Jamie Foxx


The South African fine brandy segment has been reinvigorated with a bold and ambitious communication campaign designed to bring back the spirit’s aspirational, cosmopolitan appeal in a way that speaks to a cross-section of consumers.

A major feature of the multimedia campaign is a new TV ad with megastar Jamie Foxx signed on to represent the highly popular Oude Meester brand.  The Oscar and Grammy-award winning US actor, song writer and comedian flew to Cape Town to shoot the commercial that premiered this month (September).

Oude Meester forms part of the FINE BRANDY.BY DESIGN™ portfolio of internationally-awarded South African brandies.

Portfolio marketing manager, Shelley Ellse said: “The commercial takes up several notches the confident positioning of this well-established South African favourite that has been on the market for over 60 years, giving it a fast-paced, contemporary and ironic chic with a wide range of international references.

“The ad not only appropriates the name Dude Meister, as the brand is known in some African countries, but makes a feature of it.  It also plays up the familiar brand icon that appears on the Oude Meester bottle, that is a profile of the US founding father, Benjamin Franklin.  As a statesman, scientist with a special interest in electricity, inventor, diplomat, musician, as well as the person who established America’s first library, he lends a new international credence to Oude Meester and exemplifies the quality of a true master.”

She said that he imparted a gravitas to the brand that was both underscored and off-set by Foxx’s casual but assured authority. “Franklin, like Foxx was also a working class man who was very proud of his roots and chose to give back to his community and that resonates with many people. Like Franklin he is hugely talented in many fields, in his case not only as a performer but a sportsman too. Both figures are highly accomplished and inspiring to a global audience. The commercial, like the brand itself, ties history and modernity together in a very appealing way.

“That someone of the calibre and clout of Foxx was prepared to be linked with a South African brandy, speaks volumes of the standing of the brand and of South African brandy excellence in general. Oude Meester and the other members of the FINE BRANDY.BY DESIGN™ portfolio are all regular medallists on international competitive events and his association with the collection makes a proud statement.

“The campaign is a great way of aligning our internationally awarded brandies with an internationally award-winning personality and it’s the first time we’ve taken such a bold step.”


She said the FINE BRANDY.BY DESIGN™ portfolio, which had developed a sleek new visual identity and an extensive merchandising campaign for in-store and off-consumption, was being supported by a range of initiatives to highlight the contemporary relevance of brandy. It included exciting new bartender programmes, music promotions, the design of a new generation of cocktails, and in-depth training programme for trade. Ambassadors of the collection were also dressed by Themba Mngomezulu, renowned for his acclaimed fashion label, Darkie.

Every one of the brands in the portfolio was being repositioned to highlight its standing in a bolder and more dynamic way. “Flight of the Fish Eagle, also a member of the portfolio, launched a new ad campaign recently that is similarly proud, confident and communicates to a broad audience although from an entirely different platform, highlighting its natural positioning. By contrast, the Oude Meester commercial has a very strong urban sensibility.”

“These are all components of a multi-faceted programme intended to give brandy the place it deserves in the repertoire of sophisticated South Africans.”

Although brandy remained the country’s most popular spirit, its allure had been partially eclipsed by the global appeal of whiskies, she said.  “Our brandies have all the quality credentials but our new-generation communication elevates the spirit to an international level.”

Other brandies in the portfolio include the Van Ryn’s Collection Reserve, Collison’s White Gold, Klipdrift Gold and Nederburg Solera Potstilled.