A ‘foolish joke’ that started in 1980 where a young Biodun Shobanjo ditched a high paying job to embark on a journey with a capital of N128000, a debt of N104000 and a business worth N15000, alongside 18 people, has today become a multibillion-naira business.
The business, Insight Communications, a member of the Publicis Groupe and of Insight Redefini, yesterday formally announced its 40th Anniversary, its vision at a media parley organized at the company’s office in G.R.A, Ikeja.
Fondly referred to as Nigeria’s advertising university, the company clocked 40 on January 2, 2020. It has over the years received national and international acclaim for exceptional work done with major brands such as Seven-Up Bottling Company (SBC), Pepsico, Nigerian Breweries, Dufil Prima, Friesland Camprina, First City Monument Bank (FMCB), Nestle Nigeria, Visa, amongst others. It has also been associated with topmost creative thinking, launching some of the most viral campaigns such as Miranda’s 3 Orange men, Pepsi Long Throat Bottle, Nestle Milo’s clap, Peak Milk’s Milk at its Peak, and Bank PHB’s Cars Will Walk on Water.
On the milestone, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ken Onyeali Ikpe noted that “We are celebrating 40 years of the audacity of one man who took the decision to weave in the spirit of never-ending thinking and the character trait of disruption into the fabric of the organization. We are celebrating determination, innovation, dynamic business modules and reward for tenacity.”
In the view to provide clarity on its efforts to ensure relevance and sustained growth, Dr. Ken clarified that the strategy has always rested on four timeless pillars which seeks to focus on product creation, quality delivery, speed to market and return on investment. “Our transformational vision which has been in operation for 3 years now, is to de-emphasize downstream thinking, and elevate midstream refinery, and design thinking, which would further propel us to our long-term plans to operate in the upstream, where decisions on major business trajectories are made”.
He went further to say that “it is very important to note that in this ever-evolving industry, a company that does not build or rebuild for the times will go extinct. This simple insight is what has driven us to consistently evaluate and transform our strategy every decade, and has indeed led to our exponential growth and sustained market share.”
Over the past four decades, Insight has led through various business climates and has so far birthed six other communications companies – All Seasons Zenith, Quadrant MSL, Starcom Media Perspective, Leo Burnett, Optimum Exposures and The Creative Counsel.
To celebrate Insight at 40, a 360-campaign will be fully launched with the theme #StillFoolish – which is a celebration of the idea that every single groundbreaking invention was termed foolish when it was first pitched. Explaining the concept, the Creative Director, Insight Communications, Chuka Obi gave different scenarios in history where then inventors and innovators who were termed foolish are now icons of pioneering a better way of life. In furtherance to this, Chuka confirmed that since Insight’s ever learning culture seeks to drive all actions, the goal to remain foolish, audacious and disruptive takes centre stage.
“40 years ago, our Chairman and Founder, Mr. Biodun Shobanjo, left his paid employment to start an advertising agency in Nigeria with 18 people and no money to pay salaries, a move that was labelled ‘foolish’ by many. Today, that vision is now and will still remain one of the leading communications companies, projecting the best of Nigeria to the world.”
Brimming with optimism, he said “As an organization, we look forward to the next 40 years. We hope you all will be a part of this journey as we celebrate the next 40 years of foolish genius.”