Every now and then, an ad will pop up on the airwaves that deviates from the typical Ghanaian style of slapstick humor.
Even more occasionally, this ad will veer from the cliched beer messaging and tabloid tagline of “Number 1 beer”, and take a stab at something more substantial. I’m talking about Star Beer’s new “Homecoming” TV commercial, which stylishly sells a message woven around the familiar story of many a returnee or frequent traveler; the story of longing, and of coming back to our friends, our community, and all the things that make this country home.
In Star beer’s ‘Home Coming’, we see a cosmopolitan returnee whose excitement to be home sees him shedding his Western-style outNit to appear more original and proudly Ghanaian when he gets home to his friends.
The video rolls with the main character’s arrival at the airport through ditching his chauffeur-driven vehicle for a taxi, swapping his suits on the way home and appearing in his Nine Kente shirt when he gets to his friends.
Star beer creates a powerful yet relatable theme which uses the rich Ghanaian culture as the magnet that draws people home, but it also strategically manages to position Star beer as the centripetal force that brings friends together.
From the onset, the audience is gradually led along a steady stream of scenes with recognizable landmarks.
The ad portrays a great storyline that ties the main character’s demonstrable love for his culture, his people, and his community, with the beer that binds them all – Star beer.
Herein lies the creativity of the ad’s producers - by striking a Nine balance between selling their product and promoting a people’s way of life, they managed to kill two birds with a single stone.
“The Refreshing Taste of Home” – the new ad’s tagline is a sweet and decidedly dramatic line, inevitably inspiring a blend of nostalgia and pride in the viewer. You’re quickly reminded why Star beer continues to celebrate its decades-old attachment to Ghanaian culture.
But here’s where things get interesting. In the last week since its release, sharp eyes have noticed one particularly interesting moment in the Ninal scene of Star beer’s new tv ad: a shot inside a fridge, where every bottle of Star beer sports an unfamiliar label. The differences from the current label are subtle but undeniable; this is a new label.
People on social media have been quick to point out the new label, because the ad itself doesn’t draw much attention to it.
Were we meant to notice this new label? Was it an oversight; the traces of an upcoming product re-launch? Possibly the birth of a new and improved taste of Star beer? Or was it an intentional plant, a hint of greater things to come for the brand? No matter which, people are clearly excited, and it should be interesting to see how the rest of Star beer’s latest campaign unfolds.