The race for market dominance is not a new thing. Every brand strives to be number one and it is like the game of football and other sports, every team aims for the cup or medal and they compete tirelessly for it.
In the whiskey market, for example, brands are competing aggressively on a local and global scale to get the largest chunk of the market. Noteworthy, whiskey, is an alcoholic beverage distilled from fermented grain mash.
According to Global Market Insights, “Whiskey Market size exceeded USD 60 billion in 2020 and is estimated to grow at over 5.9% CAGR between 2021 and 2027. Rise in the millennial population globally, increase in spending capacity and changing consumer taste profile for alcoholic beverages is expected to raise the demand for specialty whiskeys such as single malt whiskey and blended whiskey over the forecast period.”
Noteworthy, the Middle East and Africa whiskey market is worth USD 0.86 Billion in 2021 and estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.32%, to reach USD 1.07 Billion by 2026, Market Data Forecast reports.
Based on this reality, globally and even local whiskey brands compete aggressively for the consumer wallet and they deploy all the media platforms from television to radio, Out-of-Home (OOH), print, and online including leveraging on various marketing strategies to reach their target market.
They are also leveraging on the rising consumer awareness on the health benefits of whiskey to further raise product demand which includes its ability to lower risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and dementia to some extent, fight cancer, promote weight loss, act as a digestive aid, and reduce stress if consumed in moderation.
In Nigeria for example, global brands like Jameson, Jack Daniel’s Glenfiddich, William Lawson’s, Hennessy, Remy Martin, John Bannermans, Johnnie Walker, among others are constantly turning out campaigns and various initiatives not just to create awareness or sell but to enshrine the brand into the DNA of the consumer buying decisions, so when they think of whiskey their brand pops up into their mind first among many other brands because it takes consistency and persistence campaign deployment to retains Nigerians loyalty to brands.
Whether digital or static board, OOH advertising has proved to be a critical advertising medium that captures the attention of commuters and drops a brand advertising message in their subconscious mind. This attests to the reason why the larger proportion of the country’s advertising spend is voted into OOH.
According to the U.S-based Global Industry Analysts Inc, which released the “Outdoor Advertising: A Global Strategic Business Report” the value of global outdoor advertising will grow to $44.7 billion by 2024, driven by the retail boom, and development of transport networks and other public infrastructure. Other factors to underpin the growth include the increasing amount of time spent outdoors, and the adoption of digital signage systems.
Az Research Consult reports that advertising in Nigeria is being driven by the telecommunication and alcoholic beverages Industries. A large chunk of their advertising budget is being allocated to OOH year on year to drive visibility and impact for their brands.
Campaign and Competition
Johnnie Walker made an aggressive attempt with its global campaign “Keep Walking” which it has pushed across billboards even in Nigeria.
Remy Martin on its part continued its global brand campaign capturing the essence of collaborative efforts and the success it generates. Tagged ‘Team Up for Excellence’, the campaign aimed at emphasizing that behind every individual success is a collective story of collaborators united for excellence deploying it’s across OOH platforms. In line with its global campaign, it honored Obi Iyiegbu Chairman Cubana Group recently.
Even as a new whiskey in the Nigeria Market, John Bannermans entered with a strategic and well-calculated OOH deployment with the campaign theme ” Strong in Character, Bold in Flavour ” and this seems to have won them quick visibility in the Nigeria market space, coupled with the recent Bannerrap challenge. The maiden edition was flagged off by renowned rapper Illbliss, who dropped hard-hitting bars with an official Bannerap soundtrack, before challenging wordsmiths nationwide to channel their inner bannerman for a grand prize of 1 million naira. The initiative enjoyed great publicity in the media as it further helped endear young and music enthusiasts to the brand.
In another vein, Hennessy recently celebrated its 100th year in Nigeria. It celebrated the milestone with a limited-edition design of Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège, haloing a century of commitment to delivering exceptional cognac to Nigeria and craftsmanship that transcends borders and unites cultures.
Also, Jameson Connects returned on Independence Day with a campaign tagged ‘Celebrating the Freedom To Be You’ which focuses on the independent spirit that appreciates what makes every Nigerian both old and young truly stand out.
It is important to note that the competition among the leading whiskey brands has been phenomenal.
For example, since John Bannermans’ entrance into the Nigerian market, the competition has been more intense than ever in the history of OOH advertising deployment.
According to the industry watcher, Johnnie Walker strategic OOH advertising deployment across the country forced others brands within the industry to redouble their efforts, knowing fully well that OOH gives a lot of flexibility compared to television and other media on ethical issues related to alcohol advertising.
The overall competition within the whiskey market is good for the OOH advertising industry and indeed the manufacturing and the marketing landscape.
It also shows that John Bannermans has a good team and perhaps an aggressive agency for it to have been able to compete favourably with other big players who have been in the country for ages. It is believed that with their continuous drive they will capture more market share.
But the question on the lips of many industry watchers is, can John Bannermans sustain the tempo considering the annual budget of her competitors like Jameson, Martel, and others on OOH ad spaces in Nigeria.
However, it would be a battleground as other brands would react and perhaps stronger in the coming days knowing that in this game only the brand with the best strategy wins.
2022 and Beyond
They are indications that Nigeria would experience economic growth in 2022. The year according to analysts and political economists will be marked by political parties and individuals launching their campaigns in anticipation of the 2023 Election.
It would also be a year OOH advertising will experience a boom as more billboards would be used for campaigns.
It is also forecast that consumption of whiskey and other brands would increase as friends and loved ones increase their clubbing, visitation to pubs, and relaxation centres as the impact of Covid on such businesses is fully eased.
Experts point that 2022 would be one of the best times for whiskey brands and others interested in winning the ‘vote’ and brand loyalty of consumers, in the long run, to increase their OOH budget and be strategic about their deployment.
Nigeria remains an important market in Africa that no brand should joke with if they are to succeed on the continent, not only because of its population but its growing demand for whiskey.