As a foremost Digital Agency in Nigeria, Interactive, unlike most start-ups did not start with baby steps. Being a subsidiary of one of the oldest advertising agencies in Nigeria, Centrespread, it enjoyed valuable support from its parent company. This meant getting briefs from Brands that didn’t want to have to deal with a separate Agency for their digital needs and pass these through the Centrespread Group who outsource to us.
So, from inception in 2014, we had popularly known brands in our portfolio both local and international from the financial to the telecoms, fashion, and even individuals in politics. Based on our excellent delivery, we started to attract many more reputable clients such that in our 1st year, we successfully served 12 brands. It is interesting to note that our highest-grossing client at the time was L’Oreal with almost N30million in revenue. We managed two of their brands, Dark & Lovely and Maybelline, a relationship which has not only stood the test of time but still growing in leaps and bounds almost, 10 years after. Additional brands in our portfolio were Devyani (KFC), MoneyGram, Heritage Bank, Ecobank, No Surprises, OANDO, MFA, Airtel, Keystone Bank, SAVE & Buy, and some political figures.
In 2015, Our total number of clients reduced by 9 and we experienced a significant dip in our revenue. This could be attributed to the uncertainties around the elections amongst other factors. While we still had Dark & Lovely and Maybelline (L’Oreal), Heritage Bank, and Keystone Bank, we added KLM/Air France, MTN, Alomo bitters (Kasapreko), and some local brands like LUFODO, EZSlim (Herbal Pro) and MOTM. Regrettably, Devyani (KFC) was one of the brands that exited but thankfully, it was temporary as they came back on board in 2018 and have remained a valuable partner to date.
Our portfolio witnessed a gradual expansion in 2016. We had the accounts of 15 brands, 7 of which were retained from previous year(s). New accounts included Heinz (Complan), Call Health, QUICKLOTTO, AIRTEL And Colgate-Palmolive. We, however, did not retain the account of Heritage Bank, despite our best efforts. Our revenue was still in recovery as an aftermath of the elections. Even though we grossed lower than 2015, we had high hopes for 2017 and thankfully, we were not disappointed.
2017 had to be our second-best year to date. While we had only 11 brands in our portfolio, Midwestern Oil and the FG (VAIDS) accounted for more than half of the revenue. These were 2 accounts that stretched the Agency team and led to a significant expansion of our workforce. It involved several trips out of town and collaboration with vendors and contractors in the 2 years during which we managed the accounts. New additions included Godrej and NBA,
The return of Devyani (KFC) has to be one of the highlights of 2018. L’Oreal also expanded the number of their brands in our portfolio to 3 with MIZANI. GSK, American Honey, Sproxil, and the Lagos State Government became competitive accounts won in the year leaving us with about 9 brands in our portfolio. It was also the year VAIDS ended.
We experienced another hit in 2019 as a result of the elections. Brands cut their budget significantly and some exited outright. But the year saw the return of Moneygram and the acquisition of new accounts such as ARCSKILL and JAIZ Bank. Total portfolio reduced by one and revenue by almost 25%. But then, we were hopeful as usual of a post-election recovery.
A year we won’t forget in a hurry is 2020 when the whole world literally shut down! In retrospect, we had no inkling of how this sudden change might affect us but then, we were determined to forge ahead despite the uncertainties. Sadly, most businesses did not fare very well but we were one of the fortunate ones. We had a total of 12 brands in our portfolio and our revenue remained largely unaffected. We welcomed brands like Arthur Stevens, Cloud Exchange, IO Furniture, Evercare & Greenwood (Hill + Knowlton), Cambridge, DBN, Coronation Bank, Julius Berger, and Dark & Lovely Africa. However, Arcskill, Moneygram, American Honey, and L’Oreal (Mizani) moved on. Kudos to the team for the amazing work done during this period. Most of the brands were quite demanding but the team never dropped the ball. We hired remotely and it didn’t affect team relationships despite the lack of physical meetings. It was the year we were at our most creative, considering we had no manual to navigate our new normal.
We got used to remote working as the world gradually became used to the change in work. With 19 brands in our portfolio, swelled by new additions such as Distell, Dark & Lovely South Africa, Patiti, A & P Foods, BET Bonanza, Simplifi, Vroom, Vetifly, AFP, CAC, and Shara Inc. Some brands moved on due to budget constraints and others, having achieved their Marketing objectives. In 2021, our revenue increased marginally, the future looked bright and we considered expanding the team.
To date, 2022 stands out as our best-performing year since inception. Some of our high-budget accounts renewed their contracts with a significant increase in their budgets. We also added Shortlet Rentals, Chi, Chekker and Kampioen. Of the 16 accounts in our portfolio, 11 of them were returning clients. Our revenue has increased significantly, over 45% more than our previous best performance. Our team has been expanded and equipped to accommodate the increased demands. Our clients are happy and so are we.
We will continue to strive to exceed all of our clients’ expectations as well as ours. We are very excited about the future. While this is another election year, we are quite positive about ending the year on a most productive note irrespective. This is our third election year since inception and we have learned from our experiences. We have been tried and tested and are now able to take advantage of the elements rather than be victims.
This is 2023 and we have the confidence of our clients, some of whom have been with us since inception such as L’Oreal and Devyani (KFC) as well as our return customers such as BET Bonanza, A&P Foods (Haansbor), DBN, Coronation bank and several other brands that we have been fortunate to serve through Centrespread, our parent company. Indeed, the future is bright and we’ve got our sunglasses on!