But I still can't bring myself to buy Hansa... [video]
I am Vuyo, you are Vuyo. Everybody wants to be Vuyo, the charismatic young African achiever who realises big after starting small with only a dream.
Vuyo is the epitome of success and ambition. Family and friends revere and take pride in him. Vuyo is so influential that even Castle Milk Stout and Castle Lite have their own mini Vuyos running around the small screens every evening.
Ever since its introduction by SAB as its first light beer at the end of 1975, Hansa has had its fair share of market gain, including being second biggest beer brand under the SAB portfolio. To be number eight and underneath Milk Stout and Castle Light by kilometres is dizzying.
Various factors, including marketing activities and positioning, can be attributed to this decline. But let's concentrate on the marketing and advertising ones for now.
Today, the brand is at an advantage yet more fragile than ever before. The brand should be smiling all the way to the bar since "Lite" is in - coupled by the fact that it does not come with a "sissy" stamp of "lite" on the bottle. Yet marketing at Hansa cannot afford to lose ground because there are several substitutes ready to pounce on the consumer's bladders.
Who are the Vuyos in the making?
Who are the Vuyos in the making and why don't they drink the special ingredient?
They are young, African, ambitious, professional, creative and entrepreneurial. They are determined to "make it"- with or without tertiary education. They are very aware of themselves and of the world around them and are determined to make a statement. They aspire towards affluent living as a reward for their hard work.
By sheer irony, it is this aspiration that in fact draws them away from drinking Vuyo's special ingredient drink. They still identify Heineken as a premium, "should-be-seen-on-hand", success drink within their social circles. They only dabble with whiskey for its image benefits.
Castle Lite's packaging of the bottle immediately places it within the "Green Bottle Means Premium" category, along with its 'health benefits' and the "responsible" emotional benefit of "The One to Have When You're Having More Than One".
I want to be Vuyo, too, but that bottle looks exactly like the one my alcoholic aunt used to drink in the early '90s.
So how do you make me?
OK... so how do you make me drink the special ingredient?
First of all, you don't embark on a 15-concert-nationwide tour, beautifully lined up with South African jazz, afro jazz and pop, hip pop (yes, Hip POP), house etc... and close it off with an American experimental concept band such as N.E.R.D. It is contradictory and condescending to our Vuyo-like artists.
You don't come to an urban contemporary event such as Thesis Social Jam Sessions or Junkonme House Sessions unannounced and expect me to buy the drink just to score tickets to another event. Tell me you are going to be there: communicate with me before and after the event.
Educate me; I would love to say, "I don't drink lager, I prefer pilsner" - if only I knew what it was.
Show me "Legends in the Making" and inspire me through mainstream media, then come to the ground and pick me and my peers up for a unique opportunity to "make it" through Hansa.
Be the Vuyo who invests in the Vuyozela
If I see an uber-cool band such as Blk Jks or an upcoming band holding the drink, I will most certainly want to replace the shape-distorting Heineken, best described by Julius Malema when he was asked about his sudden weight gain after taking office: "I drank a lot of Heineken and it disfigured me."
And to answer Jeremy Maggs, when he asked if the new Castle Milk Stout ad will work in drawing in a younger market, my answer is - it remains to be seen if there is anything left in the "drink-this-and-be-successful" genre of ads.
'Nomayini - The Mentality You Need Before You Start Any Business' is a business guide book based on township economy insights written for youth in the Townships. Banele Rewo - Entrepreneur, Author, Executive Producer and Founder of We Are Coming For Everything a social development company. CEO Raw Afrika Resources; a content producing agency and studio. Find entrepreneurial and substance abuse education on www.banelerewo.co.za . az.oc.gnihtyreverofgnimoceraew@elenab, Twitter @BaneleRewo