L-R: Kufre Ekanem, Corporate Affairs Adviser, Nigerian Breweries Plc; Ruth Osime, Editor, ThisDay Style; Mrs. Ngozi Princewill-Utchay, CEO, Artelier Lifestyle Consultants; Chidike Oluaoha, Senior Brand Manager, Amstel Malta; at the official launching of Amstel Malta’s new campaign, Why Add More held in Lagos… recently

By Ugo Aliogo

That Nigeria’s economy is experiencing economic recession may not be news to many citizens again. The basic economic parameters used in measuring the welfare of the populace have all caved in to the pressure from the aggregate economy. The value of the nation’s currency, naira, has dropped drastically such that goods and services have now become more expensive compared to what they were sold for in the corresponding period last year.

In order to survive the hardship brought about by the prevailing economic situation, many people and even organisations have resorted to adopting survival strategies. While some have revised their priority list, others are adjusting their consumption in such a way that their meagre income could sustain them.

To many, the phrase “Less is More” contradicts the basic principle of arithmetic and therefore has no substance at all. However, the reasoning behind the statement has been brought to the fore by the new radio and digital commercial of Amstel Malta, the premium malt drink produced from the original formulation that is made with less sugar by the Nigerian Breweries Plc. The campaign, “Why Add More?” is built on a strategic platform, “Less is More.”

The digital version of the commercial uses the case of a best man at a wedding reception, who attracted a round of applause from the audience for his brilliant toast to the couple and decided to spice it up by adding a joke and a dance that went flat. The simple summary of the commercial is that the consequences of adding to an already excellent outcome can be awry.

The lesson cuts across every aspect of human life. In a job interview for example, if you are asked a question and you ramble on after making a point, the takeaway is either you’re not prepared or you lack the ability to be precise. In a sales presentation, you can talk yourself out of a deal by over-explaining rather than listening to the client across the table. If it is not necessary, why add more?

Even in writing, there are consequences of not being brief. When the point isn’t made obvious in an email you feel you can’t deal with it right away so you put it aside. A brief email, on the other hand, with a strong subject line that explains the purpose of the email and grabs the reader’s attention is more likely to be read and taken more seriously.

Amstel Malta also used fashion to illustrate the strength of the strategic platform, “Less is More”. That brings us to the question: Do clothes make a person or does a person make the clothes? Whether you love to sew your own threads or prefer to place order for your choice from a store does not matter. What is important is that your wardrobe reflects your personality.

Impressed by the focus of the commercial, Ruth Osime, Editor, THISDAY Style, said: “Your inner confidence is a reflection of how you look outside. You do not have to wear large overbearing accessories before you can tell your fashion story. It is important you stay happy inside you.”

Osime emphasised the need for people to build internal confidence rather than placing too much emphasis on the outlook. She noted that the brand did not only appeal to the people to be conscious of their ways of life but also to understand the fact that getting the right mix from everything is more important than heaps of quantity without real value to the beneficiary.

She sees fashion as a popular style or practice, especially in clothing, footwear, accessories, makeup or furniture. To her, fashion is a distinctive and often habitual trend in the style in which a person dresses. It is the prevailing styles in behaviour and the newest creations of textile designers.

Meanwhile to others, fashion is an art; while some will say it is almost like a religion. For most people though, fashion is a method of utilising clothing, accessories and grooming to show or hide something about yourself. Fashion can be an extension of your personality, allowing you to introduce parts of your personality to the world without saying a word. Conversely, the way you dress can also conceal parts of your personality or allow you to play a role.

People usually have diverse opinions about the concept of fashion. For Osime, you can have anything you want in life as long as you dress for it. She stated that fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life since the way one is dressed will determine how the person would be addressed.

CEO, Artelier Lifestyle Consultants, Ngozi Princewill Utchay, highlighted the danger associated with over indulgence as a result of affluence, comfort eating and show off. She stated that the truth of the matter is “our body knows when we have had enough, but many people do abuse their bodies.” She therefore said simplicity is the key word of all fashion.

Utchay was of the opinion that one should not get sucked into the lure of the restaurant menu when you’re hungry and everything looks good. You don’t have to order for pounded yam, eba and semovita together with okro, vegetable and egusi soups because you are hungry. Yes! You are at the liberty to order for anything that would satisfy your need, but always balance the meal out with other nutrients. Healthy, nutrient-rich foods will keep hunger at bay, help maintain stable blood sugar levels, minimise cravings, and help your brain perform well. Once you get these benefits from your food, Why Add More?

She related this to the new radio and digital commercial of Amstel Malta. “It is like most things in life, when you add something unnecessarily to what is already considered excellent, the results aren’t always what you hope for. The secret is in knowing when too much will upset the balance.” Utchay added that people need to be more conscious in their choice otherwise; the purpose of the goal would be defeated.

Ruth and Utchay pointed out that Amstel Malta’s campaign educates consumers on the intrinsic benefits of less sugar contained therein.