Advertising And Marketing Agency Blog

4 Things To Do This December  

The aroma of an anticipated holiday. The sweet melodies of Christmas in the air. The tingly feeling of a 12- months ride, rapidly gliding towards an end. And the beautiful uncertainty of welcoming a new phase, in the forthcoming year 2020. These and more are the triggers of the usual exciting calmness that comes with the month of December.

However, like the saying goes- “It’s not over until it’s over.” Thus, before the year runs out, below are ‘4 Possible Things’ you should add to your to do list. 

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  • Rest: Yes, create time to rest. True, the month of December is synonymous with partying, wining and dining, and generally outings, because of all the festivities going on everywhere, one must consciously map out time to rest, at different intervals within the month. Find time for quality sleep, have some quiet time, listen to your fave song list, and generally take time to rest. Remember that the holiday is meant for rejuvenation and these moments away from work is priceless. Ensure you rest well.

 

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  • Spend Quality Time With Family & Loved Ones: These are the people that matter in our lives, and spending quality time with them should never be discounted. The laughter shared, the memories made are warm reminders of our love for the people we value. True, work can be hectic all year long, but the little quality time spent with family and loved ones will go a long way. And there’s no better time to keep the love fire burning than this holiday. Please, do not postpone any time you have to spend with your loved ones.

 

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  • Reflection: This is the time to spend quality time with yourself. Not to rest, or sleep, but gently reminisce on the year 2019. A pen and paper may come in handy here. Let’s just call it time for; “counting our blessings and naming them one by one.”. This will leave us with nothing but a grateful heart. And also afford us the much needed time to put a plan in place for next year. Goal setting time. 

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  • Show Some Kindness: Beyond being a season of celebration, most importantly, we are in the season of love, care and sharing happiness. So show some love, do a random act of kindness; To that person who probably may not be able to repay you. To your grandparents in the village, the very ones you probably never called throughout the year. To that nanny or housekeeper who has been faithfully carrying out her duties. To the gateman at the entrance of the estate where you live, who blesses you with a broad smile each morning. Being the source of another’s joy and happiness is golden!

 

        

                 We Wish You All

     The Very Best Holiday Ever!

 

Eden Benibo 

Content Writer, Etu Odi Communications.

 

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Madness or Marketing? 10 greatest advertising stunts ever pulled

Go hard or go home is the mantra that now fuels many advertising agencies. It is believed that marketing isn’t marketing if it is not done with a touch of “madness”. The industry is already saturated with agencies doing the crazy things that the old boys have always abhorred. However, it seems the old boys will have to flow with the disruptions or consider themselves dinosaurs.

Mind blowing campaigns have been a regular feature since the earliest days of marketing. Ad men of the golden age (1960 – 1980) churned out a couple of them.

We’ll do a quick rundown of some of the truly incredible marketing campaigns from the 1900s till date, starting from number 10 to number one, and leave you to decide whether they were pure madness or just some ingenious level marketing.

Number 1

Coca-Cola Share A Coke:

The Share a Coke campaign started in Australia in 2011. What made it unique was the way it personalized the coke experience by making it possible for consumers to have their names on the bottles and cans containing the drink. So, if your name is John, for instance, you’d have “Share a coke with John” boldly written on it. The warm reception this campaign received was universal. Everybody wanted their name on the Coca-Cola bottle. Coke went ahead to rake about 1 billion impressions on Twitter and sold more than 150 million personalized bottles among others. Madness or Marketing?

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Number 2

MTN Man in the Box:

Nigerians were confused at first when, instead of the regular display billboard, they started seeing a man doing regular office work in box. He would make calls, sit down, pace around, and even work on his computer. The confusion soon turned to amusement, speculation, and genuine surprise before MTN’s announcement demystified the whole thing. MTN said it was part of a campaign to restate its commitment to helping Nigerian businesses grow by providing communication and connectivity needs.

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Number 3

Bright Idea by The Economist:

A gigantic bulb was placed on the road by the publishing company. Whenever anyone passed under it, the bulb got lit up. The goal, of course, was to demonstrate that we all have bright ideas. The campaign was to support a new wave of clean lighting technology which uses one eight of the power of a regular bulb and can last for up to 10 years.

