THE SEARCH FOR THE NIGERIAN LION: WHERE IS OUR CANNES-DO SPIRIT?

Nigeria is a nation of resilient people. With all the explosive drama and setbacks in our polity, this could easily go down as the understatement of the year – but we are indeed very resilient. We’ve seen it all, well except the Lions – the prestigious Cannes Lions.

Every year, teams are selected to represent Nigeria in each category of the world’s biggest annual awards show and festival for professionals in the creative communications industry. And each year, our awesome representatives return home inspired and full of wonderful experiences of their sojourn, but without a ‘cub’.

What exactly is holding us down?

There are various schools of thought on the cause of this dearth of global awards. They range from the perceived high cost of sending an entry, to our clients’ culture of stemming cutting- edge, creative work to the fact that Nigeria is indeed a difficult and unique market with censorship boards that live in another age, to some agencies sheer unwillingness to invest in the growth of their people.

Even though the demons to conquer are plenty and even though we may not have the luxury of working with clients who are bold and daring like our international peers do, truth is, we have the ability and capacity to berth award-winning works at Cannes and make our mark on the global creative map. I know this because we take our jobs seriously and the quality of work developed and sent in at our local award festivals keep getting better.

We will persist. We will continue to fight the creative battle with our clients, and hope they appreciate great work – simple, original and globally relevant enough to compete with the rest of the world at the highly exalted Cannes Festival, because nothing in this world takes the place of persistence.

Congratulations to all the winners of 2014 Cannes Lions Award. Hopefully, next year, our voice will sound stronger and louder and we’ll toast our glasses to the plethora of awards that will be won by Nigerian Creative Agencies.

WE CANNES DO IT.

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