The Unlimited Dusi Marathon that runs through the majestic Dusi valley between Pietermaritzburg and Durban has grown in stature since its inception 60 years ago and attracts up to 2500 paddlers.
"Hansa Pilsener has had a long-standing relationship with The Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon, an iconic event in the KwaZulu-Natal region," explains Justin Huxter, Hansa Pilsener Assistant Brand Manager. "The brand has strong ties with the paddling community due to its support of not only The Unlimited Dusi, but many events on the South African Canoeing calendar and our aim was to recognise and reward their support to our brand."
"As the official beer to The Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon, we've developed a four-part campaign which was specifically aimed at maintaining the strong association and still delivers return on investment for our client, Hansa Pilsener," adds 34Sport Marketing Director, Grant Hillary.
The campaign targets paddlers and spectators, tying in with Hansa Pilsener's brand promise of the Special Ingredient - the kiss of the Saaz Hop. The campaign was made up of four promotions, with varying entry mechanics, and fantastic prizes awarded to paddlers and spectators alike, all building to the overarching theme of "Win a Special Ingredient to make it your most Refreshing race ever!". SPECIAL INGREDIENT 1 of 4: A Super Seconding Crew:
Those who've endured The Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon will know just how valuable a seconding crew can be. With the race starting in one place and ending in another, broken boats, snapped paddles, setting up camp and sore, tired bodies are the order of the day. The support and assistance of a seconding crew is critical to the paddler's ultimate race result to get them through each of these tiring hurdles. Hansa Pilsener provided three-member Seconding Crews to five Paddlers, who entered our competition at Canoe Club Dice Nights across the country leading up to the event.
The crew, in branded Hansa Pilsener 4x4 vehicles, were armed with repair kits, medical, nutrition and hydration supplies, masseurs, cheerleading pompoms, a guide who knows the ins and outs of the Dusi and of course ice cold refreshing Hansa Pilsner for after the race. These Seconding Crews were the special ingredient to make our winner's 2011 race the most refreshing race ever!
The Seconding crew teams drew a lot of attention on race day, as they cheered their paddlers on from the river banks, helped carry their canoes and attended to their needs for the three race days. One of our winning K2 teams, Jacques Le Roux and Richard McIntyre from Umzinyathi Canoe Club, are even offering to pay hard cash to receive this amazing prize again next year! SPECIAL INGREDIENT 2 of 4: A prize a day for 30 days
34Sport developed a trade campaign for 80+ on- and off-consumption outlets in the Kwa-Zulu Natal region, to support The Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon.
Purchasers of Hansa Pilsener received a scratch card on purchase containing a unique code. By entering the unique code via USSD, a new canoe and a carbon split paddle were given away every day, for the 30 days leading up to the event. A daily random draw ensured that lucky winners received a canoe - or paddle voucher to redeem their prize.
To further leverage this campaign, 20 activations were hosted at on-consumption venues, where purchasers of Hansa Pilsener could also instantly win paddler specific prizes such tie-downs, boat repair vouchers, splash covers and paddle covers.
More than half of the winners were dedicated paddlers, which again confirm the strong connection Hansa has with the paddling community. Some of the prize winners are claiming they will be entering the event in 2012 using their new canoes to cross the finish line! SPECIAL INGREDIENT 3 of 4: The Extreme Dusi Valley Experience
The Unlimited Dusi Canoe Marathon is one of the most majestic races in the world, attracting not only the top paddlers, but many spectators.
SA Breweries identified 18 outlets where a point-of-sale promotion were run, where purchasers of Hansa Pilsener entered to win the extreme Dusi Valley Experience - which included themselves and partner to enjoy VIP access to the Valley Bash Party, helicopter flips, quad- and mountain biking, extreme water activities, lunch at a local tavern as well accommodation in the Dusi Valley.
The 36 participants had a great time and Gordon Young, our oldest DVX winner at 67, was quoted as saying, "All the activities were great fun and just goes to show you are never too old to attempt new adventures. We will remain Hansa fans for life." SPECIAL INGREDIENT 4 of 4: A brand new Canoe
As the competitive spirit of race day kicked in, paddlers participating in The Unlimited Dusi 2011, were able to take part in a predict-your-time race day competition.
At registration paddlers could manually hand in or SMS their predicted times, together with their race numbers, for the three days of Dusi. The three winners who had the most accurate time prediction for each of the three race days walked away with a brand new canoe to the value of R4500, courtesy of Hansa Pilsener. The results came down to the wire, with the closest winning margin out of the three days being a mere three seconds!
Hansa's 'Special Ingredient' campaign at The Unlimited Dusi was a great opportunity to communicate to paddlers that Hansa Pilsener is a dedicated and loyal player in the canoing community, and will be back again in 2012 to support and refresh this legendary event.