It seems the way into many South African livers is through an A-list celebrity.
Looking at the relationship between local celebrities and alcohol brands, it’s highly likely that anyone walking into a bar this December could order a double Khuli Chana and lemonade or a Black Motion on the rocks.
They are among several local public figures in bed with alcohol brands. Television personality Bonang Matheba, rapper DA L.E.S, designer David Tlale and DJ Dimples are associated with Ciroc vodka, rapper AKA is linked to Cruz vodka, other brand partnerships include DJ Zinhle with Strawberry Lips, Khuli Chana with Absolut vodka, Thapelo Mokoena with Hunter’s and iFani with Redds.
Branding expert, Sylvester Chauke founder of DNA Brand Architects said alcohol brands have adopted a more “self-regulated” approach to advertising by using celebrities.
He added: “Like cigarettes, liquor is a very contentious issue in terms of how brands can market their products especially because of the socio-economic challenges associated with alcohol. So, the industry wants to self-regulate with more responsible advertising … which means using the influencers’ pool of followers so they don’t need to solely rely on traditional television adverts to connect with consumers.”
This self-regulation comes at a time when government is increasing its efforts around curbing alcohol abuse. This includes a draft bill banning the advertising of alcohol and raising the legal drinking age to 21.
The most recent artists to team up with an alcohol brand are Pretoria DJ duo Black Motion who have partnered with Ballantine’s Scotch whisky.
Tom Elton, Ballantine’s global senior brand manager said the partnership between the whisky and the South African Music Award winning DJs was because of their “obvious talent and connection with their fans”. Having just released their latest album, they are amongst the biggest acts locally and internationally.
Chauke said these partnerships are mutually beneficial for the artist and the product.
He said: “Beside monetary value, there is an opportunity to collaborate with brands that are like-minded and who can take your vision as a celeb into new and interesting spaces and consumer segments. You also get access to the products and services that you are an ambassador to whilst also leveraging off global partnerships and brand activity.”
While some artists have their limited edition signature bottle, others have billboards. According to Chauke, the value for artists can range between R100000 for “effortless” social media tasks like retweeting and posting to anything up to R5-million for television commercials and billboards.