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Jidenna Heineken and 'Classic Man' make all the right moves

The similarities between R&B star, Jidenna and Heineken are not immediately obvious.

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The similarities between R&B star, Jidenna and Heineken are not immediately obvious.

One is a fast rising millennial generation Nigerian singer with an expanding global audience, while the other is a beloved brand with years of tradition behind it, visible since 1873 in exactly 192 countries.

It would seem like a stretch initially, but seeking a connection between the resilience of Nigerians and the ubiquity of the established brand, the guys at Heineken may have hit pay dirt with the hiring of the Classic Man to drive the new More Behind The Star campaign.

Of Nigerian origin, but based in the United States of America, from where he travels the world seeking inroads into far flung cultures with his music, Jidenna is easily a stand in for Nigerian resourcefulness and adaptability.

As the nation with the highest number of black persons on earth, it is only natural that Nigeria would contribute the most to the distribution of black persons around the globe. And indeed, there is most certainly a Nigerian to be found in all of the countries Heineken has some presence in.

This campaign comes distilled in 3 short videos, each one about 1 minute running time, made available for easy consumption on mobile devices, but also on traditional media tools. In the first of the videos, Jidenna speaks with a Heineken Master Brewer who provides some insight into how the brew is made. Jidenna then unable to hold back, unleashes the Nigerian in him by trying to get the poor fella to add more titles to his job description.

Hint: he doesn’t succeed.

In the second clip, Jidenna finds himself in Oslo, Norway where he walks into a pub and surprise surprise, finds a compatriot who is easily the loudest person in the room. The final video has Jidenna home to Nigeria for the holidays, bearing gifts for loved ones. He hands a wristwatch to the patriarch, who is suitably unimpressed and opts instead for a pack of Heineken.

The Nigerian spirit campaign, represented by these video clips feel fresh, well thought out and balanced enough to achieve the dual objectives of celebrating a culture while pushing a product at the same time. The videos are capably shot and colorfully sequenced. The themes of brotherhood and togetherness are well highlighted without being unnecessarily corny, or heavy handed. Quite importantly, the brevity of the running time ensures it was prepared with the internet audience in mind.

Short, sharp and precise, Heineken’s latest campaign is a surefire winner that hits all the right notes. Some may say it is classic stuff.

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