Preserving cultures, promoting music and scouting talents in ‘Your Excellency’ way
Few chores go together like drinking beer and listening to music. In recent time, some festivals — music, cultural and even street jamz — are incomplete without the ‘flow’ of beer. It is a combination so universal, little wonder why brewers like to have their beverages associated with their customers’ favourite bands and artistes. Some even brewed their beers with the style and artistry of these musicians in mind.
The beer industry in recent time, recorded a decline in growth; a reason every brand in the sector deplores result-oriented approach with good taste that could win the hearts of consumers, to get the most memorable activation for their brands.
Indigenes of Osun State and visitors at the last Osun Osogbo festival, indeed, attested to the above submission as Goldberg Lager Beer, a brand from the stable of Nigerian Breweries, has for three years running, supported the cultural festival as the official sponsor in the beer category, an initiative that enhances trade and commerce in the ancient city during and even after the festival.
The brand added colour to the 2016 Osun-Osogbo festival with its setting up of Goldberg Beer Village at the Ogo-Oluwa area of the city. The initiative was commended by the traditional ruler, Ataoja of Osogboland, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Olanipekun Larooye II, as well as indigenes of the state, who affirmed that other than entertainment, the initiative impacted positively on their businesses during the festive period.
The festival, an annual event held in the month of August, is usually celebrated at the Osun-Osogbo Grove, a sacred forest along the banks of the Osun River outside the city. It is celebrated in August because it is a month of celebration, traditional cleansing and a period of cultural reunion of the people with their ancestors and founders.
The two-week-long programme usually start with the traditional cleansing of the town called ‘Iwopopo’, which is followed by the lighting of the 500-year old 16-point lamp called ‘Ina Olojumerindinlogun’ after three days. This attracts thousands of Osun worshippers, spectators and tourists from all walks of life.
According to the Public Affairs Manager, West and Mid-West, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Tayo Adelaja, identifying with the festival is a respect for the cultural values and tradition of people in the South West. “It is one between two historical brands; Osun-Osogbo, a 600 year-old festival that truly reflects the traditional culture of the Yoruba race and Goldberg, a brand that is the fastest growing beer in this part of the country,” he said.
Visitors to the beer village had a great time as they were thrilled to comical, dramatic and musical performances from live band of Fuji artistes and game shows involving raffle draws where customers, who purchased the drink win various gift items such as generating sets, Plasma TV, kegs of vegetable oil and bags of rice, courtesy of the brand.
Kunbi Ogunjobi, one of the local beer retailers was quick to say that the beer brand enabled the inflow of money that really enhanced her business expansion, adding that it provided the platform, which many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) enormously benefited from during the period of the celebration.
Also, an indigene of the state, Akeem Jamiu attributed the growth and success of the festival to brands like Goldberg that made conscious efforts to light up the city and created ambience for the celebration. “I am very happy that we are having more people who truly place emphasis on our culture and tradition,” he said.
Wang Xiu Ying, a foreign visitor from China, who was at the Goldberg Beer Village, eulogised the effort of the brand for upholding the tenets of the people of the South West region. She said: “we give culture top priority in China, and I think Goldberg is very visionary with its approach to supporting traditional institutions. I think the makers of the beer are really wonderful.”
The brand has also lent support to other festivals such as the Ojude Oba in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State and Udiroko in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. In the case of Ojude Oba, Ijebu-Ode festival, it is held annually on the third day after the Muslim festival of Eid al-Kabir. The Udiroko festival is celebrated beneath the big Iroko tree at the Ewi’s (King) palace in Ado-Ekiti.
Established around 1310 AD, during the reign of Oba Awamaro, the first Ewi of Ado-Ekiti; the festival brings together, all indigenes of Ado-Ekiti both at home and in the diaspora, to give thanks to their god (hence its nickname, the Olorunborun festival).
As part of its support to the festival, the brand set the ancient town agog through its wholesale branding of the state capital and series of well received activations in the 2016 celebration, coupled with the two gala events that held consecutively before the festival’s grand finale.
Goldberg brand as of its culture preservation initiatives played a vital role during the enthronement of the new Olubadan of Ibadan following the demise of the late monarch, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade. What Goldberg did in rolling out the drum to celebrate the monarch was in line with the culture and values of the brand as enshrined in its three-point agenda. It also felicitated with the 39th Oba of Benin kingdom, Eheneden Erediauwa, during his coronation in Benin City.
In view of this, the Portfolio Manager, Regional Mainstream and Stout Brands, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Emmanuel Agu, affirmed that as a brand that has been worthy partners with the southwest and catering for the cultural needs of the people, Nigerian Breweries Plc is committed to championing causes that add value to the cultural heritage of the people.
Furthermore, Goldberg’s support to the development of Fuji music cannot be quantified. The brand has since 2012 been organising musical talent hunt/concert christened Fuji t’o Bam, a talent hunt initiative aimed at discovering promising Fuji artistes in the southwest.
In 2016, the music fiesta was held in seven cities of the region including Sango-Ota, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Oyo Town, Ilesha, Ado Ekiti, and Akure. It has been another impetus that lubricates the genre to the admiration and enjoyment of the Yorubas and those that like it. The initiative has over the years, produced young Fuji musicians with bright future.
The brand took a step further in 2016 towards advancing the course of Fuji music by organising the first intellectual forum on the genre, called Fuji Roundtable. The forum deepened discussions about the origin and role of Fuji music in the socio-cultural development of the Yorubas wherever they live.
On this, Agu affirmed that the role of music in nation building is monumental as it fuels the mind and the creativity of listeners. He added that the Goldberg Fuji t’o Bam initiative has successfully brought to life the twin socio-cultural tradition of companionship and celebration.
He said, “It identifies and celebrates the rich musical tradition of sustaining the cultural values of the people in the region. The indigenous musical platform, which is currently in its fourth edition, had in the last three editions led to the discovery of budding Fuji talents and artists.”
During the dialogue, the Chairman, National Project Committee of the Fuji Musicians Association of Nigeria (FUMAN), Sikiru Ayinde Agboola (a.k.a SK Sensation), commended Goldberg for supporting the growth of Fuji music.
The launch of Goldberg new credential campaign by Nigerian Breweries Plc in November 2016 in Lagos and Ibadan, which depicted the brand as ‘Your Excellency’, has brought a new dawn of excitement to its consumers.
The brand has stayed true to qualities that are cherished by consumers nationwide. The smoothness and taste make it a centre of enjoyment as a premium beer that is fit for consumption by both the elite and those at the lowest stratum of the society. This was however responsible for the impact of the brand, which was felt in the different parts of the Southwest region two weeks after the new credential campaign.
According to Ayeni, “As ‘Your Excellency’ is at the apex of all kinds of addresses used for occupants of certain positions of high standing all over the world, that is how ‘Your Excellency’ is a befitting address for the befitting beer, Goldberg.”
The launch of the credential campaign at Aso Rock Relaxation Centre, Ikotun, in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State attracted crowd of fun seekers.
The crowd were treated to a night of musical performance from a prominent fuji music star, Abass Akande Obesere, a popular Yoruba artiste who has carved a niche for himself in the entertainment industry. The event made the weekend more blissful as Obesere thrilled the audience with his songs, whilst they derived satisfaction from Goldberg.
It was the same tempo of entertainment in Ibadan, where the new campaign was also unveiled. Guests present at the launch were treated to a night of glamour as the brand’s identity, which depicts ‘Your Excellency’ was clearly displayed and experienced by all.