We’ll Meet Up To Cannes Standard Next Year, Says Creative Director TBWA

If the words of Ranti Atunwa, Creative Director of TBWA Concepts are anything to go by, then Nigeria should be ready to celebrate her first Cannes Lions triumph comes 2016. Cannes Lions is the world’s biggest and most prestigious annual awards show and festival for professionals in the creative communications industry.

Atunwa told MARKETING EDGE in an exclusive interview that Nigerian advertising agencies are finally meeting up to the Cannes standard as some the agencies’ works are already getting recognised by some global rating agencies and the country is even doing very well at international awards like Crystals Awards.

Noah’s Ark became the first Nigerian agency to be recognized at Cannes Lions. The agency was awarded two Press Lions National Diploma awards in the CRAFT/illustration category to the agency for its works ‘Sassy Woman’ and ‘Angry Man’ Both for Indomie 210 grams entered for the 60th international of creativity held in Cannes, France between 16 -22 June 2013.

“As a country we are already playing on the global stage. A couple of agencies won at the 2015 Crystals Awards. All agencies are looking towards Cannes, the most prestigious awards festival. We are already looking at being up to par with the standard of Cannes. I don’t think we are faltering on that, I think we can meet up to Cannes standards come next,” he said.

Atunwa noted that the evidence of this growth, with regards to creativity was apparent by the kind of works that was on display at the recently concluded LAIF Awards, where competition has become very intense. “Competition has gone up. The standards of creativity have risen. A lot of agencies are not taking things lying down,” he said, adding the traditional winners at LAIF are now becoming less dominant.
According to the organisers of LAIF, next year’s event will be even more competitive as the award as been expanded to include other West African countries and the categories have equally been increased.

Asked if such changes could affect the chances of Nigerian practitioners, Atunwa dismissed it. He insisted that Nigeria agencies are a force to be reckoned with in Africa and therefore the presence of other nations at the award will only serve to motivate them to do even better.
The 2015 LAIF was obviously not a memorable outing for TBWA. Though the agency was able to improve on their haul, by winning eight medals, three more than last year’s, the agency still felt let down. They expected more coming into the awards, but they could only manage a few accolades compared with other big players.

“Truthfully I think our performance was average. We did fairly better than last year. Last year we won 5 awards this year we won eight. We were expecting a lot better. Hopefully next year we’ll do much better. Notwithstanding, I will still congratulate myself and my team,” Atunwa said.
“So we also have to up our own standards, we have to improve our creative standards. We have to do a lot more good work.”


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