By Raheem Akingbolu
In Nigeria, embarking on Market activation initiatives by brand owners, especially players in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), sector, is not entirely new.
But with the specialisation in the marketing communication industry, with sizable proportion being occupied by experiential marketing agencies, coupled with decline in advertising spending, more brands seem to have identified activation as the easiest way to reach their target.
However, the approaches are different, depending on the demography the concern brand is targeting. For instance, the tools to be deplored while trying to get the attention of children are different from the youths are the target audience.
In recent time, the ‘33’ Export Lager Beer brand from the stable of Nigerian Breweries, has aptly leveraged on its campaign which hinged on friendship to engage the consumers. According to its promoters, the recent approach is in line with the philosophy behind the brand conceptualisation since its debut in 1979.
To them, ‘33’ Export Lager Beer, has since evolved beyond being a brand with the normal customer- brand exchanges into a brand that truly cares about deepening the bonds of friendship between its consumers, thereby creating opportunities for them and changing their lives.
Speaking on the concept, the National Trade Marketing Manager at Nigerian Breweries, Funso Ayeni, said the importance of having friends and spending quality time with them cannot be over-emphasised as research has shown that people with a wide network of friends have less tension, suffer from less stress, and live longer.
With this knowledge, Ayeni stated that “33” Export lager beer initiated the Friendship Experience party and ‘City of Friends’ events in an effort to provide unique friendship experiences while also creating opportunities for consumers to bond, party and create memorable moments.
He said: “The friendship experience party which has been on for a couple of years at various cities within the country has served as an avenue for friends and lovers of the brand to come together to have fun as consumers were treated to music, rib-cracking jokes by top comedians and various fun engaging games including Jenga and Connect Four in which consumers get a chance to win exciting prizes.”
He added that the exciting positive atmosphere created during the friendship experience parties left an enjoyable memory on the mind of everyone who attended, adding that this further strengthen the friendship tie between them.
Observers believe that the brand recognises the importance of friendship in the lives of its consumers which in turn stimulated the friendship experience party initiative.
This is used to reaffirm the brand’s commitment to providing excellent and memorable experiences that allows friends and communities from all over the country to connect, build stronger bonds and share memorable moments.
“33” Export is a beer which prides itself in celebrating real friendship with the yearly celebration which takes place in different cities across the Nigeria,” a patron of the brand, Jide Alabi stated.
The other signature event created by the brand, “City of Friends”, was conceived to commemorate the United Nations’ World Friendship Day which was also said to align with the brand’s theme of strengthening friendship bonds.
The “City of Friends” parties also served as a platform for the brand to help promote love and friendship within Nigeria while also creating beautiful memories in the process. The event featured top entertainers in the country including the likes of Kiss Daniel, Simi, Small Doctor, Phyno, Harrysong, Mc Gordons, and Mc Shakara among others.
The brand decided to add a new concept to celebrate creative writers in the latest edition of its “City of Friends” event by organising writing competition tagged #Pendownforfriednship which resulted in being a wonderful combination of music, entertainment and creative writing that had its own unique experience.
The fact that “33” Export is doing so much on promoting and strengthening friendship bonds shows that the brand clearly understands and appreciates the role friendship plays in promoting peace, prosperity, and progress among individuals and societies.