911. That unforgettable magic number. That famous three-figure lifeline. That nostalgic date that altered the course of history forever. That perilous event many hate to recall and recall with hate. 911. That bland, tasteless, bloody, yet evergreen digit combo… Pause. But that is about to change. A new Nine-One-One is in the making, and history is at the verge of a new update. A culmination of 48 gruelling weeks of creative incubation, an unveiling of unquantifiable proportions. Some call it a discovery, others call it an unearthing; we call it 911 – The EVOLUTION!
On the 11th of September, 2016, the sun will stop in its tracks as Africa’s premier school of branding churns out its newest set of works and workmen yet again. In its inimitable style, the prestigious Orange Academy will hold its 7th Annual Immersion Ceremony at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel & Resort in Ikeja. This free public event has become a significant melting point for Nigeria’s marketing communications industry. It is a two-in-one carnival of sorts.
First, the Orange Immersion Ceremony is an unveiling of a new generation of branding experts. It is an annual ritual for students that have successfully completed course modules of the academy’s 6-month Integrated Brand Experience (IBX) program. As a precursor to the ceremony, students are assigned with an innovation project and required to develop a creative solution as part of their assessment before classes roundup for the session. Students are given five minutes to present their works that must include: a winning idea, brand development strategy and, an executable go-to-market plan.
The objective is to see the students’ application of all that has been practiced over the course of six months in the development of a truly innovative solution. FinalDefense presentations are adjudged by a panel of Faculty members in the presence of other facilitators and incoming IBXers. At the Immersion ceremony, successful students are awarded with the school’s official scroll, a testament of their journey and experiences at Orange, and are now found worthy to be labeled as ‘Orange Minds’.
The second part of the EVOLUTION is the Art of Positive Thinking Exhibition. Dubbed APT, this is a creative social responsibility initiative by Orange Academy aimed at lending its voice to burning societal issues. Since 2011, the academy has supported the causes of People Living With HIV (PLWH), Violence Against Women, child abuse, pedophilia, (Vesico-Vaginal Fistula (VVF) and so many other societal issues. This year, the artistic exhibition will beam its spotlight on the grappling debacle of Nigeria’s Internally Displaced Persons. Through compelling creative expressions, the academy is set to amplify the plight of the IDPs and what the society can do to stem the ugly tide. Participants will be treated to gripping and fascinating creative campaigns (both print and electronic) at this highly anticipated event.
Right from inception, Orange forged a strong culture of audacity, boldness, openness, play and creativity, and fused them into the fabric of the brand. These values are enshrined in the foundation of the institution, and shared with students, faculty and staff members. This cultural seed has germinated over the years and transformed Orange into a pop-culture phenomenon within advertising and branding circles. Orange’s major products include the immersive experiences it provides its students, and true gems – Orange Minds – who have become the brand’s major influencers boasting over 5,000 active alumni members and annually contributing 8-10% share of the millennial workforce in the marketing communications industry.
Over the past six years (2010-2016), Orange has become the primary recruiting ground for leading advertising agencies looking to swell their ranks with the most talented creative minds in the country. Its sphere of influence is however not limited to ad agencies. Brands have honed in on the action. Marketing managers send innovation briefs directly to Orange to share with its 150+ student teams hoping to get cutting-edge ideas that are not as predictable as the typical advertising campaigns been churn out on the regular by their rooster agencies. The proposed ideas and innovative solutions developed in response to seemingly complex briefs have become a defining characteristic of the Orange brand, and helped to define its positioning in the marketing communications sector.
For us at Orange Academy, the un-marketing rests on the ability to tell compelling stories. Above the line. Below the line. Inside the line. Across the line. With no lines. It’s THIS ONE THING that separates our students from other students of Marketing Communications. We teach and practice the art of compelling storytelling that creates a memorable brand experience.
See you at the EVOLUTION!
Creative Strategist and Storyteller at Afrotourism