South African Breweries (SAB) and Ogilvy are this week celebrating half-a-century of an ‘unbreakable’ friendship which kicked off in 1961, with our Johannesburg- and Cape-Town-agencies having done a titanic job of catapulting over 30 brands of beer to the summit of glory and fame in South Africa and Africa."One benefit feature of this relationship is that we never take things for granted, but we challenge each other in a forthright and candid way, which I believe helped to keep it strong and healthy, and drive it to greater heights," SAB chairman and MD Norman Adami told journalists last night, Tuesday, 21 September 2011, at the SAB company headquarters in Sandton, Johannesburg.
SAB brands that we have worked on since 1961 include Castle Lager (Ogilvy Johannesburg and Ogilvy Cape Town), Carling Black Label (Cape Town), Lion Lager(Johannesburg), Peroni Nastro Azzurro (Johannesburg), Castle Lite (Johannesburg and Cape Town), Caste Milk Stout (Johannesburg), Hansa Pilsener (Johannesburg and Cape Town), Amstel (Johannesburg), and Redds (Cape Town and Johannesburg).
SAB marketing director Ian Penhale said that there was always a risk that these brands could cross each other’s territories, but Ogilvy’s role, was to ensure that this did not happen.
"Of course it is challenging,". However, he said if a company is crystal clear about what it stands for and where its brands are going, and does not sway away from that, brands will not encroach each other’s territories.
SAB first began working in 1961 with VZ, Ogilvy’s ancestor. In 1984 VZ merged with Rightford Searle-Tripp and Makin, which later went on to become Ogilvy South Africa.
Milestone of SA advertising
Commenting on what independent analyst Andy Rice described as a milestone of advertising in SA, a visibly excited Nunu Ntshingila, Ogilvy SA CEO, said the good part of this love story is that Ogilvy continues to refresh people to ensure that the relationship never stalls but keeps going and going.
"If there was an Olympic category for long-term business relationships, the 50-year engagement between SAB and Ogilvy would always be in medal contention," Ntshingila, joked.
To commemorate the event, Ogilvy presented its celebrated friend with a gift in the form of an advertisement that looks back over the companies’ shared history, celebrating some of the work they have created together. The tribute ad began airing on TV last night, and will continue to be screened on a selection of DStv channels in the days to come.
"This is a friendship based on chemistry and shared values, and a celebration of this type of relationship cannot be underestimated," Penhale said emotionally.
Stood the test of time
As night fell over Sandton and the evening spring breeze teased the number 65 Park Lane premises, the first batch of guests began to arrive at the fiesta – a celebratory testimony of an almost unbreakable union of shared wealth, success, values and ideas that have stood the test of time.
For more info follow @Ogilvy_Joburg, @OgilvyCT and hashtag#SABOgilvy50 on Twitter.