Guinness’s innovative new marketing campaign | #eBizRetail | Craig Page-Lee




We chat to Craig today about a new Guinness campaign rolling out across the urban areas of Africa:

When BLACK is not a colour but an attitude!

ISOBAR SSA in collaboration with AMV BBDO had a simple, yet mammoth task when the instruction was to re-position Guinness in the African market.

“Africa is about creativity; we do and see things from a different perspective. It’s about working together to harness creativity that speaks to all.’’ says Michael Zylstra, Group Planning Director, Isobar, SSA.

The new Guinness campaign – Made of Black has just launched across key markets in Africa with a takeover of MTV Base. The co-produced Guinness/MTV Base show was broadcast simultaneously on 12 satellite and terrestrial channels across Africa. This was the kick start to an extensive through-the-line campaign which is rolling out across Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon to promote key conversations around ‘’what is BLACK’’ in a new positioning for Guinness on this continent.


“For us it was more than just producing incredible work, it was about starting and then sustaining key dialogue on our continent about what being BLACK means. It was about embracing the unique cultures of Africa and tailoring approaches to those individualised markets whilst also introducing the concept as part of our languages, our culture and harnessing the true African creative spirit. Black is not a colour – it’s an attitude.

As mobile is the biggest media platform in Africa right now and for the foreseeable future, it was important to ensure that the campaign engaged people and encourage dialogue and conversation on all levels. It was not about launching a hashtag and a website that had an interactive platform.


It was about real engagement in real time that would lead to conversation and sampling and then bringing those people into the fold in a way that was though their connections and passions. Within the first 6 hours of launching the campaign the #madeofblack had sparked over 22 000 conversations and we estimate that by the end of the launch 6 week phase, we will have achieved over a million conversations.

The campaign celebrates ‘Black’.  Black is not a colour. Black is an attitude. It’s a mind-set, it’s a way of life. Black represents the best of Africa.  It features real people with real talent from Lagos, Accra and Cape Town to Nairobi, Gaborone and Johannesburg. “People who are made of Black are people who are made of more”, says Zylstra.

You can watch the addictive TV ad done by AMV BBDO, with the theme soundtrack – Black Skinhead done by Kanye West’s here: or take a look at the  Africans leading the conversation on the continent –

The team at Isobar have built an incredible home for the campaign online, as well as, producing over 20 video pieces which run both on TV and online. These stories are well worth a watch – interesting characters across Africa share what defines their “Made of Black”

This has been a truly COLLABORATIVE effort with joint creative led by Isobar and AMV BBDO, social and media strategy led and implemented by  Isobar and Carat, with iProspect supporting digital presence across the continent (all part of the Dentsu Aegis Network).

Guinness is an iconic brand, famous for its extraordinary and inimitable marketing, and #madeofblack is no different. This campaign is a celebration of an attitude that epitomises individuals who aren’t afraid to truly express themselves.

Through #madeofblack we will provide a stage for those who are an inspiration to others, as they carve their own path with confidence, flair and boldness.






Craig Page-Lee in conversation with eBizRadio
Podcast | Click HERE to listen




Craig Page-Lee is the MD of Posterscope – SA’s leading Out Of Home specialists. He is passionate about retail and has a background in design and architecture and one day dreams of heading off on a world adventure on his motor-cycle.



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