NBA basketball campaign

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Number 4

See Finish by Leadway:

See Finish campaign started with naked people wearing boxers in popular locations around Lagos. People became curious. What is happening? Is it madness? Are so many people mad at the same time? Certainly not! Mad people don’t carry placards. It didn’t take long before the campaign cascaded into television commercials and radio jingles. Sure enough, Nigerians started sharing and talking about it on social media.

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Number 5

Piano Staircase by Volkswagen:

Partnering with the ad agency, DDB Stockholm, Volkswagen set out to test “The Fun Theory,” which suggests that people are generally likely to change their behavior if the model behavior is novel and fun. Volkswagen did put this theory to the test in the most spectacular fashion.

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Making the staircase give off sounds as people walked on it, compelled more people to choose the stairs over the escalator. The campaign aimed at helping people live and lead healthier lifestyles. According to Volkswagen, it is easy to change people’s behavior with fun.

 

What was the result? 66% passers-by opted to use the piano-like stairs than the escalator at the subway terminal where the piano staircase was laid.

 

Number 6

The Three Orange Men by Pepsi:

In the mid-90s, three men with orange heads would appear unannounced in Lagos. They caused quite a scare. Trust Nigerians who aren’t used to such strangeness. Many ran away, frightened to death. Conspiracy theorists were already hinting. – ‘the end of the world is near’, and with the men as a reflection of a testament. About three weeks later, Pepsi announced that it was a gimmick to introduce their new product, Mirinda, into the Nigerian market!

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Number 7

Take a Bite of Your Pizza, Not Your Pocket by Godman Sachs:

Imagine that a delivery or sales person takes a bite from your ordered pizza before handing it to you! I’m sure you’ll go wild. That was exactly what Goldman Sachs did. Actor, Marcus, was sent to a pizzeria to pretend to work there. He takes a bite from ordered pizzas before delivering them. People were amused and confused at the same time. He would have sure gotten a sound beaten if not for his popularity. According to Goldman Sachs, the campaign was meant to tell people it doesn’t charge any fee for its personal loans, while also letting them know how other lenders take a big “bite” from their pocket whenever they loan them money.  What do you think about this Ad? Crazy you may say. But that’s the industry we’re in.

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Number 8

Agege Video by Tekno:

Lagosians were shocked when they saw popular musician, Tekno, dancing with half naked girls in a transparent bus in Lagos. People started talking about it on social media. He was even quizzed by police about it. Unknown to many, it was meant to be part of the video shoot for the song “Agege” where he featured another Nigerian musician, Zlatan. The video tells a story of the regular Agege life, but instead of the hardship and bad living conditions, it spotlights enjoyment and vanity. Although, it was reported that he apologised for it, we both know by the number of views the video has, that the trick worked out just fine.

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Number 9

Ma Contrexpérience by Comtrex:

French water company, Contrex, literally sold the world on this one. It had arranged for some exercise bikes and neatly placed them in front of a huge building. Passers-by, mostly women looking to shed some weight, saw it and decided to use it a little. To their surprise, the more they pedaled, the more light sprung off the bike, travelling to the wall of a huge building in front of them. The lights powered a turntable nearby, started the music, powered neon image of a person on the wall who started dancing to the music. During all these, the women furiously and excitedly pedaled on. The fun continued as long as they kept pedaling.

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The campaign which was targeted at women had a simple message; do some exercise when you want to shed some weight. And if you get thirsty in the process, drink (Contrex) water.

 

Number 10

Fearless Girl by State Street Global Advisers:

This campaign was spearheaded by New York’s McCann for State Street Global Advisers. It was a campaign for the girlchild advocating for more women in leadership positions. The stature featured a girl fearlessly standing in front of a charging bull. The campaign went home with three Grand Prix awards at the Cannes. Indeed, Ad Age reported that it came to the awards as a clear favorite.

