#SpotOn With Jide Alade
We are pleased to have an incisive and eccentric brand and marketing specialist in this edition of #SpotOn as he delivers highly intuitive and enlightening nuggets that has sure been helpful in given his journey into the marketing world a much needed support.
Jide Alade who is the AVP, Marketing and Communications, Arik Air lends a remarkable insight to the role Creativity fuelled by passion plays in treading confidently on the unbeaten path.
He is a brilliant strategic thinker who has been able to express his creative prowess on top multinational brands like Standard Bank, MTN Nigeria, Harp, Virgin Nigeria, and many others.
Enjoy the chat but more importantly apply these truths to your life.
Who is Jide Alade in 140 characters?
Jide Alade will like to positively impact the world through creativity, compassion and serving humanity. He is passionate about brands and advertising.
How did growing up affect your career path?
Just so you know, a marketer wasn’t always what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a jet fighter pilot. You know, the guys who travel at Mach 3 and blow bad guys up. How I ended up trading that for a life in marketing can only be the work of evil sprites.
I probably had a rather undistinguished childhood. I was never one of those who were ‘always 1st or 2nd in their class.’ Why be first when you can be 11th? Firsts are always sitting ducks. I don’t like being a duck much. But I loved to play a lot and watched a lot of TV. Lots. My personal theory: you can’t watch so much TV and be dumb. I was interested in knowing stuff. Encyclopedia Britannica and Encyclopedia Americana were very great buddies of mine. I consulted them on a regular basis. I suppose I was also a bit stubborn and rebellious. Curiously, now I think that those traits are important for being a successful marketer: knowledge, focus and a questioning mind. I suspect that I’d always be drawn towards any enterprise that involve creativity.
What facilitated your interest in the creative industry?
I’ve always been enamoured by creativity, particularly writing, acting, painting and music. And I have always enjoyed good advertising right from my wee days. I was always full of ideas, a lot of them rather mischievous. I could always see and hear things (by the way, you’re not necessarily mad if you see and hear things! Visionaries see what doesn’t exist yet!).
I wasn’t aware I was ‘creative’ though. Until loads of people began to tell me that I write beautifully and was always full of ideas, I began to think, “Hmmn, maybe I could make a living off this ability and be filthy rich.” The ‘filthy rich’ part is taking longer than I had imagined!
Can you describe your most challenging and equally most exciting project ever handled?
Sometime in 2008, at the height of the global recession, Standard Bank was one of the few banks on the continent that had any money to lend to investors, businesses and individuals. It was an opportunity to express the bank’s strength and devotion to the progress of Africa and Africans.
We needed to develop a global campaign that would be easy to implement in all markets, relevant for at least 5 years and that would be very distinct. If we weren’t able to hack the campaign, the bank would lose an opportunity for leadership on the continent, and the banks’ business for the agency was at jeopardy of moving to another network. The business at the time represented about 60% of the agency’s billing.
I was part of the global ‘SWAT’ team assembled in Johannesburg to come up with the campaign. Over a 3-month period, we went at the campaign. Coming up with brilliant ideas was one thing. Coming up with ideas that would work in all markets was another. After thousands of hours away from loved ones, hundreds of pizza and Power Horse, we eventually came up with the ‘Moving Forward’ brand campaign. You should still remember the campaign “Let’s get the man with the idea and the man in the suit in the same room” It worked perfectly across all markets and I thought it was unique. I am proud to see that the campaign is still running, 8 years after, although in a modified format of “Let’s Move You Forward.”
What has been your Motivation over the years?
The desire to create something iconic and to prove through my work that there’s lasting gain in taking the unbeaten path.
Your top three most inspiring books would be?
- Ake: The Childhood Years – Wole Soyinka
- Sorrows of Satan – Marie Corelli
- The Bourne Trilogy –Robert Ludlum I guess that’s 6 books!
What are the skill sets you think a lad interested in brand management should possess?
- Have an analytic mind.
- Embrace creativity
Candid advice to today’s crop of youths?
- Pursue your own path. Everyone has a calling. Find yours and live it.
- Be interested in history.
- Read. Not just Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Read book. And be eclectic in your reading.
You can contact Jide Alade