Sam Agbi-Ojie is the Chairman of Advertising Practitioners Association Abuja Chapter, APAAC. A graduate of English Drama from the famous Amodu Bello University, Agbe has a Diploma in Public Relation and Advertisement, Masters in Media arts from the University of Abuja. He is the currently the Deputy Director and Personal Assistant to the Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture. Abuja, Federal Capital Territory. He speaks with SECURITY MONITOR’s Wale Abideen and Shola Akinyele in Abuja recently where he opines that advertisers mirror the society and present it in different dimensions
WITH YOUR EXPERIENCE IN ARTS AND CULTURE, HOW WOULD YOU RATE THE NIGERIAN FILMS INDUSTRY?
I think Nigeria films industry is doing well irrespective of their short coming; I believe actors and actresses in the industry are trying their best. It’s not a crime to start small but they shouldn’t relent to put more effort. Nigeria films industry had a very humble back ground and if you look at the challenges they have, within a period they involve they are trying to improve and as they are growing they will begin to perfect it.
SOMETIMES THE ADVERTISERS DO EXAGGERATE; THEY GO BEYOND THE QUALITY OF THE PRODUCT THEY ARE ADVERTISING. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT OR ITS NORMAL IN THE SECTOR?
There is no advertiser that exaggerates. I think if there is anything people called exaggeration that must be the creativity and professional prowess put into the job. It’s not exaggeration. It’s a way of presenting a product in a way that people see it from different dimension because some people who does not have critical eye can always see a products from one angle. The advertisers want you to see it from another angle. That is the process of creativities. If you look at the slogan the different is clear by 7UP, many people may not be able to identify the difference until the advertiser who brought two different bottles to actually differentiate the difference. So, what am trying to say is that some people call it exaggeration but we call it creativity and the power behind such mind is what stands advertising out as a very unique profession.
WHAT IS THE AIM OF ADVERTISING PRACTITIONER ASSOCIATION?
APAC is an association that brings together all the advertisers’ practitioners that resident in Abuja or in the North central. It is also a forum that makes the practitioners identify themselves, to come together and harness all their resources potentials for the betterment of all. All of us are from different sectorial group; we have some who are from media outdoor, client services and public sectors. The association is just to interact and not a pressure group or political association. It is a forum where people come together to share their idea and see how they can be useful to each other.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU HAVE SINCE YOU BECAME THE CHAIRMAN?
The challenges I been have experiencing is the ability of the people to come together because Abuja is a very busy town. People are busy with so many things, so for us to bring them together is a great challenge
Furthermore, if will call for a meeting ordinarily we will be expecting a large number of people, but most meetings you will see few members present and the reason is not that they are not interested because when we do our annual diner you will see all halls filed up. And it’s not that they are not aware of the meetings, but is the nature of human being. Another challenge we are facing is challenge of patronage and collaboration. We need the support of corporate organizations, government agencies and notable individuals. We are contributing money to support the association when it comes to financial issue. We forward appeals to some organizations to identify us but few of them turn up.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE SOCIETY WILL BENEFIT FROM YOUR ORGANISATION?
A lot, we co-exist in the society; advertising is a very creative profession and since we established this forum we have being having diners, lectures and engaged in many social activities. Moreover, most of these programs am talking about are platforms of advertising for government. Both the society and their leaders need advertisement. In fact a good government must advertise it policies, programs and achievement to the people. There is no government that doesn’t need to sell an idea. So my point is that government should also be able to borrow a leaf from advertising. This is because they need to sell their idea to the people. Most of the time when government policies are not working which means it’s not well package. But there may be one or two things that go wrong, one of such might be the target of people and does the government message get to the rightful people. Every message has target audience and the mode of communication will be differing. The way I will pass message to a man in the village is not the same way to reach urban people. There are some people in the village who do not have television set, so the message pattern must be different and the use of the medium well understand to them must be studied.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO YOUR MEMBER?
My advice to them is that; they should come together and develop a team spirit.