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Daniel Chukwu

Digital Markerter,

Etu Odi Communications

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FELABRATION 2019: ‘Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense’

 

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The song ‘Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense’ released in 1986 by the great Nigerian music icon, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti is one that can best be described as evergreen. With over 30 years of impact, its conscious lyrics on various social issues remain a didactic guide many generations later.

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The song title was chosen as the theme for the recent Felabration symposium held in Ikeja, Lagos. The event kicked off the one-week annual festival of music and arts in honour of the musical legend, Fela. Graced by four outstanding speakers: Prof. Akin Oyebode, Chimamanda Adichie, Bobi Wine from Uganda and Akala from the United Kingdom. All the speakers gave various insights to the theme beyond its literal meaning.

“Music remains one of the

most powerful tools of communication”. – Felabration 2019

One of the most prominent attributes of Fela was his passion for creating songs that go beyond entertainment. Songs that challenge various inhumane norms, well highlighted during the speech of the Veteran Prof. Oyebode, who channeled the theme towards the capacity of music as a tool to educate and positively influence.

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This, in turn, served as a wake-up call to musicians in Nigeria and Africa in general.  Musicians were urged to use their songs as a tool for re-telling our stories and showing the world a better perspective of Africa.

 

Using the theme of the event as a basis, Akala, a British rapper, journalist, political activist and poet, related his experience while growing up as a schoolboy in London. Akala shared a lot on how Africa was falsely portrayed to him as a student back in the day.

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No doubt, this is one of the many reasons for the dilapidating image of Africa, created in the minds of so many Westerners and Nigerians in the diaspora.

 

In support, Bobi Wine revealed how these wrong teachings are prevalent in even Africa, by Africans.

There is a dire need for restructuring in our Education system. It is no wonder that among African youth of today, seeing Whites as superior remains prevalent.

“Where I come from,

Children are told that a man from England discovered the river right behind”. – Bobi

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This and many others are examples that further buttress how the stories of Africa have been wrongly told. Bobi Wine disclosed that all these underlying factors led to him changing his music from entertainment to edutainment.

 

“In this country, we need to know history.

If we start to teach our children civics and history…

They know that despite the flaws we have,

Every nation has flaws and every nation has greatness.

They know that Northern Nigeria, Eastern Nigeria,

Western Nigeria and Southern Nigeria were once

very interesting and vibrant places where people traded. – Adichie

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Giving the final speech was the award-winning Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who emphasized the need for constant learning, unlearning and relearning; the need to teach the younger generations history, as this will help us to become long term thinkers as a nation.

Adichie further discussed how we confuse fear for respect and also, how we so much confidence channeled in the wrong direction.

“We channel our energy to the wrong things.

We are people known for ‘overconfidence’,

At the same time, it’s almost as if we have forgotten how to be ashamed.”

For instance: Jumping queues at the airport and still claiming to be right. However, we do not display such guts when we should. The writer, therefore, urged Nigerians to have such courage and confidence in retelling our stories and teaching the world our values.

“They think China will matter

They think India will matter, not us.

We don’t really matter. But it’s up to us to make that change.

We can react to this, and it starts with self-confidence. It’s the most we can do.

Self-confidence comes from you knowing who we are.”

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This brings us back to knowing our roots and our history, as a good knowledge of where we are coming from will always be of great help in leading us to where we ought to be.

Undoubtedly, the theme ‘teacher don’t teach me nonsense’ was explored from different angles that caused a stir within participants just as the song itself does, decades after its release. Indeed, content is King and this should guide us in the kind of music we produce, the things we do or say, as these carry messages that portray who we are to the world at large.

 

 

Eden Odein Benibo

Content Writer,

Etu Odi Communication.

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Reflections

Reflections can guide one’s direction. It could serve as a compass, helping to navigate from wrong paths previously taken.

It’s another October, gradually gliding. It’s a new phase that will lead to our 60th year of independence, a new year with many more fresh and blank pages to be filled with our actions and inactions. Therefore, before we begin writing this new script or hurriedly add this new phase to the pages of history books, let us stop to reflect on the journey of the past one year. The past will always have connecting dots to the future. So, it’s best we trace down the memory lane to adjust, weigh and constantly make corrections, in a bid to move from where we are, to where we ought to be.

