Timilehin Bello | The Innovator 25 Asia Pacific 2018
Innovator 25 EMEA Timilehin Bello

Timilehin Bello   


Media Panache 

“Think wildly, feel free to make your thoughts insane. Break the chain. Don't follow the same way”

In less than two years, Timilehin Bello has established a solid footing in the industry in Nigeria, gathering local thought leaders to his team and proving himself to be one to watch in African PR. Bello’s company, Media Panache Nigeria, handled what is thought to be Africa’s biggest-ever gig by Nigerian singer-songwriter Davido in December 2017, which trended worldwide. Outside the agency, Bello has had a positive impact on Nigerian young people, including launching the "Inspire Youngsters" campaign to educate students on how to use social and digital media.

How do you define innovation?
“Oh my goodness”, “That was dope”, “Creative!”, “Panache!” When I hear these words from the audience, then that's innovation.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
My favourite campaign so far is still the Share a Coke Campaign. It worked in Africa.

Which brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
It's so difficult to mention the brands and agencies who are most innovative because every agency out there is putting their best foot forward. My answer would be all agencies out there who are letting their imaginations run wild, making a difference with every campaign and doing great work.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
In 2015, one of Nigeria's finest lager beers, Star, created the largest bottle tree in the world during the festive season. It was an amazing feeling working with the brand. The conversations on social media and offline got me so pumped and I felt good about the project from start to finish.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation? 
Mark Zuckerberg

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
I do a couple of things when this happens. First, I shut down completely. Then, I ponder on a few good things that excite me, engage in conversation with peers about current happenings in politics and governance and I get pumped up, knowing that the audience/citizens deserves more. Then, I show up fully.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Think wildly, feel free to make your thoughts insane. Break the chain. Don't follow the same way. Be panache!

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job?
I would have been a stand-up comedian and/or a soccer player.

Favourite book/movie/podcast/article that's not related to PR/marketing/business?
This is difficult. I mostly read about marketing/PR and business. My favourite book outside of this world would be Myles Munroe’s “Becoming a Leader.”