By Pedro de Gouveia of Salient Strategic Advertising and Design

In Africa, there are few countries in which the ubiquitous red and white colours of Coca Cola haven’t been plastered across billboards, buildings and banners to epitomise Cocacolonisation by the world’s biggest soft drink brand. Pedro De Gouveia of Salient Strategic Advertising and Design provides an interesting Case Study of how Anglola’s local softdrink is overtaking Coco Cola’s position in that country.

Coca Cola was recently measured as the world’s most valuable brand by Interbrand. They valued it at cool $ 66,667m. Not bad for a bit of coloured carbonated sugar water !

Atlanta’s mega marketing soft drink machine has failed to wrestle the number one position in Angola’s rapidly growing soft drinks market. This can be viewed as a failure of note in a country with a young, fast growing population, and the fastest growing economy in the world thanks to the pouring in of Petro Dollars in return for the other globally popular black magic liquid, Oil.

Angola is oppressively hot throughout the year thanks to being in the shadow of the Equator. These are all good enough reasons for launching and establishing cold liquid refreshment brands in this land of thirst. It is manufactured by Refriango a soft drinks company Angolan company founded with Portuguese and Angolan investment in a production plant in 2002.

Refriango has a production capacity of 200 million litres per year and employs 428 Angolan, Portuguese and Brazilian workers. This is above average in the African continent. In February 2005 it launched a carbonated soft drink – Blue in seven flavours. Refriango quickly achieved wide grass roots distribution throughout Luanda and other big cities and towns like Lobito, Benguela, Soyo, Huambo and Lubango.

Today these soft drink cans and the modern, trendy eye catching imagery adorning walls, store signage, umbrellas and painted sides of buildings, can be seen in the CBD, suburbs and townships of every city.

Old Blue has taken a leaf out of Red “n White’s marketing manual.

Every where you see people selling Blue, be it in tiny stores or stalls, at markets, in independent city stores or by vendors with refrigerated cart selling their beverages at busy intersections. The price on the street is 50 Kwanza per can, which is approximately R 3, 80. It’s even cheaper at the Shoprite and Usave stores found in Luanda and Lobito.

The current advertising theme is certain around music and dancing, two of Angola’s favourite passions and past-times as per the below billboard the headline reads:

“When the body wants to dance, ask for Blue’

Good old Blue must surely make Coca Cola green with envy.

For more information please visit the agency’s website at www.salient.co.za


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