 

Moving On

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Having transcended the process of making reflections, what’s best from this stage is to move on, and moving on requires taking steps, both collectively and as individuals. Taking steps, whether in inches or in miles, what matters is the fact that we make progress, rather than remain in stagnancy, comparing our nation to her contemporaries. True, in all ramifications the world is rapidly moving on and we seem to be left behind as a nation. However, the bigger truth is that this will remain the case until we realize the word ‘Change’ is not just a theoretical phenomenon. Change is life itself, a doing word that demand action and if not effected, we will continue to be left behind.

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Moving on to the brighter side of life has never been an easy journey, notwithstanding, Nigerians are known to be strong, brave and resilient. With this, our national pledge should not just sit as mere words, but serve as fuel to keep the fire burning within.

 

To this end, let the pledge be our watchword in moving forward both collectively and as individuals:

“To be faithful loyal and honest

To serve Nigeria with all my strength

To defend her unity and uphold her honor and glory

So help me God.”

Amen

 

Eden Odein Benibo

Content Writer,

Etu Odi Communications.

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Freedom Within the Colors of Green White Green

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Image source: shipsandports

From the depths of various experiences, values and backgrounds, the word ‘FREEDOM’ comes in different dimensions and meanings to different people. However, regardless of whatever form it takes, the binding link to all its definitions is that, freedom connotes a release from one form of containment or the other- liberty.  Literally, freedom is to exhale.

“…the labor of our Heroes past

Shall never be in vain,

To serve with heart and might

One nation bound in FREEDOM, peace and unity.

 

From the last line of our national anthem above, freedom represents a binding factor, rather than a release. It reflects the idea of coming together and not a tool for division.

Having fought and won the battle of 1960, “the labor of our heroes past”  would have been more appreciated by our coming together, regardless of the many religious, ethnic and tribal differences to build a nation whose foundation had already been laid. To what extent have we “served with heart and might”? If “peace and unity” were languages, how fluent do we speak them? How far have these roles been played within the last 59 years?

Indeed, we ought to examine these wordings carefully, to see how far we have lived these ideals within the last 59 years.

59 years, how far have we let the liberty take us? It is one thing for a cage to be opened and quite another to get out and run; not just run, but move strategically and deliberately towards the right direction to obtain the prize life has to offer.

Right now, beyond corruption, that may be said to have bred most of the dilapidation in our country, mental slavery has become a major entanglement we now need to gain independence from, all over again. A conscious and personal battle against a poor mentality that has birthed self-pity among us, over dependency, indiscipline and hypocrisy is key.

So, what’s next?

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Image Source: Pexels

  • Walking in the consciousness that we are all that we have will go a long way.
  • Constantly building our capacity as individuals and as a nation.
  • Deliberately reinforcing our values to the world, irrespective of the fact that this may take extra efforts, considering so many underlining issues. Eventually however, the world will always stan for people with value.

 

Home or abroad, value speaks the loudest. For Instance: it’s not primarily about where one is going abroad, but about who is going. If a person with an enslaved mentality goes abroad, he/she would be treated like a slave, but with one who doesn’t just carry value, but goes in that consciousness wherever, the world would stan.

Therefore, constantly channeling our energy as a nation towards our positives is key as this will ultimately lead to us becoming an essence in the world at large. This in its entirety is True Freedom.

 

Eden Odein Benibo

Content Writer,

Etu Odi Communication.

 

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The Big Question: Equity or Equality?

The Big Question: Equity or Equality?

Achieving balance is a never-ending journey. When issues on gender balance are discussed, words like “equity” and “equality” are thrown around, hence, the need to understand them as tools for bettering the balance.

  • Equality connotes equal treatment of people, irrespective of gender, social or cultural differences while Equity means the quality of being fair and impartial.
  • Equality advocates for equal quantity of both gender in giving positions and various offers while Equity fights for same access not necessarily for an equal number of gender (quantity) but quality.

