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Product alterations and adjustments prove difficult in the Ethiopian marketplace. Consumers get used to the familiarity of the look and feel they recognize a product by. Hence, when St. George came to us with their innovative idea for a product alteration, it would take some time for us to recognize what strategy to employ. It was a market-entry but not. St. George Beer was taking a new look or a second look for BGI Ethiopia thought of repurposing green bottles in storage for sustainability purposes. Hence, we wanted to reassure customers that it is the beer you know and love, but with a twist.

There is a culture in our country that beer and other beverages’ bottles are returnable. Otherwise, you would pay your local shopkeeper a damage fee. Hence, the entry communication should be focused on that. The green bottle’s idea was that people did not need to return the bottle. It was basically, “The Beer You Know and Love, in the Non-returnable Bottle”. We designed up-front and product-display visuals for our digital outlets and trade materials. 

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As that took off greatly and we familiarized the customers with the existence of such a bottle, we were able to tap into more relatable narratives, to pull off a campaign filled with social listening. Let us introduce you to Shemsu, your local shopkeeper.

Every neighborhood has one, or two, or three. Shemsu is known for being protective of the beverages that you buy from him. He will be in your face for you to return the bottles to him. 

We took Shemsu to be the antithesis of our campaign. We took him to extreme situations to show the lengths he would go to have his St. George bottle returned. 

We took him to the television station as he interrupted a broadcast…

He muscled his way to a boxing  ring…

He found his way in a police suspect line-up situation at ease…

What’s more, He even found his way into space.

Shemsu traveled extremes to get his bottles back from you but with the green non-returnable bottles, his nagging was no more. 



The digital reception was exciting, engaging, and award-worthy.

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