Draftfcb Cape Town Unites Two African Originals

Posted: December 12, 2012

Two African originals – Amarula Cream and Alek Wek – have been united by Draftfcb Cape Town in a beautifully shot and elegantly edited television ad breaking ahead of the summer festive season.

Conceptualised by the agency’s creative director Doug Larter, art director Annie Ibbotson and copywriter Liora Friedland, the spot draws attention to Amarula’s distinctiveness and reminds consumers of its uniqueness, sub-Saharan roots and luxuriousness.

An internationally distributed brand, Amarula ranks as one of the fastest-growing spirits products worldwide. Spirits Business rates it as a Brand Champion, an honour reserved for those brands achieving double-digit growth in 2011 compared with 2010. It is also a member of the prestigious Millionaire’s Club for selling in excess of a million 9-litre cases a year.

The new TVC by Draftfcb Cape Town clearly positions Amarula as an African original, and can be viewed on http://youtu.be/vu2lhosZQJU.

“What makes Amarula unique is the fact that it is the first of its kind and also the best established and most widely internationally recognised. Given these factors, the natural positioning for the brand is as ‘The African Original’,” explained Larter.

“There are parallels between its story and that of Alek in that she, too, was born in Africa but is today an international icon. Despite her amazing success on the world’s catwalks and behind its speaker podiums, her roots are still in Africa.

“This majestic African is also an artist, published writer and well-known spokesperson for the humanitarian cause in Sudan. She’s an African original, and aligning Amarula with her legendary beauty, spontaneity and uniqueness serves to highlight Amarula’s claim to that status.”

This is the first time brand owner Distell has engaged an international celebrity for Amarula.

Global marketing spokesperson Siobhan Thompson said: “”We chose Alek Wek for her ability, like Amarula, to encapsulate what it means to be an African original.  She is a natural, charismatic beauty with a unique and compelling presence.  She embodies the grace and poise of Africa with an ability to succeed wherever she goes.”

The television commercial is supported by print, radio, outdoor and a national promotion which runs from October till December. There is also a digital and social media component: see www.facebook.com/amarula. The campaign is being adapted for Amarula’s major markets worldwide.

Alek Wek was born in South Sudan in 1977 and raised as part of the Dinka tribe.  At the age of 14 she was forced to flee her homeland to escape the civil war, arriving in London as a refugee.  Her life took a new turn in 1995 when she was spotted by a model agent in a London park, becoming a runway success almost overnight.

In 1997, the international edition of Elle made her its first African cover star, and she was named Model of the Year by MTV.  Her natural elegance and grace quickly established her as one of the world’s top fashion icons.  By 2000 she was booked by Revlon to star in its worldwide advertising campaign, shot by Herb Ritts.  She continues to work with a number of the most prestigious brands, including Chanel Couture and YSL.

During her career she has been named Model of the Decade by i-D magazine, and one of People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People.

In 2007 she published her best selling memoirs, Alek, from Refugee to International Supermodel and in 2009 she was chosen as one of a handful of designers to create a unique piece of jewellery for ethical diamond brand Forevermark, subsequently judging its esteemed African Shining Light jewellery design competition in 2010.

She is as well-known for her charity work as her modelling, lending real support to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), where she serves on an advisory board to help highlight and alleviate the plight of refugees worldwide.  This year she spent two weeks travelling throughout South Sudan with the UNHCR to galvanise international support for the hundreds of thousands of refugees still displaced.

She speaks in New York schools to empower youth and helped launch the Bracelet for Life campaign with Médecins Sans Frontières.  She also works actively to raise funds for those affected by AIDS, and with other children’s and Breast Cancer Research charities.

She is an established designer in her own right with a luxury handbag range established in 2001, called WEK1933.  The collection is sold worldwide through high-end retailers. She continues to develop her collection while collaborating with other influential brands on special projects.