BBDO scoops Guinness in Africa from Saatchis

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Guinness: clock by AMV BBDO
Guinness: clock by AMV BBDO

Guinness has expanded its relationship with the BBDO to the key African market, moving the continent's creative account from the incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi South Africa.

The Guinness owner Diageo has appointed Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and its sister agency Network BBDO, Johannesburg to the business, after the two pitched jointly in a final showdown against Adam & Eve/DDB.

The BBDO UK and South Africa teams will work on the account together, with the UK team leading the business.

BBDO already runs the Guinness account in the UK, through AMV BBDO, in Western Europe and in the US, while Saatchi & Saatchi holds other markets. Saatchi & Saatchi will still work on Guinness’s global work.

Shannon Yuill, the Africa brand director of Guinness, said: "Following a recent review process, we can confirm that Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/Network BBDO, Johannesburg has been appointed to handle the Guinness creative account in Africa.

"We were hugely impressed by the passion, strategic thinking and strong creative ambition the London and Johannesburg teams collectively demonstrated during the process.

"The agency’s understanding of the brand and the African consumer gives us great confidence that they are absolutely the right partner to help bring to life our ambition of becoming the clear number one across the beer category on the continent."

About 40 per cent of Guinness is brewed and sold in Africa, where it is a dominant brand in the market. Guinness is planning to try to accelerate its growth in the region with a rebrand in countries including Nigeria.

The "made of more" brand line has been used in advertising in the UK and elsewhere over the past year and a refreshed brand identity could also be introduced in the African market, Campaign understands.

BBDO New York recently created the "wheelchair basketball" spot, which will also be used in the UK this year. It features men playing a game of wheelchair basketball, then, as it closes, the spot reveals only one of them has a physical disability and the others are using wheelchairs to include him in the game.


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