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Sometimes delivering great results for a client demands that an agency takes a proactive stance and puts an opportunity to innovate on the table. This was the case with Castle Lite’s award-winning Cold Tracker campaign in Tanzania.

As the sixth-largest market for beer consumption in Africa, Tanzania is an attractive and lucrative market for both African and global brewers. The dominant Tanzania Breweries Limited is a subsidiary of the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), and has around 70% of market share. Nonetheless, the global group has been ramping up investment into the region since 2018 and is committed to driving awareness of young and cutting-edge brands like Castle Lite, in line with the country’s youthful demographic.

Castle Lite’s differentiator in this competitive market was its ‘Extra Cold’ positioning. But ensuring the brand promise could live up to this hype was proving a challenge in a country where electricity is expensive and often erratic. Conceptualising a campaign that was sensitive to these considerations fell to Promise Agency, which arrived at a solution using technology developed by Informed Decisions and installed by Thinking Cap Productions, headed by Niel Mostert.

“Castle Lite has always been about Extra Cold, however, due to electricity costs, a lot of retailers were turning their fridges off. This wasn’t working for the brand, so we needed to incentivise outlets to keep fridges on and ensure that Castle Lite was Extra Cold,” explains Marc Watson, Promise Agency co-founder and Executive Creative Director. 

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Nic Kostouros, Promise Agency Integrated Creative Director, says the ‘Cold Tracker’ concept was born out of collaboration between the agency and its client, as well as AB InBev’s openness to flying the creatives into Tanzania to experience the vibrancy and challenges of the market first-hand.

“They were really happy with the campaign. It was a tightly-knit process in terms of how we worked together, and we are fortunate that we don’t have this weird client-agency relationship. We take their suggestions, and we collaborate. It was an interesting dynamic,” says Kostouros. He stresses that the creative team benefitted greatly from seeing the retail outlets in action, witnessing the savviness they brought to their own marketing efforts and the differentiation taking place in this crowded market.

Ultimately the Cold Tracker campaign saw a 26% increase in Castle Lite sales across Tanzania.

The concept

What set Cold Tracker apart was its aim of solving a real business problem: the fact that (on average) three out of five informal outlets in key African markets kept turning their fridges off to keep costs down.

Pushing the Extra Cold advertising message was meaningless unless, when the beer was handed over in a hot and humid city like Dar es Salaam, it made your fingers ache.

But how could AB InBev compel its retail partners to spend the extra on the electricity needed to run their cold fridges?

The answer was an innovative Cold Tracker, an adapted 3G device which could be fitted to the fridges and – courtesy of a built-in thermometer – could monitor both temperature and location. The device was installed in 212 fridges in retail outlets around Tanzania.

To sweeten the deal, geolocated out-of-home leaderboards were installed which displayed – in real time – which fridges in the immediate vicinity were offering the coldest Castle Lite. This created the world’s first temperate-based media trading platform: cold beer and cold fridges in return for valuable marketing space. In addition to the real-time digital billboard exposure, participating outlets were also highlighted in their local newspapers through paid-for Castle Lite advertising and targeted social media.

For those outlets offering the coldest beer, literage sales went up, at times to the tune of 70-80% more than competing outlets who turned off their fridges. Participating outlets saw an average 41% return on investment against cold fridge running costs – making cold fridges good for business.

Beyond the brief

Had Promise Agency stuck unrelentingly to the initial advertising brief, this campaign would not have happened, says Kostouros. “It’s hard to look past the brief, but you shouldn’t let it get in the way,” he admits, stressing the need to look at the bigger picture and to dive into each market with open eyes and a willingness to learn. Add to that an understanding of the evolving role of technology and how this can empower marketing, and you have a winning combination.

While Cold Tracker has picked up more than its fair share of accolades, this was never the motivator, says Kostouros. “This was a business solve piece; a Promise speciality.”

Ultimately, that’s what Cold Tracker achieved. Through collaboration, cross-sector cooperation and an on-the-ground mindset, the campaign ensured Castle Lite was true to its word.

Most importantly, says Kostouros: “Client loved it as it vastly exceeded all expectations.”


2020 Assegai Awards

  • Gold – Best Direct Marketing Cross Border Campaign
  • Gold – Use of New Technology
  • Silver – Direct Response Mass Media, Out of Home

2020 Loerie Awards

  • Craft Gold – Out of Home, Use of Technology
  • Silver – Media Innovation
  • Silver – Out of Home, Outdoor Media

The New Generation Social and Digital Media Awards 2020

  • Silver – Best Use of Technical Innovation by an Agency
  • Bronze – Best Use of Technical Innovation

Epica Awards 2020 (International)

  • Silver – Media Innovation, Traditional Media
  • Bronze – Creative Use of Data

About Promise Agency

Founded in 2005 by Marc Watson and James Moffatt, with no clients or start-up capital, Promise burst into the world of strategic communications with one driving ambition: to reshape a dusty established industry into a thoroughly client-centric offering. Today, Promise has evolved into a medium-sized agency of 70 staffers with an enviable portfolio of brands, each of which has benefitted from Promise’s personal touch and hunger to craft remarkable work. The diverse team concluded a B-BBEE transaction in 2016, which saw its rating increase to Level 2. Tapping into the art of strategy and data-driven creativity, Promise Agency punches above its weight when it comes to delivering exceptional through-the-line and digital communication solutions.