German beer starts second year in Egypt with new ad

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CAIRO--Egyptian beverage giant, Al Ahram Beverages, has ushered in Meister's second anniversary in Egypt with a new print ad touting thebubbly side of the German beer.

The ads appear in nine prominent English and Arabic-language magazines. One depicts the famous, German-born scientist Albert Einstein hoisting a glass in either hand, a grin peeking behind his fluffy white mustache. The tagline: "Meister ... the Lighter Side of a Stronger Beer."

"We're trying to show the humorous side of Germanness," says Amal el Masri, joint managing director for TMI, the ad agency handling the campaign. "Meister's been around for a year, and our first year was building awareness. Now we're developing a positioning statement."

Meister is also being heavily promoted through below-the-line campaigns, Ms. el Masri adds.

Outdoor and TV ads are out of the question, however, in Egypt's conservative Islamic society.

Meister is the second beer produced by Al Ahram, which also makes a variety of fruit juices and a nonalcoholic beer. Three years ago, the company managed to revamp its brewery and turn around the tarnished reputation of Egypt's local Stella beer.

Al Ahram is facing some tough competition from Egyptian rival Gouna Beverage Distribution, the manufacturer of Egypt's Sakara beer, and the local producer for Lowenbrau. Earlier this year, Gouna also launched a new Egyptian wine, Obelisque.

Al Ahram is planning to relaunch its own Gianaclis wine shortly, according to Al Ahram spokesman Steven Keefer. Like its Stella beer, the company faces a major job repairing Gianaclis' shaky reputation.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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