What’s the reason work from this region isn’t usually as well crafted and purposeful as work from elsewhere? Creatives enter the profession with an unbridled passion. That’s what drives them. They want to do new things, Change the face of advertising, change the world. There are all these awesome ideas bubbling around in their heads. They want to express those ideas in ways that have never been seen before.
But then, we’re hit with a wall. Actually, it slams us in the face. The wall could be many things. A CD who cant see beyond his own idea and what he wants/his ego, an AE who’s too scared to defend a brilliant idea, Risk averse clients who regard the phrase “fresh new thinking” as a metaphor for “oh my, there goes the brand essence and my job”. [Btw, if your “brand essence” was working so magnificently, you wouldn’t be looking for any new ideas… just something to chew on.]
So creatives lock their passion away, go back into the proverbial Box, crouch in it and shut it. It’s just easier to churn out what the client considers creative as opposed to unleashing the freedom of expression they yearn to release upon the world. “You’re getting paid, right? all’s well.”
But once in a while, we wish we were in a place that wasn’t so restricted in terms of understanding ideas, in terms of embracing fresh thought. A place where clients held hands with their creative agency and jumped off a creative cliff – to soar up over mediocrity into the skies above. To glide over the status quo. Ideas that changed the world never came from restricted thought.
A good idea, is a good idea, is a good idea, no matter where it comes from. But a good idea is also only a good idea if the minds around it are open enough to let it breathe and flourish. Similarly, a good creative, is a good creative, is a good creative, provided they’re in a place where their ideas are allowed to breathe and flourish. It’s not rocket science.
And to buttress that point, i’m going to show work on this blog by African creatives who’ve managed to escape the Box and Wall and are allowing their talent to flourish in places where it actually has a chance. And if you’re African, and you see this work and you love it, i guess we’ll also have succeeded in crushing the stupid notion that “the target audience will not get it.”
And it’s not just going to be work in advertising, but we’ll start there. Here’s something from one of the coolest people i know. I saw his frustration many times when the wall prevented him from fully unleashing himself.[Did i mention he’d managed to win multiple awards even though he was crouching in the Box?]
So he’s done other things to help soothe that frustration. And now that he’s up and gone to the US to acquire even more knowledge, only heaven knows what to expect from him in a year.
Meet Kofi Opoku. And meet his craft.
Say Hi. Follow him on Twitter: @kofi_opoku
Update: His sanitation work just won best print in its category. See here: