Influencer marketing is no longer just an add-on; it’s become a highly strategic, standalone marketing tool. George Findi Ngale from Acmar Media Group chats about how influencers were key to the success of the 2018 Guinness Match Made of Black campaign.
Cameroon is full of aspiring football players who work tirelessly to get closer to their dreams. Informal football practice after work and official match fixtures are par for the course for many who call this vibrant African country their home.
But even though the country has produced some of the best-known names in football, it’s not an easy ride to the top. For most, opportunities are extremely limited.
We took this insight and brought the Guinness Match Made of Black campaign to Cameroon in 2018 – a chance for all Cameroonians to be seen on a national and global stage, and to learn from two of the most respected footballers and influencers of all time: Thierry Henry and Patrick Mboma.
Thanks to Acmar Media and partners, a synchronised campaign using a mix of influencers, channels and platforms delivered jaw-dropping results for the stout brand. The Arsenal striker was chosen by the global team to become the brand ambassador for Guinness in F18. In the Cameroon market, we had to tweak the concept by bringing in a Cameroonian soccer legend to work side by side with Henry.
All eyes on the game
To kickstart the Guinness Match Made of Black campaign, football players were encouraged to register and try out at one of six regional boot camps across the nation. The players were subjected to a range of skills tests and, thanks to a bespoke TV show aired nationwide on Cameroon’s Canal 2, the country watched.
Over the course of eight episodes, the show highlighted the best of each boot camp and profiled outstanding players on national TV, building up to the final game.
The boot camps identified the best possible players, and two teams of 11 were chosen to compete for the number-one spot. Henry and Mboma were tasked with inspiring the two teams before the big day and gave them some tips on how to play and entertain the crowd. When match day finally arrived, the teams battled it out in front of more than 16,000 fans at the Yaoundé Omnisport Stadium, while the rest of the nation watched the live broadcast.
The impact of the campaign was record-breaking: the TV show reached in excess of 6 million people, organic Facebook reach totalled 496,000, and the brand benefited from a +6% saliency increase (the degree to which it’s noticed by consumers). For many participants, playing and working with Henry and Mboma was a dream come true.
During the regional boot camps, record sales were recorded. A fantastic partnership with Canal 2 and two brilliant presenters (one sports-focused; the other from fashion and beauty) were key to the campaign’s success. Together, these presenters did a superb job of increasing sales for the brand, while another set of football, beauty, music and fashion influencers helped to reach a wider audience on social media and at the events.
Using sports influencers Henry and Mboma, both of whom have a major online presence, dramatically increased engagement and connection with the Guinness brand.