Mrs Grace Adjo Andoh: Insists on high standards in advertising sector

BY: Samuel K. Obour

Mr and Mrs Andoh and their children, Julian (back row left), Jude (left) and Jason (right)One young woman who is fast establishing herself as one of the ambitious advertisers with an enviable client base, whose desire is to make a huge impact on the advertising industry is Mrs Grace Adjo Andoh, nee Gbadam, the  Managing Director of Art Excel, based in Accra. 

Art Excel is a promising advertising agency which offers a niche service to its clients ensuring that they enjoy quality, excellent service and on-time delivery of work.

Mrs Andoh’s pride is the large number of professionals working under her, providing services in branding, graphic design, signages of all shapes and sizes, media buying and general advertising.

According to Mrs Andoh “it is by God’s faithfulness that Art Excel has gained the confidence of its clients, 70 per cent of which are international and multi-national clients.

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“I enjoy my work very much and drive it with the passion it deserves. All I do is to offer excellent professional service that meet the needs of my clients. There are thousands of graphic designers, but what sets me apart, is my creativity, flexibility, reliability and dependability. We deliver pure excellence! Excellent work, deliver on time”, Mrs Andoh said.

Mrs Andoh, in a chat with The Mirror insists that “I have maintained delivering of quality work and meeting deadlines, and that is what my clients like. Being available whenever they need me, and providing the required service with excellence. My clients enjoy the personal touch I add to their work”.

Mrs Andoh prides herself as someone who leads a team of players with “creative minds, delivering excellence”.

She however complains of something she abhors and says “ What I’m not happy about in advertising, is, when I see a billboard or banner with lots of tiny words that no one can read. It makes me sad, and I complain. This is a big mistake and a waste of the client’s money. Advertisers must remember that you can hardly get someone who is driving to stop and read your advert before moving on. It is important to cut to the chase. “Less is more” That way, your target gets the message as fast as they drive.

Early childhood and education

Also known in some circles as “Amazing Grace”, Mrs Andoh was born into a large family on March 2, 1970, at Komenda where her father, Mr Lawrence Gbadam, was working with the then Ghana Sugar Estate Limited (GHASEL) and Mrs Eunice Mensah-Onumah, a businesswoman who hails from Komenda-Dominase in the Western Region.

Mrs Andoh started school at the Estate Primary School in Asutuare, and passed her Common Entrance Examination successfully and enrolled at Aggrey Memorial Senior High School in Cape Coast, between 1982 and 1989 where she sat for the GCE Ordinary and Advanced levels. While at Aggrey Memorial, Mrs Andoh was the Assistant Girls’ Prefect.

After her sixth form course, Mrs Andoh did her National Service at Gomoa Assin in the Central Region, where she taught French and English in the junior high school. 

While serving at Gomoa Assin, Mrs Andoh and six other National Service persons organised and went to a couple of nearby villages to educate the community members on the prevention of bilharzia, which had been a major problem in the area. 

The residents only source of water was a stream, in which they washed their clothes and did all sorts of “things” as well as drunk from it. The team voluntarily educated the community members on how to boil water before drinking and cooking and also introduced them to the use of “alorm” to sanitise their water.

Later, Mrs Andoh entered the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in 1990, where she studied Art and specialised in Graphic Design, coming out with a Bachelor of Arts degree (Hons) in 1994.

While at the university, Mrs Andoh entered the “African Beauty Queen” pageant and won in 1993. It was at this point that the very shy Mrs Andoh overcame her shyness.

After university, Mrs Andoh again did her National Service at the National Commission on Culture, Annex at Kawukudi, a suburb of Accra, where she taught the children Art, batik making and painting.

Mrs Andoh went back to school after the service to study for her Masters degree at the University of Ghana Business School and completed with an EMBA in Marketing.

Work experience

 Mrs Andoh travelled to the United Kingdom (UK) where she worked at Salvesen Logistics as the Administrative  Assistant where she learnt a lot about general administration, quality control, work ethics, work discipline, exhibiting the right attitude towards work and dealing with clients. 

Prior to this, she had a short practical attachment at the New Court Christian Centre in the UK, where she polished up her graphic design skills.

She later joined Lowe Lintas in Accra, and worked with the company for 14 years where she gained a lot of experience on brand building, communication and advertising in general.

 Having worked on major brands such as Unilever brands, Diageo brands, GTP, Vodafone, Barclays, John Hopkins University (JHU)’s behavioural change campaigns, and many more, her experiences have been  enriched in advertising.

According to Mrs Andoh, at Lintas, she rose through the ranks from junior graphic designer in 1997 to the position of Assistant Creative Director, and the acting Creative Director, before she left.

 With her 14 years work stint with Lintas, Mrs Andoh has an in-depth knowledge and experience in creative advertising and an understanding of how brands thrive.

From Lintas Mrs Andoh joined the Emerge Advertising as the General Manager, with oversight responsibility over the outdoor, indoor and ambient branding.

She also had practical advertising training in London, Johannesburg and Durban, which enriched her familiarity with both local and international working environment.

Family/social life

Mrs Andoh is married to Architect Jeff Andoh, who has 20 years of experience in Architecture. The couple are blessed with three sons; Julian, 15, Jude,12 and Jason, eight.

She is a board member of the Action Chapel, Teshie-Nungua branch, and she is seriously involved in church activities, because according to her, “ I have to serve my God. “I get fulfilled after talking to someone with a problem, the person says, ‘ I feel better”.

She also loves politics and enjoys listening to political debates. She was a polling agent during the Biometric Registration exercise in the December elections, contributing her quota to Mother Ghana.

Mrs Andoh says her inspiration is Jesus, the solid rock on which she stands.

By Vance Azu/The Mirror