For marketing communication practitioners, 2014 was a bag of mixed blessings but looking into the 2015, they see a dicey and more intricate year.
They simply described the year as a period when status quo in business was maintained as the advertising business did not record an upsurge. Within the year, according to the practitioners, there was no remarkable growth as business still remained with those that are traditionally the key players.
The practitioners attributed the stillness in advertising business in 2014 to economic difficulties and uncertainties in the political environment as some businesses were cautious, holding on from certain business commitments.
Against expectations, Kayode Oluwasona, the vice president of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria, AAAN, said political campaigns did not exactly impact on the industry. “The year was not the year the critical mass of communication was achieved. The year was full of primaries which had less of mass communication. Communication within this time dwelt more in remote circles.”
Looking into the future, Oluwasona, who considered the slide in oil prices, insecurity and spend by politicians, said next year will equally be mixed a year of blessings. It is a year that will have push and pull factors. It will be both tight and easy.
He advised his colleagues to be careful next year because politicians will rationalise their spending. Their spending, according to him, would be shared between traditional advertising and below the line segments.
“The reality is that in every sector including FMCGs, advertising will have to buckle up and restrategise because we are going into tight economic situation. Government has declared austerity and it will be full hardy for any company not to declare austerity. Austerity may not necessarily mean cutting staff but cutting waste.
Also assessing the outgoing year, Bayo Adisa, the CEO of PHd, a media buying agency, said 2014 has been a basket of the good and the bad. “What has dominated our environment in the closing year is that good number of clients are slashing their budgets.
“But the good news is that as all these are happening, we have new entrants, new businesses coming in. There are new people that are settling down in our environment and are wanting to do things that will bring them to limelight to the discerning consumer,” he said.
Projecting into 2015, Adisa believes that the political adverts as expected may not be able to jolt the market. “The thinking was that from the last quarter of the year, there will a lot of noises from political activity. But how much of political ads did we record? The elections are coming up in six weeks but the ads are not there. The political campaigns are not really materialising.”
He therefore cautioned advertising practitioners to begin to look inwards for survival in 2015 as the slide in oil price will combine to impact negatively on the industry. “2015 will not be as juicy as we expected, but discerning media agencies and marketing communication practitioners need to think inwards,” he said.
Steve Babaeko, the CEO of 3XM Ideas, a creative agency, described 2014 as either black or white. According to him part of the positive things that happened to advertising in Nigeria in 2014 include the emergence of young agencies. “There has been no time in our history where a couple of younger agencies stood side by side with the big boys. The new generation agencies came out strong in 2014 which I find commendable.
“At the macro level, with the drop in oil price and the economy is beginning to be dull a little bit and the government is telling us to brace up for tougher economy; this will affect the whole business climate and advertising industry will not be insulated.”
On his projections, Chido Nwakanma, the CEO of Blueflower, a public relations agency, said 2015 will be a dicey year as too many factors are pointing to the negative. He, however, cautioned the IMC industry to remain focused on the long term in building brand equity and showing relevance to the needs of organisations, institutions and governments.
“There would be an initial downturn but I expect that as stakeholders on clients’ side who see the imperative for strategic communication, public relations would benefit. Public relations has the tools to deliver in these situations and is the most suitable for the cost-effective communication interventions needed to reach specific stakeholders and targets while minimising the dissipation and waste in mass messaging.”



Leave a Comment