Africa’s New Creative Direction

BRANDING WITH SOCIETAL SENTIMENTS IS THE NEW COMPETITIVE FRONTIER SPURRING CREATIVITY AMONGST BRANDS

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

It’s bursting out from every side; imprinted in the African DNA is creativity. In every way, shape, and form, Africans have made effortless attempts to showcase the level of creativity locked away on the inside. We have seen this countless times in entertainment (music, movies, comedy, gaming etc) we have also seen it in technological advancements and we are not relenting.

The Advertising industry is a fore runner in this field as the life blood of the industry certainly depends on its fluid ability to be creative and its agility towards being innovative. As a result, Africa is outlining it new creative direction. African brands have done very well with pricing and availability. Product prices are doing very well in the market and these commodities are readily available, however, brands and businesses have identified a new front for competition which is branding for good.

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

Euromonitor top 10 consumer trends 2019 report highlights that consumers are now willing to pay more to purchase products from brands that are economically sensitive. Brands that are creating products that are environmentally friendly are adopting practices and implementing policies that contribute to environmental health is sure to win in this competitive front.

Let’s Burn This Bandwagon

WHEN NIGERIANS CATCH ON TO SOMETHING, WE ALWAYS OVER DO IT.

Yesterday I heard something that shocked me to my bones. I was sitting in an office with a Chinese man who seemed like the boss, the HR manager and an executive who were both Nigerians. The executive was complaining about payment of salary and the Chinese man asked the HR manager to pull up the payment record and this is what he said and I quote, please read this in Chinese accent, “I can’t pay you Nigerians individually because you all look alike”. Immediate I thought to myself, huh?! See kettle calling pot black, but then it hit me like I’m brother Shaggy –we are a bandwagon nation –we do the same thing at the same time especially with regards to fashion.

I remember almost being blinded by the colour blocking frenzy back in the day. Ladies always had an interesting way to marsh up colours and this was powered by a pop culture powerhouse; Cabo Snoop. Although this trend didn’t lead a long life but it caught on very quickly. I think it was this heinous crime against fashion that the buzzword “fashion police” came into existence –just saying.

Fast forward to a few years later, the rag a.k.a crazy jeans came on the scene and every one jumped on the bandwagon; I also had to have a piece of the action as I acquired some of such outfit for myself.
Right now two trends in fashion are rocking the city and they are wigs and contour lines.

Source: Kadoyee Hair

Source: Kadoyee Hair

These days there are wigs done with perfectly enclosed closures, the untrained eye could hardly tell the difference between them and an originally made hair. There are wigs made with the aesthetics of a natural hair.

Source: Ngr

Source: Ngr

Next is the contour, I remember when I first saw it, I asked “what’s this shiny thing on that lady’s nose?” and a lady next to me felt the need to educate me as she was a subject matter expert in that department. Right now it seems like everywhere I look I see a lady with a shiny nose –if it were red I would have thought that its Christmas and Randolph the red nose rein deer came to town.

Although we are aware it can be very difficult not to jump into a bandwagon as the force could sometimes be so strong it sucks you in; if it looks good and feels good then it most certainly is going to trend. Nonetheless, it’s high time we burn this bandwagon and define our own style, that way you build your own brand, create your own style and eventually the Chinese man would be able to tell us apart.

P.S: this might work for Nigerians but I wonder what the Chinese would have to do for Nigerians to be able to tell them apart.

Dubai got a font. Shouldn’t Lagos get one too?

SOME CITIES ARE ADDING TYPEFACES AND DIGITAL FONTS TO THEIR IDENTITIES BUT DUBAI HAS TAKEN IT A STEP FURTHER BY BECOMING THE FIRST CITY TO GET ITS OWN MICROSOFT-DESIGNED FONT. SHOULDN'T LAGOS FOLLOW THIS TREND? 

via visitdubai

via visitdubai

Dubai, the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) speedily grew into a global city and the business hub of the Middle East. Hailed by many for its very fast progressiveness and productivity, Dubai added a new feather to her crown. The city on the 30th of April, 2017 became the first city to get to get its own Microsoft font and this means a lot to the city and the world at large.

Clearly, this mega city built out of nothing is pushing every known boundary to beoming a mega city and with this new stride, a lot of attention has been drawn there in the most interesting way. Beyond having the world's tallest building and biggest shopping centre, Dubai has become the first city to get its own Microsoft-designed font.

Two days ago the city announced this new bespoke font designed to express the city’s core heritage and value - tourism and hospitality. A statement tweeted by Crown Prince of Dubai Hamdan Bin Mohammad, with the hashtag #ExpressYou he announced the “Dubai” font saying:

Expression knows no boundaries or limits. Expression is strength and freedom. It defines who you are. Now you have a new way to express yourself, your beliefs and your life experiences, #Express you
via qz

via qz

Though the Middle East and Dubai may have in the past been politically strict or accused of being hard handed or undemocratic, this new tone may be a whisper of a new age, a more modern, inclusive era and the world is waiting to see if this re-branding cum new identity would be just more than a gimmick. Though media houses like The New York Times shares heavy skepticism on this new identity, we are entirely optimistic that with this new tone, Dubai would launch into a more inclusive, liberal era.

