…As BJAN Names Babaeko ‘Practitioner of the Year’
As 2023 moves towards the end, Nigeria’s leading creative hub, X3M Ideas and its Group Chief Executive Officer, Steve Babaeko, have consolidated their exploits in the year with the ‘African Agency of the Year’ and ‘African Personality of the Year’ respectively at the African Cristal Awards held in Casablanca, Morrocco on the 14th of December, 2023.
The African Cristal Festival is an award designed to reward the best advertising campaigns created and broadcasted over the African continent on any media. According to the organisers, the objective of the festival is to promote the African advertising creativity and showcase a variety of international and regional work from the industry through the meeting of agencies and advertisers in a mixed jury.
Reacting to the various recognitions, Babaeko said “I’m here to humbly accept the honour by the African Cristal Awards for choosing me as the African Personality of the Year. I’m truly humbled and grateful I want to assure the entire world that my passion for Africa will never wane. We’ll continue to represent Africa all over the world and we will continue to fly the flag for Africa wherever we go.
“And as far as the advertising industry is concerned, we will continue to deliver the best practice and business all over Africa. Thanks once again for this award.”
In a related development, the Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN), a group of media specialists who cover the entire marketing communication industry in Nigeria, has also named Babaeko as the ‘Practitioner of the Year’ at its 11th Annual Brands & Marketing Conference and Awards, held in Lagos at the weekend.
Speaking on why and how Babaeko won the category, the Chairman of the Association, Clara Okoro, who addressed a crème de la crème of players in the corporate Nigeria, Marketing Communications and Media, said the jurors who did a painstaking analysis of reports on agencies and accomplishments of various practitioners in Nigeria in the year under review, could not but unanimous in voting Babaeko, for achieveing the unusual in the year and put Nigeria on the world map.
She said, “While appreciating our jurors for their painstaking work that ran into months of deliberations and assessment, I cannot agree less that Babaeko stands tall, not only in Nigeria but globally. Just recently, after many attempts by various Nigerian agencies, Mr. Babaeko agency brought the most recognized international award -the Cannes Award to Nigeria. It will interest you all that the award institution has been operating for 70 years without considering any Nigeria’s creative firm worthy of the award but Babaeko and his team made it happen in 2023. This is a milestone that cannot be overemphasized. On this note, I congratulate this creative czar and his team and wish them a more robust 2024,”
Earlier this year, X3M Ideas emerged the biggest winner at the Pitcher Awards 2023. With an impressive 19 of its 21 entries shortlisted, the agency won a total of 18 awards, including three Grand Prix and five Gold awards.
The agency also won two Grand Prix awards in the Soot Life Expectancy campaign. Another Grand Prix award was won in the Package Design category with Pernod Ricard’s blended Irish whiskey, Jameson.
X3M Ideas, in addition, received the most significant award of the night, “Advertising Agency of the Year”, based on the total number of points accumulated from all entries. The agency beat other competitors like Dentsu, Mediareach OMD, Hill + Knowlton Strategies, Noah’s Ark, PHD Media, Insight Publicis and TBWA Concept, from countries across the African continent, including Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, South Africa, and Mauritius.
Still within the year, the agency also emerged top winner at this year’s Lagos Advertising and Ideas Festival, LAIF with 15 gold, 20 silver and 7 gold, earning a total of 276 points.
The trailblazing advertising agency, X3M Ideas also made Nigeria and Africa proud again by winning 1 Grand Prix, 1 Gold, and 2 Silver awards at the third edition of the highly respected Luum Award