We met Clara Chinwe Okoro in Cannes during the Lions Awards Festival.
“I’m from Nigeria,” she said. “I love the landscapes, the untouched virgin spaces and the almost invincible way of life that defines my country.” We were having a coffee at the Mocca, opposite the Palais des Festivals when she said: “If you are looking for a true definition of the word ‘chaos’, you need look no further than the way we live. But the chaos has steeled my spirit.”
As to our question what she was doing at an advertising festival in Cannes, she answered: “I’m the founder of a company called Brandworld Media, which was set up to preach the gospel of branding to Africa. I am here to listen to and interview people with an interesting vision on branding. I can then share those stories back home with my audience.”
“Interesting,” I said. “What was your vision on brands and branding when you set up Brandworld Media?”
“My belief was that brands were the new wealth creator in any modern economy and my assignment was to use the media as a tool for bringing prosperity to Africa. Twelve years on and the dream is still soaring, despite the scars and sometimes even nightmares.
“Actually, speaking of the people I am interviewing,” Clara continued, “why don’t I interview you for Brandworld Media here in Cannes. When you come to Nigeria for your project Around the World in 80 Brands, you can then interview me for your book.”
“That sounds like a plan,” I said.
And here we are, in Lagos, Nigeria, six weeks after our first meeting in Cannes. The meeting is set on the campus of the University of Lagos, bordering the Lagoon. “I love this place,” Clara says. “It’s like an oasis in this huge city. I come here quite often and just sit by the waterfront overlooking the lagoon.” We look at the large surface of water, which is cut in half by the Third Mainland Bridge that connects the mainland to Victoria Island, aka VI.
“Another reason why I like it here is being in the presence of young people. Not too long ago I started ICE, a platform for trend forecasting on how youths consume brands.”
“Interesting,” I say. “What does ICE stand for? I’m curious to know what this word inspires in a tropical country.”
Clara laughs: “ICE is an acronym for Intelligence, Culture and Evolution,” she says. “Through ICE Magazine our role is to provide the market intelligence for brands on one side and define and safeguard the cultural context on the other.
“I am determined to use the ICE medium to transform the thinking process of the Nigerian youth,” Clara continues. “I want them to understand that the power to create the future they desire is theirs.”
“That’s cool,” I say. “What’s cooler than cool?” Clara asks. “ICE cool!” we say at the same time.
© 2012 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands
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Tags: Around the World in 80 Brands, Around the World, 80 Brands, Around the World in 80 days, CoolBrands Storytelling, Storytelling, CoolBrands, cool storytelling, third party storytelling, creating talk value, storytelling, clara chinwe okoro, meeting clara chinwe okoro, clara, chinwe okoro, okoro, meeting ICE, ICE, ICE magazine, ICE berg party, ICE berg, brandworld, brandworld tv, meeting brandworld, Nigeria, lagos, meeting brandworld media, brandworld media,19 August,2012