The Women in Marketing and Communication Conference/Awards (WIMCA) 2019 held recently, served as a platform to discuss these issues extensively, with top professionals from all works of life sharing their working-life experiences. During one of the panel sessions, Mr. Charles Nnochiri, Head of Marketing, PZ Cussons, when asked about his thought on Equality, noted that the paradigm has shifted, as the “NEED is now key”, when dealing with issues on Equity or Equality. He noted that as the owner of an organization, he wouldn’t build the same number of restrooms for male and female staff, rather he would provide three cubicles for the male and five for the females because their needs differs due to their constitution. With this example, he explained that equality should not be the focus, but equity. In other words, equal number of men and women should not be the priority, rather, both genders should have the same access, the same cut-off marks, and the same salaries for the same jobs.

Mr. Nnochiri further revealed that during a recent assessment conducted in his firm, the only person who got exceptional (grade/ assessment) was a woman who was out on maternity leave but gave her best for the period of time she was around and emerged the best. Imagine if she was denied access because of her pregnancy? What became a win-win for both the organization and the woman, would never have happened if Equity was not applied.

The Big Question: Equity or Equality?

Dr. Ndidi Nnoli – Edozien, Group Chief, Sustainability and Governance, Dangote Industries Ltd, gave an in-depth lecture on- ‘Better the Balance in The Work Place; Equity or Equality’. She described equity as access, and access meaning – to give people equitable resources that will help them grow.

“It means meeting people where they are
No matter what their gender is”.

The Team Spirit
Regardless of the setting we find ourselves, the fight for gender balance is a fight for all, especially by team work, love and support for each other.
This begs the question of how current female leaders are nurturing the next generation of women in their various fields? Research shows that many women are afraid of being mentored by other women. Dr. Nnoli proceeded by advising female leaders to make efforts to teach and mentor the next generation of women in their spheres.
Dr. Nnoli further accentuated the need for women to build and support each other in thriving beyond all odds. Using her experience of growing as the only girl amongst boys, and having to stand as the only woman amongst men at various stages in her career and how these various encounters gave her a better understanding of the male and female structure which can help shape the degree to which a better balance is fundamentally attained.

The Big Question: Equity or Equality?

Etu Odi At WIMCA 2019

She painted a graphic picture in the minds of the audience, of how most games for boys (while growing up) had to do with team work- football, basketball and the likes. For example: a football team would still shake hands and possibly hug their revivals before and after the game. This team spirit tends to grow within the boys till they become men, directly and indirectly. Men are seen watching their favorite sport with their revival team supporters, yet supporting a goal, sharing drinks and signing big business deals on such friendly tables, regardless.
To confirm her illustration, some men in the audience attested to the fact that many business deals were closed at recreational centers and even at the bar.
In contrast to this, Dr. Nnoli pointed out how most games and competitions for girls are more individualistic. For her as a little girl, she was a ballet dancer and also engaged in swimming, which are a few examples of activities and games which had to do with one’s individual ability on the pitch, even when representing a team. These growing up experiences tend to shape how both sexes react to what life throws at them as individuals.

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The consensus reached by the well-seasoned speakers and panelists stressed that, in bettering the balance, we need not talk from only the numerical, social, political or leadership perspective but most especially in terms of ACCESS. For example, access to capital, opportunities and information. A woman who is financially empowered becomes more financially independent.
Therefore, equity should be the focus in creating a better balance in the marketing and communication industry and beyond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eden Odein Benibo

Content Writer,

Etu Odi Communications.

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Mental Health Awareness Among Creatives

Mental Health Awareness Among Creatives

Could creatives be more prone to depression, suicide or any form of mental illness? There is no doubt we live in a world where so many negativities fill the air- the same space creatives draw inspiration.

In placing a benchmark to this question, Faddy Finch, a design thinking mentor and author noted that, “creatives are extra sensitive and can be volatile. The same personality types are found in every sector but not compared to banking, law or hospitality, being measured by your quirks and passion in the arts, rewarded rather than suppressed.”

“They’re able to lift the value of a business by innovating, entertaining

and enriching our lives. Being sensitive, unpredictable and human is their super power.

Making surprising connections and stirring emotions

…with imagination, drive and playfulness, creating things and challenging expectations. We know them as creatives.”

