Mike Miller, Executive Creative Director of X3M Ideas
X3M Ideas was named the Independent Agency of the Year and the African Agency of the year at the Luum Awards, in Switzerland, earlier this month. Here is a direct question for you: How did you do it? And I’m not just asking about how you won the trophies ….
It all starts with a vision, our founder and CEO, Steve Babaeko, set his sights on the agency becoming a top ten global agency when he opened for business in 2012, and coming from a creative copywriter background was well aware of how award-winning work can change businesses for the better.
Then you need to add the right people, a team that shares your vision, and knows how to implement it. And finally, the Naija (Nigerian) spirit; Nigerians are tenacious, they never give up, no matter how many times they get knocked down. Mix all that together, with a strong work ethic, and with a focus on ideas – and you cannot help but win.
How does one avoid falling into a comfort zone after being named “the best”?
Sitting back and resting on our laurels isn’t our style, winning is recognition that what we are doing is going in the right direction, and we need to do more of the same (but better). We also learn from these wins that if we change this, tweak that, then we can reach even higher goals.
We have to ask you the story behind X3M, and its name?
When starting the agency, Steve was looking for a name that would influence the work we would produce on a daily basis, and be something the agency was measured by. So, by naming the company X3M ideas (pronounced ‘extreme’ ideas) it became a daily check on whether the idea that was about to be presented was extreme enough, if had we dug deep enough, and ‘gone to extremes’ to find it.
How can Africa become a world power in advertising over the next couple years?
I can’t speak for all countries in Africa, but Nigeria has some of the smartest and best creative minds on the continent when it comes to music, fashion, and tech, so it only makes sense that our advertising will follow suit.
How would you explain the identity that makes African creativity unique?
The uniqueness of African creativity is found in their rich history of storytelling, their colorful culture, and their ability to apply the same ‘drive to survive’ in everything they do.