AME's Grand Jury represents some of the world’s most creative and strategic minds in advertising and marketing communications.
The AME Awards honors not just campaigns that are creative, but campaigns that hit the bullseye for brands, triumphing in both creativity and effectiveness. AME’s Grand Jury are the genius minds associated with many of AME’s award-winning entries.
AME Grand Jury member, Fred Akinmuyisitan is the Deputy Director, Account Planning at Sub Saharan Africa’s most creatively awarded communications agency, Noah’s Ark. He is responsible for the leadership and overall planning practice of the agency, and he leads diverse team planners working across brands in various categories such as FMCG, mobile technology, telecommunications, and non-profits. He is a member of the Account Planning Group, United Kingdom.
AME Awards: Tell us about your process of creating and delivering effective results.
Fred Akinmuyisitan: At Noah’s Ark, our process for delivering effective work focuses on two things: One is a clear definition of the problem. More often than not, the challenge highlighted in the client brief has some other challenge behind it. We try to ask as many questions as possible to unearth what the key issue is. When the planning team has some clarity on the problem, we take all these, as clearly as possible into a brainstorm session, which is the second thing we do.
Sometimes, an ad is not necessarily the solution, or at least not the whole solution. We also try to focus on media neutral ideas. Just thoughts that can help solve the problems we have identified. That way we are not bogged down by “platforms” but are creating ideas that can lead to brand shifts.
One last thing that we do is to keep an open mind on where the insights might come from. Be it cultural, consumer, product, or category, we are fans of all types of insights, so far, they connect, and take us one step closer to solving the problem we have identified.
AME Awards: Why are effectiveness competitions like the AME Awards important?
Fred Akinmuyisitan: Effectiveness competitions are hugely important. In West Africa, clients are particular about tight budgets, and thus they want to create advertising that really works. Unfortunately, in our market, there has been a rise in the powers of the procurement department. This means tighter budgets, and more pressure to be effective on the agency. To look on the brighter side however, effectiveness awards help demonstrate the link between creative work, and business results.
In an era where short termism is becoming a thing among marketers, it is important for effectiveness awards to recognize, and reward the few people getting it right. Lastly, it is a way of putting planners in the spotlight, and demonstrating the power of great planning
AME Awards: As a strategic creative, what do ads that have taken the brief and turned it into campaign that transforms opinions, evokes action and raises the bar for the brand have in common?
Fred Akinmuyisitan: A great insight, be it consumer, cultural, brand, or product. I also think campaigns that do well are a nexus of any of these insights, and great execution that drives fame. As we know, fame is not just top of mind awareness, it is work that generates talk value, and works hard for the brand beyond its category, and of course, using the right platforms that help drive broad reach.
AME Awards: What makes you share your time and energy to participate on the AME Grand Jury and what do you hope to learn?
Fred Akinmuyisitan: I am a life-long learner. Judging cases from all over gives me a good perspective into what fellow planners are up to, and how they present cases. It is also an intellectually stimulating journey as it exposes me to different cultures, and creative contexts.
This year, I am hoping to see how brands demonstrate long term effectiveness for their clients and see the dynamics of marketing effectiveness across a broad range of categories.
AME Awards: What campaign or campaigns are you most proud of and how did it move the needle for the brand?
Fred Akinmuyisitan: I am proud of the work done for Airtel. In 2015, the brand did not have 4G LTE technology, and it was at a risk of revenue loss. We researched the audience and realized that people did not care so much about technology, but just wanted internet that worked well. Another powerful insight we found was how data had become important to them and compared with life essentials such as food and water. With these insights we created a brand platform called Data is Life.
The first campaign in the Data is Life brand platform drove conversion of 800,000 new subscribers for Airtel within the first 6 months of the campaign, and an additional one million subscribers at the end of 12 months. It was effective because it used a consumer insight to stem revenue loss and helped the brand win over subscribers despite being in a disadvantaged position.
AME Awards: What do you do keep your creative and strategic juices flowing?
Fred Akinmuyisitan: I like meeting people. I almost always start conversations with new people when I meet them, and I make sure to ask a question that gives me an understanding of how they think. I also listen to podcasts a lot. It helps me focus, and it is an easy way to cheat for not reading as much printed material as I used to. I like to read non-fiction books to improve my view of the world and get a grasp of broad issues. Lastly, I love to play FIFA. It helps clear my head.