By NBF News

Every Year, Star Beer engages consumers in activities that connects with them, the Star Game Show (SGS). The seventh edition of the SGS climaxed  in 2010. In this interview, Mr.  Jacco Van der Linden,  Marketing Director, Nigeria Breweries (NB), owner of the Brand, said  the company  will continue to engage Star consumers  with marketing activities, as well as empower it's consumers in 2011 through the SGS. Princewill Ekwujuru spoke with him.

What is the rationale behind the Star Game Show?
Jacco Van der Linden
We have had the game show for quite a few years now, but this edition is special. It  is the 50th Nigeria anniversary version of the Game Show. It is part of a whole programme. We do this yearly, as you know, Star has been around since 50 years as part of Nigeria's history as the first beer to be brewed in Nigeria since 1949.

We believe that we have to be here to reward our loyal consumers. That was the idea behind the Game Show, from that we had launched Star with special commemorative label this year and we have launched a whole campaign: 'I am Nigeria' with Television Commercial (TVC) that was  100 per cent shot and produced in Nigeria, and it runs for  90 seconds, which has never been done by any Beer brand.

How do you view the economic environment in the past years?

I have been around in Nigeria, my first time  was in 1999, also working for Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc. What I see is that steps are being made definitely. What I see is progress within the short time I was away, between 2003/2008, there has been quite a big change especially here in Lagos and this gives  hope for the future. The difference that the few people can make in Nigeria, is that the number of people is growing on daily bases which makes me happy and has hope for the market.

Do you think that the Star game Show is influencing  the market share of the brand?

I not only think so, I know so, because everything we do is for a reason and we thoroughly measure what exactly it does for the brand. The Star Game Show basically rewards and entertains many Star consumers, both male and female. Appreciation is very high, we give consumers opportunity to become millionaires. And we do that weekly, year after year, and such is appreciated and may be, that will contribute to a consumer being loyal to the brand they love.

Do you see the Game Show as an empowerment Programme?

Yes, I think so, Star is everywhere, it has been so long with the history of the country and the people. It has assumed, the 'our own' status. Though, it is not a marketing slogan. We got the idea from consumers, who were calling the brand 'our own'. We are using consumers language in describing star.

Are you concerned with the way winners spend their winnings?

On one hand yes, after they have won, the money becomes theirs. What we do is, we always advise them to spend the  winnings wisely and to be responsible. You know if you give out money that money become's that person's and you don't have total control over the money. After the winnings, they become automatically part of the NB family. So, we keep in touch.

This is also our own small way of empowering our consumers. There is no other way to say thank you to our loyal consumers.

It is a concern for us to see our consumers succeed in their businesses so that they can stay with the brand they love.