‘We’ve put Nigeria on the world map and made Lagos, a tourist site that it truly is’ -WALTER DRENTH
It was an exciting moment for Star brand family and loyal consumers that thronged the Star Beer Village, Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island, Lagos, the venue of the much anticipated Lagos Countdown 2014, to witness the unveiling of historic innovation, a giant Star Bottle Tree.
Before the official unveiling on Wednesday, December 17, 2014, guests and loyal consumers, including entertainers had already besieged the Bar Beach Stretch of the Beer Village, where the Star Bottle Tree was situated. Shortly after giving his welcome speech, the Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries, Mr. Walter Drenth finally unveiled the Star Tree in style.
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s findings revealed that The Star Bottle Tree is made with 8,000 bottles as against 3,000 bottles earlier announced by the company, which made it the largest bottle tree in the world, breaking the current world record of 1,000 beer bottles being held by the city of Shanghai.
Attention grabbing and stunningly made, it is a first of its kind in Nigeria, symbolizing greatness and the enterprising Nigerian spirit personified by Star Lager, the country’s leading beer brand.
ENCOMIUM Weekly later had an exclusive interview with Mr. Walter Drenth, the company’s Marketing Director, where he revealed the reasons behind the unveiling…
How do you feel about the unveiling?
First, I feel very proud to work for Nigerian Breweries. It’s a high quality company. One of its kind, and to be able to work on a brand like Star, which has been around for long, with the highest quality credentials, it’s fantastic. If you look at Star from inception, when we started in 1949 in Nigeria, first, it was all about colour; secondly, it was all about innovation and bringing the enjoyment close to the people. Hence, building this Star Tree is just one element Star brand brings to its people. This goes to tell me that innovation is part of the Star brand DNA; and in the DNA of the people working at the Nigerian Breweries. We won’t stop giving our consumers great enjoyment they deserve.
Why did you build this world’s largest bottle tree?
First, we are overwhelmed by our people’s reaction to this humble idea of a giant Star Bottle Christmas Tree. It goes on to show that people appreciate creativity and our efforts at adding excitement and joy, for which we are grateful.
This feat is one that hasn’t been done before and we pride ourselves in the attempt to bring joy and perhaps break a world record. With this, we have put Nigeria on the world map and made Lagos, a tourist site that it truly is. We hope that Nigerians and Star Lager consumers appreciate it and see reasons to be proud of being citizens of Nigeria.
What do you want to achieve with this innovation?
My simple answer is, we want to give enjoyment to the people. We have put this structure here for our consumers enjoyment. It’s the festive period; season of fun and unlimited excitement and Star Lager has put everything in place to ensure fun seekers are relaxed, entertained and refreshed.
The Star Bottle Tree is a first of its kind in Nigeria. The enormous size is perhaps a first of its kind in the world. We are very excited about the Star Bottle Tree. People can enjoy the tree, which stands as an iconic landmark in Lagos, Nigeria and across the world shining into 2015.
You said this a world record breaking landmark. Is it certified by Guinness Book of Record?
We’re in the process of how to make it official. A lot of people here are already talking about this innovation on social media, such as twitter, facebook, and instagram. It’s really trending. They said – “You have the world record, Star. You need to make it official.” We’re in the process.
How do you intend to reward the consumers that donated these free bottles?
We did. We have rewarded them already. We asked them to bring empty bottles and in return, we gave them full bottle of star back. We were excited to see consumers and Lagosians troop in to submit empty bottles as contribution towards this project.
What does Nigerian youths have to gain from this?
Let me start by saying Star is a brand that stands for responsibility. Nigerian Breweries, Star and all our alcoholic brands take responsibility very seriously. So, you can only enjoy our alcohol brands when you are 18 and above. So, we did this for our consumers, we want them to enjoy this moment. It’s something done in Nigeria and made by Nigerians. I hope they would come here with friends and family to have fun. Take pictures and share it with friends and family.
Tell us the worth of this innovation?
We never reveal what it costs to carry out our innovation, but this is very efficient and cost effective. Starting from the empty bottles, which were from Nigerian Breweries, all I just want to say here is that there is so much creativity in Nigeria. Some of the creativity in Nigerian Breweries came with this brilliant idea. Hence, it costs us nothing.
How long will the Star Beer Village last?
It’s open until December 31, 2014. Let me use the medium to tell you that there are benefits for consumers here. Star Beer Village is the major attraction of the Lagos Countdown; an exciting annual activity in December, hosted by the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency, LASAA, to countdown into the new year. We have exciting activities such as Open House Party, Freestyle Friday, Ladies Night, Old Skool Thursday, among others. Raffle draw will be held and consumers have opportunity to win TV set, home theatre, standing fan, DVD, and the rest.
What do we expect from Nigerian Breweries in 2015?
To answer that question, let me take you back to last year, when we were celebrating the last day of the countdown here in Lagos. We brought the magnet star bottle, and many people applauded us, asking what we would do for this year. We are here today with another fantastic innovation. We’ll go back to our drawing board and come out for another great idea for 2015.
– RASHEED ABUBAKAR