Grand Jury Confidential: Steve Babaeko

New York, NY | September 26, 2017

Grand Jury Confidential: CEO & Chief Creative Officer, X3M Ideas, Nigeria

New York Festivals award-winning Grand Jury carefully evaluate all of NYF’s entries and determine which campaigns will move on to the medal round to be judged by NYF’s Executive Jury. With over 400+ jury members from 75 countries around the globe, NYF’s Grand Jury is recognized as one of the most diverse juries in the industry.

It’s no easy task selecting the World’s Best takes experience, brilliant creative chops, and dedication to their craft. 2016 Grand Jury member Steve Babaeko is CEO & Chief Creative Officer for X3M Ideas, Nigeria. He is a writer, consumer behaviour analyst, brand development expert and motivational speaker with over 20 years experience in building brands across industries.

Keep reading to find out more about Steve including his thoughts on judging, technology, the agency client relationship, his favorite music album of all time and much more.

On Judging:

NYF: What did you learn this year from judging and what will you bring back to your creative team?

Steve Babaeko: I learned from this year’s judging that a lot of creative and impactful advertising is still being done world over. I also clearly see how technology is helping humanity to solve some of the most difficult challenges facing mankind today. In all, I shall be taking back to our creative team lots of learning, most important of which to never stop pushing till we find that stand-out idea that can make the difference.

NYF: Is the work more creative today or merely driven by technology?

Steve Babaeko: My opinion is that we tend to split hairs comparing work today with those of the past. Truth is, advertising work is created for and is mostly influenced by social/cultural context rooted within time and era. The reality of today is that technology rules everything we do, thus the inevitability of creatives being so tech driven. Today just as we had in years gone by, you still have great creative work and terrible ones.

On advertising:

NYF: There’s been a whisper as of late about clients/brands creating in house departments to create their advertising, how do you think this will affect the industry with regard to creativity in communications?

Steve Babaeko: Regarding clients going for the in-house-agency option: I don’t believe that’s a brilliant choice. Firstly I think it is a major distraction for the clients, instead of focusing on the core of their essence which is to create great products they now get sucked into the daily hassle of running an ad agency. Secondly, creativity suffers because just like most agencies may not become great manufacturers of products, most clients are not outstanding at running ad agencies.

NYF: What philosophy drives your career?

Steve Babaeko: The philosophy that drives my career: If you work very hard at creating differentiation you shall be different.

On life:

NYF: What’s the one smartphone app you couldn’t live without?

Steve Babaeko: The one smartphone app that I can’t do without is Google Maps. I travel a lot, with the app it’s like having a tour guide on call round the clock.

NYF: Favorite music album of all time?

Steve Babaeko: My favourite album of all times is; Fela’s Beasts of No Nation.