What really does a digital city branding mean for any city?

Identity, branding and re-branding can sell an old street anew and with the right story, something which may seem so little can turn the entire identity and outlook of a city for better. Some major world cities have re-branded themselves with fonts, typefaces, logos and other design elements, winning them more foreign attention than those who haven’t. The modern world is gradually communicating more in text, codes and symbols and this why disruptive moves like these are significant. Some states and cities in recent times have reinvented themselves through design and branding. These include: Colorado, USA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Shrewsbury, England, Melbourne, Australia Raval, Barcelona Yonkers, New York among many. Many other cities of the world have designed fonts and typefaces to portray, preserve or represent their cultural heritage and identity to fit the modern world. These cities have distinct fonts to their names e.g. Eindhoven (Eindhoven), Chattanooga (Chatype), London (Johnston), Berlin (BMF Change), Milan (Milano City) Stockholm (Stockholm Type).

Rebranding Lagos

For those who don’t know, Lagos was listed as one of the 100 most resilient cities in the world and indeed Lagos has stood through the roughest of times. Once the capital of Nigeria, Lagos over a few decades has grown into the country’s economic and commercial hub and this is the period when the city is celebrates her 50th anniversary. To commemorate this, the city is putting up diverse structures and festivals all tied around the milestone. From new monuments installations, to new city art commissioning in different expressions of graffiti, wall art and paintings. Lagos is working hard to stand up to its mega city status. Beyond the ongoing city wide face lift and makeovers and considering that Dubai and Lagos share quite a lot in common, what do you think a monumental digital design of a distinctive “Lagos” typeface or font would mean for Lagos today, especially as it celebrates its 50th anniversary?  

 

Insight into Cultural Intelligence

THOUGHT LEADERS IN MARKETING, BRANDING, AND ADVERTISING ON SATURDAY APRIL 1, 2017 GATHERED AT THE LAGOS CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE (LCCI) TO DISCUSS BRAND STRATEGY, CULTURE, AND CREATIVE VALUE MEASUREMENT.

The workshop which promised to offer gainful insights into understanding and solving some of marketing's age long challenge of measuring return on investment and ways of infusing culture into brand building did not fall short of its aim.  
 
Victor Ikem the host revealed that “as marketing continues to evolve, stakeholders are beginning to take seriously the idea that marketing should justify huge budgets and its contributions to bottom-line growth, it has become important for marketers to explore various trends and traditions to justify its place in the business value chain.
 
Lined up were facilitators who are seasoned in the Brand, Advertising, and Marketing industry.

Franklin Ozekhome, Pop Culture Strategist, and Founder TINK Africa spoke extensively on "Applying Consumer Trends & Insights into Branding, Cultural Intelligence and the Digital Economy. He re-iterated the importance of strategically infusing culture with the present day brands as well as ride on trends.   

Demola Olusunmade, Managing Director, RedUhuru, gave insight to Brand Building, Advertising and the Value of Cultural Insights. His presentation highlighted the 'culture factor' that should be put into consideration in any advertising piece.

Chamberlain Ukenedo, Assistant Creative Director, 141 Worldwide gave an eye-opening session as he spoke on Culture Value in Branding and how Culture cues influence designs and Artworks.

Atimomo Idiare, Co-Founder, Up In The Sky NG  and Ikem Okuhu, Publisher Brandish spoke indepth about Creating with Culture: Nimble brand promises in a changing world and  Contemporary Advertising and the truth about social media, culture, and storytelling respectively. 

Peter Nwabuokwu, a Social Media Consultant who attended the event said "As a strategist, the lectures I was opportune to partake of broadened my horizon. I now know better on the relationship between culture and its effect on a brand."

Another attendee Joel Pereyi, a PR Professional revealed thus "The class made me understand the role of culture in the advertising, PR, and marketing mix. It made me understand, at a greater depth, how key messages can mean different things to different people. The difference owing largely to the different culture codes of a variety of race, religion, class and other considerable factors."

The workshop provided new insights into contemporary marketing, storytelling, culture, and contents for social media marketing, generating and the application of cultural intelligence for successful marketing campaigns.
 

What is Your Common?

WELCOME TO THE COMMON NETWORK BROUGHT TO YOU BY TINK AFRICA'S BSCHOOL.  ADMEN, BLOGGERS, ENTREPRENEURS, DESIGNERS, BRAND MANAGERS, MEDIA PLANNERS, CONTENT STRATEGISTS, AND INNOVATORS - WHAT IS YOUR COMMON?

I AM COMMON

I AM COMMON

Truth is, if you really take a good look at life itself, you will realise that there are different things that makes us common. We do our jobs differently yet there is something that makes us somewhat similar. Welcome to #TheCommonNetwork

Take a look at the video below for a point of view on #Wearecommon.

What is your common?