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How Guinness gained 1.5 million customers in less than a year.

With a strong determination to captivate a fresh generation of consumers in a dynamic and swiftly evolving continent, Guinness strategically employed a combination of TV sponsorship, experiential events, influencer marketing, and outdoor campaigns to achieve its objectives.

How Guinness gained 1.5 million customers in less than a year.

Despite having established a recognizable brand presence in Africa since the 19th century, Guinness recognized the need to elevate its efforts in 2021, particularly among younger demographics.


In collaboration with the agency AMV BBDO, the brand embarked on a mission to attract 1 million new consumers across the continent, with a specific focus on individuals under the age of 35 and women. The strategy aimed to challenge preconceptions and enhance relevance, ultimately crafting an optimistic and inclusive brand identity.


The teams delved into the nuances of the “new Africa,” utilizing expert interviews and in-depth analysis of cultural symbols to gain insights into consumer mindsets. This comprehensive research played a pivotal role in shaping the innovative creative platform known as ‘Black Shines Brightest,’ which was co-developed with the input of the Guinness Creative Council, consisting of influential figures.


The platform was simultaneously launched across Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ghana in August 2021.

Guinness strategically engaged in TV sponsorship for Premier League fixtures and Big Brother Nigeria, the latter reaching a vast audience of 34 million households. This sponsorship was complemented by an outdoor advertising campaign and the introduction of ‘Bright Houses,’ interactive spaces where creative minds could gather, enjoy a pint, and exchange ideas. Renowned Nigerian rapper Fireboy DML and Tanzanian singer Nandy contributed content aligned with the ‘Black Shines Brightest’ theme, utilizing social media platforms to extend the campaign’s reach.


This comprehensive approach yielded impressive results, with Guinness achieving a 10.9% growth in its customer base across its five primary African markets, successfully adding 1.5 million new consumers. Spontaneous brand awareness also surged by over four percentage points, and the brand’s net sales value soared by 19% compared to 2020 figures. The paid media effort alone reached an audience of over 100 million consumers within the initial six months.


Remarkably, the campaign’s impact surpassed norms across key performance indicators (KPIs) by fourfold, including salience, positioning, campaign statements, and conversion to trial – particularly in Nigeria. These outstanding outcomes contributed to Guinness securing the Marketing Week Award for Multichannel Marketing.


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