We didn’t pay much attention to the Loeries, Says Babaeko

As part of the Loeries resolve to extend the frontiers of its award to the West African region, especially Nigeria, Loeries CEO, Andrew Human on Wednesday visited one of Nigeria’s vibrant creative agencies, X3M Ideas.

The Loeries boss was received by the CEO of X3M Ideas, Steve Babaeko who introduced him to the agency staff and took him on a tour of each department and facility.

Speaking candidly at the occasion, Babaeko told Human that the Loeries was previously seen by his agency as an all South African affair. “We have entered for several awards but we have not paid much attention to the Loeries because to us, it’s like the award is not paying much attention to West Africa.

“It always looks like paying too much focus on the Southern African market. If we enter for an award, it’s not like we have to win, but we feel like if we would get the proper attention, then we will be more interested in entering for the award,” he said.

In his Response, Human acknowledged the fact stated by the X3M Idea boss, but revealed that his visit attests to the organisers’ commitment to change such views and perceptions.

He said, “the Loeries history and tradition was focused of South Africa, but in the last few years, it has changed dramatically. Last year, we had two judges from Nigeria. My aim of visiting is to look for the right creative representatives for the country.

“Our judging criteria is regional creativity; how you are using Nigerians in Nigeria, for Nigerians. So we want to see Nigerian works and you have to enter. If you want to win a race, you have to run; if you stand and watch you can’t win. That’s the key thing. Our festival is second to Cannes in size; we have about 5000 delegates. We have all the big clients; the MTN, Vodacom, the South African breweries, the banks and the media agencies. So more than the awards, it’s a networking festival.”

Babaeko thereafter expressed the readiness of his agency to participate at the awards. “I believe that with this kind of face-to-face dialogue, definitely this year; we would enter for the award. We didn’t enter for any work last year, but we sent two representatives from our agency and their report was very strong. Hopefully, I will personally experience the Loeries this year,” he stated.

Describing the creative environment he saw at X3M Ideas, Andrews said “it’s fantastic for such a young agency. The environment is ideal for creativity. It’s not easy to get things like this in place.”

In conjunction with AAAN, Loeries organisers will on Friday 24 February hold a get together with leaders of the advertising industry in Nigeria to persuade them on why and how to enter the awards scheduled to hold in Durban, South Africa in August.


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