival has been as spectacular as it has been unprecedented. There have been great campaigns and fantastic organisation leading up to Sunday’s award ceremony.

And there is no doubt that Babaeko, who has attended or played jury roles in a number of international awards, including Cannes, New York Advertising Festival and Loeries, is determined to replicate some of the glamour, razzmatazz, synergies and technology innovation of those global events.

One of the new innovations of the event is that a shortlist has been released days ahead of the ceremony. While the nominations have been, as expected, dominated by the usual suspects, like DDB Lagos, Noah’s Ark, X3M Ideas, yet there are a number of young agencies that are expected to rock the boat and emerge giant killers, based on their performances so far in the last 12 months.

Leo Burnette, Lagos

Perhaps it is fair to put Leo Burnette at the top of that list based on its performance at last year’s LAIF where it won three gold, five Silver and five Bronze medals- a rare feat for an agency that had barely clocked 2 year in the industry.

This accomplishment placed it fourth on the table, well ahead of many established agencies. And looking back the last one year, it will not be out of place to expect Leo Burnette to again play the role of David against many goliaths in this year’s award. The agency has been consistent in churning out great works for clients like Heritage bank and this has paved the way for new major accounts like Chi and World Bank project.

Its confidence ahead of LAIF has also received a boost following its recognition this year by the Lurzer’s Archive. And in what looks like a rehearsal of what may come at LAIF, Leo Burnette actually took out a number of agency giants on its way to winning some of the major businesses it won recently.

7even Interactive

Eight medals (four silver and four bronzes) was its report card the last time out. Now, the agency which recently turned two is salivating for more successes at LAIF. 7even Interactive has already etched its name on the international scene with a bronze media at the 2017 Loeries, the only agency in West Africa to win at the event, and it is confident that some of its outstanding works for clients like Fidelity bank will bring it even bigger successes when the curtain draws open at LAIF.

From day one, the agency has left no one in doubt of its capabilities and its knack for challenging the status quo. This philosophy is what drives the agency to do great works at every point, even when the brief is as little as coming up with a campaign for LAIF.

By the way, the LAIF material has got the industry talking, and was also rewarded with a spot on the prestigious “Ads of the world” platform; a website that features outstanding campaigns globally.

Up In The Sky

This agency’s exotic name reflects in its campaigns and perhaps gives it a sky high ego. From the very beginning of its sojourn in the world of advertising, Up in The Sky has made it clear that it intend to punch above it weight category, not just in Nigeria, but globally. It has been one of the few Nigerian agencies that have not shied away from subjecting its works to peer review globally, be it Loeries, EPICA, WARC and even the Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award.

Up In The Sky loves storytelling and Short films, that gave the agency a beautiful gold medal at the 2016 LAIF. And just a few months back, the agency won two medals at the Summit Creative Award. Twenty one other countries globally participated at the event.

The agency’s morale ahead of LAIF has also shot sky high following another recent international recognition; a Silver medal at the 2017 Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award, courtesy of its TV Commercial for Konga in 2016. So it is quite understandable why more than a few eyes will be on this agency when LAIF starts.


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