“Creatives are bold but also vulnerable, they have a fearless sense of adventure,

But many suffer from poor mental health.” – Faddy Finch

The Challenge

Undoubtedly, there has been an alarming increase at the rate of suicide in the world today. Taking a more tentative look at this claim, the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that every year, close to 800,000 people take their own lives and there are many more people who make the attempt.

The Connecting Dots:

Creativity, Depression, Anxiety, Suicide.

In 2018, a community of creatives in Australia called ‘Never Not Creative’, carried out a major study on Mental Health and Well Being of the Media, Marketing and Creative Industry. Findings from this study revealed that the creative industry showed high levels of depression, with 61% of the creative industry showing symptoms of depression, compared to 53% in marketing and 46% in media. In general, 39% of the industry have worked more than 4 days while physically or mentally ill in the last 4 weeks.

In 2014, Andreas Fink, a Neuro-scientist, carried out a research at the University of Graz, recruiting creative people as well as people living with schizophrenia. People with schizophrenia are known to have odd behaviors and beliefs.  At the end of the research, it was discovered that the brains of people with schizophrenia and those who were highly creative and original were quite similar.

Also, scientific findings have it that the brains of most creative types particularly the influential and genius have been proven to open up more to external sources and possess greater memory capacity than others, but such a perk does come with its own burdens which include various mental disorders.

From Flashback to Present: Looking through the Tunnel of Time

Mental Health Awareness Among Creatives

 

  • Vincent Van Gogh, one of the world’s greatest artist, cut off his ear after an argument with a friend. He later committed suicide in 1890.
  • Virginia Woolf, one of the most important modernists of the 20th century authors, swam into the middle of a river and drowned herself.
  • At age 30, Sylvia Plath, a budding poet, stuck her head in an oven, while her children slept next door.

This is to mention but a few.

Taking a swift drift to Nigeria, the suicide rate has increased alarmingly, following the massive human consumption of Sniper, an insecticide perceived to be the new ‘means to an end’.

Amongst the many recent suicidal cases, all by the insecticide includes:

  • The death of a Lagos based disc jockey, Seun Omogaji, popularly known as Dj XGee
  • Chukwuemeka Akachi Ugwoke, a poet and final year student of the University of Nsukka (UNN). Information has it that before his death, Akachi had attempted suicide several times as a result of severe depression.
  • The most recent case is the death of another prolific writer and poet, Opeyemi Dara, one of the young minds of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU).

All these deaths had one thing in common – super talented creatives suffering in silence while doing great works

Mental Health Awareness Among Creatives

Warning Causes of Depression Among Creatives

  • Late Night Sleep: This is very common among many creative types such as writers, painters, graphic designers and the likes, who work into the night and the early hours of the morning, as it is perceived that these periods fetch an outburst of imaginative ideas. However, psychologists have shown that the night owl creative lifestyle can impact someone’s mental health in the long run.
  • Repetitive Thinking: Although this can be said to be an essential part of a creative process, prolonged focus on negative thoughts can lead to sadness, anxiety, distress and even feelings of isolation.
  • Increased Stress: Research has shown that as stress hormones are released, they particularly affect areas of the brain key for memory and regulating emotions. Therefore, chronic stress increases the risk of developing depression and anxiety.
  • Substance Abuse: Common in the creative and entertainment industries, these stimulants have been proven to have effects on mental health.
  • Unfulfillment and Frustration: Most creatives are highly sensitive beings. According to Forbes (2018), “when you succeed at creating a result, no matter

what it is, your brain is flooded with dopamine, that feel- good chemical that actually helps motivate you.” The reverse becomes the case when faced with underachievement and surprisingly in some cases, overachievement too.

Balancing our Creativity and Mental Health

A process whereby creatives can balance their art and mental health. This involves “How to Build Happiness with Your Own Hands” addressing the question of how creative work can involve anxiety and others our strong feelings but also provide relief. Barron noted that there are many stages to the creative process; some include a letting go, some a running in. “The trick is to teach yourself to have tolerance for these uncomfortable phases with trust and patience.”

