It was a night of glitz, glamour and arresting displays at the 9th Exhibition and Poster Awards of the Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), held recently at the Grand African Ballroom, Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The award is an annual event organized to reward and promote creative excellence in outdoor advertising. In attendance were captains of industries, top Federal and state government officials, media icons and advertising gurus.
Among the panel of judges for the highly competitive award were thoroughbred professionals with a pedigree of integrity and accountability. They were drawn from among the sub-sectors relevant to the practice of advertising in the country including Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) and Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN). Others are OAAN, Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), the Academia, Brand Journalism Desk and the Consumer Protection Council.
This year’s edition had over 110 entries submitted for the various categories, almost double the entries submitted last year. From telecommunications to banking, diary food and beverages, non-alcoholic drinks, oil and gas, household products and automobile, all looked eagerly to the D-day hoping to be winners. Others include pharmaceuticals/cosmetics, information/computer and technology (ICT), alcoholic drinks, electrical/electronics, public service and real estate.
Prior to the announcement of the Grand winner, the suspense at the venue was so high it was almost palpable. The criteria had been laid out by the panel of judges. The question was – who met them?
After the winners of the different categories had been announced, everyone waited with bated breath for the Grand Poster Award winner. At that point, it was anyone’s game. And just when the crowd thought they couldn’t take it anymore, the announcement was made – Conoil Plc emerged the champion!
According to OAAN, Conoil’s advert on its flagship engine oil, Quatro, was adjudged the best in outdoor advertising in Nigeria. The advert was also declared the best in the Oil and Gas sector.
Success, they say, begets success. The engine oil, Quatro, which is manufactured to keep premium cars in peak condition, has won several awards in the past. It won ThisDay Newspapers’ “Best Lubricant of the Year” for three consecutive years. It was also the first lubricant in its class to be certified by the American Petroleum Institute (API).
According to the organizers, the selection process for the Grand Poster winner was rigorous and painstaking. Out of over 110 entries, Conoil’s exciting, effective and impactful visual and copy, proclaiming its flagship engine oil, Quatro, as “the engine oil that touches the heart of (your) engine” came tops. Other criteria that earned the advert the award included its creativity and originality, the ease of product identification and effective illustration of its visual. The judges also considered the relevance of its message, its simplicity, credibility and impact.
A top official of a major advertising agency based in Ikeja, Lagos, who was part of the audience, pleading anonymity disclosed that “deviating from the norm and striving to be different is what truly makes a good advert material stand head and shoulders above the rest – be it in print, radio, television or outdoor”. He added: “The Quatro advert is very bold, unconventional, witty and out of the ordinary. It is not your regular advert. In not too many words, it uniquely sells the product. The copy is apt, punchy and straight to the point. The visual is striking, very unusual (when you consider the product in use), but most appropriate. It’s the kind of advert we see and admire in advanced countries”.
We sought the view of a mechanic at a mechanic village on Babs Animashaun Street in Surulere, Lagos after the event to get his reaction and knowledge of the product. The mechanic, who simply introduced himself as Lateef, confirmed the popularity of the engine oil among his fellow mechanics and more importantly, their numerous customers. He attested to the quality of the oil and was pleased to know that the advert on the oil won an award.
Commenting on the award, Conoil management thanked the organizers for the honor, adding that it was pleased and excited for winning the award. According to an official of the company, “the award is a reflection of our dedication, initiative and talent as Team Conoil. It is yet another proof of our trail-blazing position in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry, and the nation’s business community in general”.
The ambience of most state capitals in Nigeria, particularly Lagos, is now a beauty to behold, thanks to outdoor advertising. A major contributor to the beauty of these cities is the array of out-of-home media display on the roads and major highways, in different shapes, sizes and in-built technology. Of course, kudos must be given to outdoor advertising practitioners. Apart from paying due attention to the environment, their prompt response to clients’ request has been complemented with better arrangement of sites, lighting of boards, regular monitoring, effective maintenance and proper and more efficient spacing of boards to avoid clustering. It is pertinent to mention that OAAN’s quest for new ideas, has to a large extent, been greeted with success in hoardings – 4-sheet, timal, rooftop and directional signs, with the industry boasting of latest technology in outdoor advertising.
This year’s awards nite was a befitting and classic event and further confirmed OAAN’s mission to constantly look for new ways, new forms and news structures to promote freshness, relevance and creative visibility while working assiduously towards positively projecting the business of out-of-home advertising.