The suspense was killing us for over two weeks. What or who is M? Those who were lucky to get a cardboard boombox in their mail, had a blast putting it together, could listen to DJ Caise’s and DJ Xclusive’s audio invite and prepare themselves for a wild night out at a secret location, while everyone else was hoping to make it on a boombox owner’s guest list – no one wanted to miss this mysterious event! Is it a brand launch? An international party series? A release of some sort?
Even though the arrival of Miller Genuine Draft in Nigeria was a hush-hush affair, and the brand behind the boom box invite kept under wraps all the way until guests got to the venue the night of September 30th, social media was on fire in the weeks leading up to the launch, with many of those invited flaunting their boom box, or the skilled assembly thereof, on Instagram, including Yvonne Vixen, Toke Makinwa, Bizzle, Eku Edewor, Leriq, Wana Sambo, Sarz, Tola Odunsi, Chopstix and Chigurl. Hands down, the boombox invite and #WhatIsMcampaign has been this year’s biggest PR coup – and one of the most innovative Social Media campaigns executed in Nigeria in a long time. Kudos go to Bold & Daring, Miller’s Nigerian PR and brand activation agency, that also designed and produced the launch event.
With Miller Genuine Draft’s arrival in Nigeria, Nigeria has now joined the league of only 9 countries in the world (being the second country in Africa after South Africa), to introduce the premium American-style lager beer. The iconic MGD brand is globally known for supporting DJs and high energy nightlife, and the Lagos launch party with its impressive light show and stellar international and Nigerian DJ line up certainly got that message across. And not only that: an hour before the show, at a media cocktail held at Scarlet Lodge, a newly opened boutique hotel in Victoria Island, DJ Caise and DJ Xclusive were announced as Miller’s inaugural brand ambassadors. With more and more brands endorsing DJs, it’s really starting to look up for the Nigerian DJ scene.
As promised per audio invite, the secret location was revealed around 3pm the day of the event, and it was no other than Muri Okunola Park – the most visible outdoor location in Victoria Island, at the major crossroads of Falomo Bridge and Ozumba Mbadiwe. How could we have missed the set up?!
Upon arriving at the venue, the guest list registration was quick and well organised, the Black Carpet was bustling (Yvonne Vixen held it down, as well as Trace TV, SoundCity, Hip TV, Spice TV and Pop Central TV) and the setting was simply jaw-dropping… The stage was a mega scaffolding structure covered with some kind of mesh (ca.10 meters high and 20 meters wide), which turned into a gigantic projection screen for the work of two internationally acclaimed structure and visual designers called 1024 architecture, who were flown in from Paris and who performed their project 1024 BOOM-Box. While DJ Caise and DJ Xclusive (Miller’s new brand ambassadors) as well as the international DJ Jerome Sydenham performed, boombox visuals (there goes the boombox context!) and other 3D mapping visuals were projected onto the stage, and the impressively synchronised rays of light around the entire structure gave Muri Okunola park somewhat of a rave feel, while at the same time keeping it really classy – Lagos has never seen an event like it. Miller definitely set the bar high, making a point of its global high-energy nightlife experience.
The seating area provided seating for around 400, while the rest of the crowd spread out on the lawn, at the bars, and the dance floor – at its peak, there were about 1000 guests. A larger-than-life Miller boombox (a giant version of the invitation boombox) served as a viewing platform – an amazing opportunity to see the entire venue from a birds eye perspective. Wow.
Instead of the usual VIP and VVIP set-up, Miller opted for an open seating approach – and that was probably the key success factor of the event – besides the impressive light show and decoration. Celebs mingled with other media, art and fashion personalities, no one felt stuck at a certain table, and the vibe was refreshing – just like the chilled Miller beer served at bars and in fridges around the venue. The lawn turned into a massive dance floor and guests were dancing to Nigerian, House and EDM tunes till the wee hours on October 1st. It was really something else… Never before has Lagos seen such an understated brand launch: no speeches, no presentations, no overbearing branding. As per global tradition, it seems that Miller just wanted to set the stage for an awesome party – and that’s exactly what it was! There was an immense attention to detail, all the way to the Miller girls, who wore outfits designed by Nigeria’s most respected stylist Zed-Eye.
Guests included Praiz, Jesse Jagz, Sasha P, Temi Dollface, Toke Makinwa, Denrele, Falz, Loose Kaynon, Wale and Poe from Show Dem Camp, Toolz, Stephanie Coker, Niyola, Zainab Balogun, Kemi and Remi Adetiba, D’Prince, Alex Ekubo, Eku and Kessiana Edewor, Gbemi, Osi Suave, Chris Da Razor, Sensei Uche, Chin Okeke, Dabota Lawson, Chef Eros, Sheifunmi and a long list more.
Top behind-the-scenes industry movers and shakers were also at Miller’s outdoor launch bash, including Paul Okoye (CEO of Upfront and Personal – the agency that inked the endorsement deals for Miller with DJ Caise and DJ Xclusive), Cecile Hammond, Tola Odunsi, Bayo Omisore, Fela Oke, Michael Ugwu and Tunde Demuren, among many others.