Breaking Cultural Barriers in Authentic Brand Engagement

International brands often stumble as they enter African markets, clinging to ineffective preconceived notions. We explored this in our latest episode with Steve Babaeko, award-winning CEO, Chief Creative Officer, and founder of X3M Ideas. Steve discussed X3M Ideas’ groundbreaking Cannes Lions win—the first for a Nigerian and West African agency. This historic victory is not just a win but a testament to the rising global stature of African creativity.

During the podcast, Steve shared the transformative impact of the win on X3M Ideas and the broader African creative community. The key to their success? A campaign that resonated globally while rooted deeply in local culture, proving that authentic stories have universal appeal.

Steve reflected on the changing landscape of the creative industry and how diversity in the jury room at Cannes has become a catalyst for recognising outstanding work from different cultures and regions.

“The increased diversity among the jurors has allowed more nuanced and culturally rich entries to shine,” Steve noted, emphasising the critical role of varied perspectives at awards. He delved deeper into what set apart their winning campaign, ‘The Soot Life,’ which addressed environmental issues in Nigeria. This campaign stood out for its authentic storytelling and its ability to resonate locally and globally.

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Our podcast audio editing and audio production are done by: Maishe Rakgoale.

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