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GUINESS: Henry Came & Left. So What



MC & A Weekly Digest

Somehow, there seem to be a strong connect between cultural attitude, beliefs and behavioral pattern that affects buying pattern in a way much more peculiar to us Nigerians, that has defined how brands relate with us, in somewhat offensive ways; such interactive personality profiling that seem to poke SILLY PEOPLE at our faces, without us knowing the insults embedded in the offerings we pay for. Otherwise, how do you explain the Asian movies that have taken over our homes, taking huge chunk of the business opportunities in our home-grown movie industry to Asian? The more annoying part is that these Asian ‘home videos’ do not tell better and more interesting stories than what we have in Nigeria; they are so old in their home-country shelves, they are antiquated in comparison with the new products they show back home; but we consume them not discerning enough to ask questions. It a;; plays out as Asian plot to compromise our market and local movie industry, that all the Asian brands/ corporate bodies in Nigeria support their cultural super-imposition over our values by investing heavily on sponsorship and through advert placement. Over 70% of their advert spends now goes to Telemundo, ZEE WORLD & co, ensuring that audience focus and attention is channeled in their direction. Many of our television houses are left out of the huge media spend, our artistes and production crew are in idle in their offices and homes, losing revenue and business opportunities to Telemundo & co, old films that are just being dusted and sent here form their resting places, feeding our cravings for ‘yeye’ things, because we like gossip and side-talks.

Na wa! Secondly, how can one justify the entire offering called BIG BROTHER NAIJA, conceptualized, packaged, produced and sold back to us in Nigeria, from South Africa? They know Nigerians are the only people that that can BUY such emptiness and abuse of creativity, paying such a huge price for NOTHING. Same way, Thierry Henry came, held many bottles of stout, danced with crowd, left us here with many of our monies. But he told us Kanu Nwankwo thought him how to dribble! What was the brand lacking that Henry came with? In other words, what was the rationale for that expenditure? I am sure Henry is almost a teetotaler, or even if he drinks, he wouldn’t have been hooked to the heaviness of our Foreign Extra Stout, FES (his skin and look wouldn’t have been that ‘light’ in feel and perception); his agility. Certainly, Henry did not come to drive volumes in any direction, when he came in December, 2017. Situate the visit within the brand’s profile, considering its form, language and tone-of-voice.

To begin with, the athletic nature of football does not support use of alcohol to the point of frequent reuse or loyalty.  Perhaps it that were there, we could have made the connection for tactical sales promotion. If on the other hand the brand used ‘IGWE’ for improved awareness or share of mind, the brand was not lacking in those, to support such expenditure. Suffice that he came to entertain the brand’s loyal consumers. To this proposition, we have two questions: What percentage of the market of alcoholic beverage users that met Henry, drink FES or indeed any drink brand from that stable? What is the size of the population Henry came to fete even consumer alcoholic products? Until we have such figures, anybody’s guess would do.

But straight away, as a practitioner that has gotten so close to that brand, and from the consumer information about that category of the alcoholic drink market, it is less that 15% of the total alcoholic drink market (without spirit). So what could be the rationale for the huge budget spent on that event, when a half of that will bring out our own PAPILLO who the so-called legend the brand brought here confessed to be his ‘master’ in the same art for which we crowned him IGWE, is here with us? RATIONALE! Certainly, Henry couldn’t have taken that trip to help shore up GUINNESS’ image or ebbing awareness level because with its market, its share of mind and market perception is as old as its existence since 1759.

On the area of share of market, GUINNESS’s is almost capped because as a market sector (stout) it is certainly less than 15% of the alcoholic drink market (excluding spirit  and wine). And because stout is a particular drink  which nature is not given to entertainment as much as competing markets of lager, one cannot be very correct on the basis of entertainment, to support that investment. It is same for consumers of those Asian soaps (Telemundo, ZEE WORLD, etc.) It is same for macro-economic managers who most of the time, do not bother to craft reasonable rationale for expenditure; a behavioral pattern that further impoverish us in this part of the world. One can only imagine how much of businesses and revenue the support for those Asian movies is costing us.

As we have mentioned above, these movies are costing next to nothing for production, because from their costume and technological inputs, they are very old, produced many years back. As competing brands to our local movie industry (same as Guinness voted for higher spend on Thierry Henry versus or as against a superior home brand of Kanu Nwankwo & Jay-Jay Okocha who are respected globally, so much has been lost to the Asians, including advert revenue. How else can one describe the modus for the BBNaija that is all put together in South Africa but sold to Nigerians who are denied of the accruing revenue tied to the production process? Thierry Henry’s visit does not align with Guinness’ tone of voice as a brand, character as a brand, marketing plan as a brand; at best, the expenditure on Henry can only be tied to entertainment (although better linked to brands in the lager market as against stout).

Whereas brands can decide how to spend their monies, it challenges professionals and industry watchers for appropriateness, to show concern. The European Premier League (EPL) and brands in that market will not be as ‘careless’ because all they do is tied to returns on investment. MC&A DIGEST appreciates the extent of joyous engagement Henry’s visit propelled and the excitement and fun his visit enabled among his fans across Nigeria, during his visit, but our concern is on rationale thinking and professionalism in cost management versus investment. We need to leave something for academic consideration and professional application, hence the need for systematic derivatives and professional ‘think-through.’