As consumer scepticism about advertising continues to grow, brand owners are looking for ways to further entrench their brands in the market. That was what happened recently when the promoters of Campari, a bitter aperitif from the stable of Brian Munro appointed Innocent Idibia, popularly known as 2Baba as the brand’s ambassador. Raheem Akingbolu reports
Many things are currently working against advertising as a positioning tool. Today, mass paid for advertising appears no longer reaches as many people as cost effectively as it did previously. Experts have attributed this to both the fragmentation of media (due to greater choice of channels), and also due to the growth of online and social media. In a recent Nielson survey, only 33% of consumers said they trust paid advertisements, but a whopping 92% trust peer recommendations.
This explains why most companies now appoint celebrities as ambassadors to leverage on their huge followers. Under such arrangement, the brand for which the ambassador is appointed enjoy positive word of mouth advert among consumers as long as the image of the ambassador remains intact. It however becomes a different ball game if the ambassador is trailed by any scandalous act. This notwithstanding, celebrity endorsement and brand ambassadorship still remain relevant tools for positioning globally.
It is believed that brand ambassadors humanise products because people like to buy from people. Although organisations traditionally brand themselves through logos and symbols, social media offers an opportunity to do more. Today in Nigeria and other places, ambassadors are emotionally engaged with company’s brand promise and they espouse the brand value promoters of such brands promise to deliver to their customers. It is in the very fabric of their personalities to want to share information, solve problems and help others.
Towards the end of April, precisely during the 4th edition of the Nigerian Entertainment Conference, promoters of Campari in Nigeria announced Innocent Idibia, popularly known as 2Baba as the new brand ambassador for Nigeria. A first of its kind, not a few gathered there punched their calculators to determine the worth of the endorsement deal.
Known all over the world as a premium liqueur, the deal is said to be a continuation of Campari’s commitment in creating legacies with its signature products. In its over 150 years of existence, the brand has made monumental leaps in the entertainment industry with notable names in Hollywood. From Penelope Cruz to Kate Hudson, these celebrities have participated in the liqueur’s signature activities.
While it has been in Nigeria for many years, no African celebrity has been given the opportunity to represent the brand on a global scale. Therefore, when it was revealed that the iconic ‘African Queen’ hit maker was the preferred choice in a list of robust African celebrities, it was indeed received with heavy applause.
Speaking on the rationale behind the appointment, the Head of Marketing Campari, Abayomi Ajao reiterated the unique traits that made 2Baba the best choice at the unveiling. “2Baba is a wonderful gentleman who is a great brand in his own right. We were particular about partnering with him because he embodies the values that the Campari brand represents – originality, passion, maturity and universal appeal. It is a mutually beneficial relationship and we can’t wait to start working with each other,” he said.
The journey so far
With the appointment, the brand owners and the ambassador thus began a fresh journey together to reposition the brand in various markets. From a lavish bash to honour the singer’s latest academic prowess to a promotional campaign that saw lucky winners go on an all expense paid safari trip with the artiste in Kenya as well as witnessing his laudable concert Buckwyld and Breathless.
A vintage brand, Campari’s deal goes beyond the red carpet photos and publicity photo sessions. Its mascot must embody the brand which is why most of its ambassadors are taken to Milan, where its history lies.
It is against this background that Campari took the giant stride to make 2Baba the first African ambassador to visit the historic summer home recently.
To get fully acquainted with his new brand, tubaba’s trip to know more about Campari was remarkable. Accompanied by his friend and manager of many years, Efe Omorogbe, Campari Head of Marketing, Abayomi Ajao and Public Relations expert, Ayeni Adekunle, the trip was said to have all the embellishments of classic style. The group was given a tour round the historical landmarks. From the galleria that houses iconic designs of the Campari’s bottles to a master class in the Campari Academy. The singer also got a chance to make his own signature cocktail ‘Implication Shekarito.’ Perhaps, the peak of the trip was having lunch at the founder’s summer home where two generations lived.
For 2Baba, the trip is a historical one and a continuation of his relationship with the brand. It is another first for the artiste whose stardom is marked with splendid firsts.
Founded by Gaspare Campari in the 1860s, the Campari’s legacy is buried in the colossal property which serves as the Campari’s global headquarters and houses corporate offices, a multi-purpose venue, first-class museum, and an academy. Before its modern transformation, the site was a home to the locales as it was Gaspare’s famous Caffe Campari. The bar was the first in the city and drew tourist attractions. Gaspare, a humble bartender innovated the signature Campari bitters at a very young age. The success of his own bar led to the creation of other cream liqueurs and bitters in the confines of his basement.
Today, Campari has gone beyond its local production in Italy to a global brand with presence in over 190 countries in the world. It has also acquired major drinks brand across the world, positioning itself a major competitor in the liqueur industry. These efforts are part of the vintage brand to maintain its relevance as a classic stylish drink.