LOMA Awards: Experts Advocate Greater Exploration of AI In Marketing

Leading experts in the field of marketing and technology have emphasized that the transformational impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an enduring development, touching every sector, including the dynamic Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising landscape.

Encouraging professionals to seize the wealth of opportunities presented by AI, the experts have urged marketers, particularly those in the OOH sector, to adapt and harness AI to their advantage.

This call to action was made during the inaugural Location Marketing Awards (LOMA) held at the prestigious Marriott Hotel, G.R.A, Ikeja, Lagos, this past weekend. Exploring the event’s theme, “Pioneering the OOH Revolution: Exploring Artificial Intelligence and Innovative Technology,” they ventured deep into the world of Artificial Intelligence, shedding light on its rapid ascendancy and profound influence across diverse industries.

The focal point of discussion centered on AI’s significance and its instrumental role in elevating the roles of professionals within the advertising ecosystem.

These discussions emphasized that the advertising industry is evolving in tandem with AI’s transformative impact on society, making it clear that AI is no longer a distant concept but a current reality.

The experts underlined the need for marketing professionals to embrace and leverage AI technologies to stay competitive in this rapidly changing landscape.

Experts who spoke as panelists at the event include Nkasiobi Chukwu – Wakati Media, an AI pacetter and Producer of First African Al Power Music Album; Orakwe John-Al Programs/Digital Transformation Lead Facilitator, Applied Al for Business Leaders; Miguel Castanon, Business Development Director, EMEA, BroadSign and Rilwan Ajiferuke, General Manager, Plural Media & Technologies Ltd.

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The vent boasted industry leaders and key stakeholders including Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo,  Director-General of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), who was represented by the Senior Corporate Affairs Executive of ARCON, Winifred Akpan; Dr. Idorenyen Enang, President of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN); Mr. Emmanuel Ajufo, President of the Out-of-Home Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN); Mr. Femi Adelusi, President of Media Independent Practitioners  Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), among other distinguished guests and international delegates from four continents.

Kingsley Onwukaeme, the convener of the Location Marketing Awards (LOMA), opened the event by reflecting on the remarkable evolution of the advertising industry. He noted, “We have transitioned from posters to billboards, transit formats, iconic wraps, and bespoke structures, witnessing the digital boom, and now embracing location and audience marketing in such a short span of time.

“The journey has not been without its challenges; our resolve has been tested, and our ranks have been attacked. However, we have consistently played a pivotal role in shaping consumer behaviors, creating iconic campaigns, and connecting brands to relevant audiences.”

Mr. Onwukaeme continued to acknowledge the significant challenges faced by the industry, including harsh economic conditions, low client patronage, unfavorable credit terms, multiple taxation, insecurity, scarce human resources, and market proliferation.

“Despite these formidable obstacles, he commended the resilience and innovative spirit of industry professionals, emphasizing that they have weathered the storm while proudly nurturing an industry they can call their own.

He added, “Tonight, we have gathered here to recognize and celebrate the outstanding achievements of stakeholders who have not only embraced the challenges of the ever-evolving media landscape but have also demonstrated unparalleled excellence.”

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In a call to action, Mr. Onwukaeme highlighted the changing landscape of the OOH industry in Nigeria, emphasizing the need for improved quality of services to instill client confidence and set a standard for newcomers to drive efficiency and professionalism within the space.

Highlights of the event was  agencies, organisations, brands and individuals as winners who had gone through various stages that included a call for nomination, voting and collation of results that was closely monitored by Mazaars in Nigeria as well as the input of an impartial panel of jury. Biggest winners for the night included New Crystals Communications, JC Decaux, MediaReachOMD, Optimum Exposures, Cueball Communications, Eye Kontact, among others.

Other winners include Johnnie Walker (OOH Brand of the year, and Heineken, Nigeria Breweries, Frieslandcampina Wamco, MTN, SevenUp Bottling Company, Guinness, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Dufil, Unilever, Nestle, Cadbury and Promasidor who were all honoured with the Legendary OOH Advertisers award.

The award criteria cut across recognition for OOH Legend (Hall of Fame), Longest Standing & Functional Structure, Most Iconic Billboard of the Decade, Legendary OOH Advertiser as well as OOH Operations Personalities, OOH Sales Personalities, OOH Agency Personalities and several others for corporates and individuals.

Mr. Adekunle Adeshina (Invent Media), the late Mr. Orife Moses (Outreach Media) and Mr. Robert Oji (Rocana ltd) were all inducted into the prestigious LOMA hall of fame, while a posthumous award as the Most Influential Personality In Media Advertising was conferred on the late Tolulope Ogunkoya of MediareachOMD.

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