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2023 coming elections, Advertising role

In the build up to the forthcoming general elections in 2023, Advertising practitioners are expressing divergent views on what the election portends for the industry and how to align their expectations with the nationwide exercise.

OR gathered the views of some advertising experts who advised agencies to become more relevant by jumping on the digital transformation bandwagon as well as shifting gears to innovative marketing. According to them, this will help agencies chart easier pathways during the election proper.

According to Steve Babaeko, President of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), the Nigerian agencies are strategically positioned for relevance and in terms of advertising growth. He revealed that there is a huge opportunity inbuilt in an election cycle, but expressed concern over the penchant for foreign agencies by Nigerian politicians.

He advised aspiring candidates to embrace Nigeria agencies for better storytelling and right delivery of content.

“Our politicians sort of have acquired this foreign taste when it comes to advertising. If you look at all of the memorable campaigns that in the annals of politicking and political campaign in Nigeria, some of the memorable ones were the ones created by local agencies like Rosable, the Insights of this world and all of those agencies.

“If you remember the “Hope 93, MKO Abiola, till tomorrow, that is a classic political advertising. It portrays the nuance and the cultural understanding of our people and how best to speak. I will still encourage the political class to patronise local agencies and we can keep the money in the family and build a better Nigeria,” Mr. Babaeko said.

Speaking on what the coming general elections hold for the industry in 2023, ace advertising practitioner and marketing professional, Babs Fagade, Managing Director, Ocean Outdoor Ltd., noted that the influence of politics on the economy is very massive as it impacts on economic life of both individuals and businesses. He, therefore, urged advertising practitioners to make salient impact through innovation for the task ahead.

“In terms of outlook, it is a very hopeful one. We just have to keep innovating. We need to engage in the use of technology the most. We have a huge audience size in Nigeria because of the population of the country. So I believe that if advertising practitioners can continue to innovate and become more creative and then engage the use of technology; the industry will be better for it,” Babs added.

“I think most of the consumers’ touch points that will be used by candidates will have an exponential growth. We can’t put our fingers on how our advertising platforms will be engaged by politicians in the coming general elections in 2023 yet. But, by and large, it will add to what we have in the marketing space because brands are still active. It will be a bumper year,” he added.

On his part, Kayode Oluwasona, CEO of 1201 Brandsway Ltd, predicted that with the elections in view, the economy may be opened. He, however, advised agencies to tread with caution and not to be too hopeful.

“There are implications, it is expected that the government will inject funds into the economy. What has been tied up before will become a bit loose, more spending will be happening. Political spending is like a funeral, they come and go. He also noted that Political spending in 2019 was not as much as it was in 2015.

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