Windhoek Lager on Wednesday launched a new Pan-African advertising campaign featuring African football legend Didier Drogba.
The campaign celebrates the story of a beer from Africa that has grown to be celebrated and loved world-wide, and draws comparison to a man who has followed a similar journey.
The multi-million dollar two-year campaign will amount to N$20 million while Drogba has been signed up for a fee of US$600 000 per year, for two years.
According to Namibia Breweries' senior brand manager - Windhoek, Jacquiline Pack, the campaign was developed when the campaign team looked for ways to bring the story of a world class beer from Africa to life. They looked for a wold class African hero that they could partner with as an ambassador for the brand, and researched what values and criteria should be considered.
The results that were fed back to them from Windhoek Lager consumers suggested that to be a world class African hero, one needed to be humble and authentic. But more important than their career achievements, was the way that they conducted themselves and their involvement and commitment to their home country, along with their reinvestment to their community, despite being successful on the world stage, and the search finally led the brand to Didier Drogba.
"Didier Drogba shares the same values and conviction that we do. Not only is he a proudly world class African, but he has also kept it real, prioritising the important things in life above triviality and the temptation to do it easier. His authenticity and strength make him a man that Windhoek Lager is proud to be associated with," Pack said.
"Through the partnership with him, and the telling of his story, our aim is to encourage Namibians to taste Africa's world class beer and to show that nothing comes easy - it takes determination and hard work to achieve great things," she added.
The partnership will see Drogba appearing in a TV commercial, as well as posters, billboards, and other advertising campaigns for the brand. Plans are also underway to bring Drogba to Namibia to meet Windhoek Lager fans.
Commenting on the campaign Drogba said that he was excited to be partnering with Windhoek Lager.
"It is great to see an African beer become so popular in so many different countries. I'm looking forward to visiting the Namibian shores soon to see the home of Windhoek Lager," he said.
The campaign will launch with a TV commercial which will air in Namibia on 19 December 2013 on the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation and One Africa TV from 19h45.
The commercial is entitled "The Journey" and will show Drogba bringing to life the journey of Windhoek Lager being recognised as a world class African beer and the hard choices that were made to achieve this goal. This will be supported by a robust communications campaign across other media channels, including digital, which will continue through 2014.
According to Pack they started doing research on the campaign in July and by September the results indicated that Drogba was the most popular character for their campaign. Windhoek Lager's advertising agency in Cape Town then contacted Drogba's agent in England and Drogba soon agreed to sign up for the campaign.
"When he read the script he became very excited and signed up for a two-year contract with Windhoek Lager. He had previously declined to market alcoholic brands, but said he would like to be involved in the Windhoek Lager campaign because he was very excited about the script and story," Pack said.
"Windhoek Lager is now a global brand and we have to portray it as such. The campaign will target Namibia and other African countries that are selling Windhoek Lager," she added.
Windhoek Lager is currently sold in 28 countries across the world, including several African countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana and Tanzania.
Pack said she was sure that the campaign would yield positive results over the two-year period.
"We are now a global brand and have to compete with the likes of SAB Miller, Heineken and Amstel. I am confident that this is a good investment and our research has shown that we will make a profit within two years," she said.