Keeping it short and sweet with Seyi Owolawi Group Head (Copy) based in Nigeria and Guta Wakuma Chimsa Senior Brand Manager, Ethiopia.
D.IO: So, tell us... Where are you at this current moment?
Seyi: Escaping from the craziness of work, to create a moment to learn something new from the comfort of my desk while listening to music.
Guta: I'm at home with a friend working on a proposal. Working from home today.
D.IO: What was the path that lead you to this career?
Seyi: I saw a book on advertising on the shelf of a supermarket and I went in search of the author.
Guta: I have always been fascinated by TV ads and campaigns growing up and their power to influence my friends' decisions and that has led me to pursue my dreams of becoming a marketer.
D.IO: Tell us about the kind of projects you’ve been involved with in the past (brands you’ve worked on), projects you are currently working on and what future projects you have lined up?
Seyi: Currently working on a corporate campaign for one of Nigeria's biggest banks (Access Bank). I have also spent the last year building a campaign on social consciousness for the Akwa Ibom State government in my country. Also created a couple of TV commercials for Globacom, Harp, Indomie Noodles, Smile communications. What makes me the most proud was a commercial created for a bunch of friends who launched a startup called Jara.
Guta: I have worked on projects like the launch of Coca Cola's Share a Coke campaign, Heineken's Walia Beer Launch activation and under the crown promotion, multiple DIAGEO brands’ campaigns, market insights and executions.
D.IO: We hear that the creative process is complex and involves many stakeholders. How many people are involved in a typical project?
Seyi: Sincerely, majority of my projects involve as many as 15 or more people, from my immediate team members to other members of the agency who need to be convinced on why the chosen route is the best for the project.
Guta: When I worked on the agency side it used to be a maximum of 5-7 people. But on the corporate side it always varies depending on the scale of the projects the the type of stakeholders involved.
D.IO: Take us through the process you engage in when you receive a project. The different steps you take from the concept phase of a project to the execution.
Seyi: I start by brainstorming with my team members, I go do some writings and execution, we agree on what we think works best, then we convince our Creative Director about our ideas. We move from him to then convince the in-house brand management team through a series of presentations whereafter we then go on to make another presentation to the client.
Guta: 1. We start with gathering information based on the problems that the brand is facing.
2. We collate the information gathered and try to come up with powerful market insights.
3. Then we look at the market segment and come up with creative ideas that can change those insights into executional ideas.
4. We brainstorm, share and get feedback on those creative ideas and executions.
5. We rock and roll :)
D.IO: At what stage in the project is there a feedback process?
Seyi: From the very beginning.
Guta: Between the creative idea and executional details phase. And once more after the executions have been shared with a focus group.
D.IO: How helpful is feedback?
Seyi: Slightly helpful - Constantly listening to what other departments and individuals not totally involved in the project helps with gaining diverse perspectives.
Guta: Very helpful - Without feedback one will struggle to see something from different points of view and vantage points. Without feedback people will be limited to delivering creative work that they love instead of work that the customer will love.
Often when we are in the throes of a project, we can struggle with seeing the missing bits that can turn a concept into a winning idea. As both Seyi and Guta mention, there is advantage in considering various perspective as this offers a different lense to view and take a project to the next level.