While speaking about his work titled: “IF IMMA BE BIPOLAR, I’D RATHER BE WHERE IT’S COLDER”, Goodwill Mokako, a multi-disciplinary Visual Artist revealed that he was inspired by his struggles, things that affected his joy and victories.

…until you get to the idea that grabs, holds and guides you through…

When you reach that place, agitations and stress decrease, and a more balanced,

positive view ensues. Absorption in a project that interests you can be an antidote for oppressive states of mind.” – Mokako

In other words, sometimes we just have to take a deep breath, take a slow walk hand in hand with our passion and follow what gives us that inner peace and fulfillment from deep within.

Breathe! You Are Not Alone

Mental Health Awareness Among Creatives

Below are two creatives who walked through the valley of mental health challenges and came out with scars that tell their victory stories.

  • Betty Irabor – Nigerian writer, publisher and founder of Genevieve Magazine revealed the chronicles of her battle with depression (which almost led to suicide) in her book titled – Dust to Dew.

“I came to a realization that my getting better was not in anybody’s hands,

not even my Psychiatrist. So, I stopped paying homage to the situation I was in, I stopped celebrating depression…”

“Cut toxicity around you. Anything that affects your mental health,

learn to walk away from it.”

My Beautiful Mind Network is yet another product of Mrs. Irabor’s victory over depression. She revealed that “It is a network of 20 women advocates from different parts of Nigeria to keep the conversation on mental health and depression going and also offer help to people battling with mental health challenges”.

  • Bassey Ikpi – a Nigerian American ex poet, writer, and mental health advocate.

Several years ago, she was diagnosed Bipolar Disorder II. “Something wasn’t right beneath the façade of the confident performer, Bassey’s mental health was a precipitous decline”. This led to a breakdown that resulted in her hospitalization. However, with the support of loved ones, she was able to “take control of her mental health and redirect her energies towards new projects and opportunities.”

Bassey is the founder of the Siwe Project, a mental health organization that centers on Black and Brown people in an effort to spread mental awareness. She is also creator of #NoShameDay, an initiative that attempts to reduce stigma and increase mental health awareness.

A Healthy Working Environment

Ultimately, an effective and stable mental capacity is the selling point for creatives. This is why the importance of mental health in the creative industry cannot be over emphasized, as a healthy working environment is a sure key to productivity.

To this end, at Etu Odi Communications, deliberate efforts are made to constantly build and maintain a tension free work environment where expression is unhindered, little corporate/individual wins (including birthdays) are celebrated and everyone feels like someone beyond positions and portfolios. This has created an atmosphere where ideas flow with ease and team work breeds, yielding a perfect blend of individual uniqueness for collective productivity.

Also, Founder and CEO, Victor Ugo of the Mentally Aware Initiative (MANI) has emphasized on the need for “creating a comfortable environment for open conversations about mental health issues”.

“In these times where suicide rates are rising across the world, we have to now recognize that social media is the new suicide note, and we all have to listen.”

 

Need someone to talk to? Relate with? Or just listen and hear you out in a world full of noise.

Mentally Aware Initiative (MANI)  provides mental health first aid and suicide intervention.

Kindly visit: https://www.mentallyaware.org/about/ for more details.

 

Eden Odein Benibo

Content Writer,

Etu Odi Communications.

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Let us Balance for Better

“Keep going, keep going”, says the woman. “Now, pause a bit. This sounds like a great deal, but it’s glitter, sir. This isn’t gold, trust me on this one.”
“So, what if we lost that account? Better things lie ahead! This has bought us time to fuel our strategy.”
“Come on, keep going. Keep going”, says the woman.

There’s something about today’s woman. Today’s woman is fierce, a goal-getter. She is formidable; works for her own, earns it and rocks it. Today’s woman is feared, and yet bullied; needed and yet picked over. She has the spotlight, and yet, is tactfully shoved in a corner. But does she give up? Well, because she knows she’s all that, she dusts off her duff and aims for her target again.
And yet again.

What is it about a woman though? Why have her on your team?

Intuition is good for business.

