Maximizing Brand Asset: The Peak Island Narrative
By Jeremiah Agada
An iconic brand is not just one that has succeeded in effectively differentiating itself from among like-brands; it is one that also strikes an emotional chord with the consumer, cultivates an enduring identity, attachment and trust to inspire customer loyalty. That trust, according to Lincoln Chaffe, former US Senator and 2016 presidential hopeful, is built on consistency.
The Peak Island logo, a brand asset exclusive to Nigerian dairy market leader, Peak Milk, has consistently been on the packaging of the milk brand since it came into the Nigerian market in 1954.The logo elements comprise palm trees, a stretch of beach, mountains, blue skies and an equally blue ocean, a distant ship and a canoe-load of people approaching the shore. The logo elements on the Peak Island form a critical point of differentiation for the brand.
Deciphering the significance of the items on the Peak logo is no job for an Einstein as it is mostly self-explanatory. The Peak logo is a symbol of success which shows the premium nature of the brand. The big, beautiful and bold font shows an active personality that can be depended upon. The palm tree is significant for its all-round usefulness and specifically for growth; hence it represents nutrition and growth. It comes as no surprise that many Yoruba-speaking Nigerians refer to it as ‘milk olope’ which literally translates to ‘the palm tree milk’.
Another element on it is the blue sky which symbolizes hope and aspiration. The Peak ‘It’s in you’ campaign leverages on this theme by inspiring the consumer to aim for the sky. The mountain is where the brand probably got its name, Peak. It is a representation of performance-performing at an optimum level to get to the very peak. No wonder it current pay-off line says, ‘Reach for your peak’.
Other elements include the sea which stands for nature and activity, the canoe for the brand’s association with local heritage and strength, and the steamboat which stands for the international touch of the brand. The brand has maintained its logo perhaps as a reminder of its brand promise of consistently providing generations and families with essential nutrients for building stronger bodies and sharper minds.
Peak Milk is known for its many ad campaigns that have remained evergreen in the minds of generations of Nigerians. Positioned as the generic name for premium quality dairy product, the brand has rolled out ad campaigns like ‘Peak is the one’- one of its firsts, ‘Peak of the Pack’ and ‘Milk at its Peak’ which is accompanied by the popular ‘from generation to generation’ theme song. The theme song and campaign became popular because it was at that period the milk brand became the official Milk of the Super Eagles.
The brand rolled out yet another new 360-degree multimedia ad campaign few months back. The campaign is aimed at restating Peak’s commitment to enriching families across generations. The campaign focused on bringing the Peak Island to life. The content as it were seeks to maintain trust among older generation consumers as well as build trust with the new generation of consumers based on the brand’s character essence coupled with its staying power across generations since 1954.
The task of creating a campaign aimed at building trust with the new generation of consumers and maintaining the strong bond with older ones fell on the shoulders of Nigeria’s fastest growing creative powerhouse, X3M Ideas. The mandate was simple: Use the brand’s unique assets to reinforce its position as Nigeria’s ‘Peak of the Pack’.
Steve Babaeko, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Creative Officer of the agency says the significance of deploying Peak’s powerful iconic property for its communication is to push the brand as a dependable one that has been there in past, is still relevant today and it still resonates with today’s young minds.
“Working on the Peak brand is a dream-come-true for me. Since I began my professional career in the creative industry, I had always wanted to work on Peak Milk. We put in a lot of work, research and insight into this campaign to bring the Peak Milk Island to life,” he said.
For the campaign’s theme song, the agency maintained the ‘generation to generation’ song, effecting only slight changes in the tone of the nostalgic theme.
The campaign features a 60 seconds television commercial which chronicles the journey of a typical Nigerian family back through the years with Peak. This is achieved through reminiscence by a grandmother who guides her curious granddaughter through sands of time, telling her stories of the family from the period of Nigeria’s evergreen historic Olympic Football win at Atlanta ’96, a brief highlight of the groundnut pyramid of yesteryear and down through to Nigeria’s independence from the British in 1960.
Thereafter, mother and daughter find each other on the Peak Island where the journey all began in 1954. The arrival of the men in a canoe on shore the Peak Island according to Steve Babaeko, highlights the entry of the Peak Milk brand into the Nigerian market. The commercial brings us back to the present with the family sitting to a meal.
A similar message was conveyed in the radio jingles of the campaign. Made in cuts of 45 seconds for English and 30 seconds for Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba language variations, the jingles effectively communicates the brand’s great staying power, consistency over generations and authenticity. The print and outdoor materials leverages strongly on the TVC to emphasize on strong family connections by bringing components of the Peak Island at the background of a family, and in the press ad, the granddaughter to project the generational journey with the milk brand.
X3M Ideas has been able to creatively explore the brand’s consistency, bridging the gap between two far-flunked generations- granddaughter and daughter -by deploying all elements on the Peak Island logo in its communication, taking consumers and prospects alike on a journey through the years with Peak, consistently providing the nutrition and energy needed to get to the peak. The brand here is making an emphatic statement that says, “from generations to generations…we’ll always be there.’
The nostalgic feel of the campaign especially in the TVC is further enhanced with barely perceptible scenes from older commercials of Peak milk which is especially refreshing for older generations and interesting to the younger ones. A case in point is the popular TVC where Kanu Nwankwo stops a falling tin of milk with his leg before flicking it right back up.
One key element of successful ad campaigns is its ability to grab people’s attention, going beyond that to induce a conscious and active behaviour. Yet another element is that it has to be something that is memorable-the product being remembered long after the commercial recesses into the consumer’s mind. In other words, the ‘wow effect’ in any ad is its ability to resonate, have relevance and then, the boom factor which every brand prays for, takes effect.
Has X3M Ideas been able to do this for the Peak brand? We threw this question to the court of public/consumer opinion and here are a few responses: Basil, A Facebook user expressed his excitement at seeing the Peak Island accurately brought to life. He said it was like seeing a dreaming unfolding in reality: “I can’t forget when I was a kid; I use to stare at the peak can, trying to imagine the scene in real life.”
Wisdom Eno, an undergraduate of the University of Uyo said that although he had been seeing the brand for a while, he only got to know that it had being in Nigeria before independence through the TVC. “For something to have survived this long, it must have had a great quality that people trust. I will go for it any day,” he said.
Susannah Oghenevoh, a mother of four said she could not help feeling nostalgic as the TVC reminded her so much of Nigeria’s win at Atlanta ’96. She adds: “I grew up taking Peak Milk. Today my kids also take Peak. So I agree with them (the TVC), Peak has always been with us since the beginning.”
Edet Blessing, another Facebook user who commented on the TVC said she particularly all-aroundnot forget the theme and Kanu’s theatric saving of a can of falling Peak milk. Echoing similar sentiment, Gift Nyenke who is also a Facebook user said the brand has been in the house for 26 years of her existence. “I’ll definitely pass this to my children”, she said.
Victor Owencho, an undergraduate of Mass Communication at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, takes a looks at the press ad of the campaign and has this to say: “when you look at the fact that different generations of a family are depicted on the ad copy and you also look at the fact that they are on the symbolic Peak Milk Island logo, this press ad has successfully shown that Peak Milk has been with families from generations to generations.”
However, one envisages that since X3M Ideas was able to bring the Peak Island to life in its TVC, it should have reciprocated same in the outdoor and print ad materials rather than retain the cartooned drawing of the Peak Island Nigerians have grown used to seeing on the packaging of the brand.
Nevertheless, the sweeping positive reviews on the ad campaign from observers and ad critics alike is not unexpected as nothing less is expected of a creative powerhouse that has won awards nationally and internationally for its various works on brands locally and globally.