Guinness Creative Brief Anchors at BBDO Lagos

BBDO West Africa, an affiliate agency of BBDO Worldwide, a creative power house has fully and firmly ware-housed the Guinness creative advertising brief, after two major competitive pitches, MARKETING EDGE Magazine, a leading brand focused marketing magazine can authoritatively confirm.
Top industry sources disclosed Monday that Diageo, the Guinness owners appointed Abbot Mead Vickers BBDO and its sister agency network BBDO, Johannesburg to the business after the two jointly pitched in a final showdown against Adam & Eve/DDB.

The BBDO UK and South Africa teams will work on the account together with the UK team leading the business. By this arrangement, BBDO Lagos, an affiliate agency of the multinational creative giant will solely handle the business in Nigeria and in other West African markets. This is indeed contrary to speculations in a section of the media that the global agency affiliate, BBDO Lagos will work on the Guinness account on an interim basis.
The new development is not unconnected with the rationalization of work scope with Guinness former creative handler in these markets, Saatchi & Saatchi.
An authoritative industry source revealed that BBDO already runs the Guinness account in the UK, through AMV BBDO, in Western Europe and in the US, while Saatchi & Saatchi holds other markets. Saatchi & Saatchi, agency reports reveal, will still work on Guinness’s global brief.
Our source revealed that Shannon Yuill, the African brand director of Guinness has confirmed the development. Yuill said, “Following a recent review process we can confirm that Abott Mead Vickers BBDO/Network BBDO, Johannesburg has been appointed to handle the Guinness creative account in West Africa.
“We were hugely impressed by the passion, strategic thinking and strong creative ambition the London and Johannesburg teams collectively demonstrated during the process.
“The agency’s understanding of the brand and the African consumer gives us great confidence that they are absolutely the right partner to help bring to life our ambition of becoming the clear number one across the beer category on the continent.”
About 40 per cent of Guinness is brewed and sold in Africa, where it is a dominant brand in the market. Guinness is planning to accelerate its growth in the region with a rebrand in countries including Nigeria.
The Made of More brand line has been used in advertising in the UK and elsewhere over the past year and a refreshed brand identity could also be introduced in the African market, according to Campaign.
Confirming the global development, a top official of Guinness Nigeria said Diageo has decided to review the Guinness creative business by appointing BBDO Lagos after a ten year romance with SO&U, a Saatchi & Saatchi affiliate in Nigeria. The company source who dismissed the likelihood of appointing any of the agencies in the Troyka group for the Guinness business in Nigeria was in great shock by such insinuations, wondering how anyone would imagine the Guinness brand camping at the lion’s den. His words:
“I am in shock to read in the news such fallacious insinuations and deductions. How can anyone think we will appoint Insight or any of the Troyka agencies to handle the Guinness brand where competitors lay its treasure? It is like camping at the lion’s den”, he reasoned.
BBDO Lagos Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Demola Olasumade appears unruffled about wrong insinuations in the media as regards the status of the Guinness brief in his agency kitty.
Rather, he said, “I am very well convinced that those behind the media insinuations are talking from the point of view of ignorance or mere no point of view.”
He stated that his agency’s appointment by Diageo to manage the Guinness creative task in Nigeria and other West African market is for real as the affiliate relationship the agency in Nigeria has with the global BBDO worldwide is not merely on paper but in deed.
“How can anybody think that our appointment is for the interim when we have a genuine and functional affiliate relationship with BBDO worldwide and we are both fully committed to the partnership in all aspects. He stated that the agency’s initial reaction to the appointment was appreciation to the client and joy as it is normal in any new business wins.
On how his agency has repositioned to serve the multinational brewer, Olasumade said “no stone is being left unturned to give our client the best creative in-put that can be bench-marked with global standards”. He disclosed that the agency has since the appointment being fully fortified in terms of material and human resources, also observing that the new account has also strengthened its affiliate relationship with exchange programmes between it and the global agency.
BBDO New York recently created the ‘wheelchair basketball’ spot, which will also be used in the UK this year. It features men playing a game of wheelchair basketball, then, as it closes, the spot reveals only one of them has a physical disability and the others are using wheelchairs to include him in the game.
Local and international advertising networks are making frantic efforts to reposition ahead 2015. While a good number of practitioners believe that the year would redefine advertising business in Nigeria, there is a general belief that the year may not be so favourable to marketing activities because of the slide in oil price and other factors that will combine to impact negatively on the industry.