Women are naturally heavily gifted with intuition. According to Judith Orloff, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, just like the brain, there are neurotransmitters in the gut that can respond to environmental stimuli and emotions. This serves a woman’s 6th sense. Talk about added advantage!

Women value “We”.

They have an innate ability to manage relationships better. This key attribute helps them easily thrive and encourage teamwork. They can use their listening skills to easily manage and lead teams, making each member of the team feel as important as the next.

– Like a good day at the spa, women are soaked in empathy and optimism.
Handling tough outcomes and having an overall can-do spirit might just be all the positive drive an organisation might need in a day.

Women joggle, joggle, joggle!

A woman is a natural manager and organiser. When it comes to multi-tasking, who better than women? From wifely and motherly duties (a full-time job on its own, by the way), to killing it in her chosen field, and yet having other aspirations and chasing them relentlessly, a woman is the natural definition of well-rounded.

But what challenges does she face? How is she so needed and yet, easily weeded out?

Women, especially the married ones, are easily the first victims of “business decisions”, despite qualifications. Her management skills are suddenly forgotten; her capabilities become underrated. So, what if she’s a wife and/or a mother? She is still a dreamer; a go-getter.

Women generally start their careers to reach the peak of it, but “nature” filters them out of the race. Should women have to pay a price for their commitment to dual responsibility? In certain industries, the ratio of men to women is on a rather conspicuous tilt, in favour of the male gender. Working late (which is rather relative by the way) is a major complaint voiced amongst most career women. This is owing primarily to responsibilities at the home front and also, security as pertains to commuting from work to home. While this is easily a risk faced by both genders (#MenToo), women are the easier and more common preys of the night.

In most Nigerian universities, females are encouraged to take on such professions that are easily affiliated with men, like medicine and engineering. Even at that, when they are out in the real world, they are undermined because of their gender and are seen as incompetent and unreliable. Indeed, a general reorientation is needed.

Where a woman dares contest equality in pay or even in advancement, she is deemed aggressive or emotional. In fact, in some cases, she is described outright as being fuelled by uncontrollable hormones. In the end, the negotiating power, or a lack of it thereof, is one of the areas a woman is so easily faulted, in a defence for this seeming modus operandi in many industries. Women perceived as quiet are most likely that way for a reason, clearly beyond words. Pun not intended. Angela Emuwa, the first female Chairman of Punch Nigeria Limited, advised that women need learn to be confident in their ability.

With this year’s theme for International Women’s day tagged #balanceforbetter, there is clearly a dire need for some loud drumming around the area of gender imbalance; a deliberate amplified series of rimshots, until all on the dancefloor can fully express themselves without crippling remarks of lazy stereotypes. While women might thrive in the entry and intermediate cadres of advertising agencies in Nigeria, the number of men to women in the upper echelon of agency affairs is rather abysmal.

A woman getting up the ladder in the workplace will, without a doubt, be more challenging than if she were a man. Does being a woman cancel out qualifications or a drive for success and accomplishments? Does that equal an incapacity in any way, or incompetence? There is a reason Sinmi Hughes-Obisesan of Leo Burnett is today celebrated as one of the few female Creative directors in the advertising industry. We also acknowledge and celebrate our own, Mrs. Julleanne Oriakhi, wife, mother (of a set twins and triplets), a role model to women and Director, Client Service, Etu Odi Communications. MD/Creative Director, Etu Odi Communications, Uzoma Okoye, has to a large extent, thinned the gender gap, encouraging women to occupy more positions of influence in the agency, and in the ad industry as a whole.

This is the type of empowerment women need, beyond symposia and conferences, on the possibility of making it to the top.

Someday, International Women’s day just might be a day of odes to men, and the society at large, for finally recognising, appreciating and nurturing the entirety of femininity.
Nonetheless;

Dear “Ad Woman”,
You are a boulder.
Stand tall,
…in heels or in sneakers,
because you rock!
This much is true.
Happy International Women’s Day.
…This one’s for you.

Alexandra Onyinye Obienu,
Copywriter at Etu Odi Communications,
lover of Irish potatoes,
white spaces and
the smell of old books.

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