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Trends in Advertising and Cultures in Nigeria


Rotimi Williams Olatunji

Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos, NG
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This paper tracks the evolution of Advertising in Africa and especially Nigeria. It covers advertising’s journey across African culture and how this negates the widely held belief that advertising began with the establishment of western agencies in the continent. Using a historical review of literature, the paper examines the timelines of communication forms within the context of the evolution and development of advertising. The town crier was the most popular adverting tool and is still being used in the form of hawkers calling out their wares today. This example of oral advertising which has existed in Nigeria long before Western influence, confirms that it has survived alongside the more traditional and foreign but now integrated forms of advertising. It transitioned into the introduction of classified ads with the first newspaper in 1859 – Iwe Iroyin fun awon Yoruba ati Egba” and became recognised with the establishment of the West African Publicity Company in Nigeria in 1928, which went on to become Lintas, one of the major advertising agencies due to the promulgation of the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion (Indigenisation Decree of 1972), which in Nigeria, prevented direct foreign ownership of advertising agencies amongst other ventures. As a result more agencies sprung up to work the opportunities and it led to the establishment of regulatory agencies like the Association of Advertising Practitioners of Nigeria in 1973. Creativity has been the main factor for the continuous survival of the industry mentioning great copywriters and business men like Ogilvy, Leo Burnett and Mukoro a veteran who started his career in broadcasting. His ability [and that of other writers] to position consumers in the brand story has accounted for the success of the industry as it employs advertainment to continually push the boundaries of what is possible. Today, the industry which is worth billions employs celebrity advertising to get the attention of its consumers. The industry has come a long way and adverts like Guinness’s “My friend Udeme is a Great man” or Indomie’s “Mama you too good o – Indomie” or even 7up’s “Fido Dido” or Miranda’s “Three Orange Men” will not be forgotten.

How to Cite: Olatunji, R.W., 2018. Trends in Advertising and Cultures in Nigeria. Communication Cultures in Africa, 1(1). DOI:
Published on 07 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed


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