MARTINI BLUSH FOR BACARDI
On November 15, Mr. Facundo Bacardi, great-great grandson of the founder of the world's largest spirit company founded in 1862 - Bacardi Limited, commenced his first trip to Africa with a series of exotic events in Lagos. His first stop was at The Palms Shopping Mall in Lekki where he visited the famous supermarket chains, Shoprite, and Game; accompanied by a business entourage of some of the most senior executives representing Bacardi Limited in Africa.
With over 200 brands in the Bacardi portfolio, including household bestsellers like Grey Goose vodka, Martini, Dewar's, and Bacardi - the shelves were indeed buzzing with testimonies of the Bacardi market-penetration rate in Nigerian. Visibly impressed and grateful to the proprietors of the malls, Facundo Bacardi proceeded to the Century 21 Mall in Mega Plaza, and afterwards to Park 'n' Shop where he extended the same warm courtesy to the proprietors for their dedication and commitment to giving the Bacardi brands the prominence they deserve on the shelves.
At the end of the exhausting but highly satisfying trade visits, Mr. Facundo Bacardi, accompanied by Alex Kothoor, MD of GDN Nigeria Limited; Jon Grey, Francois Portier, Managing Director, Bacardi Middle East/ Africa; and Arnaldo Zannoni, General Manager, Bacardi Africa treated importers, distributors, hoteliers, key market influencers and vendors of the various Bacardi brands to a sumptuous trade dinner, anchored by Gbenga Adeyinka at the WheatBaker Hotel, Ikoyi.
Wrapping up the day's business, GDN treated Bacardi to a spectacular night of glamour tagged the Martini Blush Nite, to afford him the opportunity to experience the Lagos nightlife, by socialising with the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of the Lagos social scene - A-list entertainers, broadcasters, actors, business leaders and celebrities.
The event was hosted by Andre Blaze and Eku Edewor, and paraded beautiful guests dressed in very colorful costume-impersonations of some of Hollywood's greatest actors and movie characters like Nefertiti, Cleopatra, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Lawrence of Arabia, Frank Sinatra, and Trinity from the Matrix. Music was provided by Gloria Ibru, and her live band, while the maverick DJ SosÃ© enchanted the guests with an eclectic mix of music from his turntable. Some of the celebrity guests that made the event pop include Uche Jumbo, Olisa Adibua, Lynx, Brian Okwara, Sam Onyemelukwu, and Ajibade Gbenro Emmanuel, just to mention a few.
The highlight of the event and indeed of the entire visit was the unveiling of the brand new Martini TV commercial with an all-Nigerian cast, which features Uti Nwachukwu and Eku Edewor as its lead characters. It follows the thematic tradition of a series of famous Martini TV commercials starring the Academy Award winning actor, George Clooney. This will be the first time that a major international spirit brand is activating an international TV commercial with an all-Nigerian cast.
Based on the success of the visit, and the impression Nigerians made on Mr. Bacardi, Alex Kothoor promises: 'We'll be activating a dance talent show sometime in the first or second quarter of next year, and also, we'll be replicating the success of the Grey Goose Elton John AIDS Foundation here in Nigeria, by establishing a similar foundation to help combat the spread of AIDS in Nigeria, and also help provide education and relief materials to people living with AIDS in the country.'